London can be an expensive place for families to visit, but it does not have to be. Much depends on the type of activities you and your family enjoy, and the time of year that you visit. Obviously, during the school holidays, and holiday periods in general, popular places will be busy and, perhaps, a little more expensive. If you visit in the middle of winter, less of the outdoor free activities may appeal.
Therefore, bearing all of this in mind, here are some ways that you and your family can experience a little fun when visiting London, England.
The phenomenon that is Harry Potter appeals to both young and old alike. Many of the Harry Potter films were filmed in and around London and there are various tours
You may think that your children will hate shopping in London but think again. London has some great children's stores such as:-
Hamleys giant toy store, slap bang in the middle of Regent's Street which has a central position and is near lots of other attractions.
Benjamin Pollock's toyshop located in the heart of Covent Garden.
Harrods which is near to the Natural History and Science Museum, and has great children's departments.
Mystical Fairies magical toyshop in Hampstead.
Keep your eyes peeled as you wander around London and discover other stores for children such as Puppet Planet, International Magic, Playlounge and Honeyjam. London has so many quirky offbeat shops that there is bound to be something for everyone. Teenagers will love the variety of clothes stores and music paraphernalia available.
London buses,taxis, trains and the underground will help you travel everywhere in London so that you get the best out of your visit. Remember to check out any special offer travel deals. Children under five can travel free, with an adult, on any of the London transport available. Of course, this does not include taxis. Many public transport special family tickets also offer good value.
If your child is not used to travelling on double decker buses and tube trains this could be a fun experience in itself. Make sure to avoid the rush hour though as trains and buses can get very full at such times.
Go Kartingis available at The Raceway, Docklands.
See London from the Thames on either a slow moving boat or try a high-speed RIB boat.
Visit The Wet and Wild, at the Waterfront Leisure Centre with it 65 foot water slide, wave machine, water jets, volcano and, for the toddlers, the hippo.
Classes are available for those who fancy a little rock climbing at The Westway, Climbing Wall that houses other attractions.
Wander down to Bay Sixty 6, near the river to either watch or participate in skateboarding or BMX riding.
Invest in a London Pass.
Prices vary, for a London Pass, and may seem a little expensive but overall they do offer good value. For example, a two-day adult pass is currently 46 pound and a child's pass is 33 pound. This may sound expensive but bear in mind that it gives you free entry to over 55 of London's attractions such as:-
Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum
Benjamin Franklin House.
Britain at War Experience.
Chelsea FC Stadium Tour.
Chelsea Physic Garden.
Churchill Museum & Cabinet War Rooms.
The Courtauld Gallery.
Curzon Mayfair Cinema.
Curzon Soho Cinema.
Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art.
Firepower Royal Artillery Museum.
Florence Nightingale Museum.
Hampton Court Palace.
Handel House Museum.
Household Cavalry Museum.
HMS Belfast.Jason's Canal Boat Trip
Kensington Palace & The Orangery.
Kew Bridge. Steam Museum.
London Bicycle Tour Company.
London Canal Museum.
London Wetland Centre.
London Zoo Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising.
Museum of London Docklands.
Museum of Rugby.
National Theatre Backstage Tours.
Pollock's Toy Museum.
QUEENS Ice & Bowl.
Royal Albert Hall.
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre Tour & Exhibition.
St Paul's Cathedral
Tower Bridge Exhibition.
Tower of London.
Wernher Collection at Ranger's House.
Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum.
Wimbledon Tour Experience
You will also find that you do not have to queue along with everyone else and will receive a large, free London guidebook. For a slightly higher fee, your London pass will also include a travel option.
Obviously, it would take time to utilise a London Pass fully so buy one that is appropriate for your holiday needs. However, you can save a lot of money if you intend to visit many of the attractions above.
London has more attractions than any other city in the UK. The London Eye offers great views over the city and beyond. At a height of 135 metres, it is not for the feint hearted but kids should love it. At a half hour for a full circle, you will have plenty of time to look around, providing that you dare open your eyes.
London has a wealth of museums and galleries. Check out theVictoria and Albert, The Natural Historyand The Science museum, which are all close to each other. I defy you to do these three justice in one single day. There is also The British Museum with its Egyptian displays and a fairly new Aquarium.
Hop on one of the many open top bus tours to get the flavour, sights and sounds of London.
Tag along with a guided tour.
Pop along to Regent's Park Zoo for a fun filled and educational day. We loved this zoo and found the price reasonable for what was on offer.
Check out Madame Tussauds for some strangely realistic wax works. For older children, and those so inclined, see what you make of the Scream in Tussaud's, where you can try to escape from a bunch of serial killers.
View the Crown Jewels and learn a little gruesome history at the Tower of London.
Adults can try a Lantern Tour of London to experience an entertaining visit to gruesome places, such as the site of The Demon Barber Sweeney Todd's, barber's shop.
With offerings such as tours of the London Dungeons, Duck tours, sightseeing cruises and more you will be spoilt for choice. There is a fabulous Maritine Museum at Greenwich, which can be reached by a River Thames cruise. Here at Greenwich, your family may decide to picnic in the nearby Greenwich Park, weather permitting before checking out the Observatory and more.
Taking packed lunches with you, will certainly help save you some money, as, especially in the heart of London, food and drink can be expensive. There are other parks where children can enjoy some free time, tearing around and letting off steam, such as Hyde Park.