Miniland London at Legoland, Windsor

Cat Sitting in London

Time has been moving at a frightening speed of late, especially since we landed in London and slipped straight back into the frantic pace of life here. This last week has been one furious blur of sightseeing, pounding the glorious streets of the capital and catching up with people. We’ve also seen a different side of the city by exploring with a child in tow and house and cat sitting in an unfamiliar area.

Miniland London at Legoland, Windsor

A mini London at Legoland

Cat and House Sitting in London

After our positive experience house and dog sitting last summer we were keen to do the same again this year. Competition for London opportunities is fierce, so we were lucky to land a sit in a leafy suburb of west London looking after a beautiful rescue cat named Betz. I say looking after, but she practically takes care of herself, coming and going as she pleases while we feed and provide some company for her in the evenings. Once again house sitting has been a great experience for us, we’ve gotten a taste of life in an unfamiliar area of the city, enjoyed having a temporary pet and saved a ton of money on accommodation. We use Trusted Housesitters to find all of our sits, it’s a great site and the biggest one out there.

Betz, the cat we're looking after in London

Beautiful Betz

Since Betz is so low-maintenance we’ve had plenty of time to reacquaint ourselves with this city we used to call home and catch up with people. We’ve revisited old haunts, spent a drunken evening in the pub, been to the theatre to watch 1984, picnicked in the park and soaked-in the atmosphere on the Southbank and central London. Being back here reminds me simultaneously of how much I love London and how demanding, expensive and exhausting it can be to live here. During our visit last summer I wrote about how we weren’t yet ready to give up our freedom and make the financial commitment to return here and as much as I love the city, I still feel the same. We have many more travel dreams to realise before we anchor ourselves back down in London.

The Lake in Hyde Park

Ben in Hyde Park

London with Kids

Part of our week in London was spent showing my friend Kelly and her seven-year-old son Ben around.  It was great to experience London through a child’s eyes and it made me rediscover the excitement of the city. There’s so much for kids to do in London and much of it is free; we spent an entire day exploring the Natural History and Science Museums where we discovered dinosaur bones and enjoyed some fun, hands-on learning. We also visited some great playgrounds, the best of which was the Peter Pan-themed Princess Diana Memorial Playground in Hyde Park.

Pirate ship in the Princess Diana Memorial Playground in Hyde Park

The Princess Diana Memorial Playground

This was Ben’s first proper visit to London and he was excited about simply riding the underground, climbing the bronze lions in Trafalgar Square, visiting the toy shops in Covent Garden and taking the Clipper boat down the Thames. Ben is a huge Lego fan, so he couldn’t come to London without visiting Legoland in nearby Windsor. Although it’s possible to get there by train, we opted to hire a car for the day which turned out to be a remarkably cheap and hassle-free way to visit. Since it’s the school summer holidays we did spend most of the day queuing for rides, but Ben still had a great time.

Stegosaurus Skeleton at the Natural History Museum

Dinosaur bones at the Natural History Museum

This visit to London has been brief but manic and we will leave on Sunday happily exhausted. From one legendary city we’ll be heading to another in less than two weeks’ time – New York, here we come!

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  • Gilda Baxter
    Posted at 22:05h, 21 August Reply

    London is a very special city and there is always a lot to do there, I did not know about the Princess Diana Memorial Playground, must have been fun for Ben. The Museums are also great and free. Sounds like you had a good time back in London and the cat sitting gig was a great way of keeping the costs down. I am so excited for you off on your USA trip, enjoy New York, the last time I was there was in 1992. My husband and I stayed at the Marriot Markee in Manhattan and 9 months later my daughter Chloe was born…maybe I should have called her Marriot hahaha.

    • Amy
      Posted at 23:05h, 21 August Reply

      Ha, what a great conception story 🙂 We have loved being back in London although it has been exhausting packing everything into just over a week; I’m hoping that we will love NY just as much.

  • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
    Posted at 22:11h, 21 August Reply

    So glad your time in London has been so wonderful (not that I’m surprised). I’m pretty sure it has something new to show people who have lived all their lives there if they’re willing to get out there & explore… I truly feel that Samuel Johnson was right when he said that when one is tired of London, one is tired of life!

    Also, I can’t believe that it is already almost time for your U.S. road trip! Where has the summer gone???

    • Amy
      Posted at 23:07h, 21 August Reply

      I totally agree with that quote too Steph! Yes, the summer has totally whizzed by, it already seems ages ago since we left Vietnam now. We are excited to see what the U.S. has in store for us though 🙂

  • Loes
    Posted at 12:29h, 22 August Reply

    What a cute cat! I want to petsit that cat! *from now on petsitting falls in the category destinetia, nerdjacking, bedgasm, textpectation, etc? almost off to the USA!!!

    • Amy
      Posted at 17:37h, 22 August Reply

      Ha, I love it Loes! You should definitely try pet/house sitting one day. Yep, USA is just around the corner now 🙂

  • Patti
    Posted at 17:06h, 23 August Reply

    “….spent a drunken evening in the pub” I’m still laughing!

    • Amy
      Posted at 10:32h, 24 August Reply

      It was a pretty expensive drunken evening too Patti, I forgot how steep London prices are!

  • Louisa Klimentos
    Posted at 23:32h, 25 August Reply

    Loved St James park and Regents Park,loved Maddam Toussauds.Loved the Piccadilly Rock Circus , London planetarium and museum of natural history.I loved how people follow trends there.Back in 1992 saw a lady who had her body painted and was sitting,shivering in a shopping trolley ,with her hands tied to a poll.All the tourists were taking photos of her.She must have been cold.Never seen anything like that in Sydney.A train every 3 minutes was excellent.I also loved the Renaisance buildinqs.Back in 1984 ,i found London to be very busy and daunting,but it didn’t take me long to adjust.I have some good memories of London.I hope you both are enjoying London,love louisa

    • Amy
      Posted at 11:32h, 27 August Reply

      We loved our time in London, thanks Louisa. You’re right, it can be a bit overwhelming at times but I’m glad you loved the city too 🙂

  • Alyson
    Posted at 15:47h, 28 August Reply

    Love London too!
    Shame our paths didn’t cross this summer and glad you found all our London with Kids posts useful.
    But you know what, I still hate house sitting, can’t get on with it at all, even with no pets to look after. I don’t know if it’s being in someone else’s space or feeling trapped or what, I just really don’t like it.
    That said, we’ll be needing house sitters here in Romania fairly often, we have a bunny, kitten and chick so far…the menagerie is growing! Let us know if you fancy a trip out here and can handle VERY rustic country life. ( I’m sitting waiting for a shower, the water has gone off completely, but when we have it, it is hot.)

    • Amy
      Posted at 19:21h, 28 August Reply

      Your post was really useful thanks Alyson, Ben absolutely loved Legoland in particular. I get what you mean about house sitting, it is a big commitment and responsibility to take on; we’re lucky we’ve had great experiences so far. I love the sounds of your Romanian home and menagerie, we would love to have pets but can’t fit them in with our lifestyle right now. We’re definitely up for experiencing a bit of your rustic country life, I’ll get back to you in January about that when we figure out where we’re going in Europe.

  • Chris Donnington
    Posted at 11:08h, 24 September Reply

    Which site did you use for your cat sitting assignment. Love your blogs. Chris x

    • Amy
      Posted at 14:45h, 25 September Reply

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting Chris. We use, which is great, I meant to put the link in the article but forgot. Thanks for reminding me. Good luck with finding a house sit 🙂

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