My family and I just returned from London; our first visit there with kids. Before we went, we wondered how can I travel with kids in London and what is there to do in London with kids?
Here’s what we discovered:
Traveling in London with kids is best using the London underground subway (the tube). But use the Heathrow Express train to get to & from the airport. Once in London, visit a mix of well-known landmarks like the London Eye, Big Ben/Westminster Abbey, but also check out the museums (most of which are totally free).
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
My wife and I already knew London was a great city to visit from our honeymoon. But we’d never been there with our 3 daughters before. So this was a totally new experience, and SO worth it!
So in this article, we’re diving deep into London and all there is to do that’s family-friendly!
I’ll answer all the top questions, from whether pubs are kid-friendly, if the hop-on/off bus tours are worth it, safety, smoking, and even the Harry Potter Studio Tour.
Hang on and let’s jump in!
Check out all my best travel resources and recommendations which can save you time and money on your next vacation!
Is London family-friendly?
Yes is the short answer!
Like any big city, you want to be a little cautious and take normal precautions. And like any big city, some areas are a little less safe or a little less family-friendly.
In many ways, it’s like New York City, but perhaps a little cleaner and friendlier. And I say that as someone who loves NYC and has taken his family there too; so no disrespect intended.
But London has tons of stuff to hold kids’ attention.
We’ll get into a few specific things below, but here are some of the top things to see and do which kids of all ages will love:
- Tower Bridge (which is near, but not the same as London Bridge)
- The London Eye Ferris Wheel
- The Tower of London
- Big Ben/Westminster Abbey (right next to each other)
- The Natural History Museum (free)
- Legoland Windsor
- Royal Air Force Museum (free)
- The Changing of the Guard
- Buckingham Palace
- London Sea Life Aquarium
- Diana, Princess of Wales’ Memorial Playground
- Hamleys Toy Store (probably the best toy store I’ve been to. Even better than the original FOA Schwartz back when it was still good)
I did not include things like Ripley’s Believe It or Not or Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum as you can find those in every major city.
Not that they aren’t fun, but the things I listed are uniquely London and an experience you can’t get elsewhere.
Tips for traveling to London with a toddler
I’ve been to London a few times.
But this past March (2020) my wife and I took all 3 of our kids. Layla, our youngest, was just 2 1/2 at the time; so fully into being a toddler.
And we had a blast!!
Toddlers love and need routine. Of course, being in another country with different customs can throw them for a loop. And that’s to say nothing of the time difference and jet lag. Here’s what we did to combat those things and have a great trip:
- Booked a flight to London leaving early evening – We left Houston about 6 pm. So after a couple of hours, it was natural to feel like bedtime. 10 hours later, we landed in London at 7 am.
- We kept our activities low key our first day in London – Don’t try and do too much as all of you will be adjusting to the jet lag
- Try and get out early and then hit the hotel around nap time for a break
- Don’t completely break with the familiar – While we wanted to get a real taste of London culture, we also occasionally went to chain places that were familiar to our toddler.
- Resist the urge to go all out every day – There’s so much to see and do that it’s easy to want to cram in as much as possible each day. With toddlers, that can be a recipe for disaster as they get worn out and frazzled
- Get supplies your first day – diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream (often called nappy cream there) and keep them on hand in a backpack for easy access
If you aren’t used to traveling with your kids, my wife and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Yes, it adds a layer of complexity and certain restrictions, but there are so many intangible benefits of traveling together as a family! I break down several of those benefits in a recent article.
What really surprised me in researching that was how much it advances younger kid’s developmental milestones! Just click that link to read it on my site.
What can I do with a 2-year-old in London?
Our toddler, Layla, had a great time in London!
It helped that in the 1 or 2 months leading up to the trip, my wife printed coloring pages of the biggest landmarks. She can’t really color within the lines yet (my toddler, not my wife, ?).
So by the time we got to London, Layla knew all about the most obvious stuff like:
- The London Eye
- Tower Bridge
- Big Ben/Westminster Abbey
- Buckingham Palace
I mention some great activities above for kids of all ages.
But toddlers, as you know, are a special breed. They can lose attention quickly and need a lot of stimulation. But then they can also get overstimulated easily as well.
I’ve mentioned it elsewhere, but most museums in England are free for everyone, which is awesome!
On top of the big touristy things, I also recommend the following for kids between 2-4 (and above):
- The Natural History Museum (free)
- Discover Children’s Story Centre (an interactive & immersive play space, with an outdoor story garden including a spaceship.) Free for under 2.
- The Science Museum (one of the greatest science museums in the world with lots of hands-on exhibits and 3 and 4D simulators) (free)
- Tumbling Bay Playground inside Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (slides, rock walls, bridges, tree houses, and more!)
- Royal Air Force Museum (free)
- Legoland Windsor
Legoland is free for kids under 90 centimeters. So for those of you not well versed in the metric system, that is about 35.5 inches. So for most kids, that means under 2 is free.
Have I mentioned London has a lot of pigeons??
What is the best way to get to and from the London airport?
This one we learned the hard way.
We used the tube (the subway, also called the Underground) to get from the airport upon arrival, to our hotel. We had to change trains a couple of times and most of the time that involved stairs.
Traveling with 3 kids with each having a suitcase and personal item, plus a toddler and a stroller is NOT stairs friendly!
Luckily, more than one friendly Londer helped us carry stuff up and down the stairs. But it was challenging, time-consuming, and frustrating. It was also fairly costly; about 10 bucks each, one way.
Somehow on our way back, we figured out there was a full-blown train (like the Eurostar) called the Heathrow Express. This was the way to travel!
The kids were all free and it was direct with no stops or stairs (from Paddington Station at least) and only took maybe 15 minutes. Since the kids were free it was about the same as we’d paid for the tube.
So no question; take the Heathrow Express to and from the airport!
Wondering how often families take a vacation each year?
In a recent article, I break down the statistics and uncovered that 40% of Americans take at least one vacation each year.
But 28% of people take 3 or more vacations each year. What really surprised me was that people living in a specific area of the US were twice as likely as the rest of the country to go on vacation! (I need to move there!)
Just click that link to see it on my site.
What’s the best way to get around London with kids?
We did a combination of the tube (the subway, also called the Underground), walking, and busses.
We used both city busses (red double-decker) as well as the hop-on/hop-off busses (also double-decker but the top deck is mostly open).
That worked really well for us and we did not use taxis or Ubers or anything else.
For the underground and city busses, you’ll want to get something called an Oyster Card. You get Oyster Cards at most tube and train stations. They are also refillable. and are basically pay as you go. So we would periodically refill them.
The really cool thing about the Oyster cards is you can cash in whatever balance is left at machines at the airport. So no worrying about putting too much on there. Just be prepared that they pay you in coins!
You may not need it, but Oyster Cards also work for other London transportation services like the tram, DLR, London Overground, most TfL Rail, Emirates Air Line, National Rail services in and around London, and Thames Clippers River Bus services.
Children under 11 travel free on the Underground, DLR, and city buses
They do also an unlimited card call the Travelcard, but we did not feel like that would have been as good a deal for us money-wise. Those can be for a minimum of 7 days. Travelcard costs vary based on how long a time period you purchase and what zones of London you travel in.
But the range is between $45-75 per person in US dollars for a 7-day Travelcard.
Is the London underground safe?
I have ridden the London Underground countless times going back to when I was 17 (a long time ago).
I’ve ridden it at all times of the day and after midnight. While you need to be aware of your surroundings like you would in any major city, I have never felt unsafe, nor seen any sign of problems.
That being said, if you look at the statistics on Statistica, you can see the type of crimes that do happen and how the trends have changed over the years.
The biggest type of crime is the theft of personal property.
That could be pickpocketing, or people just taking things you may have laid in the seat next to you. Between 2018 and 2019, there were 6823 incidents of that on the tube. That is up from previous years, but it’s worth noting that there was a big drop in crime overall in 2016-2017 compared to the years before and after.
Of course, their data does not tell us which lines, time of day, or other information like that.
So just use good judgment, be observant (but not paranoid), and travel smart and you’ll almost assuredly be just fine.
Here is a snapshot of the stats:
Is the London underground safe at night?
I covered the overall safety statistics pretty well above.
What about riding the London tube at night?
I think the latest we rode it was probably 7 or 8 pm. Toddlers aren’t known for being their best at night, so typically we were back at our hotel or at least eating at a nearby restaurant by then.
However, on previous trips, I have ridden the London underground late at night (midnight-ish as I recall).
Most tube lines stop by midnight and don’t start up again until 5 am. So that helps keep safety in line. Central London is going to have fairly crowded train cars. Packed cars aren’t always fun, and that does lend itself more to pickpockets.
But I’d probably rather travel in a totally full train car in the evening rather than an empty one. But generally speaking, as I said above, the London underground is very safe.
I’ve ridden it many times going back to 1982, at all hours, and never felt unsafe.
What are the bad parts of London?
Speaking of safety, it’s worth a quick mention of some of London’s so-called “bad” areas.
Now traveling to London as a family, you’re likely to hit a lot of tourist spots and you’re not likely to encounter any trouble as long as you use the same level of caution and being observant as you would in any large city.
In fact, London ranks #20 on The Insider‘s list of the 30 safest cities in the world!
But some of the rougher neighborhoods you may want to steer clear of (especially at night), would include:
- Newham – Central London
- Camden – north west London
- Southwark (high levels of knife crimes)
- Tower Hamlets (high levels of knife crimes) – East London
- Brent – outer London near Wembley Stadium
The worst area for pickpockets:
Westminster (Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, Oxford Street and Regent Street, etc)
It should be no surprise that pickpockets hang out where the tourists do. We have pickpockets in the US, and I’ve been pickpocketed in New York City. But the UK, and especially Europe, do seem to have more of it than we do in the US.
London is divided into boroughs, often called cities. So this is officially referred to as The City of Westminster.
It’s very centrally located and given it’s where Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and the London Eye are located, you will no doubt want to go there. I’ve been in and around Westminster on every trip I’ve ever taken to London and never been pickpocketed.
Just be mindful of your surroundings. Keep wallets, room keys, Oyster cards, etc in front pockets or the much-maligned fanny pack, and you’re likely going to be just fine.
Where should I stay in London with kids?
We loved the area we stayed on this past visit.
It was in an area called Sussex Gardens, walking distance to Paddington Station. This area had lots of cafes and restaurants within walking distance. Paddington is both a train and tube station. So that made it easy to catch the Heathrow Express but also just grab the tube to explore the city.
And there’s a Starbucks inside of Paddington Station for those of you unsure about London’t local coffee shops. That’s definitely where we will stay next time.
The other consideration for hotels is space for a family.
Europe (and the UK) are known generally for much smaller hotel rooms than we are used to in the states. Bathtubs are rare, as are king-sized beds. Our hotel room was small but worked for us with bunk beds, 1 queen bed, and one twin bed.
Our hotel also offered complimentary full breakfast each morning, which helped save $$ (London isn’t known for being cheap).
Are the hop-on-hop-off busses worth it in London?
We certainly thought so!
These are private busses, not to be confused with the red, double-decker city busses that your Oyster card will work on. The hop-on/hop-off busses are also usually (but not always) red and double-decker. But a portion of the top deck is usually open air.
They travel all around London and make somewhat frequent stops. You can literally get on or off at any official stop. Then when you’re ready, grab another one and keep going. They also usually have headphone jacks for guided tours.
Do be aware several companies offer these and they almost all use the same bus stops. So make sure you get on the right one and keep your ticket as you’ll have to show it each time.
We used them as a way of getting around central London and also seeing the touristy sites. But don’t think of using it as a substitute for London busses or the underground. The hop-on-hop-off busses just hit the tourist spots and don’t run super early or late.
So get this in addition to an Oyster card.
Where can I buy hop-on-hop-off tickets in London?
You can buy them with a credit card at any bus stop.
However, if you’re doing things like the London Eye and other tourist attractions, it might make sense to get a package that includes 1 or more days of the hop-on-hop-off busses.
You probably can buy a package right at your hotel’s front desk too.
How much is the hop on hop off bus in London?
3 main bus companies run these hop-on-hop-off busses in London, The Original Tour, Big Bus Tours, and Golden Tours. Their prices vary and you can also get packages which include a river cruise (which we got but did not use).
But here is a quick snapshot of current prices (which are subject to change).
They will charge you in pounds of course (the UK currency), but since my article is largely designed for tourists from the US, I have converted the amounts into dollars using an average exchange rate of 1.3 (which is also subject to change). Using that rate, that means that generally, 1 British pound is worth USD 1.30.
So use this as a guide, not a guarantee:
|Bus company||24-hour Ticket Price Adults||24-hour Ticket Price Kids|
It’s also worth noting that the companies also offer family pricing and discounts for 2-day passes. You can also save money by buying online ahead of time rather than at the bus stops.
But generally speaking, the Original Tour is the cheapest.
But are they the best? We’ll get into that below!
What is the best London bus tour?
As I mentioned above, 3 main bus companies run these hop-on-hop-off busses in London:
- The Original Tour
- Big Bus Tours
- Golden Tours
We used Big Bus Tours which wasn’t the cheapest at the time of this writing. But we had a good experience with them. But here’s how they stack up in reviews on Yelp:
The Original Tour
3.5 stars on Yelp with 150 reviews.
Top complaint – Waiting for a bus, often up to 1 hour. Many commented about seeing the other bus companies come by many times before seeing an Original Tour bus.
Big Bus Tours
3 stars on Yelp with 223 reviews.
Top complaint – Wait times, London traffic, and crowded busses
It’s worth noting that this is the company we used, and I do recall waiting a little long at one point, but generally, we were pretty happy with them. We also did not experience bad traffic or crowded busses.
2.5 stars on Yelp with 261 reviews.
Top complaint – Not enough busses, busses never coming to designated stops, poor customer service
So all told, taking price (which I listed above) and reviews, and my own experience into account, I would say the clear winner for London’s hop-on-hop-off bus tours is . . .
Big Bus Tours
Are kids allowed in pubs in London?
No visit to London is complete without a stop or 2 at a pub for some fish n’ chips, right?
- But can you take your kids into a pub?
- Is a pub considered a bar?
- What are the rules for kids?
Unlike bars in the US, most pubs open during the day (it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?).
Most also serve food. Many have patios and gardens as well. So, compared to US bars, pubs can be very family-friendly. And they have been since a law was passed in 1994 allowing kids under age 14 into pubs.
We investigated this on our visit and are happy to report that you can indeed bring kids into a pub under a few conditions. Those include:
- Pubs that don’t serve food (rare in my experience) probably won’t allow kids at all
- Even those that serve food will have a 6 pm, 8 pm, or 9 pm cutoff for kids on-premises
- Different pub owners and landlords may have their own rules
- Pubs may have designated areas where kids are or are not allowed
I have to say, we visited 3 different pubs with our kids and had a great time in each one.
But the real gem for us was eating lunch at a pub called Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese.
This pub once burned down but was fully restored. Restored in 1667! Yes, this pub was rebuilt over 350 years ago and has been operating ever since, run by the same family!
Want to sit in a booth where Mark Twain once sat? Check.
Would you like to eat in a pub that gets mentioned in Charles Dickens’s novel A Tale of Two Cities? Done.
And the food was phenomenal, the beer excellent and the staff was awesome.
Does London allow smoking in restaurants and pubs?
No is the short answer.
Smoking was outlawed in pubs, bars, and restaurants way back in 2008. So there are no worries going into any place of business with your kids and finding smoking going on.
There are, of course, a few exceptions, such as:
- Hotel rooms (if they advertise it that way)
- Tobacco shops
That being said, you will notice that smoking is still a lot more common in the UK than it is in the US.
We saw smokers of all ages and demographics all over the streets of London. Smoking may be banned in most indoor places, but it is still pretty prevalent outdoors. So if you’re a non-smoker, you’ll just have to get used to it.
Technically, according to the World Health Organization, the rates of smoking in the US and UK are about the same (just under 20% of the population).
But I think the difference is that the UK doesn’t stigmatize it as we tend to do here in the US, so people feel a lot more comfortable just lighting up anywhere outdoors. Plus, the UK obviously doesn’t have as many restrictions on outdoor smoking as we do in the US.
Is the Harry Potter studio tour worth it?
I certainly think so!
We spent a good 4 hours there, with a toddler (who loved it even though she doesn’t know the movies). And we still felt rushed!
That being said, it’s not exactly cheap. But, kids under 4 are free.
We spent about $400 on tickets and transportation. The studio itself is about an hour outside of London and not easy to get to by train or tube. So unless you plan to rent a car and are comfortable driving in the UK on the other side of the road from what you’re likely used to, transportation is essential. If you do rent a car, Rentagile is one of the best place to get cheap, sanitized car rentals in London.
We rode by a bus which picked up about 30 people or so from central London.
Now in truth, while it advertised itself as a “luxury bus with TV”, it wasn’t really much different than a standard city bus and it had 1 TV located towards the front that was a bit hard to hear. Luxury? No.
But we weren’t in it for the bus, so that was really of minor consequence.
The trip was non-eventful and the TV played an interesting behind the scenes documentary about the making of the Harry Potter films. I’ll get more into the details of the tour below.
I mentioned we bought a package that included bus transportation.
Here is an example of the price differences:
Studio tickets only for a family of 4 – $195 (again, approximated using a currency conversion rate of 1.3)
What we paid including bus transportation – $463.
I’ll get more into transportation in the section below. But for us, it was totally worth paying for the bus service. The pickup spot in London was easy to get to, and it dropped us off right at the entrance.
For the studio tour in general, we loved it!
I, my wife and 2 older daughters are all huge Harry Potter fans (books and movies) and the tour was awesome and totally worth it. And don’t worry. I’ve got all the details of the tour itself in the sections below.
Just budget accordingly.
We also spent about $150 in merchandise from the gift shops in the studio as well as lunch (did someone say Butter Beer on tap????)
How do I get to the Harry Potter studio tour from London?
You can drive if you are comfortable driving in the UK.
But I imagine most people reading this are visiting London from the US and probably not renting a car or prepared to drive. In that case, you’ll want to use one of the 3 bus companies that operate rides to and from the Harry Potter studio tour.
Those bus companies are
- Golden Tours
- Evan Evans
As I said above, the studio itself is a little over an hour outside London, and not easy to get to by train or underground.
You can take a train but you have to transfer train types and each uses a different payment method. Then when you get dropped off (at Watford Junction Railway Station), the Harry Potter studio is still 15 minutes away.
They do, however, have shuttles that run every 20 minutes to and from the train station and the studio. You cannot, however, board a shuttle if you haven’t already purchased tickets to the Harry Potter studio tour.
So from my experience, it’s worth the added expense of just hiring a bus company.
They drop you off right at the entrance of the studio and then pick you up later at the designated time.
How long does the Harry Potter studio tour take?
As I mentioned above, we felt rushed and were there (including lunch) for about 4 hours.
But, we are HUGE Harry Potter fans. But there’s so much we didn’t do because of either time or lines. For example, the Dursley’s house on Privet drive is a little past the halfway mark of the tour. And considering we’d been there 3 hours and didn’t know how much cool stuff there was still to see, we didn’t go inside.
Officially, Warner Brothers claim the average tour takes 3.5 hours.
If you take a bus tour as we did, you also have the limitation of needing to be back on the bus at the designated time to drive back (and it will leave without you if you aren’t relatively on time).
Golden Tours, for example (who we used), claims their service is 7 hours round-trip.
With about 2.5 hours for transportation that leaves you a little over 4 hours to see the studio and most likely get lunch (and Butter Beer).
What can I expect at the Harry Potter studio tour?
There’s so much to see!
You’ll see all the most famous sets from the movies. But you’ll also see endless props, animatronic creatures, costumes, and you can even get a video of you riding a broom (if you can afford the Nimbus 3000).
The tour is half amusement park and half museum.
It’s set up where you basically walk from set to set and weave your way through the studio. There’s a designated entrance and exit and for the most part, you’re always moving forward. So once you leave one set, you won’t see it again unless you intentionally go backward.
They only let in a small number of people at one time. That makes it nice and not super crowded. But there is mention from the staff to keep moving to make room for the next tour group.
Here is a breakdown of the biggest sets we saw:
The Great Hall
This is where the tour begins!
My wife got picked (it was her birthday) to open the official doors to the Great Hall and start the tour. The room itself was just as it appears in the movies except for the ceiling and thousands of floating candles. The did have a few floating candles though.
Lifesize mannequins dressed exactly as Professor Dumbledore, Hagrid, Professor McGonigle, Professor Snape, and others complete the experience.
The Forbidden Forest
Not the complete forest as you see in the movies. More like a recreation with Aragog and other animatronic spiders, but still really cool! Fog machines and endless spiderwebs complete the experience.
My toddler was hesitant to go in (you can go around if you need to). But she did go in, clinging to me. But the moment we were done, she wanted to go right back in again.
Weeks later, she’s still talking about the “dark forest” and how brave she was with the giant spiders.
Platform 9 3/4
The Platform 9 3/4 scenes in the movie were partly filmed here, and partly at the actual King’s Cross Train Station in London.
We went to King’s Cross also, and they do have a cart partly embedded in a brick wall next to a Harry Potter gift shop. Because King’s Cross has been remodeled, it was honestly a little hard to recognize from the movies. And, of course, none of the trains running look like the Hogwarts Express.
So, while cool to see, I would not say that’s worth going out of your way for, especially if you’re going to the Harry Potter studio tour.
Platform 9 3/4 in the studio tour, however, is great!
What you see here is what was used in the Deathly Hallows (part 2) and includes a life-size Hogwarts Express train and train car you can board. There are multiple areas for photos from the luggage cart half-embedded in a brick wall, to train car club rooms.
Walk up and down the street checking out all the shops!
You can’t go in the shops nor is their a wall of bricks that move as the entrance, but it’s still really cool. This is a snapshot of Diagon Alley much as it appeared towards the end of the film series, as the sets were changed frequently and doubled as Hogsmeade too.
Gringotts Wizarding Bank
Yes, this is the full-sized banking hall complete with giant marble pillars, crystal chandeliers, and an endless row of banking teller stations! This room is massive!
Once you go through it, you’ll then see the Lestrange Vault filled with treasures. You also see an example of the minecart used to get around the many vaults behind the scenes at Gringotts. But sadly, you don’t get to ride in one!
The Hogwarts Miniature
This is the miniature (and I use that word lightly) of the Hogwarts castle and surrounding grounds.
This thing is huge! Miniature yes, but it takes up what probably amounts to the size of a large gymnasium! More than 2,500 fiber optic lights and built by a crew of 86 artists.
This was built for the 1st film and continued to be used throughout the series for exterior shots of the castle.
And here are some of the other highlights of the tour:
- The Whomping Willow and Mr. Weasley’s flying car (lifesize, albeit not the whole tree, just the whomping branch)
- The Chamber of Secrets Door
- A Basilisk
- Buckbeak the Hippogriff (lifesize)
- Aragog the giant spider
Lastly, there’s the green screen photo opp area.
Here you get to don the house robe of your choice and take some official pictures.
As I mentioned, you can take your own pictures everywhere. But in this area, you have to purchase their official pictures (or you can skip this part altogether which we will do on our next visit).
Here you can take a family photo with 2 options (we opted for the Azkaban wanted poster).
Then you can ride a broom and do either a video or a photo. The videos, as I mentioned above, are pricey (about $25 USD each) and since each member of your party is recorded individually, that’s a lot to pay for a large family. Especially if you consider how often you are actually likely to watch them.
The photos are definitely fun, and I’m glad we did them. But as I’ve also mentioned, we felt pressed for time and this took almost an hour. So we’ve done it and can skip it on future visits (which we will do!)
How much money should I take to the Harry Potter studio tour?
As I mentioned, we spent about $450 on tickets for a family of 4 (plus a toddler who was free) including round-trip bus transportation to and from the studio to central London.
Then we spent over $150 on merchandise and official pictures.
In most places, you can take your own pictures. But no pics are allowed in their official picture spot where you can don robes from your favorite house and ride a broom.
Trust me. We could have spent a whole lot more than we did.
They also have a cafe where you can get lunch and Butter Beer on tap. But everything combined? I bet we spent $650 easily and we still skimped. The most expensive thing (which we passed on) were videos of each of us riding a broom.
After all, how often are you likely to sit around watching a 2-minute video of you riding a broom.
It would be different if it was 1 video of all of us. But instead, it’s 1 video each and they charge about $25 USD per video. So $100 for 4 videos we aren’t likely to watch more than a few times just didn’t make sense.
We did buy 5 pictures which were about $60. But they were pretty cool. They came in a decorative Harry Potter photo album, plus 1 was an oversized Azkaban wanted poster of us. And you get a code to download digital copies too.
So that was a much better value for us.
I’ve also been to Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood and I wasn’t planning on missing this one just so I could compare the two!
Is it worth trekking to Stonehenge?
The short answer is probably not.
I can’t say for certain because I’ve never been in my 4 visits to London. I’m intrigued by the idea, but it’s not like you just hop in the tube and get there in a few stops.
With kids, it would be even more challenging.
My friend Paul, of the website Teacher of Sci, who lives in Brighton (an hour away from London) said this when I asked him if it was worth visiting Stonehenge: “it’s a bloody nightmare to get to (driving only) and you’ll be done there in 30 mins. Not worth it!”
But to give you some specifics:
- It’s 90 miles from London
- If you go by train, the nearest station is 9 miles from Stonehenge
- There are no public buses running to Stonehenge
- Private bus tours are available
- Private busses are about 50 pounds per person (about $60 US dollars each)
So decide for yourself. But for my family of 5, even if my toddler was free, that would still have been $240 bucks, and probably a minimum of 6 hours roundtrip travel from London just to star at the rocks for a half hour.
But if you’re bound and determined to see it, many of the hop-on-hop-off bus companies also offer day trips to Stonehenge.
Did I cover all you wanted to know about traveling with kids in London?
In this article, I took an in-depth look at what it’s like going to London with your family.
Compared to when I went as a teen, and again in later years before I had kids, exploring London with your kids can be a magical experience. We looked at the best ways of getting around and the best attractions for both toddlers and older kids.
But we also explored the hop-on-hop-off bus system and the amazing Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour!
Ultimately, we answered the basic question of how can I travel with kids in London and all of the adjacent questions that might follow that. This article ended up being the ultimate guide for traveling to London with kids.
Have you traveled to London with your kids?
Check out all my best travel resources and recommendations which can save you time and money on your next vacation!
Photos which aren’t mine: