Destination UK

A day in London with our Merlin Annual Pass

Posted on
April 24, 2018

During the Easter holiday’s we headed to London for a day out.
We are Merlin Annual Pass holders and I made sure I took our passes with us as there is so much to see and do, especially on the South Bank.
Our first stop was The Shard View for an event to launch the new film Ferdinand to DVD and as it was an early start, it left us with almost a full day to explore London.
From the top of the Shard you can see the London Eye and it didn’t seem like too far to walk, so we decided to make the trek by foot, as I was keen to cross the Millenium Bridge because I say I am going to do it every time we visit London.
Millenium Bridge
I was not disappointed, the London Millennium Footbridge is stunning. The steel suspension bridge is a pedestrian only bridge crossing the River Thames in London, linking St Paul’s Cathedral with the Globe Theatre – London’s only wooden and thatched structure and is perfect for a photo opp.
London Millennium Bridge
It was then a 20 minute walk to the London Eye, with scenic views over the River Thames and past the This Morning studios.
The kids were keen to do Shrek’s Adventure first, but being the school holidays it was busy so they were allocating time slots. We booked our slot for 3pm and headed across the pavement to see what the queues were like for the London Eye and managed to walk straight on, thanks to our Premium Merlin Annual Passes.
London Eye
The Coca-Cola London Eye stands at 135 metres high and is the world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel.
The London Eye
The London Eye holds 32 capsules and each one holds 6 touch screens, which offer a guide to the capital’s iconic landmarks in several languages and I love that the kids inside all buddied up to point out the sights to each other.
Coca Cola London Eye
A visit to the London Eye lasts for one rotation, which takes about 30 minutes and on a clear day, it’s possible to see up to 25 miles (40km) away.
London Eye rain
Sadly for us, it was drizzling for our visit, but we had good views over Buckingham Palace, Westminster and back towards the Shard from where we had come from.
View to the Shard
The kids have a game that they play, called Sweet and Sour, where they wave to people whilst on public transport to see who waves back, and the London Eye was the perfect venue and a few people waved back.
Waving London Eye
Once we disembarked the London Eye, we headed to the Sea Life Centre where we found they were also operating a time slot system, so decided to pop into McDonald’s for lunch. Big mistake…….if you can eat before you get to South Bank, I would recommend it as it was jam-packed and the queuing system was more like a free-for-all. We then blew off some steam in Jubilee Gardens whilst we waited for our Shrek’s Adventure slot.
Jubilee Gardens
I have to say the time slot thing really worked and we were ushered in slightly ahead of time to begin our adventure.
Shrek's Adventure
The journey begins when you arrive at the bus station with a destination of Far Far Away. You are then welcomed in by Princess Fiona who gets you into the party spirit before boarding the DreamWorks Tours magical flying 4D bus to Far Far Away – flown by the one and only Donkey.
Dreamworks Tours
This is the first time all three kids have been brave enough to wear the 3D glasses and join in and they thoroughly enjoyed meeting Cinderella in Shrek’s swamp, bumping into Puss in Boots, and helping to rescue Pinocchio from the wheel of torture. Sebby even got to help cook up a magic spell with the Muffin Man.
Once the adventure had ended, you get to enter a room and pose with all your favourite Dreamworks characters.
Shrek's Adventure
Our Merlin Annual Passes were brilliant to have on our visit to London, but if you are visiting in school holidays I would recommend you book your time slots online before you travel, so you can make a full day of it.
The Merlin Annual Pass allows you entry to the following attractions on the South Bank:

I have promised the kids that on our next visit we will get to Madam Tussauds, which is in Marylebone across the other side of the city.
Have you visited London recently?

  1. Reply


    April 25, 2018

    Yes I visit London regularly but not been to any of these places. I should plan a proper tourist visit soon.

  2. Reply

    Beth @

    April 26, 2018

    Ah, it looks like you had a lovely day. I have to be honest, we don’t have a Merlin pass but it would be great to have one. 🙂

  3. Reply


    April 26, 2018

    I’m so tempted by the merlin passes as you can do so much with them. eally want to do The London Eye

  4. Reply

    Lucy Dorrington

    April 26, 2018

    I don’t think I will ever be brave enough for the Shard or the London Eye, but Shrek’s adventure looks great fun!

  5. Reply


    April 27, 2018

    I really need to explore London more with my little ones in tow. There is so much to do and see in London. I would love to take mine on the London eye and visit the aquarium!

  6. Reply


    April 27, 2018

    Shrek’s Adventure looks like so much fun for little ones – my little bro would absolutely love it! I have always wanted to visit The Shard too.

  7. Reply

    hannah wood

    April 27, 2018

    We love London me and my Husband make it a date that we do every September just me and him without the kids.

  8. Reply

    Emma Raphael

    April 27, 2018

    It looks like you had a such a lovely day out! You managed to pack a lot in too! I need to take my lot on the London Eye. I remember walking past each day when they were building it, when it was only a temporary exhibit! 🙂

  9. Reply

    Mellissa Williams

    April 27, 2018

    I really want to go to the Shard, it’s on my list of places to see in London. I’ve only viewed it from afar. Shrek’s adventure looks so much fun, you can do so much with a Merlin card can’t you?

  10. Reply

    Micaela Levachyov

    April 27, 2018

    Wow it sounds like the annual pass includes access to lots of great family activities!

  11. Reply

    Lauretta at Home and Horizon

    April 28, 2018

    Looks like a wonderful day out! I also love London Millennium Footbridge and The London Eye. Everything is just worth it.

  12. Reply


    April 28, 2018

    I always say I will visit the millennium footbridge but always forget even when I was visiting the Globe theatre. Sounds like you guys had a lovely day in London

  13. Reply

    Nayna Kanabar

    April 28, 2018

    Hats off to you you packed in so many activities in one day. It looks like your kids had an amazing time.

  14. Reply

    Alex Gladwin

    May 3, 2018

    This sounds so fun! That view is incredible, but I’d be too scared to go up there myself as I’m afraid of heights. x

  15. Reply


    May 9, 2018

    Awesome article!
    I just got back from London.
    It was beautiful. I would highly recommend for night owls and clubbers!
    Keep up the good work.

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog