- By Kevin
- On Aug 7, 2017
- Travel Tips
Our first family trip to London was in the spring of 2010 followed up by a second visit at the end of the summer 2013 and a spring break trip in March of 2015. We have seen many of the big attractions but there is still so much more that we want to see and experience in London and beyond. Here's a list of some of our family's favourite places and activities in London that we will just continue to add to.
Day Trips from the City
Day trips from London are a great option as there are numerous places to visit within a short train ride of central London including Windsor Castle, Oxford, Stonehenge, Bath, the Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon. One of our family's favourite day trips was a river cruise to Greenwich where visitors head to the Royal Observatory in order to stand on the Prime Meridian or with one foot in each hemisphere. There is a machine in the courtyard which will print a Certificate declaring that you stood astride the Prime Meridian with the precise time GMT for one pound (be sure to have one pound coins on hand) which makes a great souvenir to take home to show friends.
One of the great things about London for families is that there is free admission (although there may be a charge for special exhibitions) at many of the museums including the British Museum which is one of the world's greatest museums of history and where you can see incredible artifacts such as the Elgin Marbles and the Rosetta Stone. The list of museums with free admission also includes the Natural History Museum; the National Gallery; the National Portrait Gallery; the Science Museum; the Tate Modern; and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Theatre in the West End
Our family loves attending the theatre so the West End is one of our favourite places in London. On two separate trips to London we have seen productions of Legally Blonde, Lion King, Les Misérables, Matilda, The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Book of Mormon, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Mousetrap and Billy Elliot. On the most recent trip we also saw Shakespeare in Love, Memphis, The Play That Goes Wrong, and Made in Dagenham. There are so many productions playing in the West End that a family shouldn't have any difficulty finding a show to see.
Discounted tickets to many of the shows can be purchased on the same day (or sometimes up to a week in advance) on the TKTS website or at the booth in Leicester Square. We have also enjoyed tours of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and learned more about the history of the open-air theatre but haven't been able to attend a performance during our winter visits as it operates seasonally.
If you have been dreaming about a trip to London then it's time to start planning. London is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city that kids enjoy every bit as much as their parents do. We have passed our love for London on to our daughters which means there's one thing that I know for certain - we are never home from the U.K. very long before we start talking about the "next time" we go to London!