London has long been a family destination, filled with myriad attractions, sites, museums and shows including the much-loved pantomimes.
Here’s the great city through the eyes of a child.
HARRY POTTER TOURS
The city really comes alive for kids when they can experience the magical world of Harry Potter first-hand. There’s plenty of tours on offer that can guide you around famous spots where the movies were filmed or go straight to the source on the Warner Brothers Studio Tour.
If you want to get out amongst it on foot – with a guided walking tour or under your own steam – visit the most famous landmark of them all, Tower Bridge where Harry flew along the Thames in The Order of the Phoenix and stroll Piccadilly Circus where Harry, Ron and Hermione run for it during the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
The Reptile House at London Zoo is where a python spoke to Harry for the first time, at St Pancras Station he boards the Hogwarts Express and Westminster Tube Station was one of Harry’s most popular haunts in The Order of the Phoenix.
More info about Harry Potter Tours: wbstudiotour.co.uk/
Need to run off that jetlag?
Let the kids loose at Go Ape, Battersea Park, in Central London for a few hours of fun climbing rope ladders, zip-lining, walking treetops and much more.
Watch as they navigate obstacles, go canopy exploring and race to the end all while harnessed above ground.
Children just need to be over six years of age and over one-metre tall to participate and parents can watch from the various observation towers.
More info: goape.co.uk
Where: Battersea Park, on the south bank of the River Thames opposite Chelsea.
Open: Open every weekend and daily during the UK school holidays.
FREE MUSEUMS FOR KIDS
With many offering free entry and over 300 museums and galleries to choose from, you don’t have to search far or wide for a child-friendly option.
The Natural History Museum is free to enter. Here you can marvel at a life-size skeleton of a Blue whale, get up close and personal with a T-Rex dinosaur, get hands-on in the science lab and try out the earthquake machine to experience a simulated ground tremor.
More info: nhm.ac.uk
Where: Cromwell Road, London
Tube stop: South Kensington train
The Science Museum is one of the most visited science and technology museums in all of Europe.
With over 15,000 objects on display and interactive galleries, an entire day could easily be spent here.
Be sure to see the Apollo 10 command capsule, before entering the 3D and 4D simulators where you can experience the sensation of blasting off into space. This is one the adults will love too.
More info: sciencemuseum.org.uk
Where: Exhibition Road, London
Tube stop: South Kensington train
Bank of England Museum traces the story of money back to 1694.
But this museum will yield a few surprises you wouldn’t expect to see. View gold bars, coins and notes once used for trading centuries ago.
Check out the display of pikes and muskets that were used to defend the bank, Roman pottery and mosaics that were unearthed during the bank’s reconstruction in the 1930s and discover what George Washington has to do with the Bank of England, plus other documents relating to famous customers.
More info: www.bankofengland. co.uk/education/Pages/museum/ visiting/default.aspx
Where: Bartholomew Lane, London
Tube stop: Liverpool Street
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
For a wildlife encounter, head to Richmond Park (near Wimbledon) where 650 wild red and fallow deer roam the grasslands and many bird species, butterflies, beetles and over 250 types of fungi can be found.
Take the kids to The Regent’s Park, which houses the largest outdoor sports area in central London.
Spanning 395 acres, it’s also home to the Open Air Theatre, London Zoo, Primrose Hill and the country’s largest waterfowl collection.
From Outer Circle, head down Chester Road to enter through the Jubilee Gates, a grand iron and gilded semi-circular entryway that was installed to mark the Silver Jubilee of King George V and the official opening of Queen Mary’s Gardens in 1935. The best time to see the 12,000 plus roses in bloom is the first two weeks of June.
One of the eight Royal parks of London, Kensington Gardens is spread across 97-hectares with an impressive number of attractions.
Stroll through the 150-year old Italian Gardens and follow the trail to the Peter Pan Statue put in place in honour of J.M. Barrie’s fabled tale.
Of course the most notable and magnificent attraction on the property is Kensington Palace itself, a royal residence dating back to the 17th-century.
Heading to London? Call our Cruise and Travel Solution Specialists today on 1300 657 948