In this post I’ll be sharing the ultimate Family Trip To London guide, including where to stay, play and eat with kids!
With direct flights out of Seattle for as low as $400 roundtrip, London has become one of the most accessible and family-friendly destinations in the world.
From the language to the transportation, it’s also a really easy city to navigate, which can bring comfort to first-time-abroad travelers.
Family Trip To London
When exploring London, you will come across lots of excitement by chance, so try to take everything in rather than just rushing around to all of the major tourist haunts. – Richard Branson
I wanted to share this quote before I get into the list of places to see…because in all honesty, the best way to see London is just to wander. Pop in and out of shops and cafes, meander through the parks and just take in the history, architecture and cobblestone streets. There is nothing quite like this magical English city, something that feels both familiar yet new every time you visit.
With that said, I am incredibly inspired by travel guides, as they provide a jumping off point on how to start planning, where to stay and the tools to form your own itinerary! For me, it’s important to be mindful of our schedule when traveling with kids, have a list of ideas readily at hand, but also intentional about taking breaks and not overdoing it.
My goal is to get you excited to travel to London with your family, regardless of the kids’ ages. It is all doable and worth the time you’re spending here researching. So first of all, thank you for allowing me to share one of our favorite places with you. And second, I am just as excited to help you plan your next adventure as if it were my own family. I am a major experience advocate. I want you to feel inspired to explore with your favorite people, go outside your comfort zone and venture to new places. There is so much to see in the world, and I truly hope you have the opportunity to enjoy it.
Best Things to Do With Kids in London
If you’re craving a family vacation, London is a fantastic kid-friendly city, that offers a million things to do on any given day. To help you narrow it down, here’s a list of our favorites when visiting London:
Built in 1859, Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster. Most people refer to the entire building as Big Ben, when in fact it’s the Elizabethan Tower and the giant bell inside is Big Ben.
Typically tours are offered to the public but it’s currently under restoration and will resume in 2021. Regardless, it’s an iconic site in London and worth a visit down the road. If you’re nearby, you can at least say you walked by and saw a monumental piece of history. It’s also in nearly every kids book about London, so I’m going to bet your kids will be interested!
Located on the south bank of the River Thames, the London Eye is Europe’s tallest ferris wheel. It is the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom with over 3.75 million visitors annually. It offers a unique experience with an amazing view!
I recommend purchasing a Fast Track or bundle ticket online to save money and gain priority entry!
Tower of London
Located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London is the Tower of London. Officially, it is known as “Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London.”
I recommend purchasing your tickets online to save time and money. Kids 4 and under are free! The Tower of London admission ticket provides entry to:
- The Crown Jewels.
- All public areas of the Tower of London including the White Tower, Bloody Tower and battlements.
- The iconic Yeoman Warder tours.
- Children’s activities and trails.
Tower Bridge was built over 125 years ago to ease road traffic while maintaining river access to the busy Pool of London docks. Built with giant moveable roadways that lift up for passing ships, it is to this day considered an engineering marvel and beyond being one of London’s favourite icons, it is arguably one of the most famous and instantly recognisable structures in the entire world. – TowerBridge.Org.Uk
It’s free to walk across the Tower Bridge, which is why 40,000 people cross it every day! But if you’d like an inside scoop on the architecture, engineering and history, you’ll want to take a tour. You’ll save money when you purchase tickets online and choose the family option. Kids 4 and under are free!
St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral has been one of the most recognizable sites in London for over 300 years. At 365 feet high, the dome is amongst the highest in the world and ranking the Cathedral has the second-largest church building in the United Kingdom.
When you come St Paul’s, we hope to give you a visit you will remember. With your sightseeing ticket, you can walk in the footsteps of royalty and political leaders on the Cathedral floor; climb the dome to try the unique acoustics of the Whispering Gallery; go even higher to enjoy some of the most spectacular views over London from the Stone and Golden Galleries; or head down to the crypt where our nation’s heroes are buried.
You can purchase advance tickets online, with family options available. Kids 5 and under are free!
The Royal Parks
The Royal Parks in London cover over 5,000 acres of historic parkland that provide an abundance of free space to escape the bustle of the city and allow kids to stretch their legs!
Located in central London is Hyde park. It is the largest of four Royal Parks that form a chain from the entrance of Kensington Palace to Buckingham Palace. The 350 acre park is divided in half by the Serpentine and the Long Water lakes. You can actually rent rowing or pedal boats between the months of April and November and cruise around the Serpentine!
Next to Hyde Park is Kensington Gardens, where you’ll find the Princess Diana Memorial Playground.
Over 1,000,000 visitors enjoy this free playground each year. Kids love to play, explore, dash about, and let their imaginations soar in this magical space. There is a sensory trail, teepees, a beach around the pirate ship and various toys and play sculptures; all set against a lush backdrop of trees and plants. There’s plenty of seating so the grownups can relax too.
The design has created an area where less able and able-bodied children can play together and seeks to provide for the physical, creative, social and educational development of your children. Inspired by the stories of Peter Pan, the playground encourages children to explore and follow their imaginations, learning whilst they play. – RoyalParks.Org.UK
Buckingham Palace is the home of The Queen, host to national and royal celebrations and the Changing The Guard ceremony. Visitors can explore the State Rooms for 10 weeks each summer. July – September, and select dates in the winter and spring. You can buy your tickets online and children under 5 are free!
There is so much for families to do during their visit to Buckingham Palace’s State Rooms. Children are guided around the State Rooms with Rex, a very special corgi, on our multimedia guide who helps children learn more about the Palace and shares all sorts of interesting snippets about the rooms. This year, as we are celebrating Queen Victoria’s 200th birthday, Rex will be joined by Dash, who was Victoria’s dog when she became Queen. He will be telling fascinating stories about how the Palace has changed since Victoria lived there. As well as, bringing important moments from her reign to life.
And at the end of your visit, don’t forget to ask a Warden to stamp your ticket to convert it into a 1-Year Pass to enjoy free re-admission for a year. – RCT.UK
Explore a place that’s touched the lives of kings, queens, statesmen and soldiers, poets, priests, heroes and villains since 960AD. Westminster Abbey has been the coronation church since 1066 and is the resting place of more than 3,000 great Britons. – Westminster-Abbey.org
Westminster Abbey is a living working church, however it is open to the public for tours Monday – Saturday. Kids 5 and under are free!
The museums of London offer centuries of rich history, along with insight into British culture…and as of 2001, all state museums in the United Kingdom are FREE!
Britian’s largest museum is the British Museum with over 90,000 square feet of curated collections .
The National Gallery is at the center of Trafalgar Square and home to the work of Leonardo Da Vinci, Botticelli and Van Gogh.
The Natural History Museum, located on London’s Museum Mile in South Kensington, is a classic museum with skeletons and fossils. Perfect to entertain the inspiring paleontologist.
Located in Regent’s Park, the London Zoo has over 750 species of animals. It offers a variety of indoor and outdoor kid-friendly experiences.
The London Zoo provides conservation support to more than 50 countries worldwide.
In the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in West London, Notting Hill is a trendy neighborhood with colorful homes, charming cafes and the famous Portobello Road Market, which offers a vintage adventure for all ages.
A lively hub in London’s West End, Covent Garden offers shopping, from market to luxury; entertainment, from the street to the opera; and dining from hot dog carts to upscale European cuisine.
The car-free Piazza welcomes locals and tourists alike to explore, eat and enjoy the charming bustle of quintessential London.
As I mentioned before, there are so many things to do in London with kids. This list will help get you started and ensure you have the major bucket list spots crossed off on your list!
Where To Stay For A Family Trip To London
SACO Apartments has 80,000 lifestyle aparthotels and traditional serviced apartments worldwide, with 12 locations in London alone! They offer spacious rooms, fully-fitted kitchens, amazing customer service and close proximity to transport links.
On our recent visit, we stayed at SACO The Cannon, just a short walk from St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, London Bridge and the historic neighborhood known as “The City.” Mansion House, Cannon Street and St. Paul’s tube stations are on your doorstep, connecting you with all of London.
Featuring contemporary design and sleek interiors, this Aparthotel boasts 77 studio and one bedroom serviced apartments which offer the best in independent city living. Each has been thoughtfully designed to create an urban retreat in the heart of The City.
Come and go as you please – our 24-hour reception means someone will always be there to help. You can also settle down with a cup of specialist tea or a Nespresso coffee in our beautifully designed chill out space. Perfect to plug in your laptop, watch TV or unwind with friends.
When you’re ready for some down-time, you’ll find everything you need in the apartments from Smart HD flatscreens and Apple TV boxes, a host of international channels, multi-socket plugs with integrated USB ports, free superfast Wi-Fi and of course our fully equipped kitchens, bedrooms and luxurious bathrooms, all thoughtfully designed with everything you need to work remotely or simply unwind.
To be honest, the location, amenities, apartment size, and staff completely exceeded all expectations and have seriously set the bar high for any and all future London visits. Researching accommodations online can be overwhelming and misconceiving and I appreciate that they offer properties all of the world, which I guarantee we will take advantage of for future travels. I find comfort in the SACO brand and I would absolutely recommend them, because I can guarantee they would provide nothing but stellar service at a very reasonable rate. To clarify, I do not take this lightly. I only recommend things that I truly believe in – especially when it comes to traveling with families.
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Disclosure: This Family Trip To London guide is in collaboration with SACO Apartments. The opinions expressed here represent my own, which I take great pride in providing pure honesty…because I’m OBSESSED with sharing the Good!