Days out in London
Give the kids a history lesson at London’s many museums, introduce them to the world of modern art at its galleries and captivate them at its many historic sites.
London never fails to capture the imagination - making it the perfect destination for a family weekend.
From interactive history lessons and an idiot’s guide to modern art at museums and galleries, to watching tiger cubs play at play at London Zoo - the capital will hold their attention from beginning to end. But first, breakfast.
Breakfast at Caravan
Just a few minutes’ walk from London King’s Cross Station, Caravan is a great place for breakfast for those wanting something different to a high-street chain. Enjoy poached or scrambled eggs on toast or take on the Caravan Fry if you’re feeling extra hungry. Not a big early-morning eater? Sourdough toast with butter and house spreads washed down with a flat-white or orange juice for the kids should suffice. Time Out London rates this among the best restaurants in the King’s Cross area.
Alternatively, grab some coffees, juices and pastries from Starbucks or Pret A Manger in King’s Cross before boarding The Tube to our first destination.
See a Viking ship at the British Museum
A short ride from King’s Cross Tube Station and you can be at The British Museum. A TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice award winner in 2013, the museum is currently showcasing Viking history in a major new exhibition. Watch your kids’ eyes light up when they see the remains of a 37 metre-long Viking warship. With weapons and other artefacts, the story of how the Vikings spread their culture across four continents is captivating.
The British Museum will also bring your brood within touching distance of ancient Egyptian mummies, an Anglo-Saxon helmet dating back to the 7th century and much more.
Check out the celebs at Madame Tussauds
From ancient Vikings to modern-day celebrities rendered in wax - take the short Tube ride from the British Museum to Madame Tussauds London. Here your kids can realise their dream of having their photo taken next to Harry Styles or Wayne Rooney, while you realise yours of draping your arm around Brad Pitt at a red carpet film premiere. As well as pop megastars and Hollywood legends you can also find famous footballers, politicians and cultural figures.
Enjoy a picnic in the park
You’ve no doubt worked up an appetite now, and as it’s supposed to be summer why not enjoy lunch al fresco? The splendour of Regent’s Park is but a few minutes’ stroll from Madame Tussauds. Let the kids run off a bit of steam across this vast 395-acre Royal Park before choosing where to eat. Sit outside the Garden Café and tuck into chicken and bacon club sandwiches, falafel wraps with harissa mayo and much more.
Alternatively, grab some sandwiches and treats from a nearby deli or supermarket and hold your own picnic. But make sure to read the picnicking guidelines.
Stroll across to London Zoo
If it’s a nice day take a leisurely stroll across Regent’s Park to London Zoo. The kids will love the Sumatran tiger cubs, while even the grown ups will flinch when face to face with full-size tigers investigating the wall to floor glass. Tigers take themselves pretty seriously, but there’ll be plenty of laughs on hand with the funny-looking pygmy hippos and acrobatic black-capped squirrel monkeys.
Stop off to see the Queen at Buckingham Palace
Take a 30 minute bus and Tube ride to show the kids where the Queen lives. Buckingham Palace serves as both the office and London home of the Queen Elizabeth II. Stroll up the Mall on a summer’s day before taking a tour of the 19 state rooms that “form the nucleus of the working palace”. Be prepared for some serious opulence - and endless questions from the kids to which you may not know the answer.
Be a culture vulture at Tate Modern
Travelling with children or teenagers with an interest in art? A visit to Tate Modern is essential. There’s no way you can miss this shrine to modern art, which has a setting as contemporary as some of the art within its walls. Tate Modern sits on the banks of the Thames in the brooding, industrial former Bankside Power Station. Inside you’ll find works from seminal works from Pablo Picasso, abstract painter Jackson Pollock and pop art legend Andy Warhol. An education for all.
Treat them to a burger, American style
What a day. We’ve tangled with Vikings and tigers, met 1D and Brad Pitt, laughed at monkeys, ran around the park like we don’t give a damn, taken to Thames and hid behind our fingers at the Tower of London. No wonder the kids are all hungry. And what better way to end this perfect, action-packed day than with a pretty perfect burger?
At Planet Hollywood they can choose from gourmet burgers such as the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger with fries and salad, while at Hard Rock café the original legendary burger with fries and salad looks pretty special. Find your way from the Tower to Hard Rock Café and Planet Hollywood.
End the perfect day with the perfect show
If you’re staying overnight why not catch a show, now you’ve travelled over to the West End? Just a short walk from Planet Hollywood is Theatreland. West End shows are among the top 20 attractions in London, according to TripAdvisor. Choose from the Lion King at the Lyceum, Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre or Billy Elliot at Victoria Palace Theatre.
Ready to catch the train home? King’s Cross Station is a short Tube ride from Leicester Square.
Have a great day out with the family in London.