Top 5 tips for a kids day out in London

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We love going to the capital city so here’s my top tips for a kids day out in London!

We live about 150 miles from London and always used to feel incredibly jealous of our friends who lived closer and could take day trips in and take advantage of museums and educational days.  One day I decided I’d just go for it and try a day trip to London.  As my husband was at work it meant I had to go on my own with the kids.

A London day trip?  Really?  Yes, I could do this.  They were 10 & 11.  How hard could it be??

Actually, it was fairly easy.  Here are my top tips 😉

Fancy a kids day out in London?

1. Decide what is is important to see

Prepare the kids.  Knowledge is everything!  London is so full of interesting places to see.  You’d struggle to see everything in a week, so a kids day out in London is going to be extremely limiting.  We spent some time reading some books and deciding what was important for us to see.  They decided they wanted to see Cleopatra’s Needle after reading about it in a book so that was most important.  We were also spending the morning in a museum at an education morning so that took up some time too.  Making sure they know that they will not get to do everything is key to less dissappointment.

2. Check out how to get to where you are going

Will you need  to get public transport?  Can you walk?  Is it too far to walk with kids?  London is sprawling and often sights may be very far apart.  Taxi’s are good if you have unlimited funds, but as we do not we try to walk where we can.  This can be quite good if your route takes you past Big Ben and the London Eye though 🙂  The official website is good to check out your routes.

3. Concentrate on one museum at a time

The city is famous for its fantastic free museums and.  There are loads of free museums in London for kids and so it’s tempting to try and fit in as many as you can.  On a day trip to London this is a bad idea.  If you’re going to one of the bigger museums such as the Natural History Museum, then expect that to take up your entire day.  They are huge!  Alternatively seek out a smaller museum and take your time.  On our day trip we went to the museum at the Royal Institute, rented the audio guides and took in all we could without worrying about the time.

Kids day out in London at the royal Institute museum

learning about elements in the Royal Institute museum

4. Don’t underestimate what the kids will love

Who would have thought that walking along the embankment to find a specific monument would be what my kids would want to do most.  I could have dragged them to anywhere, but no, this is what they wanted to see.  They loved it and it gave them such a buzz to have seen something they’d read about.  I’d have walked right on by!  I could learn a lot from their enthusaism.

kids day out in london cleopatras needle

We made it!  Here are the kids sitting next to one of the bronze sphinxes next to Cleopatra’s Needle

And lastly

5.  Spending a penny is not cheap!

Take advantage of using the toilets when you are in museums or restaurants as if you wait and use them in the train and tube stations you’ll find that they cost!  They do tend to be clean so that’s not a problem, but when you’re a family and it’s costing 20p a time it can add up!  This may not be an issue if you are not as budget concious as I am (also known as being cheap!)


Oh ok, one more tip. Always make sure you know where your bus is leaving from and don’t leave it too late!  We had a pretty scary moment when we couldn’t find the coach station, it was getting late and dark!  Victoria coach station is still a little bit of a walk from the train station – learn from our mistake!  Luckily we just made it on to our coach to get home.  Phew!


Check out my post on kids books about London if you want to prepare your children for your day trip.  If you’re visiting London with teens here’s some tips for that.


If you’re looking to spend the night in London then do check out the site below for great deals on hotels!  (affiliate link – anything purchased after visiting helps keeps the site running at no extra cost to you) 

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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 explore the UK and Europe and has a particular penchant for historical sites.

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