Great ideas for family days out around London in our client featured post:

Jul 21, 2012 by

Messing about on the river

To many visitors (and residents too!), London can seem like a sprawling urban landscape with costly travel and pricey food. Throw kids into the mix, and “affordable” it isn’t the word that immediately springs to mind. But if you do have a young family, there are in fact plenty of green spaces, interactive museums and low-cost eateries. In particular, the area around the River Thames is brimming with things to do in London with kids.

You can travel to and from various big attractions along the river itself, via the open-air ferries which are always a hit with the kids. Day passes are available, enabling you to hop on and off wherever you choose, or just take in famous sights like Big Ben, the Tower of London and London Bridge.

A good place to stop is Greenwich. Famed for its time-keeping connections, there’s also a lot to interest young ones in this maritime area. The recently re-opened tea clipper Cutty Sark is the last of its kind and under fives can clamber on board for free. Elsewhere, the Greenwich Pennisula Ecology Park hosts 4 acres of wetland and wildlife, as well as special hides for animal-spotting.

The Museum of London Docklands in Canary Wharf has a great emphasis on children’s exhibits, including playing on London buses and a fun soft play area for the under-fives. It costs nothing to enter and there are often free family events at weekends. The Docklands Light Railway is part of the London Underground system so kids under 12 can travel free and they will enjoy sitting right at the front, as the trains here don’t have drivers.

Further out, the Thames extends through Windsor, Henley and the Cotswolds and there are some brilliant low-cost ideas for family trips along the way. Feed the ducks near the picturesque village of Buscot, hire bikes and take the Thames trail from Henley to Shiplake and stop off for lunch at one of the many family-friendly pubs. For an educational trip, visit the London Wetland Centre – family discount vouchers are available online.

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