Whether you’re a seasoned city dweller or visiting London for the weekend, there are some London attractions that everyone ought to experience at least once. Here are our favourite ways to spend a family day out in the city.
People come from far and wide to experience this royal tradition, so it’s definitely worth heading down to Buckingham Palace to catch the Changing the Guard ceremony at least once. It’s free to watch and will be happening daily throughout September. The colourful spectacle sees the Buckingham Palace Old Guard change with the New Guard. The ceremony lasts around 45 minutes and is accompanied by music. Head down earlier than 10.30am to ensure you get a good view.
WHEN: 10:30 am St James’ Palace & Wellington Barracks, 11 am Buckingham Palace
WHERE: Buckingham Palace Road, SW1A 1AA
The Tower Of London experience dives right into the heart of London’s dark and horrible history. Spend the day engrossed by tales of murder and mystery and learn about deadly plots that took place in the tower as you walk around the famous stone walls. Take a peek at the magnificent Crown Jewels too, which are made up of an incredible 23,578 gems. Book tickets here!
WHEN: Tuesday – Saturday, 9am-4.30pm; Sunday – Monday, 10am – 4.30pm
WHERE: The Tower of London, EC3N 4AB
You’ve probably walked past or admired this impressive structure from afar so many times. Now it’s time to adventure up the 135m high structure and experience London from a different angle. During the 30-minute “flight” you’ll see incredible London landmarks including Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral. The capsules also have interactive touch screens so you’ll be able to find history and info about all the exciting sights on the skyline.
WHEN: Open 10am daily
WHERE: Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7PB
The Monument is the tallest isolated stone column in the world and if you and the kids can hike up its 311 steps, you’ll be able to experience the incredible views from the top. The Monument is a reminder of the Great Fire of London which took place in 1666 and is still one of the most famous events in London history. Climb to the top of the tower and learn all about the ghastly event that began on Pudding Lane and engulfed the city of London in the 1600s.
WHEN: 9.30am – 6pm daily
WHERE: Monument Street, EC3R 8AH
A magnificent experience for all the family, View From The Shard is the most exciting way to see and experience London. The Shard, which is the tallest building in Western Europe, boasts of breathtaking views 360° over the city and 40 miles further into surrounding counties!
WHEN: Sunday to Wednesday, 10am-7pm; Thursday to Saturday, 10am-10pm
WHERE: 32 London Bridge Street, SE1 9SG
The most exhilarating and exciting way to experience the river that flows though the city, the Thames Barrier RIB Experience allows you to experience London and its top sightseeing spots at 50 knots (pretty fast!). This water roller coaster ride will take you through Greenwich, the Thames Barrier, Canary Wharf and much more!
WHEN: From 9am daily
WHERE: Embankment Pier, located at Victoria Embankment, London WC2N 6NU
Home to over 720 different species of animal, London zoo is the perfect way to connect with nature and animals in the heart of the city. This animal kingdom in Regent’s Park offers some excellent experiences to help children and families learn about wildlife from around the world. Enter the Lion Temple to see the big cats roaming about. Head down to the Penguin Beach for feeding time. Don’t forget to meet the monkeys! The kids will love monkeying around in the monkey play area, designed to teach them about the way monkeys move in their environment.
WHEN: From 10am daily
WHERE: Regent’s Park, Outer Circle, London NW1 4RY
Discover the secret underwater world in our oceans and coastline. Experience the habitat of thousands of seawater creatures. The Shark Walk immerses you in the world of sharks. Get up close with Sand Tiger sharks, Bow Mouths, Black Tips and Grey Reefs. Don’t forget to remind the little ones that the sharks can’t harm them from behind the glass! You’ll also learn about how Sea Life are helping support ocean conservation and marine welfare.
WHEN: 10am – 7pm daily
WHERE: County Hall, Riverside Building, SE1 7PB
There’s always so much happening at the delightful home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Walk around the grounds of the palace and see its recent £12-million refurbishment. Exhibitions that are currently showing include Diana: Her Fashion Show Story, Victoria Revealed, and the Garden History Tours.
WHEN: 10am – 6pm daily
WHERE: Kensington Gardens, W8 4PX
Hailed as the world’s most famous gardens, the Royal Botanic Gardens is made up of 130 hectares of gardens and landscapes. The tropical glass houses, treetop walks, lakes and waterlily pools, not to mention the art galleries make Kew are a brilliant day out for all the family. We recommend taking a picnic and finding a peaceful spot to relax with family and friends.
WHEN: From 10am daily
WHERE: Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB