Interested in some sightseeing in London for children? Oli has a super route for south of the river…
London for children can sometimes feel like a really big place, when you consider how spread out our capital’s landmarks are. Big Ben is nowhere near the Albert Memorial, and The Bank of England is a long way from Harrods.
This makes seeing things with kids in tow rather difficult. Yes the tube and the bus are novelties at first, but in a post corona world who really wants to be sharing a tube with a thousand other people?
What if I told you there was a way of showing the kids the sights, getting some steps into their little legs and providing them with some subconscious education as well? As we all know exercise is important for body and mind, and that’s not just for the adults!
Hopefully you’d be interested, so dear reader, read on.
In the first part of my guide, I’m going to show you a little route south of the river, which takes in some key sights and allows you to potentially go in a few different directions when you’ve finished.
Step 1 – London for Children – Start at The Shard
So you do need to get yourself to London Bridge station, I can’t use the Star Trek transporter to get you here so you may have to brave a tube, bus or train to get to the start line.
From London Bridge Station, walk down through the newly built concourse, through the tunnels following signposts for The Shard.
Your children will be in awe of the height of the tallest building in Europe, standing next to it and looking upwards is quite something, and if they are budding photographers, they can get some great shots too. If you want to spend some money you can of course go to the top, otherwise, once you’ve had a good look, move on to step 2.
Step 2 – London for Children – Lets go and look at some ships!
A short hop over the road to Hays Galleria will take you to see HMS Belfast, a World War 2 Navy ship now permanently docked as a museum on the Thames.
Once the kids have had a look at Belfast, you walk West along the river towards your next ship, The Golden Hind, a galleon that went around the world under the Captaincy of Sir Francis Drake.
You can get some good photos with the children here, plus you can point out the Skyscrapers on the other side of the river in the City of London. Including the Cheese Grater, Walkie Talkie and The Gherkin. That should give them a laugh!
At this point you could choose to wander into Borough Market to get them some snacks or treats. Eating out in London can be so much fun – there is so much variety. Or just keep following the river to London for Children Step 3.
Step 3 – London for Children – The Globe and Tate Modern
Walk again along the river until you start to reach Bankside. You’ll go past The Clink, a prison museum which older children might find interesting, again, if you want to spend some cash you could pop in here for an hour or so.
You can let your kids take in Shakespeare’s Globe and then if you want you can introduce them to Modern Art at the Tate Modern, which is free.
You can cross the Millennium Bridge towards St Paul’s if you want to go North of the River, if not you can carry along towards Waterloo and look at the pop up stalls, booksellers and skateboarders. Either way, if you pick a good day for it you will have a glorious walk, take in some major sights and walk only about a 1 mile and a bit in total.
There are plenty of places to stop in London for children if you all need a bathroom break, and there are numerous places to eat and drink as well.
I hope you enjoy this little adventure, and of course there are many more things you could add to this. Either way, I hope your kids learn a bit here and there whilst getting out and about and experiencing London.
Oli Harris is a slave to a 4 year old human and a 4 year old dog, who enjoys writing about them in his spare time.
Planning to have a staycation this year? Read about some of our top UK family breaks on Travel Bugs.
Also if you have children who are a bit older, check out ‘Kids Are a Trip’ for their post about the Best Things to Do in London with Teens!
Planning Away has published a really useful piece on spending the day in the big city with a hop on hop off London bus tour. A must-read if you are considering doing this!