It’s a well-known fact that London is one of the most visited cities in the world. In 2017 the city saw over 19 million international visitors make at least one trip to London. That’s a huge figure – and in context, it’s around one third of the UK’s population visiting the comparatively small capital.
One of the city’s main attractions is the fact there’s something for all. Young or old, first visit or fiftieth, foodie or outdoorsy, you can truly flourish in London.
And this is without doubt the case for families. Travelling to London with children be a truly unforgettable experience (for all the right reasons!).
As with any trip in which children are in tow, a little preparation can go a long way – and with a large focus on accommodating families here at DUKES, we like to think we know at least a few ways to make your trip to London with children as great as it can be.
Choose the right hotel
And it can all start with the hotel itself.
Given the brilliant transport links we have in London, to a certain degree it’s almost irrelevant where it is you’re staying in any of the central or outer boroughs. Of course, everyone wants to stay close to the action (and for the most part, we’d always recommend it – the least travelling you have to do with children, the better!), but choosing the right place to stay is arguably more important.
We’re fortunate enough to be well-located in central London at DUKES, making a whole host of attractions easily accessible, but we’re also particularly family orientated.
Rooms with adjoining doors that give you and your little ones separate space whilst still being connected. Children’s food and drink from breakfast through to dinner. Readily accessible services, such as childcare (in fact, our family escapes package comes with five hours complementary childcare).
It’s these things we know families benefit from, and when you’re travelling with children, you need to make sure they’re all readily accessible wherever it is you choose to stay. You could choose to stay right next door to the main attraction you’re planning on visiting, but if the hotel is not in anyway child-friendly, is it really that great of a choice?
Do a little research before you arrive
When travelling with children, it’s so easy to think that days need to be spent doing activities that offer no excitement for adults, or that meals are bland and boring.
But when you’re visiting London, this really doesn’t have to be the case.
Take the last point. There are so many fantastic restaurants dotted right around the city that cater for both children and adults alike. The ever-popular Rainforest Cafe is a great example. The surroundings will keep little ones gripped, whilst the food on offer has something for all tastes (and there’s alcohol available, too, should it be needed!).
With the first point, one of the parts of being a parent is doing things that offer little value to you but excite your children immensely – but there are so many family-friendly activities and attractions in London that the whole family can have a brilliant time together.
Tower of London. London Eye. British Museum. Warner Bros Studio Tour. Natural History Museum. Seeing a show in the West End.
There’s more than a long weekend’s worth of family activities there, but we’ve only really picked out the most popular attractions.
And of course, it doesn’t matter how old you are, a trip to Hamleys is without doubt a brilliant experience. A must for all families.
Create an itinerary
Following on from the last point, with so much to do, if you don’t plan, you can risk doing nothing.
Slow, lazy mornings can be great as a couple, but when you have some excited children, you need at least some type of plan as to what to do and where to go to ensure you fit everything in.
It may seem a little structured for some, but particularly those families with at least two or three children – and especially children who have ideas of what they want to do themselves – an itinerary can ensure everyone gets a say in what you’re going to be doing when you’re here.
And when everyone has a say, everyone can be happy, knowing that at some point during the trip, they’ll be doing something that they are particularly looking forward to.
Visiting London with children
If you’ve ever thought of visiting London with children but not made plans as you believed it wouldn’t be suitable, please do rethink your trip. London is one of the world’s most wonderful cities, regardless of almost every possible requirement or expectation you might have.
Home to everything from expansive tranquil gardens through to the world’s greatest toy shops (we’ll repeat it – definitely do visit Hamleys!), a visit to London with small children can be a magical and truly memorable experience.
Image courtesy of Richard Law