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, making sure we still had time to sit and relax, drink tea and eat a cucumber sandwich or two! Below is my itinerary on exploring London in 4 days. I hope you find it helpful.
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 and that VIP feeling – yippee)!
The Oyster Card allows you access to the London underground (aka the tube) and bus. You simply tap on and tap off. Children under 11 don’t need a card and whatever the value is remaining on your card; 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 was a worthwhile option for us, I wrote up a list of where we wanted to go and 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 it to make entry to London’s major attractions hassle free. My only recommendation is that 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 here).
Day One of London in 4 days
We arrived into Heathrow Terminal 4 and hopped on the Piccadilly line using our Oyster card to easily 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.
A central location and clean and tidy home, the cottage was within walking distance to Knightsbridge where we regularly stocked up on groceries at Waitrose and of course is the home to the famous Harrods as well as Harvey Nichols. Harvey Nichols has a fabulous food court on its top floor, which serves freshly made sandwiches, salads, sushi, pasta and gourmet provisions. Concerned regarding the lack of healthy snack options in central London, I bought a compartmented lunch box to take on our day trips which I filled with fresh berries, my beloved shreddies (these lattices of wholegrain wheat bring back sweet childhood memories), nuts, crackers and muesli bars to ensure there was always food on hand to fuel my children’s constant hunger.
High tea in London: The Orangery
After settling into our home, our children delighted at our first excursion – catching a 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. We chose The Orangery as it was close to our home and set in a park which meant afterward the girls could have a run around as we wondered through the beautiful topiary gardens.
The tea was plentiful. My only criticism was that I forgot to present my London Pass to receive a discount off the bill. Silly me!
Dinner One of London in 4 days: Deliveroo
Whilst in Knightsbridge, we spotted a bicycle with a large delivery box attached to its bike rack titled “Deliveroo“. Being from Australia I was intrigued with the name and googled it to delight in finding a company where you can order high-quality food, online, from top London restaurants. For a nominal £2 the food is quickly delivered via bicycle to your home (or hotel room). And after a long day of travelling, sightseeing and more to come, it was just what the doctor ordered.