Bankside, South Bank and London Waterloo
Stay just across the river from Big Ben near the South Bank, a spot brimming with some of London’s top attractions for kids, child-friendly restaurants and fun family experiences. You'll also be close to Waterloo station which offers fantastic transport links to the south of England, while the Underground station is served by the Northern, Bakerloo and Jubilee Tube lines.
Choose a hotel in South Bank and treat the little ones to a sky-high ride on the nearby London Eye, or venture to the depths of the ocean at SEA LIFE London Aquarium. This popular riverside spot welcomes daily street performances next to the banks of the Thames, and is also home to Shrek’s Adventure! London, The London Dungeon and the Southbank Centre.
Foodie families can feast on culinary treats on a Borough Market food tour before seeing a new side to the city on a classic London bus tour. Admire the city lights on the London by Night Open Top bus tour, or be dazzled by a Christmas Lights by Night bus tour if you visit during the festive period.
Stroll around the kid-friendly area of Bankside, where you can catch an open-air theatre show at Shakespeare’s Globe or while away an afternoon with Tate Modern's free family activities. Little ones can embark on a swashbuckling adventure aboard the world-famous sailing galleon, The Golden Hinde, as well as visit nearby HMS Belfast.
Stay at a hotel in South Kensington to be within close reach of London’s Museum Quarter, where kids can come face-to-face with dinosaurs at the world-famous Natural History Museum, get hands on with the Science Museum’s interactive exhibits and wander through the beautiful galleries of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Let little ones run wild in the 142-hectare (350-acre) Hyde Park, before taking a rowing boat out onto the Serpentine lake or searching for famous monuments across the pretty London park. Feel like royalty for the day while exploring Kensington Palace or wander through Kensington Gardens, where youngsters can take to the imaginary high seas on the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground’s pirate ship.
Ride up Lift 109 for a breathtaking view of London, or dare to take on the treetop obstacle course at Go Ape Battersea Park. Not seeking thrills? Visit furry friends at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home for a tour of the centre during one of their public openings.
Immerse yourself at DNA VR, an arcade where children seven years and up can explore different worlds, games and challenges through a virtual lens.
West End and Covent Garden
Enjoy a stay near London's iconic West End and Covent Garden and find entertainment at every corner; from the street performers to the top kids theatre shows and musicals, including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the Lion King London, Wicked and Frozen.
You can also explore the London Transport Museum, National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery during your stay in London, before taking family photographs in front of the iconic lion statues in Trafalgar Square. If the little ones have been good, head north along Regent Street and treat them to a visit to the magical Hamleys – one of London’s oldest toyshops.
Stay at one of the area's hotels, and you’ll have the spectacular Buckingham Palace State Rooms & Royal Mews on your doorstep. Head outdoors and listen to some royal facts and stories during a royal walking tour. Feeling peckish? Give your children the royal treatment with a Buckingham Palace Tour and Afternoon Tea.
Marvel at the famous Changing the Guard ceremony which takes place outside the royal residence, then watch the pelicans being fed in nearby St James’s Park or stop off for a picnic in tranquil Green Park.
Shoreditch and the City of London
Stroll around the area and tick off some of London's top landmarks and sightseeing spots, such as the Bank of England Museum, the Guildhall Art Gallery and Roman Amphitheatre, Tower of London, Tower Bridge and St Paul's Cathedral.
Bring along your budding creatives to the Young V&A in Bethnal Green, or spot some animals on a trip to one of the areas city farms. Continue your action-packed day with the City Cruises London river tour for a unique view of London with your family.
Choose a hotel in Paddington, situated close to two Royal Parks, Notting Hill and the West End, which is brimming with fabulous children’s theatre shows, making it a great place to stay in London with kids.
Follow in the footsteps of the famous Paddington Bear with a visit to some of the top locations from the children's books and films on a Paddington Bear Walking Tour. Take a stroll along the Grand Union Canal from Paddington to the picturesque area of Little Venice, where you can hop on a boat over to London Zoo to meet the animals or drop by the Puppet Theatre Barge to watch a family-friendly show – just be sure to check showtimes online as dates vary across the year.
If you're arriving in London by train, Paddington 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 also on the Elizabeth, Hammersmith and City, Circle, District and Bakerloo lines.
Access fast transport links from central London and a charming atmosphere during a visit to Greenwich, a brilliant base for a family trip to London.
Book your hotel in Greenwich, and get stuck into the history of the area. Drop by the National Maritime Museum to learn about Britain’s seafaring history, admire spectacular artwork at Queen’s House and Painted Hall in the Old Royal Naval College. Consider a great-value Royal Museums Greenwich Day Pass that will allow you access to the Royal Observatory and Cutty Sark. Adventurers aged 10 and above can climb to new heights during the Cutty Sark Rig Climb Experience.
Youngsters can be dazzled by stars at the Royal Observatory's planetarium and stand on the Prime Meridian Line, which divides the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.
During your stay in Greenwich, make sure to enjoy a spot of sightseeing from the water with a river cruise or soar above the Thames with the IFS Cloud Cable Car. If you’re in town to catch a show, or fancy a thrill with 360-degree views of the capital, consider Up at The O2 for an experience to remember.
Crystal Palace and Forest Hill
Get up close to full-size dinosaur statues at Crystal Palace Park, before venturing further to explore the park's children’s farm, playground and maze. You can also meet the gigantic walrus at the Horniman Museum and Gardens in Forest Hill, where there are plenty of free activities on offer to keep youngsters entertained.
For more inspiration, check out the top family-friendly hotels in London. If you’re looking for a London hotel in another area of the capital, check out these fantastic places to stay in London and discover the top things to do with kids during your family trip.