London at this time of year is a fantastic place to visit with the kids, and if you’ve never been before you’ll want to squeeze as much out of your trip as possible but be warned – it can be a tiring city that requires a lot of walking, hustle and bustle, and business.
The tube, for instance, can be a great way to get around but during rush hour it’s so congested that you might want to consider waiting until after the people traffic has calmed down; whilst it certainly makes for an adventure, it could be overwhelming to more sensitive children.
The other aspect, with London, is that unlike the rest of England it seems to be one big fashion show – in which case you’ll want to to head to My Little Duckling in order to ensure your kids look the part.
Here are a few areas you might want to consider visiting, that are great for both you and the kids.
Camden is known for its vibrant mix of alternative markets, where you can buy anything from new age potions to new rock boots. The cuisine is just as eclectic with a variety of street food purveyors bidding for your attention as you walk through the alleys of predominantly chinese takeaway vendors, but then when it opens out, you have artisanal street food vans selling everything from pizzas to steak and ice cream. Camden is a great place for live music, particularly for rock and indie tastes – known as somewhat of a hippy and alternative enclave this little pocket of London is a melting pot of cultural and societal values.
Covent Garden is a great place to eat, drink, shop and be entertained. It literally has it all. Covent Garden has some great fine dining options, luxurious hotels, boutique shops, and trendy designers. There’s a certain buzz to this affluent and exciting area that hosts alfresco entertainment at its heart and a plethora of theatre’s on its periphery. There are now an increasing number of chain stores and restaurants moving into the area, yet it is still managing to retain its independent and boutique upmarket vibe.
Shoreditch is home to London’s trendy brigade. This is where the majority of creative companies set-up (presuming they are very well funded, of course) and as a result you’ll find trendy juice bars, coffee shops, organic restaurants, street food trucks and designer boutiques. That said, the trendy thing about Shoreditch is that it’s not “trying” to be trendy – it just is – meaning, the majority of places you’ll find are ramshackle bars with furniture made from reclaimed pallets and many independent shops. It still has its original gritty urban vibe as evidenced by the plethora of graffiti and general casualness of the people.
London’s South Bank is a hub of cultural activity. Here, you’ll find iconic symbols such as the London Eye, London Bridge and Big Ben, whilst further down the river you’ll find the Tate Modern. It’s a two mile stretch of arts and entertainment venues that hold regular temporary events, from street theatre to street food. This area is extremely popular with Londoners, as well as tourists; one thing to consider though is that it’s extremely popular with pickpockets too, so don’t forget your travel insurance!
Overall, London is an absolutely wonderful place to visit with kids, there’s a wealth of things to do with both toddlers and teens. See our other posts here for more fun things to do with kids in London.
*This is a collaborative post*