A Perfect Weekend in London
So here is our jam-packed itinery of all the things we love to do in London. We've tried to go for some of the more unusual hidden gems that don't always instantly spring to mind when thinking of London but are well worth a visit!
We've also looked at ways you can keep the cost of visiting attractions down so that you can save that money to splash out on somewhere really luxurious to stay like the family friendly Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington where both kids and grown-ups really are treated like royalty and customer service is excellent.
Being creatures of habit, we have lots of favourite things to do in London that have been tried and tested and that we never tire of re-visiting.
I thought of trying to summarise it all in one pic so here it is and then explanations of each further down. Now bear in mind that the kids always tease me about my drawings as I'm not exactly great with artwork but I've given it my best shot.
The London Eye
I will start with a 'not so hidden' gem of London. The kids adore the London Eye and have been a couple of times already but we've never been able to see the London Eye at night as we always need to get them home for bedtime. If we were staying in London, then the London Eye at night is a must to see what London looks like after dark. After going up the Eiffel Tower at night, they are desperate to see London by night.
London Transport Museum
London is blessed with museums. Many of them are free but can get very busy. Whilst there is a charge for London Transport Museum, kids go free so it actually works out really good value for money.
We spent one hot sunny afternoon doing a Treasure Trail. We used the City of London Pudding Lane trail and whilst we had a special offer free download, they are very reasonably priced given the hours of entertainment they provide.
You will need to allow plenty of time for this and younger children might struggle with it, but for older kids, this is a fantastic way of learning and having fun whilst out and about.
This particular trail also takes you via St Dunstan in the East - This is like coming across a secret garden where it is hard to believe that such tranquillity and peace exists in the City of London.
Which is definitely worth a visit. Despite working very close by in the past, I had no idea that you can actually go up the monument. Extremely reasonably priced. Adults tickets are only £4 and children are £2.
Houses of Parliament
We've never actually visited with the kids before, but I remember having a work 'away day' visiting the Houses of Parliament. Whilst all the other teams seemed to be having fun doing den building, making rafts and all sorts of other exciting team building activities, our team had been lumbered with a (what I thought was going to be boring) visit to the Houses of Parliament.
Well I was totally blown away as I found it so fascinating. The place is steeped in so much history and interesting facts that I think the kids will really enjoy finding out about.
I'm not sure if these are included in the official tours because ours had been specially arranged but for me the highlights were seeing the stunning crypt and looking up at the face of Big Ben from the roof of the Houses of Parliament. It felt so magical with the Big Ben clock face shining so big and brightly - it felt so special it was like I was standing really close to the moon.
RIB London Voyages
Now if you're looking for a thrilling way to see lots of sights at high speed, then London by speedboat with RIB London Voyages is the thing to do. Ideal for all ages (even babies can go on this!) and utterly brilliant. We have actually become slightly addicted to this. You can read about our trips on RIB London here and here and here and then me and D went again here!
Save up your Tesco points and use them for RIB London Voyages tickets. One of our trips was on the RNLI fundraising day which RIB London Voyages did so the boat ride was free of charge and we gave a donation to the fantastic work of the RNLI instead so its worth keeping an eye out on their social media pages to find out about events like this too.
Poor Miss T is going to be visiting London regularly over the next few years with everything that's going on with her foot. We are hoping that the weekly Methotrexate injections and 2-weekly blood tests can be done locally but she will still need regular monitoring by Great Ormond Street hospital.
We've always tried to make the most of opportunities when visiting London. When J was first diagnosed with Aspergers we wanted to make a positive difference so we went up the BT tower for a charity photoshoot.
The Brilliant Chef's adventures, there are some definite foodie things on our list of things we'd love to do in London....
Cookery Courses for kids in London
We were very excited to see that Royal Garden Hotel can arrange Sharky and George activities for kids which include a cooking masterclass option!
We've also done a family cookery day at Waitrose Cookery school although that will take up a whole day of your weekend.
And for something very reasonably priced, L'Atalier des Chefs run kids cookery courses at certain times during the year. Having done a moroccan cookery class with them before, I was very impressed and would love to do the kids cookery session.
Whole Foods Kensington
Situated very close to Royal Garden Hotel, is Whole Foods store in Kensington. Be prepared to really have your senses stimulated in this busy store. You can find so many different foods and ingredients here that last time we visited, we only manged to see a fraction of the store. With a huge choice of all the latest trending healthy ingredients and superfoods, this is foodie-heaven! I'm pretty sure they would also have stocked some of the ethnic ingredients I need to find for Iranian cooking but we didn't have time to look last time we visited.
Top tip: You will want to buy everything in this store so if you have to limit yourself, don't leave without a cookie from the cookie bar. There was a good selection, they were only 50p each and they tasted great!
Park Terrace Restaurant
For the perfect evening meal, Park Terrace Restaurant situated within the Royal Garden Hotel, serves seasonal superbly presented dishes.
The Blue Lagoon and we also love Iranian cuisine and Iranian restaurants can also be found in Kensington.
Bocca Di Lupo
For a lunchtime meal, in between all the sights we'd be seeing we'd recommend Bocca Di Lupo situated in Soho. We've had an amazing meal there before which really opened our eyes about seeing just what Italian food is all about. No longer will we be satisfied with pizza and pasta when we've seen true regional italian cooking.
And so that I can keep dreaming about our perfect weekend in London, here is a Pinterest board of some of the things we love to do in London.
Follow Rebecca's board A Perfect Weekend in London on Pinterest.
Yes I'm afraid that we are all rather London obsessed in this family... Whilst looking through some old pics I found that it seems we've been obsessed with London for some time. Here is a colouring D did of the London eye a few years ago!
This is our entry into the Royal Garden Hotel competition. More details can be found here.
We have endeavoured to give accurate and correct information and prices and venues for the attractions mentioned. However as always please check any prices yourself.