I’ve been lucky enough to call London my home for the last four years and call me biased but it really is one of the greatest cities in the world, especially for tourists and families of all ages. From history to culture, food, and shopping, it’s the city that has it all.
With there being so much to see, eat and do it can be difficult to decide what to do, all whilst making sure that you’re not wasting any of that precious family and holiday time.
From major attractions to iconic British food and an unforgettable West End magic show, here are my top family experiences when visiting this dazzling city.
Check into the Ritz
If you’re looking for opulent old-age British glamour, then look no further than the Ritz. You and your family will feel like you’ve been transported back in time and the staff will ensure that you’re treated like a member of the royal family.
Decked out in marble and 24-carat gold leaf most wouldn’t think at first glance that the five-star hotel is family-friendly, but much to the contrary the Ritz London is perfect for those travelling with children.
The luxury hotel is next door to the famous Green Park and closely to a variety of toy stores and popular tourist attractions including Hamleys as well as the London Eye, Madame Tussauds, and Buckingham Palace.
Families will also be most comfortable in one of the hotel’s luxurious and spacious suites for two adults and two children with interconnecting rooms.
Kiddies are also treated to a special welcome gift and treats such as in-room games consoles, books, and DVDs as well as complimentary ice cream in The Palm Court of the Michelin-starred Ritz Restaurant.
Lunch at Barrafina
Located in London’s famous Covent Garden this foodie tapas spot is open to humans of all sizes – don’t think that you can’t dine in a Michelin star restaurant with your young ones.
Little ones will love sitting up at the counter and watching the chefs prepare the Spanish delicacies. Barrafina’s menu is filled with colourful Mallorcan and Catalan tapas dishes and there’s something for everyone, from, fried oysters to tortillas and pork kebabs.
Adults will love the chef recommended win and sherry pairings told directly from the chefs as they plate Up your dishes in front of you.
Shopping on Regents Street
One of London’s most popular shopping streets, Regent Street is located in the heart of London and is constantly buzzing with tourists and locals on shopping sprees.
Regent Street winds its way from Picadilly Circus through to Oxford Circus and along with the way you will find hundreds of bars, restaurants and high street favourites such as Zara, Mango, Saints, and Reiss. A trip to Regent Street also wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Hamleys toy store – perfect for kids of all ages.
For those looking for more high-end shopping, you’ll also find this in the form of shops such as Armani, Massimo Dutti and Anthropologie.
The quintessentially British Liberty department store can also be found just around the corner in Soho and is a must-visit, even if for a look at the outside.
Visit the Museums
Families can enjoy the best of London’s culture completely for free, from stunning exhibitions to historic houses and art galleries.
From 5000-year-old Egyptian mummies to a giant blue whale skeleton, the capital really does have history crammed into almost every corner of the town and no trip to London is complete without a stroll around one of London’s world-class museums.
One of the greatest collection of decorative art, design, fashion and textiles, this museum is unmissable and complete with seven floors of historical items from around the world.
The museum also has a Learning Station with backpacks full of activity trails for kids that turn the museum into a giant treasure hunt.
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Natural History Museum
One of the most iconic and stunning buildings in London, The Natural History Museum is home to a unique collection of more than 80 million specimens, including one of the world’s most impressive dinosaur exhibitions.
With regular family exhibitions, plenty of interactive activities and action-packed school holiday programmes, there’s something for everyone at the Natural History Museum.
The Science Museum
From space travel to IMAX, there’s something for the whole family at London’s Science Museum.
It is one of the most visited science and technology museums in Europe and boasts over 15,000 objects on display, including the Apollo 10 command capsule.
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The museum’s interactive galleries bring science to life and the in-house IMAX cinema shows scientific films in 3D, allowing families to be surrounded by space or exploring the depths of the ocean.
Tower of London
Situated in Central London and just a stone’s throw from the River Thames, the Tower of London is one of the world’s most famous fortresses with a history dating back to the 1070s.
The Tower has also famously been the site of many high profile executions and fantastic for those of all ages that relish in the more horrible parts of history. You’ll also find everything from suits of armour to the most famous jewels in the world.
A Yeoman Warder Tour is also highly recommended and comes free in the price of an entry ticket, debating every 30 minutes and lasting approximately 60 minutes.
Go See A Theatre Show
When in London there’s no better way to be entertained than with an unforgettable theatre show in the city. With so many incredible performances to choose from, London’s West End has something for all ages and backgrounds that are bound to leave you and your family with the best memories.
If you and your family love magic (and who doesn’t?) then you absolutely must see The Illusionists whilst they’re playing in London. Now, I’ve seen just about every single magic show that has come to London, almost all of the biggest musicals and plays and even then The Illusionists wowed my family and me so much that I would place it in the top 3 shows (in general) that I’ve ever seen around the world.
The mind-blowing spectacular show features 7 of the world’s best magicians and showmen; The Daredevil Jonathan Goodwin, The Showman James More, The Unforgettable Enzo Weyne, The Manipulator Yu Ho-Jin, The Futurist Adam Trent, The
Mentalist Chris Cox, and my favourite of them all, The Trickster Paul Dabek.
From start to finish, The Illusionists is jam-packed with the most thrilling out-of-this-world magic, all mixed together with quick-witted and laugh out loud comedy. After witnessing some of the best acts of grand illusions, levitation, mind-reading, danger, and disappearance, you and your family will be left discussing the unforgettable performances late into the night.
The Illusionists is truly the stuff that dreams are made of – that jaw-dropping, sit on the edge of your seat, don’t want it to end kind of stuff. You won’t want to miss this when in London!
Direct from Broadway the magic show is currently playing in London’s Shaftesbury Theatre from 6th July to Sunday 1st September.
Tickets on sale now via https://www.theillusionistslive.com/illusionists
Box office: 020 7379 5399
Fish & Chips at Chamberlain’s of London
You can’t visit London without indulging in a fish supper from one of the city’s leading restaurants.
Chamberlain’s is owned by fourth-generation fishmongers and serves up fresh seafood from Billingsgate Market, just a few miles away.
Located in the famous Victorian Leadenhall Market, which offers a terrace fully covered by an ornate roof, the restaurant prides itself on its fresh seafood dishes created by a team of talented chefs.
Menu highlights include Chamberlain’s famous Dover Sole from Brixham served on or off the bone and poached in Champagne sauce.
Getting Around London
Public transportation is easy and convenient in London and kids under 10 also ride free.
If you have little ones in strollers, buses (which don’t accept cash) may be easier to navigate than the tube, because of the stairs.
Of course, you can also jump in an iconic black cab, but keep in mind that they can get pricey.