Bankside, South Bank and London Waterloo
Just across the river from the Houses of Parliament, the South Bank is littered with some of London’s best attractions, galleries and theatres.
London Waterloo train station can be reached using trains from the south of England, while the Underground station is served by the Northern, Bakerloo and Jubilee Tube lines.
No visit to the South Bank is complete without a ride on the Coca-Cola London Eye. Youngsters will also love visiting the SEA LIFE London Aquarium and The London Dungeon. East of Blackfriars Bridge the area becomes known as Bankside, which is dominated by Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe. Little ones can also create their own swashbuckling adventure aboard Sir Francis Drake’s world-famous sailing galleon, The Golden Hinde.
With some of the city’s major museums and Royal Parks right on its doorstep, South Kensington is an ideal place to stay in London with kids.
Step out of the Tube station, which is served by the Circle, District and Jubilee lines, and you’ll be standing in London’s Museum Quarter, which includes the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum.
Kensington is also close to two of London’s Royal Parks, Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. There you can visit Kensington Palace, the Serpentine lake, Serpentine Gallery and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground.
St James’s borders some of London’s most popular attractions and has plenty of green space, making it the perfect place to stay in London with kids.
Booking one of the area’s quiet, kid-friendly hotels means that you’ll have Buckingham Palace on your doorstep. The youngsters will love seeing the colourful Changing the Guard ceremony, and watching the pelicans being fed every day in St James’s Park. The National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery and Green Park are also nearby.
If you're arriving in London by train, Paddington is a great place to stay in London with kids. The station is served by trains coming to and from West and South West England, as well as South Wales and Heathrow Airport. Paddington Underground station is on the Hammersmith and City Line, Circle Line, District Line and Bakerloo Line.
The suburb is ideally situated between two Royal Parks, Notting Hill, and the West End. The area boasts plenty of pretty parks, gardens, squares and cafes, as well as the Grand Union Canal. Kids will already know that Paddington is home to a very famous bear! It’s also only a few minutes walk from Paddington Station to Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park.
Home to Royal Museums Greenwich, The O2 and London’s oldest Royal Park, Greenwich is a brilliant base for a family trip to London. The area is easy to access using the Jubilee Line (alight at North Greenwich station) or Docklands Light Railway (alight at Cutty Sark). The overground train station is only a five minute walk to the village centre, where you can visit Greenwich Market for arts, crafts and food stalls.
Children will love taking a river service to QEII Pier at The O2, or a cruise down the Thames with City Cruises.
There is also plenty for youngsters to enjoy in Maritime Greenwich. The Royal Museums Greenwich collection includes the National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House, the famous Cutty Sark tea clipper, and the Royal Observatory.
Crystal Palace and Forest Hill
Looking for somewhere to stay with kids in South East London? Try the suburbs of Crystal Palace or Forest Hill for plenty of green space and family fun. Both stations can be reached by overground train and have train links to London Bridge.
Come face to face with some full-size dinosaurs (well, large models built by the Victorians) in Crystal Palace Park. The Crystal Palace exhibition used to stand in this park, which now also contains a children’s farm, playground and maze.
You can also meet the gigantic overstuffed walrus at the Horniman Museum and Gardens in Forest Hill, where there are plenty of free activities to entertain youngsters.
While best known for tennis, leafy Wimbledon offers a family-friendly alternative to central London. Wimbledon station is served by the District line, with connections to Richmond and Kew Gardens, as well as overland trains.
Wimbledon Village itself is full of beautiful buildings and independently owned shops, offering a calm place to do some shopping. Kids will love to stretch their legs on Wimbledon Common, which is a great place to picnic while looking for the area’s native Wombles.