London is a great place to enjoy a mini-break with friends, family or just to spend some time together as a couple. The perfect time to get away to this wonderful city is around a week, as there is lots to see and do but you don’t want to tire yourself out!
Also, because there’s so much for you to entertain you it’s good to save some activities behind so you can look forward to coming back to London time and time again. It’s one place that won’t disappoint you for things to do, whether you take in the sights or explore the theatre, bars, arts and food in the city.
It’s widely known that London is also one of the most expensive cities in Great Britain, but you can still visit it and do lots of things with your family if you’re on a bit of a budget.
Many of the famous attractions of the city are free and you can go on a journey of discovery by going on lots of walking tours. This is particularly easy in the summer when the weather is better and there are lots of events that you can attend outdoors without having to pay.
London is a perfect place for you to take your whole family and we’ve outlined a bunch of things that you can do to start your holiday itinerary.
As London is such a popular destination, it means that it’s a particularly easy place to get to. You’ll find that lots of airlines have copious flights available at all times of the year, covering a range of prices to suit everyone’s pocket.
However, if you’re looking to bag yourself a real bargain, we recommend that you book to go out of season. Everyone knows that flights are more expensive at peak times of year – such as summer and at Christmas time – but this means that there are lots of months left for you to have the same great holiday at a better rate.
September is still warm in the city, so you will be able to enjoy the last of the summer sunshine. Similarly, Easter is a lovely time to visit London, as there are lots of spring events and although there might be April showers, they won’t do anything to damp your holiday.
October and November are great times to visit too if you’re fond of vacations during colder months. You should know that London venues put on a big fuss for Hallowe’en every year, so you’re sure to find something you and the kids will love.
Shopping around for flights in plenty of time is also a good way to get a great rate – don’t forget to do the same if you’re travelling by rail, especially as Virgin often have highly discounted sales!
The Shaftesbury collection has a wide variety of family hotels in London that are full of all the amenities you need when you’re travelling with your kids.
Similarly, we have lots of high-quality accommodations in London that have been created with every possible budget in mind. We’re sure that you’ll be able to find a hotel in our range that has everything you need at the right price.
You’ll find that we have hotels in great locations too, as we have several close to mainline train stations like Paddington and nearby famous landmarks, such as Hyde Park.
We also employ highly experienced and knowledgeable staff who will be able to supply you with extra blankets, cots for your baby and other items that you may need to keep you and the kids comfortable at all times.
Getting around London needn’t be expensive at all. It’s really easy to keep this part of your trip affordable, even if you’re travelling with lots of children.
Although trains can be difficult to negotiate, one of the easiest ways for you all to get around in the city is definitely on the London Underground, or the Tube, as it’s more commonly known.
The Tube isn’t like other trains, as you can plan ahead to your own schedule because the different lines run every few minutes so you don’t need to keep to a timetable. Also, several of the stations are serviced by lifts and some are even on street level – these are referred as having step-free access, making them perfect for those who require wheelchair access. It’s also a big help if you have young children in prams or strollers. You can find out which ones have street-level access by looking online at the Underground map, or by picking one up in any of the stations when you get to the city.
Black cabs can be a really fun way to see London, as all of the cabbies have to take a comprehensive test of the streets and lanes to make sure they know the city perfectly. They’re basically better than any sat nav, and they’ll throw in some great conversation too!
You can take tours in black cabs, which is perfect if you want something private but this is the most expensive way to see the city. That being said, it’s a truly authentic way to appreciate London, so we’d certainly encourage it if your budget allows!
On the other hand, if you’re a more health conscious family then you should take advantage of the bike hire in London. All over the city, you’ll find bicycles that you can rent for any amount of time and for a great price. You can also leave these bikes at any official stand – you’ll find all the details you need at each designated area, you can’t miss them!
Don’t forget that walking around London is also immensely pleasurable, particularly if the weather is good. There are lots of parks to enjoy, or you can just go exploring along the length of the Thames.
There are also great walking tours, and some even have themes! If you and the kids are big Harry Potter fans, you’re sure to love the Muggle Walking Tour, which takes you to all the places that were used for filming in London.
Sightseeing for free
As we mentioned earlier, you can see lots of famous landmarks and sights in London for free, which certainly makes them appealing regardless of budget!
Walking around, you can discover many wonders of the city. Take yourself to Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace to get some great holiday snaps. Trafalgar Square is always great, but we highly recommend taking some festive pictures there when the Christmas tree arrives.
There are lots of markets in London too that are great for browsing and you can usually haggle yourself a bargain at the one on Portobello Road in Notting Hill.
But, the best things is that most of the museums and galleries are free, so you can enjoy wonderful history and art for absolutely nothing!
Spend hours browsing through the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and the Tate Modern, among others. All of these are free to enter, although they will have special exhibitions from time to time that will require a paid ticket, but you can check their relevant websites for the accurate information.