london-cablePart of the appeal of watching foreign television is ‘living’ overseas. You get to experience, somewhat, life in another country.

And then if you like to travel, you can visit the places you’ve see in Downton Abbey or Brideshead Revisited.

Recently, I got to meet 2 of the stars of Call the Midwife. The series, broadcast in the United States on PBS, examines midwifery in London’s East End in the 1950s.

Two of the stars, Helen George (Trixie Franklin) and Bryony Hannah (Cynthia Miller) came to New York in advance of the start of the 2nd season. Although the actresses, who play young midwives, don’t have children, they offered a wealth of insider tips for a family-friendly London vacation.

Bryony suggested a ride on a ‘secret’ water ferry that families could take to Greenwich to visit the maritime museum. The Thames Clipper can also be used as an above ground alternative to the tube, taking you from the Tate Modern, Canary Wharf and London Eye, among other tourist attractions.

midwives in times squareThe midwives in Times Square:Bryony Hannah (l) and Helen George.Helen said another fun ride is the cable car in the East End. Built for the 2012 Olympics, the cable cars cross the Thames River, from North Greenwich to the Royal Docks.

Bryony lives in North London, where she said Queens Park is wonderful urban respite. The Victorian park has a playground, a wading pool (charmingly called a ‘paddling’pool) and a “Pet’s corner” petting zoo.

Helen said a visit to Hamley’s toy store is a must. She said the store is like a “kid’s Harrod’s” and magicians demonstrate how toys work in the over 250 year old establishment.

Call the Midwife is about to start filming the 3rd and final season.