‘There is in London all that life can afford’, or so said Samuel Johnson at least. We couldn’t agree more, and we’ve picked the best the city has to offer to make your family vacation to London unforgettable.
Step into the magic
Get your trip off to the perfect start by arriving into the iconic King’s Cross station. Not only does it afford you a grand entrance into London, it’s also the home of the magical Platform 9¾! Harry Potter fans of all ages can see how much magic they have in them as they try pushing the trolley through the wall, and take home a ‘fantastic beast’ as a souvenir.
Not a bad start, and you’ve not even left the station yet…
Around St. James’ Park and Westminster
While Britain has thrown forth many characters and celebrities, from Sherlock Holmes to James Bond, none could be more notorious than the Royal Family. Visiting Buckingham Palace, the home of the Queen, is therefore a must. They even have special tours for visiting with children, perfect for your family holiday.
Not far away will you find Westminster Abbey, the site of (almost) every royal coronation in Britain and the perfect thing on your royal agenda after the palace. Visiting hours vary depending on which parts you want to visit, so plan accordingly.
If planning to do all the sites around St. James’ and Westminster in one day, make sure you fit in a trip to the park itself around lunchtime. Enjoy one of the cafés or take a family picnic with you and feed the ducks, swans, and geese your crusts! Depending on the time of year, there are also various events held in the park.
After regaining your energy, it’s time to head over to the Elizabethan Tower, or Big Ben as you probably know it. Arrive on the hour-mark to hear its toll ring out over the Thames and across London.
By this point you will have seen a very small part of the city, so it’s time to make amends. Go up the London Eye (making sure to book in advance) for spectacular views of the whole of London in all directions.
Specially for the family
London isn’t typically associated with family fun, but as with every other kind of entertainment the city actually has it covered.
The Natural History Museum is perfect for the family, with events, exhibitions and attractions for all ages. The younger members can add to their dinosaur scrapbook while the adults can head to the Dino Snores for Grown Ups evening.
More family fun can be had at the London Bridge Experience, the site of a crypt where a collection of skeletons were unearthed. Be let through London’s dark and twisted past, meandering through moments of history such as the Great Fire of London, and Britain’s clashes with Roman and Viking visitors.
If the younger members of the family start to think they’re doing a bit too much learning for a vacation, then London has the perfect remedy: Hamleys, the largest and oldest toy shop in the world. Set over seven floors and with over 50,000 toys on sale, it’s a child’s paradise. But don’t worry, parents, Harrods is only 15 mins away on the Underground.
We could go on…
But, just like London itself, we’d never stop. No matter how much you manage to see and do on your family vacation, we’re sure it won’t be quite enough, for as Samuel Johnson again said, ‘when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’.