Children’s books about London – books our kids have tried and tested!

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Getting kids excited to go on a trip isn’t difficult is it? But getting them to understand a little about where you’re going can also help build excitement in a different way.

When I home educated my kids we’d always search out books about the places we’d be visiting. It was an easy win for us to prepare them, get them started on something we might learn about there and enjoy a new book too! When we visited London one time our day was taken over by visiting and learning about an Egyptian obelisk (on Embankment) my daughter read about once – I’d never have thought about it otherwise!

We’ve personal experience of all of the kids books about London on this page from our various trips as a family to England’s capital city and each one has been remembered fondly!

If you’re travelling to London with your family read on for some ideas to get your kids excited about your upcoming trip with some books about the city!

This post was first written in 2016 (!) and has ben updated fully in 2023 – the London books are still fondly remembered, even though we’re all a little older now!

image of two children in London with The London Eye in the background
My two in London – each trip we learned something new and books were a big part of helping that happen!

My favourite children’s books set in London

So I’m definitely a big believer of getting the kids learning about the places we travel to way before we even arrive.  There’s nothing better than them recognising a monument, or museum piece because of a book they saw!  

I thought it would be nice to share our favourite children’s books set in London that we have enjoyed over the years. There are some options for all ages.

Children’s Picture books set in London

Katie In London

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We love the Katie books and were really happy to see they had one set in London.  Katie In London tells the story as she travels with her Grandma to London and having great adventures while she’s there with the lions of Trafalgar Square.
If you’re planning a trip to any of the London museums with your kids you’ll love the series.  There are books about the National Gallery and the Natural History museum  so if you have some dinosaur lovers then Katie and the Dinosaurs is also a great book. In fact the whole series is fab!

See more about the Katie series here

This is London

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Part of a series of classic books about cities around the world, This is London takes us on a journey around the city, talking about the buildings and sights to see.  The book was first written in 1959 so has a beautiful vintage feel, but is still entertaining to this day.

If you’re traveling to other parts of Europe there’s a few others you might like too such as Paris.

Check out This Is London here

Madeline in London

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Madeline in London follows the little French girl, Madeline as she goes on a school trip with the nuns of her school to see the Queen in London.  It’s a lovely series of books, with beautiful illustrations and wonderful rhymes adding a great feel to the story.

Check out Madeline in London here

A Walk in London

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Go on A Walk in London with this lovely picture book.  Showing many of the the sights that you’d see on your own walks round London this picture book is great for all sorts of age ranges of kids.

Check out latest price of A walk in London here

Paddington at the Palace

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Who doesn’t love Paddington?  Especially after the recent films. The lovely bear from Peru who was found at Paddington Station with just marmalade to eat is an endearing story (and for older kids, see below for the chapter book) Paddington at the Palace is a picture book showing Paddington on a trip to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guards.

Since Paddington is based in London (you must visit the statue at Paddington Station) there’s a few books that are similar and have tales about some of London’s sights. You might like the London Treasury book which has a few stories in one edition.

Check out Paddington at the Palace here

Non Fiction children’s books about London

London Children’s Map

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This London Children’s Map really helps kids plan and see what’s happening on their trip.  With stickers to add to the map, including saying where they slept etc, it’s a really fun angle to give kids to create a memorable trip. It might be one to keep for on the plane to keep them busy on the journey!

Check out latest prices and reviews for this map here

The Story of London

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This is the book I mentioned earlier. We read it before we headed to London for a day trip a few years ago and it helped us decide on the best sights to see for the kids.  They read about and wanted to see Cleopatra’s Needle – I’d have probably overlooked the sight, but they loved it!  Taking ownership of the trip was great for them.

The Story of London takes you through the history of London with great pictures and stories. I’d say suitable from about age 5-10 (approximately KS1-KS2)

Check out latest prices and reviews for this book here

Horrible Histories – London

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I love the Horrible Histories series (as do the kids!) and it’s perfect for learning about all sorts of historical periods.  This one concentrates on the location of London and the history of the city from the kings and queens to facts about the city during both world wars.  The style is great for older kids as it doesn’t hold back on gruesome details, but always tells it in a fun way.

More visual learners might like the new edition which is designed like a newspaper / comic.

Check out Horrible Histories – London here

William Shakespeare & the Globe

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Although a picture book William Shakespeare & the Globe is aimed at older kids (8+ or KS2) and goes through the life of William Shakespeare and also the Globe theatre in London.  If you have plans to visit this amazing site in London with your kids (they do family friendly tours) then a bit of child friendly background about Shakespeare is a good idea!

Check out William Shakespeare and the Globe here

Chapter Books set in London

Perfect for older kids and teens visiting London

Paddington

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A Bear Called Paddington is the original story about Paddington bear.  This is a short chapter book suitable for younger independent readers or it would also make a nice bedtime story.

Check out the original Paddington book here

Peter Pan

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Peter Pan is a classic, set in London in Victorian times, and a great bedtime story for the lead up to your trip to London – we listened to this audio book version read by Jim Dale and can highly recommend that.  Maybe one for the journey?

Check out the Peter Pan audio book here

Harry Potter

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The brilliant Harry Potter Series begins with some iconic scenes in London as Harry takes his first trip on the Hogwarts Express from Kings Cross Station.  How fab would it be when after reading this you visit the real Kings Cross Station’s platform 9 and 3/4??  Yes it does exist!  The illustrated version here is brilliant and will help bring the book to life!

Check out the illustrated Harry Potter book here

London Eye Mystery

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If you have independent readers who like a bit of mystery then maybe this book will whet their appetite to see more of what London has to offer.  The London Eye Mystery is great for older children and receives great reviews.

Check out latest prices and reviews for this book here

Have you any favourite kids books about London that I have missed?  I’d love to know about them!

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Kirsty Bartholomew

Kirsty has been getting lost around the world for over 30 years and writing about it for 10 of those. She loves to help people explore her favourite places in Scotland, England and beyond. She cannot stay away from historical sites.

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