Family Holidays with Children in London: A Parents' Guide (incl. Google Map with Attractions)

Family Holidays with Children in London: A Parents' Guide (incl. Google Map with Attractions)

1. Introduction

Last week, my partner, my 2-year-old son and I spent three days in London, and I'd love to share our experience and learnings.

First up, I have to say, London has clinched the top spot if I had to rank European cities when it comes to family holiday destinations (and that's a tough gig).

Now, my partner would probably slide Venice in there too - and fair enough, it’s stunning - but something about London feels just right for families.

We found pockets of warmth and family-friendly vibes amid the iconic landmarks and historic lanes. Those sprawling green parks? It was a dream for little explorers and tired parents alike. And the ducks and squirrels? Our toddler’s new best friends.

What's more, London isn’t just a standalone adventure. It’s a launchpad. Are you thinking of exploring the broader UK? London is your ideal starting point.

So, get comfy and join me for some handy tips and tricks for your own London family escapade.

If you are more a visual person or do not want to google every individual place mentioned in this article, I put together a Google map with everything in one place, which you can find here.

2. G'Day London: The Familiar Taste of Home

After spending some time in Germany and France, one of the most comforting realisations was how familiar British cuisine felt to our Aussie palate. As we ventured through London's vibrant streets, we noticed the striking similarities between British and Australian meals and drinks (finally, some delicious coffee - sorry, France). It's like taking a culinary trip back home but with a classic British twist.

Now, there's an abundance for those wondering about toddler-friendly food options in the city. Fish and chips, a staple in the UK and down under, became one of our little one's favourites.

But it's not just about the mains. Desserts like sticky toffee pudding or trifle have their cousins in Australian cuisine, too. And for those mornings when you need a quick bite or proper breakfast before heading to attractions like Buckingham Palace or the Tower Bridge, there’s always a lovely cafe around the corner serving hearty breakfast (think smashed avo, eggs benny, etc.) or scones with jam and cream, eerily reminiscent of our local menus in Australia.

Travelling to London with a toddler didn't just mean exploring a new city; it was like rediscovering our food favourites with a British touch. So, while you're soaking in the history and charm of the city, rest assured that your toddler's taste buds will be on a delightful journey of their own.

2.1 Child-Friendly Dining: London's Welcoming Eateries

London, renowned for its regal history, iconic landmarks like the London Eye and Big Ben, and its bustling streets filled with performers at Covent Garden, isn't just an adult's playground. For parents visiting London with a toddler, the city's culinary scene holds another delightful surprise - its readiness to accommodate the littlest diners.

High Chairs at the Ready

Almost every restaurant we entered, whether the quaint cafes of South Kensington or the bustling diners near the London Bridge, was equipped with high chairs. Gone are the days when dining out meant wrestling your toddler on your lap while attempting to enjoy a meal. These sturdy high chairs were clean and safe, making mealtime a more relaxed experience for us and our tiny companions.

Kid-Friendly Menus

London's eateries aren't just about the traditional fish and chips or the gourmet experiences of the city centre. They're also about mini fish fingers, spaghetti faces, and mini roast dinners. Yes, we're talking about the ever-present kids' menus. Often colourfully presented, these menus boast portions perfect for little tummies and flavours that are both child-approved and reminiscent of the British culinary scene. Many restaurants even go the extra mile with interactive kids’ menus that double as colouring sheets, turning wait time into fun time.

Change Tables - A Parent's Saving Grace

Another sigh of relief for parents is the omnipresence of baby change facilities. Travelling through Hyde Park or spending a day at the London Transport Museum is all fun and games until a nappy emergency arises. Thankfully, most restaurants, even some of the older, more traditional ones, have adapted to provide clean and convenient changing areas. This indeed underscores London's commitment to being a family-friendly city.

Pleasant Extras

Beyond the essentials, some places offer crayons and drawing sheets, interactive play areas, or even a dedicated play corner.

London's restaurant scene understands the dynamics of dining with a young child. With the convenience of high chairs, the allure of kid-friendly menus, and the essential baby change facilities, parents can comfortably explore London's culinary delights, making their gastronomic journey as memorable as their tour of the city's iconic landmarks. Whether planning a lavish dinner after a day at Buckingham Palace or grabbing a quick bite near the Tate Modern, London's restaurants ensure your toddler is well cared for.

2.2 Child-friendly Restaurants and Cafes

London is teeming with child-friendly cafes and restaurants catering to families, ensuring that kids and adults have a delightful dining experience. Here are a couple of notable ones:

The Rainforest Cafe, Shaftesbury Avenue

The Rainforest Cafe, Shaftesbury Avenue London

Why it stands out:

  • Jungle Ambience: Located in the heart of the West End, the Rainforest Cafe is not just a restaurant; it's an immersive experience. It feels like you've entered a tropical rainforest with animatronic animals, thunderstorms, and a canopy of stars. For kids, this setting is nothing short of magical.
  • Kid's Menu: Understanding the picky nature of young diners, the cafe offers a dedicated children's menu. From the classic 'Monkey's Favourite' spaghetti to 'Python's Pasta', there's something for every little adventurer.
  • Educational Element: The cafe isn't just about food and fun. With the Rainforest Rascals’ activities and educational packs, children can learn about the rainforest, conservation, and the animals they see around the restaurant.
  • Gift Shop: At the end of your meal, you can drop by the themed gift shop where kids can pick up a souvenir to remember their jungle adventure.

Heddon Street Kitchen, Piccadilly Circus

Heddon Street Kitchen, Piccadilly Circus

Why it stands out:

  • Free Kid Meals: The highlight at Gordon Ramsay's Heddon Street Kitchen is that kids dine on the house. That's right – kids eat for free all day, every day, making it a budget-friendly choice for families.
  • Classic Children’s Menu: Whether your little ones fancy meatballs with pasta, bangers and mash, or a juicy burger with chips, there’s a delightful array of child-friendly mains.
  • Sweet Treats on a Budget: While desserts come at an extra, the price point of £3.50 is reasonable. From decadent chocolate brownies to classic ice cream drizzled with chocolate sauce, these treats will surely bring smiles all around.
  • Relaxed Ambience: Beyond the menu, Heddon Street Kitchen's welcoming and laid-back setting ensures families can enjoy their meals in a stress-free environment.

Maggie & Rose, Kensington

Maggie & Rose, Kensington

Why it stands out:

  • Designed for Families: Maggie & Rose is a cafe and a family members’ club. Their ethos is all about family, which is reflected in everything from their menu to decor. The Kensington branch, close to attractions like the Natural History Museum and Kensington Gardens, is particularly popular.
  • Play Areas: Their dedication to entertaining kids sets Maggie & Rose apart. With bespoke play areas, soft play sections, and supervised craft sessions, children can be busy while parents relax.
  • Wholesome Menu: With a focus on fresh and organic produce, the menu here caters to all ages. Their kids' menu is nutritionally balanced, ensuring little ones get a tasty yet healthy meal.
  • Workshops & Classes: Beyond dining, Maggie & Rose often hosts workshops and classes for kids, from cooking to arts and crafts. So, every visit can be a new experience.

Giraffe World Kitchen, Various Locations, including Southbank

Giraffe World Kitchen, Various Locations, including Southbank

Why it stands out:

  • Global Menu: Introduce your kids to flavours from around the world. Whether it's Asian noodles, Mexican quesadillas, or American burgers, there's a delightful array for everyone to explore.
  • Kids Eat Free Offers: During specific periods or promotions, Giraffe offers deals where kids can eat for free, making it a hit for families looking to dine out without denting their wallets.
  • Activity Packs: Keeping kids occupied with fun and interactive activity packs is a breeze.
  • Vibrant Atmosphere: The colourful and lively decor makes it an inviting family space.

The Lighterman, King's Cross

The Lighterman, King's Cross

Why it stands out:

  • Waterside Dining: Nestled by the Regent's Canal, The Lighterman offers a picturesque view and a serene atmosphere. It's a treat for the family, allowing the kids to watch the boats drift by as they munch on their meals.
  • Modern British Menu: A celebration of British cuisine, their menu is a mix of traditional favourites and contemporary dishes, giving both adults and kids a hearty selection to choose from.
  • Family-friendly Spaces: With three floors of dining space and an outdoor terrace, families can choose a spot that suits them best - by the water or overlooking the bustling King's Cross square.
  • Special Kids' Menu: Catering specifically to the younger ones, The Lighterman offers a range of kid-friendly dishes that are both nutritious and delicious, making meal choices a breeze.
  • Relaxed Ambience: Its tranquil setting, combined with the warm and welcoming interior, creates the perfect backdrop for a family meal, ensuring everyone leaves with a full belly and fond memories.

The Arbor Garden, Fitzrovia

The Arbor Garden, Fitzrovia London

Why it stands out for families:

  • Supervised Kid's Corner: A special treat for families, The Arbor Garden offers a complimentary supervised area for children over 3, allowing parents some downtime while the little ones are engaged.
  • Creative Engagement: Beyond play, kids are busy with an arts and crafts table, nurturing their creativity while parents enjoy their meals.
  • Kid-Friendly Menu: With choices like succulent chicken breast paired with chips and tender stem broccoli or the classic breaded fish fingers accompanied by garden peas, kids are in for a nutritious and delicious treat.
  • Serene Setting: The tranquil ambience of The Arbor Garden ensures a relaxing dining experience for the whole family amidst the city's hustle and bustle.

3. Navigating London’s Public Transport with a Stroller

Westminster Subway Station in London

Travelling through a bustling city like London with a toddler might sound daunting to some, but let me assure you, it's far easier than you'd think - especially regarding public transport. Here's a lowdown on our experiences:

3.1 The Underground & Buses: Stroller-friendly? Absolutely!

The London Underground, affectionately known as the Tube, and the iconic red buses are surprisingly accommodating for those of us travelling with strollers. Many major Tube stations are equipped with lifts (elevators), making moving between platforms and the exit conveniently without folding up the stroller. Check the Transport for London (TfL) website beforehand; they have a nifty tool that lets you plan a route, ensuring you only use stations with lifts.

Buses? They have designated spaces for strollers and wheelchairs. We often found drivers' patience and fellow passengers helpful, making the journey smoother than anticipated.

Sign pointing to the lift in the London Subway station

Rush Hour: Navigating the Busy Times

One word of advice? Avoid rush hour when you can. Not only is it packed, but navigating the crowds with a stroller can be a tad stressful. Generally, rush hour in London is from 7:30-9:30 am and 5:00-7:00 pm on weekdays. If you can plan your journeys outside these times, you’ll find a more relaxed environment and pleasant travel experience. But, if you are caught up during these hours, just be prepared for a tighter squeeze and possibly waiting for the next train or bus if the first is too packed.

In summary, London's public transport is more than manageable with a stroller, and it can be a breeze with a bit of planning and off-peak travel. So, don't let the idea of navigating the city deter you. Strap that toddler in, grab your Oyster Card, and set off on your London adventure!

London Subway Station

Tap and Travel: The Ease of Contactless Payments

Navigating London's public transport just got much more straightforward, especially for us parents who often find our hands full. Say goodbye to the days of fumbling around for physical tickets or queuing up at ticket machines with a restless toddler.

You can use contactless payment methods directly at the entry points of buses and the Tube. You can tap and go whether you have a contactless debit, credit card, or even a smartphone with digital wallet capabilities. It's that straightforward!

Safety and Simplicity Combined

Besides the convenience, it’s secure. The system only charges you for the journeys you make, and there's a daily cap, ensuring you never pay more than the price of a daily travel card. Plus, no need to worry about keeping track of multiple paper tickets or losing them amidst the day's chaos.

This feature was a lifesaver for us in a city as dynamic and fast-paced as London. It streamlined our travels, allowing us to focus on enjoying our adventure rather than the logistics of it. So, on your next trip, keep that card or phone handy, tap in, and explore London with unmatched ease.

3.2 Double the Fun with Hop-On Hop-Off Buses

Hop-on hop-off bus in London London Sightseeing

As it was my partner's first time in London, we decided to give the iconic Hop-On Hop-Off buses a go. What a treat they were, both for us and our little one!

The Hop-On Hop-Off buses are not only a fantastic way to see London’s most famous landmarks, but they’re also incredibly accessible for families.

Stroller-Friendly and Kid-approved

Upon boarding, there’s space on the ground level to securely park your baby carrier or stroller. There is no need to fold it up or grapple with storage issues. Once you've sorted that, you can climb to the open-top upper deck with your toddler. Let's say the views from up there are both toddler and parent-approved! Watching our little one's face light up as we passed the London Eye, Big Ben, and the Tower Bridge was a happy parents’ moment.

Seeing London at Your Own Pace

The beauty of these buses? Flexibility. You can hop off at any landmark that piques your interest, explore at your own pace, and then hop back on the next bus to continue your journey. The frequent service means you're never waiting too long, and each time feels like embarking on a new mini adventure.

In essence, the Hop-On Hop-Off buses combine the best of sightseeing with the ease families need. It’s an efficient and enjoyable way to soak in the city, making it super convenient for anyone visiting London with kids (and strollers) in tow.

4. Finding a Home Away from Home: Where to Stay

Navigating the vast expanse of London can be a tad overwhelming, especially when you're hauling a toddler and their seemingly endless supply of necessities. But fret not because specific neighbourhoods in London provide the perfect backdrop for your family's adventure.

4.1 The Best Neighbourhoods for Family Trips

Let's dive into the charm and convenience of some top areas:

Hammersmith

Hammersmith bridge in London

Benefits:

  • Riverfront Beauty: Located along the scenic River Thames, Hammersmith provides a serene setting for families. You can enjoy a lovely stroll along the riverside, and numerous child-friendly restaurants dot the area.
  • Connectivity: Hammersmith's tube station serves as a central transport hub, connecting to various parts of London effortlessly. Perfect for families looking to visit London attractions without the long commute.
  • Shopping and Entertainment: The Broadway Centre houses various shops, making it a one-stop destination for all your family's needs.

Drawbacks:

  • Bustling Traffic: A significant transport hub, the area can get crowded, especially during peak hours.

Kensington

Kensington London Subway Station

Benefits:

  • Museums Galore: South Kensington is home to some of London's best museums, like the Natural History Museum and Science Museum — perfect spots for adults and young kids.
  • Gardens and Parks: Kensington Gardens, once the private gardens of Kensington Palace, offer a tranquil setting for families. The Princess Diana Memorial Playground in the vicinity is a bonus for kids.
  • Elegant Stay: The area is known for its upmarket residential streets, meaning your accommodation will likely be of a higher standard.

Drawbacks:

  • Pricey: Kensington can be more expensive when it comes to accommodations and dining.

Bloomsbury

Bloomsbury London

Benefits:

  • Cultural Hub: Home to the British Museum, Bloomsbury provides an enriching experience for families. Plus, several garden squares like Russell Square offer spots for relaxation.
  • Central Location: Located in the heart of Central London, Bloomsbury ensures most attractions are just a short tube ride away.
  • Literary Charm: This area has been home to many renowned writers. Book-loving families can relish the area's rich literary history.

Drawbacks:

  • Tourist Hotspot: Given its central location and attractions, Bloomsbury can get crowded, especially during school holidays.

Greenwich

Greenwich London

Benefits:

  • Historic and Scenic: Home to the Royal Observatory, Cutty Sark, and the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich blends history and scenic beauty.
  • Greenwich Park: A vast expanse of green, perfect for kids to run around, and if you're up for it, a climb to the hilltop offers panoramic views of London.
  • Markets and Local Vibe: Greenwich market tastes local flavours, arts, and crafts.

Drawbacks:

  • Slightly Remote: While it offers a more relaxed pace, Greenwich is slightly farther from Central London, which might add to travel time.

4.2 Booking the Perfect Accommodation:

Choosing suitable accommodation can make a world of difference when you're visiting London with a toddler. Beyond the conventional hotels, here's what to consider:

  • Proximity to Transport: First things first, look at the map! It might sound basic, but when those little legs get tired, or you've just finished a mammoth sightseeing day, you'll be thanking your lucky stars you're just a short stroll away from a tube or bus stop. With London's expansive public transport system, being near a station or a major bus route can drastically reduce your commute and give you those precious extra minutes of sleep in the morning.
  • Kitchenette: We Aussies love our food, and if you're travelling with young kids, having the option to cook can be both a comfort and a convenience. A kitchenette can be invaluable, whether an early breakfast before the city wakes up or a late-night snack after a long day out. Plus, it lets you whip up home comforts if your little one isn’t too keen on the local cuisine.
  • Family Rooms: London has caught onto the trend of catering to family travellers, and many hotels now offer dedicated family rooms or suites. These rooms are often spacious, with extra beds and sometimes even fun themes to entertain the kids. So, always check if the hotel has a space specifically tailored for those travelling with children - it ensures you have everything you might need, from baby cots to extra towels, all in one place.
  • Airbnb - A Home Away from Home: Considering an Airbnb? It's a fabulous choice, especially for families. Not only do you get a more authentic feel of "living" in London, but many Airbnb properties come equipped with all the homely touches that can make life easier: think fully-equipped kitchens, separate bedrooms, washing facilities, and sometimes even toys and books for the kids. Many hosts are also a wealth of local knowledge and can offer those off-the-beaten-path recommendations that make your trip truly special. Plus, having a space that feels more like a home can comfort kids and help settle those travel jitters. Remember to check reviews and maybe even reach out to hosts with any specific questions or requirements you might have.

Remember, whether it's a luxurious hotel in Central London, a quirky Airbnb in East London, or a charming bed and breakfast in West London, the most important thing is that it feels right for you and your family. After all, as you explore this vibrant city, it'll be your home base, so make sure it ticks all your boxes!

5. Family Days Out in London: Toddler-Tested and Approved!

Visiting London with a toddler is quite the adventure, with the city revealing itself as a sprawling playground, rich in history and filled with excitement at every turn. When we ventured into Central London, we were pleasantly surprised at how toddler-friendly many attractions were.

  • London Zoo ($$$$): A diverse range of animals and interactive exhibits. It's a feast for the senses, from the Lion's Den to the Butterfly House.
London Zoo street sign
  • SEA LIFE London Aquarium ($$$): Venture beneath the ocean as you walk through the glass tunnels surrounded by sharks, stingrays, and colourful fish.
SEA LIFE London Aquarium
  • Natural History Museum (Free): From massive dinosaur skeletons to an earthquake simulator, it's educational yet fun.
Natural History Museum London
  • Science Museum (Free): Interactive exhibits on space and technology. Particular areas are dedicated to younger kids, too.
  • British Museum (Free): While it might seem adult-centric, there are unique family trails and activity backpacks for kids to explore.
British Museum London
  • Tate Modern (Free): As an art hub, they offer free family trails and art workshops during weekends and school holidays.
  • London Eye ($$$$): Offers panoramic views of London. Kids might especially love spotting landmarks. 
London Eye
  • Buckingham Palace (Free): The changing of the guard is a free spectacle that children often find fascinating. 
Buckingham Palace
  • Tower Bridge & The Tower of London ($$$$): Apart from walking the high-level walkways of the Bridge, the Tower of London offers tales of knights, kings, and the Crown Jewels. 
Tower Bridge
  • Hamleys Toy Store (Free - $$$$): Seven floors of toys in the world's oldest toy store, located on Regent Street. Entry is free, but be warned: you might leave with a toy or two (or more).
  • Westminster Abbey ($$$): A place steeped in history. Kids can use the children's audio guide to discover the Abbey's many secrets.
  • The Making of Harry Potter - Warner Bros. Studio Tour ($$$$): A magical experience for Potterheads of all ages. It's a spellbinding journey from the Great Hall to the Forbidden Forest.
  • LEGOLAND Windsor ($$$$): A bit outside of central London but worth the trip for Lego enthusiasts. Numerous rides, shows, and building workshops.
  • KidZania ($$$$): Located in Westfield London, it’s an indoor city run by kids! Children can take on various jobs and earn money—a unique, fun, and educational experience. 
KidZania London
  • London Transport Museum ($$$): The London Transport Museum located in Convent Garden is a hit with its vintage buses and trains. Kids are free, but adults have to pay for entry. 
London Transport Museum
  • Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens (Free): The expansive greenery of Hyde Park became our sanctuary during our trip. With its lovely cafes lining the pathways and the Serpentine River adding charm, it's a haven for young kids to run free. A short walk takes you to Kensington Gardens, home to the Princess Diana Memorial Playground. Picture a massive pirate ship in a sea of sand, and you'll understand why our toddler was enthralled. Don’t miss out on the South Carriage Drive Playground, another gem in the park's heart. 
Hyde Park
  • Regents Park (Free): Famous for its beautifully manicured Queen Mary's Gardens filled with thousands of roses, this park is a sight for sore eyes. The adjoining London Zoo is also a bonus if you want to surprise your toddler with a sudden lion roar or an exotic bird's call!
  • St James's Park (Free): St James's Park is the oldest of the capital's eight Royal Parks. Located in the city's heart, it provides breathtaking views of Buckingham Palace on one side and the London Eye and Westminster on the other. The park's lake is a haven for waterfowl, making it a top spot for those interested in birdwatching and observing squirrels. 
Squirrel in St James' Park in London
  • Battersea Park (Free): Don’t miss the Magic Garden in Battersea Park – a fantasy land that will awe your toddler.

Incorporating all these attractions ensures that every family, regardless of their budget, can experience the magic of London. Whether you're hunting for free adventures or willing to splurge on once-in-a-lifetime experiences, London with a toddler offers a bit of everything.

5.1 London’s Playgrounds: A Kid’s Paradise in the Heart of the City

One thing London is particularly great at (apart from its rich history and beautiful architecture) is its plethora of playgrounds, perfect for kids of all ages. Let's be honest: While we, as parents, enjoy museums, historic sites, and fancy restaurants, our little ones often crave a simple swing or slide to have a blast. So, if you're visiting London with a toddler or young kids, here are some playgrounds to check out:

  • Princess Diana Memorial Playground, Kensington Gardens: The massive wooden pirate ship is the central attraction, and a sandy beach surrounds it. There are also teepees, sculptures, and various play areas dedicated to children with different abilities. 
Princess Diana Memorial Playground in London
  • South Carriage Drive Playground, Hyde Park: Right in the heart of Hyde Park, this playground is especially tailored for younger children. It features a range of wooden play equipment, water play features for warmer days and lots of benches for parents. 
South Carriage Drive Playground London Hyde Park
  • Holland Park Adventure Playground: Holland Park has several attractions for kids, including a zoo, but the adventure playground is the real star. It's expansive and includes a zip wire, climbing equipment, and a seesaw, which can take adults too (because why should kids have all the fun?)! 
Holland Park Adventure Playground London
  • Tumbling Bay Playground, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park: Modern, different, and fun! This playground includes rock pools, sandpits, treehouses, and wobbly bridges, making it feel like a wild adventure. Plus, being in the Olympic Park, you can combine the visit with nearby attractions. 
Tumbling Bay Playground London
  • Magic Garden, Hampton Court: This might be slightly out of central London, but it's worth the journey. It's a unique playground that mixes history with fun. There are towers to climb, a dragon to conquer, and even a secret grotto to explore. 
Magic Garden, Hampton Court London
  • Battersea Park Children’s Zoo and Playground: This combines two favourites of every kid – animals and playgrounds! While the zoo is compact, it’s perfect for younger children. The playground next to it is varied, with lots of wooden equipment, sandpits, and even a fire engine to play on. 
Battersea Park Children’s Zoo and Playground London
  • Regent’s Park Playground: This playground near the entrance from Marylebone Road is ideal for toddlers and younger children. It’s enclosed, making it safe, and includes swings, slides, and a sandpit. The best part? You can follow up playtime with a leisurely family walk through the stunning Regent’s Park. 
Regent’s Park Playground London

    Remember, London's weather can be unpredictable, so it's always a good idea to pack a raincoat or an umbrella just in case. And if you're visiting during summer, these playgrounds can get quite busy, so maybe try hitting them up during typical meal times when they're a tad less crowded.

    These playgrounds not only offer a break for parents but are also a fantastic way for kids to burn off some energy, interact with other kids, and have an excellent ol' playtime.

    6. Watching the Wallet: Dealing with the Exchange Rate

    Ah, the age-old dilemma of globe-trotters: navigating the ever-fluctuating exchange rate. Travelling to London with a toddler had us more cautious about our spending. London can be pretty heavy on the pocket with its myriad attractions, especially when you factor in the exchange rate from AUD to GBP.

    Current Exchange Rate:
    While rates are constantly in flux, the pound sterling was notably stronger than the Aussie dollar at our visit. This doesn't just mean conversion woes but also makes you consider every expense more critically.

    6.1 Budgeting Tips

    • Set Clear Priorities: London offers many attractions, but it's impossible (and financially draining) to see everything in one visit. Determine your must-sees. We knew we couldn't miss Tower Bridge and a ferry trip on the Thames, but we also opted for free activities like St James's Park, a sunny afternoon well spent chasing ducks and squirrels while the adults could relax on a blanket.
    • Culinary Adventures: Central London is tempting with its vast culinary spread, but a secret we discovered was the charm of local eateries in areas like South Kensington or East London. They often offer authentic experiences at a fraction of the price. And for toddler-friendly food options, local markets can be a treasure trove.
    • Bundle and Save: There are numerous packages tailored for tourists. For instance, the London Pass or the London Transport deals can help you save significantly, especially if you plan to visit multiple sites.
    • Accommodation Savvy: While convenient, staying right in the city's heart can skyrocket your expenses. Places like Hammersmith or West London offer excellent accommodations, often within a pleasant walking distance or a short ride on the London Underground to major attractions.
    • Public Transport – Your Best Friend: Apart from being incredibly toddler-friendly, public transport in London, from the iconic red buses to the efficient trains, is way cheaper than taxis. The convenience of tapping your credit card and going without juggling physical tickets makes it even more attractive.

    6.2 Unearthing Value Deals

    London's vastness works to its advantage when it comes to deals. Many iconic places have days when entry is free or discounted. The Tate Modern, for example, doesn't charge for its permanent collection. For families, attractions like the London Transport Museum have offers where young kids enter free with a paying adult.

    Also, consider timing your visit. Off-peak seasons or even times of day can significantly influence prices. Attractions are often cheaper in the early morning or late afternoon, and you might avoid the bustling crowds.

    6.3 In Essence

    While the exchange rate can initially seem like a daunting cloud over your London adventure, a blend of planning and open-mindedness can ensure that you and your toddler experience the city in all its grandeur without undue financial strain, After all, memories made in the lanes of Covent Garden or while feeding ducks in St. James Park are invaluable.

    7. Flying Straight: The Ease of Getting to London

    Ah, the journey! As most travelling families will affirm, getting to the destination can sometimes be the most challenging part of the journey. Especially when we’re talking about winging it halfway across the world from Australia to London with a toddler in tow. Here's our take on flying the friendly skies straight to the heart of the UK.

    7.1 Direct Connection from Perth

    A significant game-changer in recent years has been the introduction of direct flights from Perth to London. No more hopping between airports, managing multiple boarding passes, or hurriedly navigating international terminals with a restless tot. It's a straight shot from down under right to the doorstep of Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, and all the wonders of Central London.

    7.2 Sydney Joins the Club

    For Sydneysiders, there's some exciting news on the horizon. Come 2025, direct flights from Sydney to London will be on the roster. This upcoming addition by Qantas promises to make visiting London even more accessible for a significant chunk of Aussies, bringing the historic lanes of Covent Garden or the sprawling green of Hyde Park just a flight away, with no stopovers required!

    7.3 If You Aren't One of the Lucky Ones

    If you, like us, must take the good old route via Singapore, Qatar or a similar transit location in Asia, don't fear. I won't lie that it will be the most relaxing trip, but it's doable and worth it. Check out my other blogs, including packing lists and tips and tricks for entertaining a toddler on a long-haul flight.

    8. Conclusion

    It's funny how a journey can simultaneously feel like a whirlwind and yet be packed with countless moments frozen in time. From our first step out of the London Underground to our lazy afternoon at Hyde Park, every memory of our London adventure holds a special place in our hearts. And if there's anything more enchanting than the city's historic charm, it's witnessing it through the wide-eyed wonder of a toddler.

    Visiting London with a toddler was undoubtedly an experience filled with its fair share of challenges. From ensuring meals were toddler-friendly to strategising our day around nap times. But for every tiny hiccup, there were a hundred moments of pure joy. The glee on our little one's face when he first spotted the ducks in St James's Park, or his amusement with the street performers at Covent Garden, are priceless memories we'll cherish forever.

    For fellow Australian parents wondering if the hustle and bustle of Central London is a good idea with a toddler in tow – my answer is a resounding 'yes'. London was the best mix of convenience and fun things to experience for our little one and us adults. Paris was good but felt too much hard work at times, while London was fun and easy enough to tackle with a toddler.

    Bonus: Useful Resources and Links

    Here are some handy resources to make your journey smoother:

     

     

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