One Week London Itinerary with Kids

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Visiting London with kids is truly such a bucket list trip – there are so many amazing London activities for families! With so many options, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with picking and choosing, especially if you have a limited amount of time. It can be hard to figure out the best London itinerary with kids!

Now that we’ve been living in London with kids, we’ve had the opportunity to explore this incredible city more deeply – trying some new activities and returning to some again and again. This one week London itinerary gives all the highlights across London, included some unexpected stops along with all the top things to do in London.

I hope this London family itinerary is helpful and brings you lots of wonderful London experiences and memories!

Tips for Visiting London With Kids

London Transit with Kids

London public transit is excellent, and both the Tube and bus are efficient and extensive. The easiest way to pay is by using contactless payment with a credit card enabled with touch pay or using a digital wallet (like Apple Pay or Google Pay via phone or watch). Be sure to tap both in and out on the Tube with the same payment method, or you’ll be charged a much higher amount. (Buses only require you to tap in, but not out.)

Kids under 11 are free on London public transit (up to 4 kids with each paying adult). Just use the accessible entrance at Tube stations so they stay open longer, and have your younger kids walk through with you. For kids ages 11-15, it’s worthwhile to get an Oyster card with a Young Visitor discount. You can either purchase a visitor Oyster card prior to your visit (it will be shipped to you and you can take the card to a station manager upon arrival to add the youth discount), or you can purchase a regular Oyster when you arrive (and still take it to the station manager to add the discount).

Google Maps makes it easy to figure out which transit option is best – just click on the transit option to find the current fastest route. Go up to the front of the top on the bus for the best view and most fun.

One last note on arriving from the airport. If you’re flying into Heathrow, train will likely be the quickest and easiest option. Heathrow Express does a terrific job with marketing and is, indeed, quick, but is not always quickest and tends to be fairly expensive. Instead, check your Google Maps for a couple other options, including the Elizabeth line (like a regional rail) and the Piccadilly line (the Tube). Both options will be significantly cheaper than Heathrow Express and may, in fact, be faster. If you do just want to take a vehicle, Uber tends to be much cheaper than a black cab.

Other London Tips

If you don’t have a full week in London, see our 3 Day London Family Itinerary for the top highlights in a short amount of time.

If you’re traveling as a family to London and plan to visit at least two attractions on the list of Historic Royal Palaces, it may be worth it to get an annual pass. Or here’s a combined ticket for the 3 most popular ones.

For additional ideas about the best things to do in London with kids, see our Top 10 Must Do London Activities for Families.

I you are visiting London for Christmas, checkout these 10 Amazing FREE Things To Do in London at Christmas and The Best London Christmas Activities With Kids.

Best Places to Stay in London With Kids: Family-Friendly London

The top family-friendly London areas I’d recommend are South Kensington/Knightsbridge, Mayfair/Marylebone/Soho, and Westminster. Some of these areas sort of blend together, but they’re all great pockets that have lots to do (and eat!) and have excellent access to the rest of the city. These are perfect spots to stay in London with kids to be near the best things to do in London with kids. See this post for some great London accommodations options for each!

Where To Stay in London with Kids

What to Pack for a European Vacation: Minimal Packing Essentials for Families

Especially with a big family, it’s important for us to pack minimally so we don’t feel totally overwhelmed when we travel. Here are some of our favorite minimal packing essentials for families!

  • Merino Wool Base Layers, Socks, & Sweaters: Here are my favorite base layers to use as pajamas or to layer under clothing in cold weather. I also really love this stretchy merino silk v-neck under clothes or as a top, especially in warmer weather. All our favorite merino wool base layers and wool socks are linked HERE!
  • Diaper Belt Bag: I absolutely love this little bag because it holds so much but is really compact and easy to wear with a variety of outfits. You can use the code PASSPORTFAM10 for 10% off.
  • Packing Cubes: I love packing cubes for keeping things organized, contained, and compact. These are my favorite expandable packing cubes, and I also love these.
  • Lightweight Women’s Pants: I absolutely adore these pants for travel because they’re SO comfortable, fold super small, and dry in a flash. More about why I love them HERE.
  • Lightweight Packable Coat: I love this lightweight packable parka because it is really warm and good for layering, and folds into a bag a little bigger than a water bottle when not in use. My kids have also used these coats for years and they’re excellent because they fold up easily but are warm and layer well. They have a big line of them for the whole family.
  • Shoes: I often only take one pair of shoes – either my favorite white sneakers or my beloved black Chelsea boots. More about both shoes HERE. For my kids, we really love Keen shoes because they’re durable and waterproof. For summer, we love these sneakers or these close-toed hiking sandals. For winter, we love these boots.
  • 40L Backpack: I love this kids backpacking backpack because it’s roomy, easily fits in most carry on requirements on airplanes, and fits really comfortably. (My 6 year old uses the smaller 18L version, and my 3 year old uses the even smaller 12L version.)
  • Pop Up Tent Baby Bed: We’ve had this super lightweight baby travel bed for over a decade. We love it so much because it’s so lightweight and fits easily in a suitcase without having to take a bulky and heavy pack n play.
  • Lightweight Folding Baby Carrier; I absolutely love this baby carrier because it’s supportive but still lightweight and weighs about a pound.

For more packing ideas here’s what I packed for:

Where To Eat in London with Kids

While I’ve included a few specific places I recommend within the itinerary, here are a few other favorite spots to eat in London with kids. In general, I find London restaurants to be very kid-friendly; most restaurants will be extremely accommodating and almost all have things like high chairs available.

Pubs, in particular, tend to be really family-friendly. They’re quite different from US bars in that food is almost always served and kids are almost always welcomed (the exception being sometimes late in the evening). They also tend to be cosy and fun and have a great vibe, so I definitely recommend trying to eat at at least one while visiting London as a family.

Here are some other favorite spots that are delicious, affordable, and great with kids!

  • Dishoom – iconic Indian
  • Vasiniko – excellent pizza in a convenient location
  • Rovi – Mediterranean by the famous chef Yotam Ottolenghi – delish and just a bit more upscale
  • The Royal Oak pub
  • The Devonshire pub
  • Itsu – quick but yummy Asian-inspired chain
  • Pret a Manger – another chain good for a quick sandwich or snack
  • Borough Market – a must for wandering and to let everyone pick what they’d like
  • Cafe Murano
  • Wagamama – another quick chain that has decent food
  • Franco Manca – sourdough pizza chain
  • Marugame Udon
  • Honey & co falafel
  • Anglesea Arms pub

London with Kids Itinerary – 7 Days in London

Planning vacations to London is easy with a good itinerary. Now that we’ve lived in London for about 9 months, it’s fun to start sharing some more London family travel tips. It’s been a blast getting familiar with the neighborhoods across the city to find the best family-friendly activities in London! Here’s everything we’d recommend for one week in London with kids.

Family Trip to London – Day 1

  • Buckingham Palace Changing of the Guard
  • Walk through St. James Park – see animals at the lake, play at the playground
  • Early lunch
  • Younger Kids: Head to the Royal Mews
  • Teens/Adults: Churchill War Rooms
  • Westminster/Big Ben + Westminster Abbey
  • Optional: London Eye

So quintessentially British, it’s worth stopping over to see the very famous Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace, residence of the British monarch. Try to arrive by 10:00 am to get a good spot to watch. If this is a high priority for you, I highly recommend booking a guided tour – they’re excellent at finding the perfect spots for different parts of the ceremony, and will allow you to view much more than you’d be able to on your own.

Take a short stroll over to St. James Park. It’s a beautiful park to walk through and watch the animals at the lake. There’s also a wonderful playground if the kids need to run off some steam before grabbing an early lunch.

If you’re with younger kiddos, visiting the Royal Mews in London with kids offers an exciting glimpse into the historic stables and carriages used by the British Royal Family. Children love seeing the horses and the iconic Gold State Coach. The interactive displays and engaging guided tours ensure a fun and informative visit for the whole family.

If you’re traveling to London with older kiddos/teens/adults, head to the Churchill War Rooms. Visiting the Churchill War Rooms in London with kids provides the opportunity to be immersed in the secret underground bunker where Winston Churchill led Britain during WWII. Older kids will enjoy the interactive exhibits and original wartime artifacts, along with the museum’s hands-on activities and compelling stories.

Next, head over to Big Ben. It would be impossible to visit London without seeing the famous clock tower. While you can of course just walk around outside, touring the Parliament building (aka Westminster Palace, of which Big Ben is a part) is a great option. The audio tour is excellent, and includes a family-friendly option for kiddos. If you’re traveling with kids ages 11+, walking up Big Ben is another amazing option – you’ll have to book in advance and be online within about .2 seconds of them releasing tickets, but it’s worth trying. 🙂

Westminster Abbey is just down the street, as well, and is worth walking by. If you’d like to tour, now is a good time for it, or you can just see the outside (Evensong is free to enter but you must stay for the whole service – check here for times).

If you’d like to do the London Eye, now is a good time to head over to do that. I recommend booking your tickets in advance, though know that the experience is pricey.

One Week in London With Kids – Day 2

  • Natural History Museum/Science Museum/Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Lunch
  • Kensington Palace
  • Diana Playground
  • Stroll through Kensington Gardens & Hyde Park
  • Stop over to Portobello Market if you have time
  • Evening Option: Royal Albert Hall

Start day 2 in London with a museum morning! Three of our favorite kid-friendly museums are right in the South Kensington area: the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum. All three are excellent and worthwhile. Plus, they are all free to visit!

Hintze Hall in the Natural History Museum is worth a stop just to see the gorgeous hall, some of Mary Anning’s findings, and the blue whale suspended high above. The Science Museum‘s Wonder Lab requires a small fee and must be booked in advance, but is so fun for kiddos, and there are plenty of other amazing (and free) exhibits to explore, as well. The Victoria and Albert Museum focuses on applied & decorative arts, which may not seem the most fun with kiddos. BUT they have hugely entertaining family backpacks you can check out for FREE with wonderful activities to keep kids engaged and excited. They also have family-friendly games and digital guides on their website.

After the museum(s), grab lunch and then head to Kensington Palace. The audio guides are included with the cost of admission and are excellent, including and especially the kids’ version. Kids will love all the little activities they have inside, including some little toys like those enjoyed by Queen Victoria. The Princess Diana exhibit is dreamy with all her beautiful outfits, so this will be especially fun if you have some little fashionistas!

Tip: If you’re traveling as a family to London and plan to visit this and even one other attraction on the list of Historic Royal Palaces, it may be worth it to get an annual pass. Or here’s a combined ticket for the 3 most popular ones.

Next, head over to Diana Memorial Playground to run off some energy. The giant ship is iconic, and kids of all ages will love climbing, playing in sand, and exploring. In warm weather, the little water features are especially fun! Depending on how long you stay, consider grabbing a picnic while kids play – there are lots of nearby restaurants, and every little grocery will have “Meal Deals” that are easy to grab and go. After that, stroll through Kensington Gardens, which is a must-see for any London family trip. Be sure to stop at the Peter Pan statue, and pause to visit the parakeets who flock around you! My kids were mildly terrified at first but quickly found it was a delight. Consider crossing over to Hyde Park, as well; if it’s warm, it’s fun to rent a pedal boat or rowboat.

If you have time, visit the Portobello Market, one of the world’s largest antique and food markets. Children will love exploring the eclectic stalls filled with unique treasures, street food, and lively performances. A fun and memorable outing for the whole family.

If you’re looking for a classy way to spend the evening, consider visiting the Royal Albert Hall. One of the world’s most iconic concert venues, there’s always something exciting on the calendar, from classical music to contemporary shows.

London Trip Itinerary – Day 3

  • Tower of London
  • Sky Garden – free view
  • Walk across Tower Bridge to Borough Market for lunch
  • Walk by Globe Theater, possibly see a matinee performance with older kids
  • Walk back across Millennium Bridge to St. Paul’s Cathedral – consider going for Evensong

The Tower of London is such an iconic part of the city and is a must do on any London visit. Historic castle and former residence of many monarchs, you’ll love hearing the history of power and executions, as well as seeing the Crown Jewels. And playing knights and swords, of course. Be sure to make time to take a tour with a Yeoman Warder (aka Beefeater) – the Tower guards are knowledgeable and entertaining and a tour is included with your admission. Be sure to check the hours for the tours in advance.

Visiting the Sky Garden in London with kids offers breathtaking views of the city’s skyline from a public garden in the sky. Children will love exploring the lush indoor gardens and open-air terrace, providing a unique and exciting experience. The best part is that it’s totally free!

Next, walk across the Tower Bridge – free for pedestrians, but if you want to see the engine room or use the glass walkway, you have to purchase tickets. Have lunch at Borough Market, London’s premier food market, and explore the many stalls and stands. Keep your eye out for samples! Afterwards, consider popping into Southwark Cathedral to see the statue of Shakespeare.

Walk by the Globe Theater, an open-air theater celebrating Shakespeare’s work, Renaissance playwrights and more. Consider a matinee performance with older kids; you can purchase standing tickets for only £5, or seated spots for just a bit more.

Take the Millennium Bridge to cross back over the river and head to St. Paul’s Cathedral. Tickets are required to sightsee, but it’s a great opportunity to explore more fully, and kids will love climbing the dome. For a money-saving option, it’s free to attend a regular service, including Evensong.

One Week in London with Kids – Day 4

  • Transport Museum
  • Possibly National Gallery
  • Lunch – Vasiniko
  • Matinee of a West End show
  • Pub dinner

If you have a vehicle lover, the Transport Museum is a must. Adults will love some history on London’s various transportation systems, while little ones will be occupied for hours with all the wonderful, hands-on exhibits. It’s a dream for the toddler through elementary crowd!

If you’re up for a bit more museum-ing, the National Gallery in London with kids is a wonderful experience. There are interactive family trails and hands-on activities, making art accessible and fun. Plus, there are plenty of one of a kind, stunning masterpieces and it’s free! I love picking up a sticker book or even letting each child choose a postcard to find that artwork as a sort of scavenger hunt, and they love it! Try to keep your visit to under an hour to leave with everyone still enthusiastic.

Grab lunch at Vasiniko – it’s our favorite pizza in London! – and then take in a matinee of a West End show. Matilda, Wicked, Lion King, and Frozen are all great for younger kiddos, though note that shows generally require kids to be ages 4+.

End day 4 in London with a quintessential London pub dinner. Here are some recommendations for family-friendly pubs in Covent Garden.

Family Trip to London – Day 5

  • Kings Cross + Platform 9 3/4 if you have HP lovers
  • British Library Treasures exhibit
  • Postal Museum
  • Lunch
  • British Museum
  • Hamley’s
  • Afternoon tea

If you or your kids are Harry Potter fans, it’s definitely worth heading to Kings Cross to see Platform 9 3/4. It is almost always crowded, so be sure to be there by 8:00 am when it opens. Then head to British Library – a bit of a hidden gem in terms of tourist visitation. While it doesn’t often show up on must-see London spots, I think it’s an absolutely incredible stop with or without kids. Head into the Treasures Gallery even for half an hour and you’ll be rewarded with peeks at manuscripts like the original Magna Carta and ancient religious texts.

Next, make your way to the Postal Museum, which offers a unique and interactive exploration of Britain’s postal history. Kids will enjoy riding the underground Mail Rail train and engaging with lots of hands-on exhibits from sending mail through a working pneumatic tube and dressing up as postal workers through the ages. I recommend purchasing tickets in advance during busy seasons.

After that, head in to Admiralty’s pub for lunch, which serves Fuller’s Ale & Pies. My friend who lived in London told us these are the best pies in London and I can’t argue – they are fantastic!

Next head to one of the most iconic museums in the world: the British Museum. There are so many treasures there that it would be impossible to see them all, but they have multiple highlights tours so you can spend anywhere from half an hour to 6 months. I’d recommend keeping it brief (30-60 minutes) to see the incredible building and just a couple highlights before heading to your next stop. Be sure to see the original Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles (Parthenon sculptures). See if your kids know how and why they came to be in London, and if they think they should remain!

A visit to the world’s oldest and largest toy shop is a must on any London visit with kids. Even if you’re not interested in shopping, take a bit of time to browse around Hamley’s, watch the demonstrations, or get some ideas for the next birthday. Just be sure to set expectations around purchases and spending beforehand!

From there, relax and treat yourself to afternoon tea. Hear me out – afternoon tea isn’t just all stuffy and boring and keeping pinkies in the air! It was one of our kids’ very favorite activities during our first visit, and remains something they’ve chosen for every birthday since we’ve lived here. Most places will have herbal tea, hot chocolate, or juice options for little ones, and you’ll be able to enjoy a sit-down meal that’s also fun for kids. They’ll love the little sandwiches on bit towers, and of course the fancy desserts are most kids’ favorite part. Doing tea also has the advantage of being at a great time – I recommend going in late afternoon or even early evening (between 4-5pm) to have it count for an early dinner (it really is a full meal). Especially convenient with tired kiddos who need an early bedtime and can’t quite make it until most restaurants serve dinner!

Some of our favorite kid-friendly afternoon tea experiences include the Ampersand (both the dino tea and the science tea are so fun and have exciting interactive elements), the Dilly (the desserts shaped like iconic London landmarks are as delicious as they are beautiful), and Fortnum & Mason (fancier, but with unlimited refills, and free for kids under 4). Finally, if you want something really exquisite, try out tea at the Ritz – the Christmas tea is especially magical.

Visiting London With Kids – Days 6-7

For your last couple of days in London with kids, here are some other amazing day trips, either within the city but in areas further away from the center, in surrounding villages, or further afield via tour bus or train.

  • Hampton Court Palace: journey through royal history, complete with stunning gardens and the famous hedge maze.
  • HMS Belfast: board a historic warship to explore naval life during WWII. Consider adding on the Golden Hinde while there – it’s a quick but fun stop of a perfect replica of the ship that Sir Francis Drake used to circumnavigate the globe.
  • Canary Wharf: don’t miss the Museum of London Docklands, then head over to play at Victoria Park and eat delicious Bangladeshi food at Brick Lane.
  • Stonehenge + Bath: the perfect blend of ancient history and beautiful architecture. (Here’s my 1-day Bath itinerary, as well as a terrific one-day Bath & Stonehenge combined tour)
  • Windsor: see the stunning Windsor Castle and its rich history, watch the changing of the guard and explore the State Apartments. (For a quick jaunt around several amazing spots, here’s a great day tour of Windsor, Stonehenge, & Bath. Or a great Windsor & Eton audio tour that’s super affordable.)
  • Greenwich: start with the Maritime Museum and add in the Royal Observatory, Cutty Sark and Prime Meridian if you have time.
  • Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studios Tour: This is such an amazing thing to do if you have any Harry Potter lovers in your group. It’s absolutely incredible seeing the level of detail and artistry that went into the making of all the movies, and it’s really magical being on the actual sets. Book this one in advance as it frequently sells out, even during quieter seasons. HERE are a bunch of different tour options, many of which include transportation.



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