Hyde Park playground and fountain
Hyde Park is possibly the most famous of all the Royal Parks; it was used as a fashion parade in Regency days, has Speaker’s Corner, a place dedicated to free speech in Britain, and plenty of statues to commemorate battles, heroes and even horses. But kids will be more interested in the fantastic playground and the Diana memorial fountain that runs through the park, where they are encouraged to splash and play. Finding accommodation near Hyde Park so your little ones can learn about one of the most famous parts of London is easy—just think of the Shaftesbury hotel collection.
Find Paddington bear
Author Michael Bond first got the idea for Paddington bear one Christmas Eve, when he noticed a lonely teddy bear sitting on a shelf in Paddington Station. He bought it for his wife, and set about writing a story where the Brown family find a little-lost bear from darkest Peru, and name him Paddington. The books were so popular that even before the Hollywood film came out, there was a bronze statue of Paddington in the station. See if your children can find him!
Go for a horse ride at Hyde Park Stables
Hyde Park stables are one of London’s best-kept secrets, but if you book in advance you may be able to surprise your family with some horse riding in the park. Instructors will lead you, but the horses are used to the foot traffic and are unflappable. As a bonus, you find the stables via a tiny mews that holds some incredible secrets—not just the horses!
Take a GoBoat
Head to Paddington Basin to take on the water, steering you and your family expertly in a GoBoat. Stick around long enough to see the amazing kinetic bridges or play a game of giant Jenga before exploring the canals that turn this part of London into a place nicknamed ‘Little Venice.’ GoBoats is a recent addition to Merchant Square, so if you’re waiting to try one, you can always show the kids the water maze and the floating garden, both recently opened and ideally situated for anyone staying at any of the hotels in the Shaftesbury hotel collection.
Show your bookworms a new favourite place
Daunt Books can be found close to accommodation near Hyde Park on Marylebone High Street. It started as an independent bookshop but the man who started it has been appointed as top dog at the UK’s leading chain bookshop, Waterstones. The shop is not only beautiful, as it dates back to the Edwardian era, it has three floors of incredible books. If your family like nothing more than curling up on the sofa with a good read, they’ll adore spending an hour or two inside this haven for book lovers. With floor to ceiling books, fresh flowers, high ceilings and places to sit down, it’s perfect if you need some calming down after the excitement of the day.