There are lots of great places to visit with children in london, from museums to the seaside, why not pack up a picnic, and set off for a days adventure out and about.
HMS Belfast is a World War II cruiser, with nine decks to explore – everything from the Captain’s Bridge to the massive Boiler and Engine Rooms, well below the ship’s waterline.
HMS Belfast is a brilliant day out for older children. Unfortunately, for those of you with buggies , you may find it too much of a challenge with little ones. There are lots of tiny doors and very small steps to get around the ship.
The ages I went with, were 3,5 and 6 years, and they had a fab time exploring the decks. The smaller children need a lot of help with the steps to each deck, it really can be quite tricky, my heart was in my mouth a few times!
It’s really easy to get to if you live in London, and there is plenty to see on board. There are lots of nice restaurants around to get lunch, or you can have a picnic by the river and watch the world go by.
The gift shop was reasonably priced, and the boys were able to pick up a nice souvenir.
Phone: 020 7940 6300
Nearest Station: London Bridge Tube / Rail
Address: Morgan’s Lane, Tooley Street, SE1
Battersea Park Children’s Zoo
In Battersea Park Children’s Zoo, there are farmyard animals, flamingos, otters and monkeys.
It’s recent renovation means there is now a meer cat viewing station (pictured) which is great for little ones!
Battersea is a beautiful park, and a lovely way to spend a day. There are often activities on in the park in the school holidays.
Address: Battersea Park, SW11
Phone: 020 7924 5826
Nearest Station: Battersea Rail
London Zoo in Regent’s Park is one of the world’s most famous zoos and is home to over 12,000 animals. ‘Meet the Animals’ shows are held daily, giving visitors the opportunity to learn more about the animals from their keepers.
Rare and beautiful animals can be seen in the Aquarium, Elephant House, Penguin Pool, Snowdon Aviary and ‘Web of Life’ exhibition.
See the cute Sloth Bears and cub on Bear Mountain!
The children’s zoo, designed to educate children aged 4-8 years, includes rabbits, hamsters and llamas (phone to ensure it is open).
We always have a great day when we visit London zoo. It’s easy to get to and there is lots to see and do.
Food prices are high, and there isn’t a lot of healthy food choice in the cafe, so its best to pack a picnic.
Address: Regent’s Park, NW1
Nearest Station: Camden Town or Baker Street Tube
Whipsnade Wild Animal Park
Whipsnade Wild Animal Park is set in 600 acres of beautiful parkland and is home to more than 2,000 animals. Whipsnade is situated in Dunstable in Bedfordshire, about 45 minutes drive from central London if traffic is good.
We visited Whipsnade in April on a cold windy day, we had such a great time despite the weather as there is so much to see and do.
You have two options when you arrive, you can walk around the whole park ( which is huge) or you can take the car in for an extra cost of £12, and drive to each part and park up. We chose the car option as there really is so much to see.
There is also a minutre railway which is great fun!
Address: Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6
Phone: 01582 872 171
Nearest Station: Luton Parkway / Hemel Hempstead Rail
LEGOLAND Windsor is a unique family theme park dedicated to the imagination and creativity of children of all ages.
It is pretty pricey, so make the most of your visit and go early- stay late!
Take a picinic as it’s quite expensive to eat there and the queues for the food bars are often long.
Littlies can learn to drive a LEGO car, pan for pirate gold, ride the dragon in Dragon Knights castle, or brave the Pirate Falls!
Go wild on the Dino Safari, take a spin on the Dino Dipper or enrol yourself at the Fire Academy for some active fun!
Mini-land is fantastic to see- a little vilage made with over a billion little lego bricks!
Address: Winkfield Road, Berkshire, SL4
Nearest Station: Windsor & Eton Rail then shuttle bus
The London Aquarium features hundreds of varieties of fish and sea life from around the world.
Come face-to-face with sharks, and watch divers feeding gigantic conger eels. Also seahorses, rays, starfish and piranhas are on show and the interactive displays include a supervised touch pool. It’s situated in County Hall.
We always have a nice day when we go to the aquarium. It’s especially a good place to visit on a rainy day but does get very busy in school holidays!
Babies love getting up close and are often mesmerized by the big fish! The older children love the sharks!
Address: County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1
Nearest Station: Waterloo Tube / Rail
London Butterfly House
At the London Butterfly House in Syon Park, there are hundreds of free-flying butterflies in an exotic jungle setting, along with giant spiders, leaf cutting ants and many other small insects amongst the tropical trees and shrubs.
Address: Syon Park, Brentford, Middlesex, TW8
Nearest Station: Gunnersbury Tube / Rail
Be inspired by this thirteenth century romantic castle – once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn.
Set in magnificent gardens from the majestic formal Italian Garden and topiary, to the informal meanderings of the lakeside and Sunday Walk. The Water Maze on Sixteen Acre Island and the Yew Maze challenges both adults and children alike.
We arrived on a nice sunny day with our nanny friend and her charges, the children dressed up in amour and knights costumes! It was a great day out, and very interesting, the children had lots of fun while learning about history.
The maze was great fun!
Hever Castle & Gardens
Kent TN8 7NG
Tel: 0044 (0)1732 865224
A day trip to the seaside in the school holidays is a great day out.
There is lots to do in Brighton and we always have a great day when we go, whatever the weather.
There is the sea life centre along the front with lots of aquatic life to see.
The pier provides a great selection of children’s rides, but beware of the prices- you can’t just buy one ride at a time, you have to buy tokens which can become costly.
There are regular trains running directly to Brighton from London Victoria, or you can get there by car in about 1 ½ hours. AA Route finder gives easy to follow directions.
For seaside fun in fantastic weather – Littlehampton is hard to beat. A European Blue Flag winning beach, harbour and a stunning riverside development make Littlehampton a seaside town with space, style and lots of sunshine.
Littlehampton is lucky to have two contrasting beaches to offer visitors. The East Beach is traditional sand and shingle and perfect for familes.
Nanny Fi had a birthday trip to the seaside to mark her charges 5th birthday and all of the children, nannies and parents said they had a fab time, and lucky for them the weather was great.
It takes about 1 ½ hours to get to Littlehampton from London Victoria, but often the journey itself is half of the fun!
On littlehampton seafront is the Harbour Park amusement centre – an all-weather adventure village offering family fun for visitors of all ages. A Seafront Promenade Train runs between Coastguards Tower and Norfolk Gardens. There is summer entertainment on the promenade including Punch and Judy, live music and magic shows. Littlehampton Miniature Railway runs between Mewsbrook Park and Norfolk Gardens.
The Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is a fab place to visit when the weather isn’t so great outside. Explore the world-class collections and fantastic exhibitions. The famous dinosaurs are always an exciting thing to see.
The museum gets very busy in school holidays, so be prepared to queue, or arrive very early!
By tube within walking distance of South Kensington station on the District, Circle and Piccadilly lines
By bus Routes 14, 49, 70, 74, 345, 360, 414 and C1 stop near by. Some tour buses also pass nearby
By coach Victoria Coach Station is within walking distance of Victoria train and tube station on the Circle or District lines. For groups travelling by coach, there is a coach drop-off point outside the Cromwell Road entrance
By car Driving to the Museum is not easy and parking is expensive, there is limited meter parking on Exhibition Road
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5000
The Science Museum
Admission to the Science Museum is free and is open seven days a week, from 10.00 to 18.00. The Museum is closed from 24 to 26 December. The exhibitions change regularly and can be checked in advance by visiting the museums website at http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/
The museum gets very busy in school holidays, and there are often queues for the ‘hands on’ sections,but it is well worth a visit.
The Science Museum
South Kensington London SW7 2DD
Nearest Tube Station South Kensington
Buses 9, 10, 14, 49, 52, 70, 74, 345, 360, 414, C1
General Enquiries Exhibition Road +44 (0)870 870 4868