48 hours in London with kids

By Emma

Excited to have secured tickets to see the Lionesses at Wembley in October, we headed to London for a whirlwind 48 hours with the children. 

It is always so hard to know what to include and what to leave out of a trip to London, and until last year we hadn’t done it much at all with the children. But we ended up making 3 trips there in 2022, and the boys have absolutely loved it.

It can be daunting, but it can also be such a great adventure with children; plenty to see clearly, and lots on offer that is actually free or cheap to access. It is also so varied, and has worked well for both our boys despite their difference in age (10 and 5), with so many different things to see and do.

We were very lucky with the weather in October, which is always a good thing for us as the boys are happiest outdoors! It meant we could do lots of walking and exploring the green spaces in London this time, in addition to some tourist ‘must see’ hot spots.  I guess it may have been a slightly different experience in pouring rain. However with lots of museums close to one another we might have made more of these, had the weather been rough. 

We had done big hitters like Westminster, Buckingham Palace, a boat trip and Tower of London earlier in the year so for this trip, and with limited time we managed the following…

Day One

  • Travel Exeter to London (we set off early as the boys were up anyway and meant we could make the most of the day before the Lionesses’ match)
  • We drove as it gave us freedom over timing, and we had parking available at the hotel
  • We stayed in a Premier Inn as this was a good cheap option and close to Wembley stadium
  • Lunch near Covent Garden
  • Explore Covent Garden (and get ice cream – of course!)
  • Piccadilly Circus (M&M store, Lego store)
  • Soho
  • Wembley

Day Two

  • Natural History Museum
  • The Albert Memorial
  • Kensington Gardens
  • Diana Memorial Fountain
  • Hyde Park
  • Marble Arch 
  • Oxford Street 
  • Dinner on James Street 

Soho, Covent Garden, Ice cream and Football – Day 1

Day 1 was mainly about wandering and soaking up some of the city, having been in the car for a while in the morning! We loved exploring the Soho and Covent Garden areas, with lots of beautiful architecture, shop fronts, live music and interesting market stalls to see. It was colourful and spirited and the boys loved it. We ate the most delicious ice cream at Venchi, right in the heart of Covent Garden. It made for a special treat after lots of walking and I would highly recommend. 

For some child friendly adventure we explored the M&M and Lego stores. We hadn’t visited either before and there were no queues today so we took full advantage. The Lego store in particular was great, because even without buying anything there was so much to see and explore. 

Beware the ‘fill your own bag’ stations at the M&M store. So so much fun, but so so expensive!! The boys, as you can imagine, thought this was… So. Totally. Awesome. 

Watching the Lionesses at Wembley was an unbelievable experience. The atmosphere was wonderful and so family-friendly. As an introduction to live football it was great for our youngest as it felt so friendly and so exciting. It was epic getting out of the stadium and back to the hotel, just due to the mass of people, but totally worth it for the experience. 

Sunshine and adventure in London – Day 2

Revived after a good sleep, and excited to see the sunshine, we did lots of exploring on our feet on day 2. We headed for the Natural History Museum first as this works so well for both of the boys; it is a great place for different ages and there is so much to explore. The dinosaurs were a big hit and there are so many jaw dropping moments for little ones in there. A real must-do with kids.  I was excited to read about sleepovers they offer for children and their parents, so I am going to explore them further. How cool would that be?

From the Natural History Museum we headed for an outdoor adventure, walking through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. This was brilliant with the boys. There were sticks to collect, fallen trees to climb and lots of open space for all the running. Always with the running. We also really enjoyed checking out the Albert Memorial, and the Diana Memorial Fountain. In fact we spent ages just chilling here; it was a beautiful spot to sit and the boys were able to play in the water. There were also food and drink options nearby for a quick lunch. 

From Hyde Park we explored Marble Arch and Oxford Street. The boys had never been to this part of London before so it was another good tick on their London list, and so much to see. We discovered James Street, which was jam packed with restaurants and cafes, with lots of family friendly options. The boys were tired and hungry by this point (they had walked miles bless them!) so this was perfect.

48 hours well and truly done! Do you have any top tips for London with kids? We are planning on heading there again this Spring, so other good ideas would be great.

Emma and the wild ones x

About the author

Hi I'm Emma, mum to two boys, ex-teacher, now on a new career path running my own business. I have always loved to travel and as a big history nerd, love a good city break. We try to travel and spend as much time outdoors as we can with our two little ones, and are passionate about exploring new places with them. Living in Devon provides lots of opportunity to explore, and we are keen to share tips and experiences of travel, days out and good eats. We are a bit obsessed with photography too so will probably have a few of those to share along the way...

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