Whether you’re looking to treat the little ones to an exciting weekend getaway or visit over half-term, there are plenty of fantastic places to stay with kids during your family trip to London.
Bankside, South Bank and London Waterloo
Just across the river from Big Ben, the South Bank is littered with some of London’s best attractions, kid-friendly restaurants and fun family activities. You'll also be close to Waterloo Station which offers fantastic transport links to the south of England, while the Underground station is served by the Northern, Bakerloo and Jubilee Tube lines.
Choose a hotel in South Bank, and treat the little ones to a sky-high ride on the nearby London Eye or venture to the depths of the ocean at SEA LIFE London Aquarium. This popular riverside spot welcomes daily street performances next to the banks of the Thames, and is also home to Shrek’s Adventure! London, The London Dungeon and the Southbank Centre.
There's also the kid-friendly area of Bankside, where you can catch an open-air theatre show at Shakespeare’s Globe or while away an afternoon with Tate Modern's free family activities. Little ones can embark on a swashbuckling adventure aboard the world-famous sailing galleon, The Golden Hinde, as well as visit nearby HMS Belfast.
With some of the city’s top free-to-enter museums, handy transport links and two Royal Parks right on its doorstep, South Kensington is an ideal place to visit in London with kids.
Stay at a hotel in South Kensington to be within close reach of London’s Museum Quarter, where kids can come face-to-face with dinosaurs at the world-famous Natural History Museum, get hands on with the Science Museum’s interactive exhibits and wander through the beautiful galleries of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Let little ones run wild in the 142-hectare (350-acre) Hyde Park, before taking a rowing boat out onto the Serpentine lake or searching for famous monuments across the pretty London park. Feel like royalty for the day while exploring Kensington Palace or wander through Kensington Gardens, where youngsters can take to the imaginary high seas on the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground’s pirate ship.
St James’s borders some of the city’s most popular attractions and is within easy walking distance to London’s West End, making it a great choice for a family-friendly London break.
Stay at one of the area's hotels, and you’ll have the spectacular Buckingham Palace on your doorstep. Marvel at the famous Changing the Guard ceremony which takes place outside the royal residence, then watch the pelicans being fed in nearby St James’s Park or stop off for a picnic in the tranquil Green Park.
You can also explore the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery during your stay in London, before taking family photographs in front of the iconic lion statues in Trafalgar Square. If the little ones have been good, don’t forget to treat them to a visit to the magical Hamleys on Regent Street – one of London’s oldest toyshops.
Paddington is a great place to stay in London with kids. Choose a hotel in Paddington to be situated close to two Royal Parks, Notting Hill and the West End, which is brimming with fabulous children’s theatre shows.
During your London break, follow in the footsteps of the famous Paddington Bear with a visit to some of the top locations from the children's books and film. Take a stroll along the Grand Union Canal from Paddington to the picturesque area of Little Venice, where you can drop by the Puppet Theatre Barge to watch a family-friendly show or hop on a boat over to ZSL London Zoo to meet the animals.
If you're arriving in London by train, Paddington Station is served by trains coming to and from West and South West England, as well as South Wales and Heathrow Airport. Paddington Underground Station is also on the Hammersmith and City, Circle, District and Bakerloo lines.
Boasting fast transport links from Central London and a charming atmosphere, Greenwich is a brilliant base for a family trip to London.
Book your hotel in Greenwich, and experience the delights of the Royal Museums Greenwich collection. Drop by the National Maritime Museum to learn about Britain’s seafaring history, admire spectacular artwork at the Queen’s House or visit the famous Cutty Sark tea clipper. Youngsters can be dazzled by stars at the Royal Observatory's planetarium and stand on the Prime Meridian Line, which divides the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.
During your stay in Greenwich, make sure to enjoy a spot of sightseeing from the water with a river cruise or soar above the Thames with the IFS Cloud Cable Car. If you’re in town to catch a show, you’ll also be within easy reach of The O2.
Crystal Palace and Forest Hill
Stay in the suburbs of Crystal Palace or Forest Hill to enjoy sprawling green spaces and kid-friendly attractions, while being only a 30-minute train ride from London Bridge.
Get up close to full-size dinosaur statues at Crystal Palace Park, before venturing further to explore the park's children’s farm, playground and maze. You can also meet the gigantic walrus at the Horniman Museum and Gardens in Forest Hill, where there are plenty of free activities on offer to keep youngsters entertained.
If you’re looking for a London hotel in another area of the capital, check out these fantastic places to stay in London and discover the top things to do with kids during your family trip.