Leicester Square, Waterloo, Westminster, the City – all of these are notorious places in the heart of tourist London. Where you can see bright lights, street performances and much, much more. We have several of our Tramble Treasure Trails located in these hotspots as you would imagine – but there are loads of things to with the kids in Central London, and a day out here is perfect for the family not matter what you are in to!
The M&Ms Store – I know, I know a little generic… but it does make for a fun 20 mins to entertain the children!
At the heart of Leicester Square you’ll find the Shakespeare Statue but you’ll also find another little treasure… the Discount Theatre Tickets for matinee performances and for evening shows. If you have a theatre buff or want a different experience as a family check out the deals here! Or search online here…
Seven Dials – A little to the North of Leicester Square is the beautiful Seven Dials, one of our favourite spots in London. Seven streets coming off a small roundabout you can be at Neal’s Yard very quickly or in the Seven Dials shopping complex. Very picturesque!
Trafalgar Square – If you are a Londoner who hasn’t whittled away a few hours sitting at Trafalgar Square then you need to take a hard look at yourself. Like Leicester Square this place is always busy. Look out for the pretty St Martin-in-the-Fields church nearby.
National Portrait Gallery is a good spot to nose around if you have some spare time… but we would say it isn’t the best place for kids that aren’t into art! Or aren’t curious about it.
However, the Transport Museum is nearby Covent Garden is a haven for the whole family – information on London buses and the tube network with lots of interesting toys and things to play with. We would recommend giving this place a go!
Of course, the big one to pop around is Buckingham Palace. You’ll be fielding questions about the Queen, the corgis, the gold, the glamour. Probably better with slightly older children considering the ticket price.
The Churchill War Rooms are one of the better museums in the city – it really is fantastic to have a look at the bunker in which Churchill and co planned and strategised our WWII victory. Eye-opening and enjoyable as the centrepiece for a day out with all the family.
Shepherd Market – Just north of the park is the lovely, and somewhat hidden, Shepherd Market. It really does complement the a day walking around the park. Try Le Boudin Blanc, check out 54 The Gallery or Imitate Modern and have a drink in the Shepherd Tavern. Trust us, you won’t regret this little visit.
Fortnum and Mason – You are so close to one of the luxury department stores in the UK so, it is the perfect opportunity to pop in and see how the other half live!
And Green Park itself!
A riverside walk along the Thames Path really is one of the best walks in the city.
We love the gardens of Whitehall, hopping aboard the Tattershall Castle for a drink or slipping into The Sherlock Holmes for one as well.
Namco – Have you found the Arcades below the Sea Life Aquarium and right next to the London Eye? Bowling, Table Tennis (both without the funky lighting of a Bounce or Bloomsbury Lanes) await as well as the classic arcade games. Last time we went we left with a nodding dog similar to the one in the Churchill adverts, so the prizes on offer are quite something.
Borough Market or Mercado Metropolitano – You have two wonderful markets to pick from in this area. Borough Market is the classic, well known and established option. But further south you will come to the street eat inspired Italian Mercado which is a little edgier.
The Florence Nightingale Museum – Everyone knows a little about Florence and her exploits in the Crimean War. This little museum in the grounds of St Thomas’s Hospital is a treasure and leaves you with a greater level of knowledge on nursery and its development through the decades. Bear in mind that it is only open from 10 till 5 each day.
Amongst the skyscrapers and the glass of The City lies a concrete estate that was once the new vision for high-density housing. The Barbican Estate was built in the 1950s to rejuvenate an area devastated by WWII bombings and was considered an architectural marvel.
We consider the Barbican Estate a real gem in the City’s crown and quite fun to look around. It is so easy to get lost along the raised highways, plenty of surprising buildings to look for and two cultural institutions to fill out your day. Follow our Barbican Tramble for this interesting day out.
The real fun of the Barbican is the highwalks. They connect the whole complex and it is easy to take a wrong turn and end up completely confused.
You probably know that the Museum of London is based on the Barbican site and the wonderful Barbican Centre. However, as you come around you will also quickly see some surprising sites amongst the concrete.
Along the Tramble you will come across the St Giles Cripplegate Church, a remaining segment of London Wall and some beautiful waterways.
London Wall Barbican Waterways
One of the two cultural hotspots is the Museum of London. Free to enter every day of the week from 10am to 6pm. The Museum boats plenty of permanent exhibitions telling the story of Roman London and the Great Fire amongst many others.
Museum of London | Barbican | Free
Fire of London Exhibition
Walk down to the other end of the Estate and you will come across the Barbican Centre. Boasting film, theatre, dance and art, there really is something for everyone.
If all this wasn’t enough then this should be the clincher. There is no need to trek out to Kew Gardens for your tropical gardens fix, when there is one slap bang in the middle of the City.
The Barbican Conservatory is only open on a Sunday and boasts exotic fish and over 2000 plant species. There are tours of the tropics and you can also book afternoon tea. Click here for more information.
Barbican Conservatory | Barbican | Free
The Beginning of Ziggy Stardust
After enjoying some amazing food our Tramble finishes on a high taking in a small portion of Regent’s Street before witnessing the very spot where David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust was born, on Heddon Street.
Take a left into Kingly Court for some food or something to drink. Kingly Court is Central London’s Foodie Hub with an amazing array of options on each of its three floors.
The Tramble continues along Savile Row to admire well dressed men before quickly nipping across Regent’s Street to the beginning of Carnaby Street.
We particularly love the Carnaby Street Mural and the new pink walking woman installation. However, we are sure your eyes will be taken elsewhere.
THE BRITISH MUSEUM
Start your day with an hour at the British Museum. If museums aren’t your number one idea of fun then stick to the 1 hour guide and see the Rosetta Stone. Parthenon figures and an Egyptian Mummy. Click here for the entire guide. For a longer stay why not have a look the three hour guide here.
head to pollock’s toy museum
After relaxing in Russell Square why not continue the museum tour with a trip to Pollock’s Toy Museum on Scala Street near Goodge Street. It was an inspiration for the likes of David Bowie in his heyday and stills stands on the site it moved to in the 1960’s. If quirky parts of London take your fancy then this is a place to visit.
Pollock’s Toy Museum | Goodge Street | £6
The Building Museum
Climb the Monument
Climb The Sky Garden