I absolutely love London. It is my home town, but with only 4 nights up our sleeve, I was overwhelmed when I looked at the list of everything we wanted to see and do in the limited time we had available. In creating an itinerary, I still wanted to make sure the family had time to sit and relax, drink tea and eat a cucumber sandwich or two!
This post forms part of a series of spending 4 days in London. It is an itinerary designed especially for travelling to London with children.
Day 1 covers the London logistics: the London Pass, Oyster Card, Hop On – Hop off bus and most importantly, where to have high tea.
Before you get to London: the London Pass
I love it when things are easy. So before we arrived in London I decided to purchase the London Pass with a preloaded £25 Oyster card.
The London Pass allows you entry into most of the major London attractions without the hassle of paying at the venue and at some of the attractions, fast pass access (meaning no queues).
Children under 11 don’t need an Oyster Card and if you have any value remaining on your card at the end of your holiday; you can claim a refund on your departure (less a nominal administrative charge). Or, you can do as I did and keep your card for your next visit to London (any excuse to return)!
In order to calculate whether the London Pass is a worthwhile option, I suggest you write up a list of where you want to go including the cost of paying at each attraction versus the cost of the Pass.
In our case, it was the same if not slightly cheaper than paying at each attraction so we opted to buy the Pass to make entry to London’s major attractions hassle free.
Important note: if you don’t live in Europe allow enough time before your trip to have it posted to your home (I bought ours at the last minute so luckily have relatives in the Netherlands so had it posted there).
Day 1 in London
We arrived into Heathrow Terminal 4 and hopped on the Piccadilly line using our Oyster card to tag on and off the tube.
Within half an hour we were in central London and into a London Cab to our home for the next 4 days – the Prince of Wales Cottage located just inside the gates of Hyde Park.
Yes you read correctly, inside the gates of Hyde Park – we were neighbours to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – a lucky find care of Air BnB.
The cottage was within walking distance to Knightsbridge where we regularly stocked up on groceries at Waitrose’s. Knightsbridge is of course home to the famous Harrods as well as Harvey Nichols. Harvey Nics has a fabulous top storey food market, which serves freshly made sandwiches, salads, sushi, pasta and gourmet provisions. We found this food emporium handy to fill up our girls lunchboxes with healthy, eat on the go snacks. I am not sure about your children however; mine seem to be constantly hungry!
High tea in London: The Orangery
After settling into our home, our children delighted at our first excursion. This was to catch a red double decker bus along South Kensington Road to the entrance of Kensington Gardens. Here we meandered through the beautiful formal gardens to The Orangery for high tea.
London has numerous options for high teas, many catering for children including Claridges, The Ritz, the Dorchester and the Grosvenor. Go London gives you a good range of different high tea options so you can choose one which suits your location, budget and taste.
High tea at The Orangery was plentiful. The only mistake was that I forgot to present my London Pass to receive a discount off the bill.
Dinner in London: Deliveroo
Whilst in Knightsbridge, we spotted a “Deliveroo” bicycle. Having a meal delivered to our home after a long day of travelling and with a busy schedule ahead, was a perfect end to the day.
Books to inspire your trip to London
City guides available from Booktopia, one of Australia’s largest online book shops are a great inspiration to help you further plan your trip and handy to carry when you travel.
My girls loved the Sasek classic – This is London and the Pop Up Book Discover Paddington’s London. Click here to view the complete range of books available to help you plan your trip to the UK.
Thank you for reading. If you have any further tips for travel in London I would love to hear them. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments below or email me directly. Sonja
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