I’ve spent a long time exploring London – visiting as a toddler myself, earlier than spending round 25 years residing right here, and now discovering one of the best of London with children with my very own daughter. As a result of this fascinating metropolis at all times has one thing new for households to seek out.
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However in the event you’re feeling overwhelmed by the concept of a household metropolis break in London, whether or not it’s questioning the right way to use the London underground with children, making an attempt to work out the place to go to first (and the place to skip), plus tips about the place to remain, the place to eat, and what to do if it’s wet (or in the midst of a heatwave), I’ve acquired the tried and examined solutions you want under.
Together with important data and a few of the practicalities of London for households, you may as well discover issues to do for toddlers and teenagers, opinions of household points of interest, seasonal enjoyable and particular vacation actions, and even one of the best books to purchase in my information to London with children.
For extra recommendation, suggestions and concepts, try the London with Youngsters Fb group
Attending to London
For those who’re travelling from throughout the UK or Europe, there’s quite a lot of transport choices out there to you, together with prepare, coach, or aircraft.
By prepare or coach
Trains are sometimes essentially the most handy choice when travelling from different elements of the UK. Nationwide Rail runs a complete prepare community throughout all the nation. You can even evaluate ticket costs and verify routes utilizing websites like Omio.
Nationwide Specific and Megabus additionally run coach providers to London, which are usually extra reasonably priced than the prepare.
London has a number of main railway stations, together with King’s Cross, Euston, Paddington, Waterloo, London Bridge, Liverpool Avenue and Victoria, in addition to bus stations, particularly at Victoria.
These all then hook up with the Transport for London (Tfl) community – it’s a very good plan to ensure your lodge is near the station you arrive into or has simple connections.
Scroll down for extra tips about getting round London, together with utilizing the underground with children, or try this publish
You can even get the Eurostar prepare to London from European locations together with Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam.
London has 5 predominant worldwide airports; Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, and London Metropolis. European airways arrive into all of those airports, with many finances airways specializing in Stansted and Luton.
For those who’re travelling from the US, many airways supply direct flights from main US cities to the bigger London airports of Heathrow and Gatwick. Nonetheless, if there’s no direct route, you may as well take a connecting flight through some other place within the US.
There’s a sixth small airport, known as London Southend, in Essex however connections should not nearly as good to town so that you’re unlikely to land right here. For extra data on the right way to get from London’s airports to the central London, try this publish for extra particulars.
When to go
London is a improbable metropolis to go to all 12 months spherical so it doesn’t matter what time of 12 months you go, you’ll discover a lot to see and do.
The height vacationer season in London is throughout the summer time months from June to August. That is when the climate is at its hottest, with the bottom probability of rain. There are additionally numerous enjoyable outside festivals and occasions going down throughout town throughout the summer time. Nonetheless, the crowds might be overwhelming, and lodge and tour costs are often increased.
Throughout the winter months, the climate is prone to be chilly and wet however the metropolis is the least crowded and costs are at their lowest, so it’s a very good time to go to on a finances.
The exception to that is the run-up to Christmas in December, which is one other standard time to be in London. Superb Christmas lights illuminate all the metropolis and there are a great deal of festive occasions going down in each neighbourhood.
The very best time to go to London is usually throughout the shoulder months of March to Might and September to October. Throughout these months, the climate is usually gentle and nice, and there are fewer crowds and decrease costs than throughout the peak durations – though college holidays for Easter, Might half-term and October half-term are an exception.
It’s price remembering that Britain’s climate is famously unpredictable, and London is not any exception – the summer time months may see heatwaves or unseasonably cool wet days, whereas superb solar in late September and early October isn’t exceptional.
For extra tips about planning for London’s climate, scroll down
What to see
Most individuals know London’s most well-known landmarks: Large Ben, the Homes of Parliament, the London Eye. However there’s a lot extra to the British capital than the postcard picture.
From world-renowned museums to stunning inexperienced areas like Hyde Park, vibrant markets to quirky immersive points of interest, there are infinite issues to see and do with children in London.
Beneath is a round-up of a few of our favorite neighbourhoods:
|Westminster||Iconic landmarks, Elizabeth Tower (Large Ben), Homes of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Bridge|
|Southbank||River Stroll, The London Eye, Sea Life London Aquarium, Shrek’s Journey, The London Dungeon, Tate Fashionable, The Globe Theatre|
|West Finish||London’s Theatre District, Shaftesbury Avenue|
|Leicester Sq.||Cinemas, Lego Retailer, M&M Retailer, Chinatown|
|Covent Backyard||Covent Backyard Market, Avenue Performers, London Transport Museum|
|South Kensington||Pure Historical past Museum, Science Museum, V&A Museum, Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens, Princess Diana Memorial Playground|
|Camden||Camden Markets, Avenue Artwork, Stay Music, London Zoo, Regent’s Canal River Stroll, Views from Primrose Hill|
|Greenwich||The Cutty Sark, The Royal Observatory, Nationwide Maritime Museum, Outdated Royal Naval School, Greenwich Park,|
Information to London with children: detailed articles
For extra suggestions and inspiration in the event you’re visiting London with children, try a few of my posts:
Planning a go to to London
Go to London with out breaking the financial institution – get monetary savings on days out in London with children
London within the warmth – one of the best locations in London with air conditioning
Visiting the Warner Bros Studios? My suggestions for the Harry Potter Studio tour, London
The very best children’ books about London, together with information books and fiction for toddlers, kids and teenagers
Suggestions for visiting London’s museums with toddlers and youngsters
The place to remain in London with children
The place to remain in London with children
Household inns sleeping 5 in London
Household inns close to Harry Potter Studios, London
Getting round London with children
London Underground with children – suggestions for utilizing the tube
Suggestions for utilizing the London underground with toddlers
The way to journey from London airports to central London
Issues to do in London with children
The very best issues to do in London with children
The very best free issues to do in London with children
The very best issues to do in London within the rain with children
Uncommon issues to do in London with children
The very best issues to do in London with preschoolers and toddlers
The very best playgrounds in London with children
The very best bus excursions in London with children
The very best boat journeys in London with children
The very best views in London with children
Royal locations in London with children
The highest Harry Potter places in London
The very best Roman websites in London
A Nice Hearth of London stroll with children
The place to seek out Paddington Bear in London
London neighbourhood guides
The very best issues to do in Camden with children and teenagers
The very best issues to do on London’s South Financial institution with children
The very best issues to do in South Kensington with children
The very best issues to do round Leicester Sq. with children
The very best issues to do close to Tower Bridge with children
The very best issues to do at Wembley Park with children
The very best issues to do in Greenwich with children
Issues to do on the Thames with children
London household points of interest
Visiting the Pure Historical past Museum with a toddler
Visiting the Science Museum with a toddler
Suggestions for visiting the British Museum with children
Suggestions for visiting the V&A with children
Visiting London Transport Museum with children
London Transport Museum depot – open day with children
Visiting the Museum of London Docklands with children
Visiting Twist Museum London
Visiting The Horniman Museum in London
London’s Museum of the Residence with children
Suggestions for visiting London Zoo
Time out at Battersea Park Youngsters’s Zoo
Kensington Palace with children
A day trip in Greenwich – visiting the Cutty Sark
Horrible Thames overview: the Horrible Histories boat tour
Discover London by water – GoBoat self-drive boat tour
Suggestions for visiting Kew Gardens with children
London Wetland Centre in Barnes – household day trip
Visiting the Golden Hinde – an escape room aboard a Tudor galleon and the Evening Voyage sleepover
London seasonal highlights
February half-term in London with children
Issues to do at Easter in London with children
Might half-term in London with children
Summer time holidays in London with children
London points of interest with air conditioning for summer time
October half-term in London with children
Thrilling issues to do at Halloween in London with children
The very best locations for Bonfire Evening in London with children
Issues to do for Christmas in London with children
The very best Christmas theatre in London with children
Festive lights with children at Christmas in London
The very best Christmas markets in London with children
Locations to ice skate in London with children
London’s Santa Steam Specific: overview
Consuming in London with children
The very best desserts in London with children
The very best scorching chocolate in London
A donut tour of London with children
Days out from London with children
The very best issues to do in Windsor with children
The very best issues to do in Kingston with children
Visiting Hampton Courtroom Palace with children
The very best day journeys from London with children
Travelling inside London
Essentially the most handy method to journey inside London with children is through the use of town’s complete public transport community – the Citymapper app is without doubt one of the greatest that will help you navigate, in addition to the Tfl Go app and Google Maps (which is especially good in the event you’re utilizing buses).
London is well-served by public transport, with the tube (London Underground), buses, overground trains, and river boats out there to get you wherever you have to go always of day. You should utilize your contactless card or an Oyster Card to make use of London’s public transport.
Contactless fee (together with contactless fee by telephone) is the best and least expensive method to journey.
At all times ensure you use the identical card or machine all through to get the utmost fares capped, and at all times faucet the yellow card readers initially and finish of a tube journey (even when the gates are open) or initially of a bus journey. Every traveller wants their very own separate card or machine.
In case your contactless card prices you charges to make use of it overseas, then an Oyster card could also be a greater choice. There’s a £7 cost for the Oyster card itself and you may then prime up credit score to pay as you go – fares are capped on the similar fee as utilizing contactless playing cards.
Whereas paper travelcards are nonetheless out there, these are virtually at all times a considerably costlier choice, except you’re staying for lengthy durations and likewise travelling exterior the central zones 1-2.
Youngsters beneath 11 journey free throughout the community with a paying grownup – ensure you undergo the broader accessible/baggage gates collectively to make use of the tube as the person gates shut rapidly.
Youngsters aged 11-15 can get half-rate fares with a younger customer low cost added to an Oyster card by tube employees. For those who do go to London commonly, it’s price a Zip Oyster card – these price extra and are extra difficult to use for, however it saves having to arrange the low cost for every journey. There’s no method to get the decreased fares utilizing contactless fee.
Inside the completely different neighbourhoods, strolling is a good way to get round. However it’s most likely greatest to not try to stroll from one space of town to a different (except they’re subsequent door). London is HUGE and it’ll be an excessive amount of strolling for little legs.
Driving inside London is feasible however we undoubtedly wouldn’t advise it. Not solely will you spend most of your time caught in visitors, however you’ll additionally have to pay a £15 congestion cost to drive throughout the metropolis centre and probably £12.50 to drive within the Extremely Low Emission Zone. Parking can also be extraordinarily exhausting to return by, and costly if you do discover it.
Skyscanner is the web site I have a tendency to begin with to match charges for my flights.
Cash-saving tip: Don’t enter any dates to scan one of the best out there occasions to go OR merely enter ‘LON’ as an alternative of a particular airport – you might get a less expensive flight!
Once I plan a metropolis break with children, I usually favor my very own condo – and together with as well-known favourites similar to AirBNB, I’m an enormous fan of Plumguide which has a variety of lodging that’s been individually vetted and there’s a good selection of AirBNB alternate options in London.
You’ll discover a lot extra self-catering lodging in addition to family-friendly inns. Reserving.com often gives one of the best offers, together with free cancellation, however you could find extra inspiration on the place to remain in London with children right here.
For bigger households, there are additionally household inns in London sleeping 5 in addition to some nice inns close to Harry Potter Studios in the event you’re planning to go to the Warner Bros Studio tour and like to remain exterior town centre.
The standard main lodge chains even have loads of choices for household pleasant inns for various budgets – the Park Plaza inns from Radisson are nice, whereas Hilton has every little thing from the Waldorf to cheaper central London inns close to main points of interest, in addition to the Doubletree and decrease finances Hampton by Hilton manufacturers.
London is usually a fairly secure place to go to. However like several massive metropolis, it’s essential to take precautions to make sure your personal security.
At all times concentrate on your environment, maintain your valuables out of sight, and be cautious of pickpockets, particularly in crowded areas similar to on public transport and round standard vacationer points of interest.
Cash saving suggestions
It’s actually no secret that London can be an costly place to go to. However with a bit of little bit of planning, it’s doable to take pleasure in every little thing town has to supply with out breaking the financial institution – see my full set of suggestions to economize on days out in London with children right here.
- Go to throughout low season to save lots of on flights and lodging.
- Use town’s wonderful public transport system moderately than taxis.
- Discover a free strolling tour, however do depart a tip in the event you can.
- Reap the benefits of free actions, similar to visiting museums and parks.
- Use low cost ticket web sites to get good offers on massive points of interest.
- E book mixture tickets for a number of points of interest.
- Get monetary savings on meals by on the lookout for meal offers in supermarkets (often together with a sandwich, snack and drink) in addition to reductions for eating places utilizing a Style card.
For extra tips about methods to save lots of on a metropolis break with children, together with metropolis passes and discovering low cost (or free) excursions, try this publish.
Packing information for London with children
When packing for London, it’s essential to arrange for the unpredictable British climate. Whereas climate extremes are uncommon, it’s price checking forecasts within the run-up to your journey – don’t be shocked in the event you’re confronted with sunshine, clouds and rain, generally throughout the identical day.
Even throughout the peak summer time months, rain and milder days are nonetheless doable, so guarantee you’ve gotten a number of additional layers and a lightweight raincoat or umbrella with you.
Ensure to pack snug sneakers for strolling across the metropolis too as you’ll be in your ft rather a lot. A day bag for carrying layers, water, and snacks can also be an ideal concept.
E book listing
You’re spoiled for selection in relation to books about London – from one of the best information to London with children to fiction for toddlers, kids and teenagers, you’ll discover one thing to swimsuit the entire household.
Try my full listing of one of the best books about London for teenagers right here
The Metropolis Trails sequence from Lonely Planet Youngsters are one in every of my favorite guidebooks for kids – we’ve used them in different European cities and Metropolis Trails London is simply as full of quirky details and sights.
Horrible Histories addicts can be delighted to find that there’s a London ebook within the sequence –Ugly Guides: London – with all of the fascinating and foul, ugly, gory and downright bizarre details you’d count on.
Youthful children will love Paddington’s Information to London, which makes a enjoyable method to get them excited in regards to the journey prematurely too. Or the Pop-up London ebook from Lonely Planet Youngsters is one other vibrant choice for little ones.
For one thing a bit extra interactive, there are greater than 130 London sights to seek out within the pocket-sized i-spy London, with loads of details to find as you learn and discover.
Or the fabulous Usborne lift-the-flap books features a London choice: Look Inside London is full of details about town’s key websites – together with Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London – in addition to London’s different well-known sights, similar to crimson telephone packing containers, black cabs and double-deckers buses.
From the identical publishers, See Inside London takes a journey by way of time (moderately than geography), exhibiting London all through its historical past from Roman occasions to the Center Ages, the Black Demise and throughout the Blitz within the Second World Struggle. An awesome companion to the Look Inside London ebook.
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Penguin/Tower Bridge at Christmas photographs copyright MummyTravels, all others courtesy of Depositphotos