London is such an exciting place for children – there are lots of landmarks to see and places to visit. It isn’t too far on the train or by car from Berkshire either so good for a day trip or you could make a weekend away out of it. You can read about one of our adventures in London here.
How did we get there?
We decided to drive to London as it was just so much easier with young children, luggage and the possibility of train strikes! We found a car park just round the corner from out hotel which wasn’t very expensive.
Where did we stay?
We stayed at the Premier Inn, County Hall on London’s South Bank which was a great location for everything we wanted to see that weekend. It’s right next to the London Eye, the River Cruises and the aquarium. We got a family room and breakfast was free for the children.
Where did we eat?
We ate at Pizza Express and Vapianos (which was right by Tower Bridge and a really lovely area with some green space for the children to run around in too).
What did we see?
London Eye – This was only a couple of minutes walk from our hotel. We booked using our Merlin Pass as it is included or you can book online here if you do not have one. You have time slots so the waiting time in the line is very short.
The views are incredible – even on the day we went when it was a little drizzly.
You can move around the pod to get a 360 degree view of the city. There is also commentary which points out some of the key landmarks.
On the way back down an image is taken of the pod which you can purchase afterwards.
We also took a walk out in the evening to look at the London Eye all lit up – it looked incredible.
London River Cruise – Again we used our Merlin Passes here as we could get a discount on the London Eye River Cruise. If you do not have a pass you can book the tickets here. The cruise was docked right beside the London Eye so we didn’t have to walk far at all. There was someone providing live commentary throughout the 40 minute cruise which was very informative.
The boat went under the Tower Bridge which the children thought was amazing!
The cruise was a great way to see the London landmarks and short enough that the children didn’t get restless.
Sea Life London Aquarium – We used out Merlin Passes again to gain free access here but if you do not have a pass you can book online here. The aquarium is in County Hall (the same building as our hotel) which is directly opposite the London Eye.
We spent several hours here wandering around the different sea life. You can walk along at your own pace.
You can sit right next to the glass and some of the fish will come over to ‘say hello’.
The jelly fish were a highlight and looked so pretty glowing in different colours.
Big Ben – We took a walk over the river towards the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben – which looks so impressive close up.
Buckingham Palace – We then walked over to Buckingham Palace and watched the guards for a little while. Afterwards we took a leisurely stroll down The Mall.
The LEGO Store, Leicester Square – This is the largest LEGO store in the world and a must visit for all LEGO fans! It is very popular so there was a queue to get in but it moved quite quickly and there were lots of street performers for us to watch as we waited.
Once inside there are some very impressive LEGO displays including a huge Big Ben replica.
Hamleys – No visit to London with children is complete without a visit to Hamleys. The shop is huge and set over several floors so can be a little tiring for little legs. There are lots of staff demonstrating toys on each level who the children really enjoyed watching.
Tower Bridge – Walking along the lower level of Tower Bridge was a lot of fun and gave us some great views of London along the River Thames. You can also pay to walk along the upper level.
- Book everything in advance to help you map out your time in London.
- London is VERY busy and a large place to walk around so can be a little overwhelming for younger children so plan in a few pit stops for them to run around in the many parks and grassy areas.
- Merlin Passes provide lots of additional benefits and free entry to several attractions across the UK. You can find out more here.
- Don’t forget to look into Congestion Charges and ULEZ before you travel if you are planning to visit by car.
- You can find out how children can travel around London for free here.
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