Two Days in London with Kids
With two days in London en route to Italy as two families with a combined 5 kids ages 7-15, we took care to think about how to maximize our time so that everyone was able to experience something on their wish list. We arrived in the early evening at a centrally located Airbnb apartment convenient to Tube stops. Nevertheless, to save time on the first night we requested a large Uber car that could transport all of us, and were whisked away to St. James Park for only 11 euro.
We found a nice spot for an early dinner at Inn at the Park, where the kids had fun watching the ducks on the lake on the terrace of the restaurant, which has a kids menu offering meals for 8.50 GBP that included a choice of fish and chips, bbq chicken, or sausages served with with salad and fries and pink lemonade, with the option of ice cream for 2 euro extra. They also brought the kids markers to color the menus. After dinner we strolled through the park just before sunset heading toward Buckingham Palace, passing a nice play park along the way.
The next day, we set out to Piccadilly Circus and had a kid-friendly lunch at Jamie Oliver's Diner, lunch for 4 was 33 GBP! The menu included his famous free-range lemon pepper chicken wings for 4.50 GPB, hamburgers, and hot dogs, with quality ingredients. The kids loved the mini ice cream cart on display as you walked in.
After lunch we decided to tag team a bit, with the younger children setting out on a double-decker bus tour of the city from The Original Tour (with a tiny nap along the way on the bus…). If you'd like a guided tour, remember to choose the Yellow Route for live commentary throughout the tour. We found this tour to be a great value, as your bus ticket also gives you free access to the river ferries throughout the day.
While the younger kiddos were on the bus, the teen group headed over to The Strand by foot for some shopping (ask for a VAT refund receipt form on transactions over 30 pounds and don't forget to get refund at the airport). We then took a walk up to St. Paul’s Cathedral, stopped at Hardys Original Sweetshop en route, then through the windy streets of Blackfriars (which they loved as they could envision London as it was), across the river to see The Globe Theatre, and finally met back together as a group at the London Tower, a great site for everyone. We had prepurchased front-of-the-line tickets on the London Eye for 6:00 pm, so we hopped on the ferry at the London Tower stop and took it down to the London Eye.
On Day 2 we had lunch at Leon on the Strand 73-76, which had fun décor, healthy entrees, including gluten-free options, and wraps, 5-9 GBP per entree natural fast food. We then met our guide for a Harry Potter tour around the city that had something for all ages. Our fantastic guide, Adam "Potter" from Yellow Moon Tours was very engaging with a theatrical background and amazing knowledge of Harry Potter! The tour was interesting because it took you not only to places where the movie was shot, but also that were inspiration for the places in the story including Diagon Alley, the Millennium Bridge and Knockturn Alley. Adam included lots of movie trivia and info about JK Rowling, who insisted the movie be filmed in London with UK and Irish actors, which ultimately had an influence on the local film industry.
While this was definitely a quick trip to London, we covered a lot of ground and were able to accomodate and engage several different ages. At Elaia travel we specialize in multi-generational and family travel and love discovering hidden gems for our clients. Please contact us today to plan your spectacular European holiday!
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