From wildlife to adventures on the water, the city has much to offer the younger visitor.
This beautiful park has a mix of formal gardens, open spaces as well as four children’s playgrounds, including a timber tree-house. The park has its own separate children’s lake complete with dinky pedalos. For one of the best views in London, you can climb to the top of Primsose Hill showing the impressive London skyline and perhaps even a view of the Landmark London.
A stroll though Regent’s Park leads to the the world’s oldest scientific zoo, which is home to an impressive range of animals, including gorillas, Galapagos tortoises and a great lion enclosure that has been themed around an Indian adventure.
The wax doubles of A-list stars, royals and sporting heroes are as spooky as they are intriguing. Attractions also include an immersive Star Wars experience with the heroes and villains of the films, a display dedicated to Marvel superheroes and a ride that takes you on a history tour of London.
A great collection of art in an historic townhouse, the Wallace Collection does a fine job of pleasing parents and their children. There is an audio guide for younger visitors and an interactive game where they can browse the gallery while looking out for characters such as Madame de Pompadour and the Laughing Cavalier. There’s also a selection of armour they can try on.
Sherlock Holmes Museum
A series of waxworks and curios from the Victorian period make up this atmospheric homage to the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, who, according to the novels, lived on Baker Street with his friend and colleague Dr Watson.
There are many boat trips on offer along the Thames, providing a relaxing way to see the city as you pass under its iconic bridges. There are scenic cruises as well as tours that give the option of hopping off and back on from the main sights. RIB speedboats, meanwhile, are a memorable and thrilling way to take to the river.
The capital’s giant observation wheel rotates so slowly you can barely detect you’re moving at all as you look out over the London cityscape.
Sea Life London Aquarium
The Shark Walk and the Ray Lagoon are among the highlights of this popular attraction on the South Bank. Talks and feeding times give an insight into the aquarium’s creatures, with the feeding of the piranhas an enthralling sight.
London Transport Museum
The London Transport Museum takes visitors back in time to when London’s streets were traversed by horse-drawn omnibuses, before moving on to the first Underground steam train and then up to the modern-day and the future of travel. Children can climb aboard historic buses and trains, drive a Tube train simulator, and younger children can explore a transport-themed play area.
Hilarious and horrifying in equal measure, the London Dungeons combine rides, special effects and storytelling to recreate some of the city’s darkest moments. It’s not suitable for young children but ideal for those aged 12 and above.
With seven storeys stacked with over 50,000 toys, children will love browsing around this vast store, which is London’s oldest toyshop.
With 3D movies, simulators and interactive displays, children can learn about science and the world around them in a fun way.
Natural History Museum
A children’s favourite, the Natural History Museum’s highlights include a comprehensive section on dinosaurs, complete with roaring T-Rex, and a 25-metre skeleton of a blue whale suspended in the air.
With the Cutty Sark ship, a cable car, a park and an observatory, Greenwich is ideal for families. At the Royal Observatory, the planetarium’s shows take visitors on tours of the Universe, and children can find out about adventures at sea at the National Maritime Museum. From North Greenwich, a cable car zips across the Thames, providing stunning views.
Tower of London
The Tower of London is a dramatic sight with its fortress and grand turrets overlooking the Thames. Children can learn about the animals that used to live there such as elephants, tigers and a polar bear; see the Crown Jewels, and take part in digital missions via a ‘Time Explorers’ app.