Living so close to the big City has its advantages. We are just a 35 minute tube ride away from entering the City of London and as a family we it is our prefered place to visit for a day out. There is so much to do and see, that every time we visit there is always something new that we haven’t seen before. There is something quite special about London at night-time and we often take a car journey through London just to drive over the Bridges and see the City lit up. The best bridge is Tower bridge as you get to see the Tower of London all lit up and look down the Thames towards the City.
Our top five places to visit in London are:
- 1. Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. This place is huge! We have taken our bikes before and cycled around the whole park, It was so nice to cycle through the park on the big wide cycle lanes safely. Summer time is the best time to visit the park as you can cool down your aching, tired feet (from all of the walking) in the Diana Memorial Fountain or you can take a dip in the Serpentine Lido. Keep your eyes peeled for all of the statues spotted around the park. As you walk over the W Carriage Drive into Kensington Gardens, you will be taken back to 1902 and get to meet Peter Pan. The statue is situated along side The Long Water. Once you have met Peter Pan the children can then use their own imagination and creative play in Diana Memorial Playground. The playground was inspired by the stories of Peter Pan to encourage children to explore and follow their imagination. More about our days out here
- 2. The National Army Museum. Situated in Chelsea, a 12 minute walk away from Sloane Square station, along Royal Hospital Road. Here you will find a museum that museum that moves, inspires, challenges, educates and entertains. This museum is a favourite of my boys, not only do they get to learn about the story of the British Army and its role in history but a kids zone where children explore aspects of army life from camping to clothing. It includes a dedicated soft-play space for babies, plus arts and crafts, dressing-up costumes, books, interactive toys and a castle fortress.
- 3. The Emirates Airline Cable Car. Catch the cable from Emirates Royal Dock or Emirates Greenwich. We took a ride in it from the Docklands side, it was easy to get to from the Royal Victoria station on the Docklands line. Travel across the River Thames in a glass globe and see London from a different perspective with beautiful views and sights below. To add to the breath-taking views there is also an on-board tour as part of the Discovery experience. The audio and visual tour takes you through a series of fascinating hidden stories about the sights of East London. On board, as you travel 90m up above the river, you get to see London’s most famous sights including the 02, Thames Barrier and Royal Docks. A single journey can take up to 10 minutes.
- 4. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Made famous for the legacy of the Olympics 2012, The olympic park is now open to visitors to explore and enjoy. In the south of the park you will find a climbing wall, adjacent to the Arena and a little play area
In the North of the park is Tumbling Bay Playground that features rock pools, sand pits, tall tree houses, and wobbly bridges, as well as slides, swings and plenty of space to run about. It’s like a little magical, mythical, fantasy world where children can play in a natural environment and be creative with their thoughts and imagination. Read about our day out here
Next door to the Tumbling Playground is the Lee Valley Velo Park where you get to recreate the olympics by trying out the track indoors and outdoors. My boys loved trying out the BMX track.
- 5. ST Katherine’s Dock. Live the marina life in London, just a short walk from The Tower of London, you will be amazed at how beautiful this place is. ST Katherine’s Dock is London’s hidden gem, the former dock has been transformed into an elegant marina with abundance of shops and restaurants. This is my sons favourite place to visit, he wrote about it here. Take a stroll around the marina, look at all of the stunning yachts, you may even get to watch one come in through the lock.
All of the above would make a perfect weekend for us and even better if we got to stay in a Hotel, staying in the centre of London means you get to the top attractions first nd you can fit more into the day. The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington is currently offering 50% off connecting rooms this February, March and April, providing even better value for families. (2015)