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Where to stay in London with children: A complete guide

Published

9 August, 2023

Edited

6 March, 2024

London is the capital city with it all. Ancient history, fabulous legends, spooky tales, and family-friendly restaurants. London is a great family destination that’s perfect for a day trip, a weekend, or a longer break. If you want to know where to stay in London with kids, we’ve put together a complete guide to the best parts of the capital and what’s on offer in each. We’ll look at the best neighbourhoods to stay in London for families, what kind of entertainment is on offer, and where to find those little surprises that'll keep the children entertained. We'll tell you the best ways to get around the city without tiring out the little ones and answer a few of the most common FAQs on travelling to London with children.

London as a family destination

London is filled with iconic landmarks. From the London Eye to the Tower of London, Madame Tussauds, gorgeous green parks and world-class museums, it is home to attractions that will enchant children of all ages.

Central London is relatively compact too, and thanks to a comprehensive transport system, it's easy to get around. A trip on the 'Tube', London's underground train network, is an adventure in itself. If you prefer a little more comfort, an open-top bus tour on an iconic red Routemaster bus lets you see all of the key attractions from a fantastic vantage point.

Great restaurants are plentiful throughout the city, and every world cuisine you can think of is available in the capital. Even picky eaters will find something they love here, from fine dining to grab-and-go authentic American burgers or sizzling Thai street food. And thanks to a wealth of accommodation on offer, there are plenty of great places to stay in London with kids for them to settle down in at the end of a busy day exploring.

The importance of choosing the right place to stay

It's essential to choose carefully when planning where to stay in London with kids. Leafy suburbs surround the city centre, and plenty of London homes offer you everything you need to create a cosy, comfortable base. The suburban areas also have a big advantage over central London apartments because many have gardens where children can play.

The best places to stay in London with children also put you close to transport links such as underground stations and bus routes. Miles and miles of walking along street pavements to get to the next attraction will tire out little ones, so easily accessible transport is a must. Fortunately, in London, plenty of black cabs can be hailed from the side of the road and you can also book an Uber with ease.

Family-friendly neighbourhoods in London

London covers a large area, and while the centre is relatively compact, some of the city's most popular attractions are quite far apart. To put you and your family in the heart of the action, we've compiled the best neighbourhoods to stay in London for families, whether you’ve got teenagers or tots.

South Kensington

South Kensington (or ‘South Ken’ as it’s known to the locals) is the ideal neighbourhood when you’re looking for the best area to stay in London with the family. Close to the city's iconic museums and its greenest parks, South Kensington boasts elegant Victorian and Edwardian townhouses with gardens which are perfect for families with children who like to play outdoors.


Within easy reach are endless museums that the kids will love, such as the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the fascinating Science Museum, which has plenty of interactive exhibits and buttons to push.

Kensington is also close to some of London’s best parks, including Hyde Park and Regent’s Park, where you’ll also find London Zoo. Pack a picnic and head off for a sunny afternoon surrounded by acres of green grass, trees and public gardens.

After all that excitement, families staying in Kensington don’t have far to go to find a good meal, as there are plenty of family-oriented restaurants and cafés around every corner.

Covent Garden

Just a short distance from the shopping epicentre of Oxford Street and Regent Street is this fabulous square. Once home to a huge flower, fruit, and vegetable market, today Covent Garden plays host to the Royal Opera House, as well as a variety of street performers, boutique shopping and delicious food.


Covent Garden has a wonderfully spontaneous and bohemian feel, where street entertainers wow the crowds with humorous acts and mesmerising magic performances.

Family-friendly theatres and shows are the order of the day here, with events that appeal to all ages in iconic theatres such as the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and the Lyceum. If you're looking for the best neighbourhood to stay in London with kids, Covent Garden and with its picturesque streets and bustling squares has to be up there with the best.

Notting Hill

If you want to delight your teenage children, choose Notting Hill if you’re looking for somewhere to stay in London with kids who are a little older. Surrounded by boho markets, chic art galleries, gourmet food and fabulous fashion, Notting Hill is an ultra-trendy neighbourhood that perfectly captures the 'Cool Britannia' atmosphere.


From antiques and vintage fashion to international food, you’ll find it all at places like Portobello Road Market, one of the best family shopping experiences in London.

If you're here with younger children, the nearby Holland Park is the place to go. With adventure playgrounds and wildlife encounters led by experts, it's a fun day for everyone. You can even meet and greet the park's (very noisy) peacocks.

Hampstead

A little further out, you come to one of London's real treasures, Hampstead. This leafy suburb is filled with fabulous family homes that are spacious and beautifully decorated, making it one of the best neighbourhoods in London for families.


As well as big gardens and quiet streets lined with London plane trees, you also have the expansive green space of Hampstead Heath. This is a place where you can fly a kite on a sunny day with the cityscape as your backdrop and with plenty of room for outdoor fun.

Hampstead is full of family-friendly pubs and eateries with gardens and special family Sunday roasts for a real taste of English life. Hampstead also has many independent shops, boutiques and delicatessens. So if you want to fire up a family BBQ at your London home, you can get all the best ingredients from friendly stores just a short walk away.

Camden Town

When deciding where to stay in London with kids, one of the key factors is the proximity of family-friendly attractions such as parks, zoos, playgrounds and open spaces. Camden Town ticks all the right boxes, with Regent’s Park within easy reach. Not only is this one of the biggest parks in London, with football fields, playgrounds and plenty of space to run around, but you’ll also find one of the world’s oldest zoos in the centre.


A day trip to London Zoo has to be on every itinerary when you’re travelling to London with kids. From cheeky monkeys to creepy crawlies, this zoo has everything young eco-warriors want.

They'll also learn about the zoo's history and what the keepers and scientists who work there today are doing to help preserve many of the world's rarest species.

There’s a fabulous bohemian feel to Camden Town. Camden Market is the place to be for the coolest vintage tee-shirts and authentic vinyl records, kitsch 1950s and trendy 1970s retro fashion. You'll also find eclectic food choices for all tastes, from vegan Thai to Vietnamese street food. Plenty of outdoor dining locations allow you to sit by Camden Lock and watch the barges drift along the canal.

Travel tips for a relaxing family vacation

Travelling with children will add a whole new level of planning to your vacation. To help minimise any hiccups along the way, here are some top travel tips from our experts.

Involve your child in the planning process

Ensure your little ones feel excited about the trip by including them in the planning and letting them choose a few of the attractions/sights they are most interested in visiting.

Ensure all your paperwork is in order

Be sure to check the UK’s visa requirements when booking your trip and keep essentials such as passports (including the children's passports), tickets and booking slips together in a safe place in your bag.

Plan special treats in advance

If you want to catch a show in London, it may be wise to as your dedicated onefinestay concierge to pre-book tickets for the more popular performances, such as the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, to avoid disappointment.

Choose accommodation close to transport links

There is so much choice when it comes to accommodation in London, luckily our team of expert Travel Advisors are on hand to help you find the perfect family-friendly spot for your trip. Our team will ensure you’re based in one of the best neighbourhoods in London for families, with plenty of attractions and amenities within easy reach.

FAQ

How many days in London is enough when travelling with kids?

London has endless attractions, activities and family-friendly places to explore. To avoid 'vacation burnout', a week to ten days trip is probably plenty for younger children. You can always come back again next year.

Which parks in London are suitable for family outings with kids?

London's parks are the city's pride and joy – these amazing green spaces feature children’s playgrounds, wildlife trails and adventure parks. Central London parks, such as Regent's Park, Hyde Park, Green Park and Holland Park, are great for family-friendly days out. If you want a taste of the countryside alongside a bit of wildlife spotting, try a day trip to Richmond Park or Windsor Park.

What are some child-friendly dining options in London?

London is a gourmand’s delight. You can find almost every single type of cuisine from across the globe. That means no matter which neighbourhood you choose, you'll find a family-friendly dining option close by to your London home. Searching for something specific? Your dedicated concierge can help you find the best local spots.

How can I make travelling around London with children easier?

The London Underground network is the quickest way to travel around London. A travel card lets you move freely between different zones. When travelling with children in London, it’s best to time your journey to avoid peak rush hour (8 am - 10 am in the morning and 5 pm - 7 pm in the evening) as younger children may find the crowds overwhelming.

You can also book an Uber, hail a black cab, hop on a bus, or even rent a bicycle. Driving in London is an option, but the roads are very busy, parking in the city's centre is usually limited to permit holders only, and you will also have to pay a daily charge to drive within the ULEZ (Ultra-Low Emission Zone) areas.

Plan your London family getaway with onefinestay

With endless family-friendly homes and apartments in London waiting to be discovered, onefinestay is your gateway to one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities in the world. Browse our destination guides to find out more (with your children, of course!). Speak to our Travel Advisors who will match you with the dream London home for your family trip.