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London

Tower Bridge
London has been one of the great cities for millennia. In Roman times, London, Londinium, was the administrative center of Britannia. Down through the ages, despite plague, fires and war, like the ebb and flow of the Thames, London is the continuity of Great Britain. As you travel through London with kids, it's like your own time machine.
London Photo Album
 

Tower of London

    The City – St. Paul's Cathedral
    Bloomsbury – British Museum
    Covent Garden
    Trafalgar Square
    Westminster Abbey – Buckingham Palace
    Hyde Park – Kensington Gardens
   

Regent's Park – Sherlock Holmes Museum

    Southwark – Globe Theater
Greater London
  Greenwich
    Hampton Court Palace
    Windsor – Windsor Castle, Legoland
    Queen Elizabeth I in London – Read our blog post of favorite places to visit that recall the life and times of this extraordinary queen.
  Ride the London Underground – Get a 1, 3 days Travelcards or 7 day Oyster card, and ride the underground all day if you like. It is clean, well-run, and goes everywhere. As the train pulls into a station, you'll hear that announcement, "mind the gap." Adult and child Travelcards and Oyster cards include buses and trams within the zones of central London.
Kids riding the double decker bus London
  Ride the double decker buses – What better way to see London than riding up on the upper deck of a bright red double decker bus! Be sure to get a Travelcard or Oyster card so you don't have to calculate the bus fare and purchase tickets for each ride you take.
    Boat rides on the Thames – The Thames has always been a great way to travel. A boat ride on the Thames isn't just for sightseeing, it's a speedy way to go between the London Eye and Tower of London. Or, with a day pass, you can hop-on and hop-off at sightseeing spots, as much as you like. Click here for more information on the stops and routes on the river.
   

Fun food

     

Try classic English afternoon teas or "cream teas" wherever you see them in shops. Scones, cakes and pastries are always a kid favorite. For a splurge afternoon tea in a lovely setting, Claridge's Hotel is fun. A good substitute for the fancier afternoon tea is the Georgian Room or Food Hall at Harrods. Also, drop into Fortnum & Mason for tea and to buy elegant, unusual candies and chocolates. And for snacks, there are always chips (french fries).

   

Shopping

     

London is heaven for toys. Two big "musts" for shopping are Harrod’s (whole floor devoted to toys) and Hamleys, another famous toy department store.

family hotels london
Travel for Kids has so many fun things to do with kids in London, but you'll need a fun place to stay while on holiday.

Here's our own Travel for Kids hand-picked list of family hotels in London, all styles and price ranges, in neighborhoods that are comfortable for families, and near to places you'll want to explore:

London family hotels
London family apartment rentals
family tours london

Explore the fabulous Crown Jewels and secrets of the Tower of London, not just kings, princes, famous prisoners, but also the ravens and animals. Take a two hour tour with stories and games for kids and parents together:

    Secrets of the Tower of London
 

Step into the shoes of a real Scotland Yard detective and solve a murder case using all the modern scientific techniques: finger and foot-prints, fake blood tests and many more. An unforgettable experience for the whole family, where everyone gets to be a hero!

Detective for a Day
family travel tools london

Make life easy with a London Pass, an all-one-card for the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Globe Theatre, Hampton Court Palace, Windsor Castle, and many more, plus free Thames or canal boat cruise, and Oyster Travelcard for unlimited rides on the underground and buses. Savings and no waiting in lines:

The London Pass

So many things to see and do in London, the Original Tour makes it a snap. Hop on and hop off the double decker buses at any of 80 well-marked stops (such as Big Ben, the London Eye, Hyde Park, Trafalgar Square), with 3 different routes, engaging kids' commentary and activity pack, and a free cruise down the Thames River.

London Hop On Hop Off Bus
kids books london england
     
This is London kids  

Take a trip through London, old and new – the smallest church St. Ethelburga, Piccadilly Circus, Guardsmen in front of Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, tea time at four, Tower of London, the Underground trains, mummies in the British Museum, the Old Curiosity Shop, and more. Whimsical illustrations capture the panorama and fun of London, this is a classic. (Picture book)

 

     
The Case of the Missing Moonstone
Jordan Stratford, Kelly Murphy

Sparkling mystery adventure of The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency with clever girls Ada Byron and Mary Godwin, aided by youthful Charles (Dickens) and Peebs (Percy Bysshe Shelly). Original and fun run around London. (Chapter book)

And don't miss the next adventure: The Case of the Girl in Grey

 

 
case of the missing moonstone wollstonecraft detective agency
     
London Calls!  
London Calls!
Gabby Dawnay, Alex Barrow

"Big Ben is chiming; it's a quarter to eight and London is calling, we mustn't be late." Take a charming tour around London, past lions and palaces, zoom on the tube, spot the Gherkin, Prince William's favorite teatime cake, and more. Irresistible illustrations! (Picture book)

 

     
William Shakespeare: His Life and Times
Kristen McDermott, Ari Berk

Step into Shakespeare's world in London. Inside are Shakespeare's own letters, play bills, diagram of the Globe theatre, colorful drawings, maps, and more. Like a long lost scrapbook, open the life and times of 16th century London. Good for older kids. (Activity book)

 

 
William Shakespeare: His Life and Times kids london
     
The Time Thief london fantasy adventure kids  
The Time Thief
Linda Buckley-Archer

In The Time Travelers, Peter and Kate ended up in 18th century England, but now Kate has returned to the 21st century, accompanied by the villainous Tar Man, while Peter is stranded in the past. The Tar Man cuts quite a scene in contemporary London, wearing a three-cornered hat and black cape, galloping on a horse with the police hot of his trail. A dashing, spirited adventure that crisscrosses London past and present. (Chapter book)

 

     
Prisoners in the Palace
Michaela MacColl

Mystery adventures of Liza Hastings, lady's maid to Princess Victoria in Kensington Palace. Based on real historical events, the girls outwit evil Sir John Conroy, who wants to take control of Victoria, the future Queen of England. (Chapter book)

 

 
mystery queen victoria london kids Prisoners in the Palace
     
A Ghost Tale for Christmas Time charles dickens kids london
 

Annie and Jack are whirled back in time to Victorian London, and their quest is to find Charles Dickens. Almost arrested as thieves, how can they help the most popular writer in England? (Easy reader)

And don't miss the non-fiction companion book, Rags and Riches: Kids in the Time of Charles Dickens

 

     
Oliver Twist
Charles Dickens, Les Martin

Adapation of the classic story, Oliver Twist runs away from the orphanage to London. Tired and hungry, he falls into the clutches of the 'artful Dodger,' and the master thief, Fagin. (Easy reader)

Older kids will also enjoy this illustrated abridged version: Oliver Twist

 

 
Oliver Twist easy reader kids london
     
adventure kids great britain Two Crafty Criminals
 

The New Cut Gang detectives (boys and girls) are keeping watch in London, as they track down the crook who's passing counterfeit coins in the neighborhood and find who stole all the silver from the Gasworks. Original, funny adventures by Philip Pullman. (Chapter book)

 

   

If Sherlock Holmes had a younger sister, here she is, Enola Holmes, a spirited, independent teenager, with a new case in London. Lady Cecily has disappeared – did she elope, was she kidnapped, or was she mesmerized? Enola adopts the perfect disguises to solve the case. (Chapter book)

 

 
The Case of the Left-Handed Lady mystery kids london
     
mira's diary bombs over london  

Mira time travels back to 1917 London, where suffragettes protest votes for women and German zepplins bomb the city. Searching for a spy's briefcase, Mira meets H.G. Wells, Beatrix Potter, and gets help from Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes. (Illustrated chapter book)

 

     

For Ted and his sister Kate, their favorite thing to do in London is “fly the Eye,” ride the giant ferris wheel. But when they take their cousin Salim to the London Eye, he disappears without a trace. Ted and Kate follow a trail of clues all over the city to find Salim, before it’s too late. (Chapter book)

 

 
The London Eye Mystery
     
katie in london  
Katie in London
James Mayhew

When Katie and her brother visit London, they meet a talking lion at Trafalgar Square. Climbing on his back, "Hold on tight," the lion whisks the children to see the sights in London. Fun for younger kids. (Picture book)

 

     

Delightful adventures of Dodsworth and his friend the duck, when they visit London. Mistaken for the Royal Duck, the duck entertains the queen at Buckingham Palace. (Picture book)

 

 
Dodsworth in London childrens books toddlers
     
a bear called paddington
 

You can't go to the Paddington train station in London, ride the escalators in the underground, or eat sticky cream and jam buns, without wondering if, you too, will run into that delightful "bear from Darkest Peru." This is a classic! (Chapter book)

Also, a picture book version, charmingly illustrated: Paddington

 

     
Stickyscapes London
Robert Samuel Hanson

Fold out multipage cityscapes, one present day, the other historical London, and use 100 different reusable stickers to create scenes with William & Kate, Sherlock Holmes, Queen Elizabeth I, Charles Dickens, Peter Pan, double decker buses, black cab, crown jewels, ravens of the Tower, and more. (Activity book)

 

 
     
london city trails  
London City Trails
Lonely Planet Kids

Nineteen different wild and wacky trails through London (but some you can't follow, unless with a jet pack or access to Bank of England vault) – glittering treasure, wild animals, mysteries and legends, surprising food, secret rivers, noisiest spots, unusual fashion, monster tales, and more. (Illustrated chapter book)

 

     
London Adventure Walks
Becky Jones & Claire Lewis

Themed walks in London: Kings and Queens, London's Great Palaces, Paddington Bear, Peter Pan, Charles Dickens, Shakeapeare's City, Landmark London, and more. 25 different walks, each accompanied with history, useful information, insider secrets, lovely drawings and photos. (Guidebook)

 

 
London Adventure Walks family guidebook
     
 
WiKIDly Awesome Travels London
Miranda McPhee, Suzanne Lifson

Bring this travel journal on your visit to London – draw favorite landmarks, check off what you see in Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, try British food such as crumpets or bangers and mash, plus history and quizzes about famous London sights. (Activity book)

 

     
London Unlocked
Emily Kerr, Joshua Perry, Katherine Hardy

One of our favorite kids' guidebooks for London. It has it all. Where else can you find the world's smallest police station, play I-spy in the sky, swim with swans, drive a tube train, sleep on a pirate ship, walk under the Thames, and tons more. (Guidebook)

 

 
London Unlocked kids guidebook
     
not for parents london  

Not a guidebook, this is filled with fascinating people, places and history of London – ghosts of Westminster Abbey, punk chic, who are the Windsors, creepy Victorian London, Banksy the original graffitti arist, mushy peas, beans on toast, and more. (Illustrated chapter book).

 

(More children's books on other London and England pages)
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