Travelling with kids isn't always easy - there are a lot of moving parts and you’ll want to ensure that everyone from grandma to baby has the best stay possible. In a bid to help you on your way to your best family holiday yet, we’ve got the skinny on what makes London a great place for the whole family.
The Tourist Hot Spots for your Family's First Time in London
If it’s your first time to London, let’s start off by suggesting some of the classic tourist go-to’s.
Baker Street has got to be up there as a timeless family destination to stay in. Why? Well with Regents Park Zoo, The Sherlock Holmes Museum, Madame Tussauds and Regent’s Park, all on the doorstep, there’s something to keep every age entertained.
Delve a little further into the city centre and you’ll end up in Covent Garden – another fantastic location for families looking to enjoy the hustle and bustle of London. It’s here you’ll discover a multitude of shops (particularly great for teenagers, who are going to want to 'gram their hearts out with #lifestylegoals), as well as department stores, West End theatres, markets, and the famous street performers.
The York, Covent Garden
Is West the Best for You?
When it comes to great family locations with plenty to do, you can't beat Notting Hill.
On a weekend you’ll all enjoy getting lost amongst the narrow streets around Portobello Road, where the famous market sets up camp selling everything from antiques to toys and cakes.
(Make sure you stop off at the Hummingbird Bakery for a red velvet cupcake.)
Villa Ultima, Notting Hill
Walk off those bakery treats and head on over to Holland Park.
Here you’ll enjoy the calming effect of numerous water features scattered around the beautifully landscaped Kyoto Japanese garden. With peacocks roaming freely, two different playgrounds, and lovely eateries, it’s a hub of family day fun.
Notting Hill is also a great destination for families thanks to its closeness to shopping behemoth, Westfield. Only a ten minute tube ride away, this is no ordinary shopping centre. It hosts over 450 different shops and services from a multi-storey cinema with luxury seating options, to a gym, massage parlour and indoor ice rink at Christmas.
Neverland, Shepherd's Bush
But that’s not all - for those with kids aged up to 14, take your young ones to Kidzania. Hailed as the ‘UK’s best attraction for kids’, it markets itself as ‘a city for kids’.
While you take yourself off to a romantic evening for two, or a well-deserved shopping break, the kids will be learning key life skills by undertaking roles in different jobs.
Yep, Kidzania teaches kids how to be things like bank cashiers, window cleaners, and doctors, all with the aim to help them learn different core life skills. So whilst you’re enjoying a drink at the champagne bar, they’re off learning how to save lives. Everyone's a winner!
London's Hidden Gem: Vauxhall
Vauxhall, situated just South of Central London, is the ideal location for family stays, no matter what ages you’re catering for.
For the little ones, you’ve got Vauxhall city farm only a stone throw away, where kids can feed baby goats and watch chicks hatch.
For the young adults, there’s Vauxhall rock climbing centre and Big Mama’s Burger Bar.
Aqua Living, Vauxhall
And for the adults, there’s one of London’s best-kept secrets - Bonnington Square.
This hidden beauty is nestled away from Vauxhall’s busy centre. You’ll find a stunning residential spot filled with artisan eateries, beautiful tree-lined streets and pretty houses - in addition to a quaint pleasure garden that’ll be the perfect escape for a relaxing stroll.
Once you’ve reaped all Bonnington Square has to offer, or if you’re feeling a bit touristy, you may want to cross over Vauxhall bridge and make your way over to Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. It’s these landmarks that make the ideal spot to get that perfect family holiday photo.
Oh, and don’t forget to have a peek at the London’s MI5 spy building, visible from the bridge.
The Right Royal Park: Richmond Park
If the hustle and bustle of London has got you itching to escape city life, head South-West and you’ll come across an area known as Richmond.
Here you’ll discover the wonders of Richmond Park, an extensive area of land filled with wild deer, bountiful wildlife and stunning scenery.
Quintessential Richmond, Richmond Park
Enjoy a walk amongst the 2500 acres Richmond has to offer, and make sure you end your light exercise in Pembroke Lodge - the park’s famous teahouse with a scenic view on top of a hill.
If you do stay in Richmond, we can definitely recommend a visit to Ham House. At this National Trust site you’ll be able to explore a 17th-century house and garden, considered one of the grandest in the UK, that was home to the famous Duchess of Lauderdale
If none of the above listed have taken your fancy, don’t fret as there are plenty of other areas worth exploring in London. Other places you could consider would be Hampstead Heath, Chelsea, Pimlico, Hackney or Chiswick to name just a few.
Making the Most of your Stay
Great family locations in London tend to be a little further out than the city centre. Thanks to excellent transport links, you'll often find yourself getting more space, and a more unique stay in the city if you look further than Soho or London Bridge. Dulwich, for example, is home to artisan eateries, a weekend market and numerous parks with scenic walking routes. While its South East location might often be overlooked, you're still only a 20 minute tube ride to Victoria Station.
The Family Festival, Dulwich
Another beloved locale is Clapham. If you fancy a stay in this neighbourhood, we recommend enjoying a typically British roast lunch on a Sunday at the Avalon pub where you can dine al-fresco and walk it off on Clapham Common afterwards.
Other family fun activities in the local vicinity include a swim at Tooting Bec Lido, viewing exotic wildlife in Battersea Park or even a trip to Bertie and Boo’s Playhouse (for kids under six).
Madison Terrace, Clapham
Wembley, like many of London's famous locations, is usually seen as one for the football fans. But with conveniences like Brent Cross, The Bartoli Gallery, Gladstone Park and London’s Designer Outlet all within close proximity, you’ll need to ensure there’s enough time to cram everything in.
So, keep your energy up after a long day out with a delicious specialist coffee from your local Cable Co - so popular they’ve got their own Instagram fan base.
The Birdman, Wembley
Don't forget that if you have specific requirements for your travels, or you're not sure where might be the best location for you when you and your family are travelling, just contact our matchmakers. They'll go above and beyond when it comes to finding your dream home.