Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Travel to London with Kids {Part 1}

This post is LONG overdue. If you follow us on social media you know that last fall we took a big family trip to London and Paris and I'm finally getting around to sharing about it on the blog!  Our kids get a week off of school every September and when we originally started discussing options for a fall break trip none of them were overly excited about going to Europe.  Not to say they didn't want to go, but they are at the age where they want to do things with their friends and if everyone else is going to the beach, well they want to go to the beach, too.  Ultimately, the Mr. and I decided that this was one of those things we just had to decide to do because it was something they would appreciate down the road and boy are we ever happy that was made the decision.  We had the best trip and the kids loved it! 

We figured London would be a great first experience for European travel since there wouldn't be a language barrier and we could get an easy direct flight.   The Mr. made all of our flight and hotel arrangements using points when we could and I spent several weeks researching and planning our trip. We knew we didn't want to overdo it so I planned for one to two activities a day so we could have plenty of downtime to explore the city and see where the day took us! During my planning I was overwhelmed at times because there is just SO much to see and do, but I really tried to pick attractions that I knew all of us could enjoy. 

Day 1 : Arrival in London, Explore Hyde Park, Double Decker Bus Tour 

We left Atlanta on a Friday night and were geared up for the long flight. The kids thought it was fun to get actual meals on the plane (a first for them!) and they loved the fancy LED lights of our Virgin Atlantic flight. 

Since we flew overnight and arrived in London first thing in the morning we got a very little rest on the plane. However, we knew we had to power through and make the most of our first day.  We jumped right into it by taking the train to the closest station near our hotel. 

We dropped our bags, freshened up a bit in the hotel lobby bathroom and then set off to explore.  

We grabbed a traditional lunch at a nearby pub since our hotel was right across the street from Hyde Park so we explored there a bit. 

We finally made our way to the Hop-on Hop-off Big Bus Tour.  All the travel sites I had read said this was the best way to spend your first day and a great way to get a lay of the land.  It was a gorgeous day so we grabbed seats up top and started our tour of the city.  

We chose not to hop off at all and instead just enjoyed seeing some of the major landmarks and places we would visit later that week.  They give you little headsets that you can plug in and get a full audio guided tour of the city. It was actually really entertaining and informative! 

After that we were all pretty beat.  The kids got a quick Starbucks treat (because even in London they love their Starbucks) and then we hopped in a cab to head back to our hotel before an early dinner and early bedtime. 

Day 2: Thames River Cruise, London Eye, Trafalgar Square 

We had a slow start to our morning and just took some time to walk around and enjoy the city. I loved all of the architecture and seeing the beautiful old buildings. 

We made our way to the Thames River Cruise that took us from Tower Bridge all the way up to where the London Eye is. It was chilly on the river, but the tour guide was so funny and entertaining. We learned a lot and it was fun to see things from the water. 

One great thing about the Hop-on Hop-off Big Bus Tour tickets is that they came with a free Thames River Cruise pass. The only catch was that it had to be used on the "same day." However, after chatting with the nice people in customer service I realized that we could start our bus tour after 12:00 PM on the day before and then our river cruise passes would still be good for the next morning before 12:00 PM. You just have to use them both within a 24 hour period so if you plan it this way you actually get two days of actives for the price of one. 

After our river cruise we walked around a bit, found a lunch spot and then made our way to the London Eye for our afternoon reservation. We still had to wait in line, but it moved very quickly. 

Inside the London Eye we had such a great view of the city!  You have to do this if you go to London! 

After we got off we hung out at the park that was right by the river and the London Eye. They had a playground, the kids grabbed ice cream, and it was great people watching.  Next we walked over to Trafalgar Square and explored a bit. 


One thing we tried to do as much of while we were in London was immerse ourselves into the culture there.  We walked SO much and when we couldn't walk we tried to take the "tube" like most of the locals do. The kids got really comfortable navigating the different train stations and I was so proud of them for reading the maps, paying attention to the stations and overall learning how to navigate the world.  You can see they were over my picture taking by this point! 

Be sure to check back later this week for the next part of our London trip including shopping, afternoon tea, a show, and the museums!

Follow us on Pinterest HERE.
Follow us on Instagram HERE.
Follow us on Facebook HERE.
Follow us on Twitter HERE.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...