LONDON City Break
48 hours of family fun in London
If you’re thinking of a trip to London with kids, then look no further! We’ve pushed the limits of human endurance and dragged two teenagers around London for 48 hours and avoided any family meltdowns or divorce! We provide some inspiration and honest insights of how to not just survive 48 hours in London with kids, but actually enjoy it!
London is a fun packed place whatever age you are, there’s just so much to do for all ages. We’ve picked out a great itinerary for the perfect weekend with kids in London.
Here’s our list of the best things to do –
Visit the Sky Garden
This is a must, for any visit to London with great views across the city and river. It’s free to visit on a pre-booking basis for a specific time slot. It can get fairly busy at peaks, and the bar staff are typically inept so don’t expect to get much in the way of bar service.
Hopefully we just visited on a bad day, but the bar service was absolutely useless so make sure you’re fed and watered before you hit the elevators and avoid the bar at the top.
Visit the Sky Garden website to book your tickets –
Gorping at the crown jewels at The Tower of London
This is just down the road from the Sky Garden, and while a tourist hot spot, it’s worth a walk round looking at all the royal opulence. The Punch bowl was my particular favourite, costing a whopping £8500 in 1830! I’m sure it was quite the party centrepiece! Anyway give me a bowl of rum over a gilded crown any day of the week!
There’s quite a lot to explore so go early or after the kids are well rested and fed! The kids were particularly disappointed by the torture exhibit, apparently there wasn’t nearly enough torture (I begged to differ… as parts of the day were quite torturous).
Visit the Tower website to book your tickets –
Visit the Science Museum
This is a must for any inquisitive child, it’s certainly not just for school trips! There’s lots to look at, and can be consumed in a way that remains quite educational, but not so much that it diminishes their enjoyment.
There are also lots of other things you can upgrade your visit with beyond the free exhibitions. The IMAX cinema has some fantastic films and the simulators looked fantastic fun, although were fully booked by the time we realised how cool they looked. Book in advance to avoid missing out like we did! You also need to pre-book your free tickets for admission, you can probably do this on the day while you wait outside.
Book your tickets – https://my.sciencemuseum.org.uk
Image credit: chrisdorney (shutterstock)
Image credit: PriceM (shutterstock)
The London Bridge Experience
If being chased around in the dark by failed actors is your cup of tea, then the London Bridge Experience is worth a visit. My son loved it, my daughter bottled it before even getting in there and I endured what in my view was a pretty lacklustre live actor experience.
I won’t divulge any more detail as to not spoil the experience but needless to say, unless you’re a 13 year old boy (or a party of over excitable American men in our visit’s case) you’ll probably be more disturbed by the cost of the experience than the experience itself.
Visit the Tower website to book your tickets –
Whilst your still in the mood for getting separated from your hard-earned cash, why not pop next door to the world-famous food market in Southwark. There’s loads to explore and despite the inflated prices, there are genuinely some lovely products on sale.
The Monmouth coffee company does make a cracking espresso! Do be warned, this is nothing like some of the European food markets which offer great evening food options and vibrant nightlife. Borough Market closes promptly at 5pm, so it’s only a lunch option for food.
Find out more – https://boroughmarket.org.uk/
Sticking with markets, no teenage trip to London is really complete without a trip to the tat Mecca that is Camden Market. It’s always lively, and perfect for teenagers with money burning a hole in their pocket! There’s loads of food stalls offering food for whatever your group might fancy.
I can thoroughly recommend Makatcha for their spicy Rendang curries. There are covered pods dotted around for sitting around and eating, but they do get snapped up quickly, so seats are limited at busy periods.
Where to stay
We stayed at Aptel Hotel in Whitechapel, which is the perfect location in the midst of it all, and within walking distance to much of the City’s offerings. The hotel itself is a modern apart-hotel style setup with rooms perfect for families with a kitchenette and space for four to sleep!
The team at Aptel were more than accommodating and the general experience exceeded our expectation. There’s a 24 hour concierge and we found there was always someone around to help if you needed them, which made for a much more ‘hotel’ experience than your typical London apartment offering on booking platforms.
The location is perfect for eating out too, with Shoreditch, Hoxton and the famous Brick Lane right on the doorstep. We walked back from Hoxton late in the evening and took in some of the local area. The closest tube is Aldgate East, but to be honest walking or jumping in an Uber is a better option for most trips out with a family group.
The hotel has a few rooms setup specifically for families, and expect nice touches like games and snacks upon arrival. The room we stayed in was lovely and quiet despite Southwark council deciding to dig up the road in the middle of the night!
The beds are super comfy and the rooms have well stocked kitchenettes with everything you need if you don’t fancy eating out, there’s plenty of takeaways or Uber Eat’s on the doorstep. We really couldn’t fault our stay and would thoroughly recommend Aptel for any family (or couples) trip to London.
Book direct at – Aptel Hotel
There’s simply an overwhelming choice of places to eat out in the Southwark area. We hit Busaba in Hoxton Square for a pain free child-friendly eating experience and wasn’t disappointed. There’s lots of food options for kids (even fussy one’s) and the service and vibe is relaxed and inviting.
Alternatively Aptel London has a fully equipped kitchenette where you can feed the family on a smaller budget via Uber Eats or a number of local takeaways.