4 days in London with kids
I’m going to tell you the truth London has never been on my list of must-visit cities, just the idea that the weather is not great and it rains all the time has put me off of going this whole time. When we decided to stop for 4 days here (read why we’re traveling here) I wasn’t very excited and when it came time to pack I was downright miserable having to pack warmer clothes just for those few days, but boy I was wrong! I loved every minute of being in London and can’t wait to go back. It is beautiful and so full of life. There’s secret beauty in every corner and so much to explore.
This is our whole itinerary, the first thing you will need to do is get an Oyster card at any Underground station to access the tube and buses.
Day 1, Friday
We got there at 12:30 pm local time (4:30 am California time) and after going through customs, getting our bags, and getting to our hotel it was already 3 pm. We took a short nap, the adults because the kids had napped in the taxi, took showers and went exploring. The best way to beat jet lag is to tire the kids out enough for them to sleep through the night the first night and after that, you’re set. Though, Itai fell asleep on us at some point for a quick nap when he couldn’t handle it anymore.
After having lunch close to the hotel we took the tube (you’ll need to get an oyster card, very easy to do at any Underground station) and went to Piccadilly Square and walked around. My brother in law lives in Barcelona with our 2 nieces so he decided to come to London to see us and we were going to get together outside m&ms world, right in front of that is a huge Lego store and my son is obsessed, so we spent a lot of time there while waiting.
When we met the rest of the family we walked a lot more until we got to the London eye, right outside there was a food and music festival called Underbelly going on, so we decided to stay there for dinner. My son ordered a grilled cheese at one of the booths and they looked at him like he had 3 heads, but he explained what it was and the made it for him. He ended the night by drinking rainwater coming down the side of a roof (insert barf emoji here)
We went back to the hotel (around 10:30 pm) and the kids fell asleep as soon as their head hit the pillow, they slept through the night and until 9:30 am the next day. We had a bit more trouble, both my husband and I were wide awake at 2:30 am and took a long time to fall asleep again…darn jet lag!
Day 2, Saturday
After breakfast we took the tube to the Natural History Museum and walked around there a bit to see the dinosaurs and birds, if you’re not interested in this you should just go in to see the building because it’s very impressive. Entry is by donation. After that we walked to Hyde Park and Kensington Garden, it’s a huge beautiful park, the Princess Diana memorial is there, but we didn’t go because it’s all shallow water and I knew my son was going to get soaked as soon as he saw the water. We made the mandatory ice cream stop you need to make with kids and, of course, a small playground stop. We walked towards a place in the park called the Italian Gardens, it’s gorgeous and we took about a million pictures there, there is one of all the cousins together that we’re for sure going to frame.
One thing to know about London is that there is not a lot of restrooms and the public ones are paid. At this point, we didn’t have any coins so we just went into a hotel and used the restroom there. The good thing about traveling with kids is that people won’t deny you a restroom when asking for the kids.
We took the tube towards Borough Market and walked through the London Bridge, my kids sang “London Bridge is falling down” the whole way, the looks we got, ha! We got to Borough Market and there were so many people you could barely walk, if you’re going to be there on a weekday I think it must be way better. We counted the kids so many times and held them very very close.
The food there all looked amazing so we decided to stay there for lunch. The kids ordered different pasta dishes, which the gobbled up so fast I couldn’t try, my husband and I shared some amazing fish and chips from Fish! Kitchen and a spelt and mushroom risotto from another booth nearby. They were both ridiculously good.
We walked around some more and I found a place to get an iced tea, I’m obsessed with iced green tea, it was called Bird and Blend Tea Co. And got a MojiTEA, it was so good I ended up buying some teabags for later.
After that we went to Covent Garden, it’s the most magical neighborhood I’ve ever seen, they also had floral installations everywhere for a couple of weeks only, they were amazing! After walking around some we found a small gathering place where street shows happened back to back. We had walked around so much we let the kids watch at least 3 shows and they loved every minute of it. While they were doing that with my brother in law we went to have something sweet and some coffee/tea.
We ended the day at Wagamama, an Asian/noodles restaurant, the food was really good and fair pricing. My kids had some soup with noodles and veggies and they loved it.
Day 3 Sunday
We started the day rushing to make our 11 am reservation to the London Eye, I recommend buying the tickets online to get better pricing and shorter lines. After that we walked to Westminster Abbey and saw Big Ben, unfortunately, it’s being fixed so it’s all covered in black with scaffolding, a little disappointing. We walked all the way to Buckingham Palace and through Green Park towards the Mayfair neighborhood because I made reservations for the girls at Sketch for afternoon tea.
We went to Sketch, because I needed to go to the all pink restaurant everyone is Instagramming from, during their Mayflower festival, which meant there were cool floral installations around the restaurant, but it was also more expensive because of that. I loved the experience and the gallery, the pink room, was adorable! The bathrooms are the coolest part, to be honest. The food was good but not great, overall the service was amazing!! And the ambiance was superb. The girls loved the experience and they all got a teddy bear at the end included with the child’s menu.
The boys went to Camden so that’s where we went to meet them, it’s an amazing street full of shops and galleries and small markets, pretty cool but at this point everyone was exhausted so we went back to the hotel and ate dinner around there.
Every day we walked around 16-17k steps, so when I say we were exhausted is no understatement.
Day 4, Monday
I had found the spot I wanted to do my first “Party on the go” the day before and my oldest niece was dying to help me with one so that morning the two of us went to buy a few things while the rest went to see the change of guard at Buckingham Palace. We got to Green Park and set up and shot the party.
My husband’s company has an office in London so we went there after to see it and have lunch, nothing beats free lunch in London…and yes, there’s free lunch, he works in Silicon Valley after all. The views from the rooftop were pretty great.
After that we walked to Carnaby st, I loved the signs, cool art, and colorful stores, definitely a great stop if you go to London.
We walked towards the Lego store (because obsessed little 4 year old that was the best at walking everywhere, he deserved a little time to play). We saw Chinatown on our way there and after the Lego store, we went to dinner at a place called Wasabi, decent sushi for very low prices.
We ended the day at a bakery for the last treat and off to the hotel to pack and get some rest for our flight the next day.
Hope you enjoyed reading what we did in London. I will be writing more posts about traveling with kids soon.