October 23, 2017

London with Kids: Best Bets for Winter Travel

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London is well-known for being an interesting adult holiday destination. What many people don’t know is that it’s also an awesome place to visit with a young family. Once you’ve paid for flights and accommodations, most of the top attractions for kids are completely free and they’re likely to come home feeling inspired, excited and exhausted.

What’s more, because Brits plan for bad weather, most of the best things are indoors so it’s worth thinking about an off-season vacation to get good hotel rates and miss the crowds. Here are my top-picks for what to do with young kids in London this winter:

First up has to be the Natural History Museum (free). It’s a place for young, curious minds and is superb for parents and children. Overall it’s probably better for older toddlers and children but even tiny ones can enjoy the hands-on exhibits and gaze in wonder at the huge dinosaur models.

Next up is the Museum of London Docklands (free). Frequently voted London’s best museum for under 5s, it encourages children to explore the life of London using touch, sound and smell. In short, it is brilliant. Other favorties include the Science Museum, the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich and the National Army Museum. All are free and superb for young children.

If you get a sunny day, the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace is a must. Every child I know is captivated by the ceremony in which a brass band plays and soldiers march in time to the music, changing the Guard in front of the Queen’s house. If you’ve got really young children who won’t want to stand in a crowd, you can skip the crowds and watch the soldiers practice and warm-up beforehand at Wellington Barracks.

Possibly my favorite London attraction is the London Eye. Again, a great cold weather option because you’re inside a glass capsule which takes you high above the River Thames offering an amazing view of London.

If you fancy getting out of the City and are spoiled for choice with historic homes, beaches and farms a hop, skip and a jump from the Capital, my pick is Hever Castle. It looks just as you’d expect a fairytale castle to, complete with ivy and a drawbridge with the added bonus of an adventure playground for little ones to burn off some energy for the journey home.

Seeing a show in London is also a must and you’re much more likely to get affordable tickets during the off-season. Matilda the Musical, which revels in the anarchy of childhood is the current favorite, but War Horse for slightly older children comes a close second.

Finally, don’t miss London’s Parks – Greenwich, St. James’ and Kensington are all wonderful for children whatever the weather. They all have kid-friendly cafes, excellent children’s play areas complete with sandpits and water features as well as loads of room to run around.

This is a guest post written by Susanna Lascelles of Capital Tots, a great resource for families travelling to London.

Photo Credits: Never House (Natural History Museum), Jimmy Harris (London Eye), Not That Grumpy (Changing of the Guard

Comments

  1. London is a huge city, and with three days to see the highlights, it’s a good idea to make use of the public transportation system. Get on the tube or a hop on, hop off sightseeing bus, and you’ll be able to explore London’s top attractions easily.

    Start your visit in Hyde Park, one of the largest parks in the city and one of the best-known landmarks. If the weather is nice, you can rent a paddleboat in the Serpentine or have afternoon tea at the Orangery in the adjacent Kensington Palace Gardens.

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