January 16, 2019

3 Days in London: The Perfect London Itinerary with Kids



A few months ago, I took a little trip with my mom and Andy (my 5 year-old son) to celebrate her birthday. It was our first time in London, so we tried to pack as much activities as we could in just three days. My son was so excited to visit, especially to see Big Ben (because of his obsession with Peter Pan haha). Overall, I found our itinerary worked perfect for us and we were able to check out all the iconic sights. This itinerary is also kid-friendly and Andy approved.

Keep reading for my suggested 3-day itinerary in London along with other tips I picked up along the way and where to stay.

Where to Stay in London: The Montague On the Gardens



We stayed in the luxury boutique hotel, The Montague On the Gardens and absolutely loved it. It's located in the heart of Bloomsbury, which we found was perfectly central to all of our must-sees (always just a short Uber drive away and walking distance from the Tube (London's public transportation system).  The rooms are filled with English charm. There's also a chic Leopard Lounge Bar that plays live music at night and they have a great breakfast too! But my favorite part is that it's super kid-friendly. When we arrived, Andy received an adorable "Montague Passport" where he had to go on a scavenger hunt throughout the hotel. He also got to make his own "mocktail" at the Leopard Lounge. I'll be doing a separate blog post on the hotel, so stay tuned. In the meantime, I highly recommend this hotel if you're looking for the perfect base for exploring many of London's best known attractions.




LONDON PASS: 

If you're like me, and you like to jam pack as much sightseeing as you can during your trips, then you might want to consider the convenience of having a city pass. I always find that you end up saving money if you plan on visiting many sites. We used the London Pass and really enjoyed it. The London Pass provides entry to more than 80 London attractions, including the Tower of London, the Tower Bridge and Westminster Abbey. It also included a 1-day Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour, a Thames River cruise and discounts on broadway shows (which we took advantage of).

You can pick up your own London Pass here and download it on your phone.


DAY 1
Typically on the first day I arrive to a new destination, I try to take it slow (especially if traveling with kids). I save all the sight-seeing for the second day to ensure I have an early start. I'm glad I did, because instead of arriving at 10AM as scheduled, our flight was delayed and we didn't get to our hotel until 4PM!

Once we arrived, we took a quick shower, changed and got ready to enjoy some afternoon tea. We took an Uber from our hotel (approx. a 10 minute drive) to the Langham Hotel. The hotel offers Afternoon Tea at the Langham and has been serving tea for more than 150 years!



What I really liked is that they offer a special Children's Afternoon Tea. Andy enjoyed a jigsaw puzzle sandwich to un-piece and got to assemble a cake into the shape of a dog. He also got to wear his own chef hat and pick out a new book to take home from their curated library. He was definitely entertained while me and my mom enjoyed the most delicious tea and sandwiches.

The cost for children is £29.5 and £62 per person for High Tea.

After our afternoon tea, I of course had to make a quick stop to the Nails and Brows salon in London's Mayfair neighborhood. This is where Meghan Markle gets her eyebrows done (she opts for The Aubrey Brow). It was well worth the £50 and I was so happy with the results.

After my eyebrow makeover lol, we headed back to our hotel to get some rest for the next day.


DAY 2

Tower of London



We started our day around 10 AM by checking out the Tower of London, a historic castle founded in 1066. Andy's favorite part was seeing the Crown Jewels. It's also a few steps from the Tower Bridge and the River Thames. Be sure to opt for the audio tour.






Tower Bridge Exhibition 



After the Tower of London, next up was the Tower Bridge (also included in your London Pass).  It's about a 3 minute-walk--it's literally right there. It's the most iconic of all the London bridges and landmarks overall. There you'll get to learn about the history of the bridge, how it was built, but more excitingly is that you get to walk the glass floor walkway, which is 138 feet above the River Thames. Andy thought it was the coolest thing ever (that is of course, after he got over the fact that he wasn't going to fall).





River Thames Cruise



Once you're done exploring the Tower Bridge, you can walk on over to hop on the River Thames Cruise (you can use your London Pass). This river boat is one of the easiest ways to explore London and to get to Westminster from the Tower of London. We got off on the Westminster Pier, which basically left us right next to The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben along with other must-sees on our list like The London Eye and Westminster Abbey.

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

When you get off the river boat, you'll find yourself right next to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. The Houses of Parliament is where the politics in England takes place. I read that it's possible to go inside, but I recommend just taking a picture from the outside and heading on to your next stop. As of now, Big Ben is under construction so you're not able to go inside.

London Eye



After you're done taking pictures of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben you can cross the Westminster Bridge and head on over to the London Eye (about a 10 minute walk). You'll get a great view of the city from the top of this 443 foot tall ferris wheel. Standard tickets costs £25 for adults and £20 for children. This attraction is not included in the London Pass, so you'll might want to book online before you get there. You can get tickets here.

Westminster Abbey



Westminster Abbey is one of UK's most impressive churches and where several Royal Weddings have taken place. By the time we got there it was closing, so we couldn't go inside. So you might want to plan to arrive earlier. It's £20 to enter for adults and £9  for kids (ages 6-16). But this is also included in your London Pass.

You can click here to check out prices and entry times.



Quick Tip: If you're looking for souvenirs, there's a cute souvenir shop right next to the Westminster Abbey (it's fairly inexpensive). I ended up bringing back tea for friends and family and also picked up a Paddington Bear  stuffed animal and book for Andy (a must, if you're in London).

Catch a Broadway Show

If you're up for it, you can also catch a broadway show in London's West End. Most productions start at 7:30 pm. We ended up seeing Wicked. It was my second time watching it. There's also other kid-friendly shows like Aladdin and The Lion King. I would only recommend this depending how tired you're feeling. My mom ended up falling asleep during the show haha.

After the show we grabbed dinner and headed back to our hotel to rest up for the next day.


Day 3: 

Buckingham Palace



No trip to London would be complete without a visit to Buckingham Palace, the residence of Her Majesty The Queen.  I recommend you check out their website to find out what time the changing of the guards will be taking place. You can check out the times HERE. Kids will love it! When we got there the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace was cancelled that day, but instead they directed us to the Horse Guards Parade at Whitehall (a short 6 minute walk) where they have a Changing of The Queen's Life Guard. It was so amazing to catch a glimpse of British tradition.




The Household Cavalry Museum at Horse Guards in Whitehall



Since we were already at Horse Guards, we decided to check out the Household Cavalry Museum, since it was included in our London Pass. It's a military museum (fairly small), but kids get to dress up in traditional British military outfits. 





Walk Around St. James Park



After the museum, we took a walk through St. James Park. It was nice to walk around, enjoy the scenery and take some pictures. Next up, we took the Hop-On-Hop Off Bus and headed to Kensington Palace.






Kensington Palace



Kensington Palace is the home to William and Kate. It's also the home to Kensington Gardens. You can purchase tickets to explore the rooms inside, but we decided to just to stroll around the park. Andy loved running around.


Borough Market



When it's time for lunch  you can head on over to The Borough Market, the city's largest and oldest food markets. We took an Uber to save time. It's packed with tourists and locals alike. I was seriously in foodie heaven here! It's filled with artisan traders and more than 100 stalls filled with gourmet food. I ended up eating at a stall called Luxury Flats. They serve the most delicious flatbreads stuffed with everything from fresh crisp salad, koji fried chicken, fennel kimchi and other deliciousness. Be sure to check them out if you're there.

After our exciting day, we headed back to our hotel and decided to grab dinner there.  It was so nice to hang out at the Leopard Lounge and listen to some live music and take it all in.

I hope this itinerary helps when you decide to plan your own trip to London. We can't wait to be back.   If you have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment below or shoot me an email to carmen@vivafashionblog.com.

Happy Travels!
















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