London has always been one of the best cities in the world for family holidays. With so many attractions, historic landmarks and over 1500 square kilometres to explore however, it can feel like a large feat to pull off. When staying at the boutique hotels of London, holidaymakers may simply want to relax and when faced with the daily excursions and activities that having children on holiday require you to engage in, it may end up not feeling like a holiday at all!
With that in mind, it’s never a bad idea to do some prior planning for your London trip. With many areas to explore and plenty of needs to cater to, these areas of London can provide some of the best all-round great days out. From historic London monuments to showstopping performances, these are the best things to do and areas to visit in London when travelling with kids.
Soho and the West End
Soho and the West End of London are probably the most tourist-friendly areas of London. With the nearby Oxford Street, Covent Garden and Leicester Square providing high street shopping and souvenir opportunities, London visitors of all ages will be swept up by the high energy, street performers and one of a kind shops.
One of the main draws to London’s West End, however, is the broad variety of West End Musicals. With hundreds of West End theatres showcasing an eclectic mix of musicals, plays and comedy performances, there’ll be something for everyone on London’s West End. London West End highlights include Harry Potter and Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre and the world-famous Lion King live musical at the Lyceum Theatre. With box office returns available at many theatres across the city, guests at the London 5 star hotels will always be able to find great value tickets for every night of the week.
The South Bank is another surefire hit for kids and adults alike. Based on the banks of the River Thames just down from Waterloo Station and on the other side of Waterloo Bridge to Covent Garden and Embankment, the South Bank is not only full of exciting cultural centres and restaurants but is one of the best spots in the city from which to get a perfect view of the Thames. Below are some of the South Bank attractions that promise some of the best family activities in London.
A must for any London hotel offer first-timer, the London Eye is a 135-metre observation wheel that provides impressive views that on a clear day, can reach up to 25 miles in every direction. With just half an hour journeys for a full revolution, the London Eye is long enough to get those great views, but not too long so as to make the kids get antsy.
A fun afternoon out for all who are fans of the Dreamworks classic. Shrek’s Adventure is located next to the Sea Life Centre on the South Bank and offers a fun and interactive exploration of the world of Far Far Away. Whether you’re an adult or child, this is a hilarious laugh a minute show that proves to be a truly magical escape from reality – perfect for a rainy day.
South Bank Centre
Also known as the Royal Festival Hall, the Southbank Centre provides weekly events, including art and craft markets, gallery exhibitions and even live performances. Just take a look at their website and you’ll find tonnes of family-friendly activities that include international choirs, dance groups and art installations.
London Bridge is another area that always goes down a treat with families. With plenty of history and unique attractions to explore, the dazzling collage of the new and old acts as a cross-section of London culture. With the nearby Station of the same name being one of the main entrances into London by train, it’s also easy to reach from many areas of the country and of course via the Northern and Jubilee Underground lines.
If you’ve had your fill of the Jugged Hare’s scrumptious cuisine, then guests at the Montcalm Hotel Chiswell Street will no doubt find a lot on offer at the Borough Food Market next to London Bridge. Full to the brim with internationally renowned street food, this warren of a market dates back to the Medieval era and gives guests a taste of the bustling food scene of London. If your lunch pick doesn’t take the fancy of your kids, then simply move on tot he next stall. With over 100 different stalls in this roofed market, there’s bound to be something to everyone’s tastes.
The Golden Hinde
The Golden Hinde is an Elizabethan galleon ship replica that is stationed on the shores of the Thames right next to the Globe Theatre. This beautiful lifesize replica holds daily tours that are immersive, informative and accessible for all ages. The well-versed tour guides and actors will immerse visitors in the day to day lives of those on the famous ship and working under its captain Sir Francis Drake, who played a key role in defeating the Spanish Armada of 1588.
Taking you to the other side of London, South Kensington has become a tourist hotspot on account of its proximity to the expansive Hyde Park and the nearby Museum Row. Easily reachable from Victoria Station and South Kensington Underground station, historic institutions such as the Natural History Museum and Science Museum are free to visit, engaging and exciting.
The Natural History Museum offers a range of exciting galleries exploring the research and collections of Charles Darwin, for whom the museum was founded around in 1881, as well as exhibitions exploring sea life and the world of the dinosaurs.
The Science Museum was founded in 1857 and is the second of the Exhibition Row trio. With its hands-on approach to scientific education, guests can conduct their own experiments and play with the revolutionary – and safe – equipment throughout the museums 5 floors.