With a population of 14 million, London is the biggest city in Europe. There is a lot to be enjoyed for all ages, but as with any big city, it can be hard to know which area will suit you best when you’re booking a trip.
If you are travelling with little ones, London doesn’t have to be hectic. There are lots of attractions and spaces that have been designed with families in mind.
So, whether you’re looking to explore the sites or relax in London’s beautiful open parks, you’ll be sure to find the perfect spot.
We’ve rounded up some of the best areas in London to stay with children, where you will have no problem getting around with a pram and still have access to transport options to explore everything this great city has to offer.
Paddington is a fantastic choice for families with little ones who are fans of Paddington Bear, of course. But it’s also a great location to base yourself in if you’d like to see a show in the West End or visit London Zoo.
Well connected, Paddington Underground Station connects to four lines, granting you easy access to almost anywhere in the city. For your trip to the zoo, we’d recommend taking the Zoo Express boat to add to the adventure.
For relaxation, Paddington Station is just a few minutes’ walk from Hyde Park. Here, you can enjoy everything from a quiet picnic to swimming, boating, cycling or skating. There’s also some tennis courts and a spectacular children’s playground.
The park also features two restaurants where you can grab everything from a quick coffee and pastry to a full three-course meal.
In the winter, the park also has an ice-skating rink and there are various other events throughout the year so be sure to check out the website before you go.
2. Bankside and South Bank
Bankside and South Bank are neighbouring areas that are home to some of London’s most exciting kid-friendly attractions and activities. From soaring high on the Coca-Cola London Eye to whiling away an afternoon at the Tate Modern then exploring the depths in the Sea Life London Aquarium, you won’t struggle to fill an itinerary in this region.
Without spending a penny, you’ll also be able to catch the impromptu performances that take place on the banks of the Thames and the open-air shows at Shakespeare’s Globe.
Nearby, you can take the kids to visit The London Dungeon or if that seems a little eerie, there’s also Shrek’s Adventure. This new attraction will take you and your family on a live interactive adventure featuring Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, Puss in Boots and other favorites from the beloved franchise.
Please note that all visitors to the above attractions will need to pre-book a ticket in advance as there is reduced capacity due to social distancing.
3. South Kensington
If museums are at the top of your list for a family day out, South Kensington is the perfect base for you in London.
The area is close to London’s Museum Quarter, so you’ll be able to roam the infamous Natural History Museum, marvel at the galleries in the Victoria and Albert Museum and test your skills at the Science Museum’s interactive exhibits easily within a few days.
Of course, South Kensington is also home to Kensington Palace where you’ll find a packed schedule of events, including storytelling sessions for children, outdoor cinema evenings, talks and exhibitions.
Kensington Gardens are also worth a visit and the children can play in the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground.
4. East London
This part of London, home to Hackney and Shoreditch is often thought of as being just for trendy creatives or twenty-somethings but that’s not the case. This part of London has more than enough on offer to satisfy everyone, including families with children of all ages.
The Museum of Childhood is one East London attraction that will be enjoyed by everyone. While you get nostalgic reminiscing on the toys of times gone by, children get to experience the fun of the toys from previous eras, as well as playing dress-up and putting on their own puppet show.
The Museum of Childhood is currently closed due to government restrictions.
From there, you can escape to the countryside for the afternoon at Hackney City Farm. There are several urban farms in East London. You’ll find more in Stepney and Spitafields as well. One of the reasons Hackney City Farm stands out is because parents love to unwind and dine at the onsite cafe, Frizzante, which has become a foodie destination in its own right.
Please note while Frizzante remains open, the farmyard is closed off to the public due to social distancing restrictions.
Or for some real relaxation, head to the lung of East London – Victoria Park. Since opening in 1845, this 213-acre park has provided solace and entertainment to residents and visitors of East London alike. From its large open play areas to boating on the lake and delicious eateries, this park is the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon with your family in London.
Things to do in London for Families
Planning a London City break with your family ? Our online concierge has lots of recommendations for family activities in the city. Use our online guide for family-friendly things to do, see and eat in the city and find out what events are happening during your visit.