London is such a wonderful place to visit with the family. From the world’s top museums, parks and open spaces, tourist attractions, shopping to hidden gems, we are spoilt with choice.
As part of our sponsored project with the Royal Garden Hotel to promote their new Family Explorer Package, we asked top family bloggers to share their favourite places to visit and tips for enjoying the capitol with kids in tow.
Read on for the top places to visit and things to do!
Emma from A Bavarian Sojourn loves Afternoon tea! “It has to be done, and there are so many to choose from. If you pick the right one, it can be pretty child friendly too!” Read more about Emma’s journeys with her family on her blog and follow her on Twitter: @abavariansojourn.
Battersea Park Children’s Zoo
Keri from Our Globetrotters says that one highlight of London that tends to be overlooked by so many is Battersea Park. “Nestled on the southern banks of the Thames, it’s a real community park with many hidden gems including the Battersea Park Children’s Zoo. It’s cheaper to enter than its more famous north London counterpart and the perfect size Zoo for little explorers. All their mammals, reptiles and birds are little and in keeping with the zoo’s size, but plenty for children to see and do and be involved with including feeding times and education programs. To finish things off there’s a magnificent adventure playground, complete with its own fire truck!”. Follow Keri on Twitter @ourglobetrotter.
Dennis Severs House
Globalmousetravels, aka Nichola, says the Dennis Severs House in the East End of London is one of her family’s favourite places in the city because it so unique. “It’s one to visit with older children, as you have to stay as silent as possible, you carefully tread your way through history with each room conveying a different era. This is no polished museum however, there is dirt, creaking floorboards, washing to stoop under to pass by and candlelight everywhere. It’s a way to feel the history of centuries of Londoners as they really lived. My children were captivated: the sounds, sights and smells of each room keeping them spellbound.” Follow Nichola on Twitter: @globalmouse1.
Vanessa from Wanderlustcrew.com says their favorite historical thing to do in London is Kensington Palace! “It has such wonderful feel to it, is small enough that you can explore the whole thing in a few hours, and is very interactive! The self guided tour covers several hundreds years of British history from William and Mary to William and Kate! There is a sweet little children’s room where kids can play with toys and see artifacts from Queen Victoria’s children. In another area you can play table games and try on period clothing. My favorite section is fashion where they have dresses from queens and princesses past. So much fun! I recommend watching Young Victoria before going.” Read her full guide. Follow Vanessa on Twitter @crewwanderlust.
Free National Gallery Tours
The National Gallery is a regular haunt for Jennifer Howze from Jenography (@JHowze) and her children. Even before you enter the gallery, you can potter around Trafalgar Square, taking in street performers and sidewalk artists. Once inside, you can view more than 2,300 paintings ranging from gilt altarpieces to well-known Impressionist works. Does that number sound daunting? Then take one of the free tours led by a curator, in which you learn about 4 or 5 paintings in one hour. “The time frame is long enough to understand the works and short enough so the ‘I’m boreds’ are kept to a minimum,” she says.
Kings Cross / St Pancras
Carrie from Flying With A Baby (@flyingwithbaby) says her all her favourite things to do with kids are around Kings Cross/ St Pancras rail stations and are hidden gems if you are from outside the area. They include:
- Splashing in the fountains at Granary Square – a perfect respite on a hot summers day. There are plenty of restaurants around the square too.
- Visiting Lewis Cubitt Park for SNUG soft play. Kids can build their own landscapes and obstacle courses.
- Spending time at Coram Fields – a little oasis in the city. Consists of a mini petting farm with other activities.
- Visiting platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Station and enjoy the magic of Harry Potter!
Susanna from A Modern Mother says you can’t miss the London Eye! “Even though I’m not great with heights, the girls always look forward to a trip on the London Eye. It’s such a unique way to see London. The whole city is spread out below you – so special! Also – it’s worth spending that little bit extra for the fast track ticket.” Follow Susanna on Twitter @amodernmother.
Natural History Museum
Cat says the Natural History Museum is always top of her list. “Even with the famous Dippy on tour at the moment they have something to interest everybody with lots to keep little ones amused not to mention a beautiful building to admire as you go round.” Read more about Cat on Www.catsyellowdays.com and follow her on Twitter @catparrott.
Open Top Bus Tours
Joanne from Kids Days Out Reviews loves for her family to take open top bus tours. “It”s a great way to get your bearings, see all the major sites – and some lesser-known ones too – and learn about the history of London”. Read more about Joanne and her family on www.KidsDaysOutReviews.co.uk and follow her on Twitter @daysoutblog.
Penny recommends taking to the river. “There are so many ways to explore London by water, from River Thames cruises to Regent’s canal boats to duck tours in amphibious vehicles. Boats make seeing the city with little ones easy and fun.” Read more about Penny on her blog Parentshaped.co.uk and follow her on Twitter @PennyAlexander_.
Cass from www.frugalfamily.co.uk says: “The Science Museum is always the first place that my two ask to go whenever we’re in London. We only ever seem to squeeze in a few hours there though but we really need longer as there’s so much to do and see!” Follow Cass on Twitter @FrugalFamily.
Maggy from Life at the Zoo loves South Bank in the summer. “You can spend all day at the playground, sand pit and water fountains. Watch the skate boarders and street artist. Wander up and down and see the great London skyline and maybe even pop into Tate Modern, the wobbly bridge and see some old ships along the way. It won’t cost a penny if you take a picnic but do treat yourself to coffee and cake along the way!” . Follow Maggy on Twitter @RedTedArt.
Becky from A Beautiful Space says: “We just like to wander and soak up the street art, the amazing monuments, the quirky shops and the pigeons. Every corner of London brings something. Giving yourselves time to just meander lets you see the very best of London.” Read more from Becky on abeautifulspace.co.uk and follow her on Twitter @BeckyGoddardH.
Tate Modern and Tate Britain
Michelle from Mummy from the Heart says: “We adore London and have been enjoying some of the galleries in recent months. The Tate Modern and Tate Britain are an education for all the family!” Follow Michelle on Twitter: @MichelleTwinMum.
Cathy from MummyTravels says: ‘It’s so easy to overlook the V&A when you’re considering London museums with kids – the Natural History and Science museums next door are obvious alternatives. But with some great family trails for different ages, dressing up in the theatre section, activities like designing your own coat of arms and endless galleries which are a treasure trove from around the world, there’s masses to do. Plus it’s much quieter than its popular neighbours. Follow Cathy on Twitter: @mummytravels.
Where to stay: Royal Garden Hotel
The Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington is in a fabulous location and a great place for a family to base themselves. It’s literally right next to Kensington Gardens and a stone’s throw away from Kensington Palace and great for royal watching. The hotel has a new London Explorer Package, which includes 2 night accommodation for a family of four, the “Flicks and Food” package (unlimited films for 24 hours and a tray of food), tickets for the Big Bus Tour and discounts on major attractions. Kids and adults can borrow the hotel’s micro scooters and glide their way around Kensington Gardens!
Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored project with the Royal Garden Hotel