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Visiting London with Children

by Barbara Rogers

Oct 11, 2022

© Tomas1111 | Dreamstime.com

Europe

London is a perennial favorite for family travel, with attractions appealing to children of all ages. You might begin by letting some characters from children’s books be your guide.

 

Fans of Winnie the Pooh — along with anyone else visiting London — will want to watch the colorful Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace, while Mary Poppins readers will recognize the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral, where Bird Lady fed the pigeons.

 

In Leicester Square, kids will recognize the statue of Mary Poppins with her umbrella and can also spot a nearby statue of Harry Potter. Finding the magic train entrance of 9 ¾, where Harry departed for Hogwarts, is a bit trickier. It’s in King’s Cross Station, but actually sits between gates 4 and 5 instead of 9 and 10.

 

Paddington is another railway station where you might find yourself if you take a train to nearby Windsor Castle. This is where Paddington Bear was found on his arrival in London. The often-gruesome history told on tours of the Tower of London will certainly appeal to older kids, while younger ones will be excited to be walk around inside a real castle.

 

Take a cue from Mary Poppins and spend some time in at least one of London’s beautiful parks. These are a good balance between sightseeing and giving kids a chance to run off some energy. Right next to Buckingham Palace is St. James Park, with a pond and a large, well-designed playground featuring climbing structures and a mega sandbox.

 

In the large Regents Park, you’ll find a boating lake with pedal and rowboats to rent, along with a boating pond just for children. The three playgrounds in the park have different features and activities. One park boasts a zip line and other active adventures, while another is themed around nature. The third park features a treehouse.

 

Also in Regents Park is London Zoo, with more than 750 species from around the world. Kids love watching the penguins in the Penguin Pool and the antics in Monkey Alley. Giraffes, pigmy hippos, camels, lions and alligators are always sure hits with young visitors.

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