Best London Itinerary With Children and Grandchildren Or As A Multi Generational Vacation

Best London ItineraryThis Grandma is the family travel agent. I plan trips for family and friends as a hobby. The parents of our oldest grandchildren asked for the best London itinerary for children. The first trip abroad we took with our children was London. We made mistakes. First, avoid the London Dungeon or the London Bridge Experience as too violent. Second, avoid Madame Tussauds as too touristy. Take advice from others who have taken children. This itinerary is a compilation of advice from others as well as personal knowledge and web research.

Yes, as a grandparent, you want to take the grandchildren to London. However, if the parents want to take their children to make family memories, they trump the grandparents. If you can convince the parents to make the trip a multi generational vacation, all the better.

Here is the best London Itinerary With Children

To Do Before You Leave:

1. Check out to see if worth it. Most say no, but if time in London is plenty, may have time to take advantage of the numerous benefits.

The London Pass is a sightseeing city card which gives you entry to a choice of over 60 popular tourist attractions in the city. Available for either 1, 2, 3 or 6 days, it makes sightseeing easy and affordable by giving you access to top sights in the city with one card. Save time, save money, save stress.

2. Pick shows and take the children to at least two musicals. Bend it Like Beckham is a new musical opening : Current shows in London for kids:

Top ten musicals:
See VisitLondon’s list of Children’s Theaters in London for ideas. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang gets rave reviews.

3. Look at the best tips in this review.

TIP: The real London experience is to stay in the right location and get acclimated to London. You should try to have at least five full days to a week with the children in London.

TIP: Hire an official guide for certain experiences (suggestions in this itinerary). Official guides are Blue Badge Guides. Included in this itinerary is a guide recommended by a prior family who visited London.

Best Hotel for Families:

The Milestone Hotel
1 Kensington Court,
London
W8 5DL
+44 (0) 20 7917 1000
conciergems@rchmail.com

Why? This is Tripadvisor’s top rated hotel right now. The Milestone Hotel is located within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London. It is in a wonderful location opposite Kensington Gardens, walking distance to Kensington Palace and through the park to great neighborhoods to the north, such as Bayswater. It is right near High Street Kensington Station. It is right near Marks & Spencer and Whole Foods. Best of all, there are apartments, some duplexes, and with full kitchens to bring home groceries from Whole Foods and save money on meals, especially breakfast.

Restaurants to consider:

Piccolino
Zucca
River Cafe
Khans (Indian)
Ottolenghi- take out great lunch place
Kurabuta
Nopi. (ottolenghi) amaze
Polpo
Tom’s kitchen

Here is the best itinerary for children in London

DAY 1 THE BIG BUS COMPANY; HARRODS AND KNIGHTSBRIDGE

For an overview of London, consider the two-hour, double-decker bus tours. These drive by all the major sights, are fun for kids, and stress-free for parents. You can stay on the bus the entire time, or “hop-on and hop-off” at any of the 20-plus stops and catch a later bus.

This enables everyone to get a look at the entire city, get off and on, and take great pictures.
Big Bus London
“London Bus Tour Map. When you hop-on board one of our London sightseeing tours, you’ll receive a complimentary tourist map to help you to navigate your way around London’s tourist attractions. But if you can’t wait until then, feel free to download our London bus tour map. Discover the routes of our Big Bus tour and start planning your sightseeing itinerary today.
1 Day Tour. Hop-on, Hop-off London with our 1 day all routes tour. INCLUDES All routes, River Thames Cruise, 3 walking tours, Reward booklet. TOP LANDMARKS Big Ben, Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Piccadilly Circus”

TIPS: Traffic can be slow so avoid rush hour and bring electronics to keep the children busy if the traffic is heavy.

Get off the bus at Hamley’s Toy Store on Regent Street (“ This isn’t just any old toy store! It is truly one of the most amazing toy experiences anywhere (the best we’ve seen by a long shot). We loved the all the demonstrations of cool and unique toys – you could be entertained in here for hours. I set a time limit before we walked in the door (highly recommended). . . .Regent and Oxford Streets are shopping meccas (particularly for chain stores); the nice thing about Hamleys’ location is everyone can take a few minutes for retail therapy within a relatively small area. “ and Harrods:
87-135 Brompton Rd
London
SW1X 7QN
Opening hours: 10am-8pm Mon-Sat; noon-6pm SunTransport: Tube: Knightsbridge

DAY 2 AM With an official guide: WESTMINSTER ABBEY; CHANGING OF THE GUARD AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE; BIG BEN; HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT, 10 DOWNING STREET; TRAFALGAR SQUARE; CHURCHILL WAR ROOMS.
tour guide: Jan Poole Around London T: 07803 035874
W: www.around-london.co.uk

Details for Day:

1. Westminster Abbey TIMES 09.30 – 16.30 Sunday until 14:30
Westminster Abbey, London SW1P 3PA (near boat cruise, Churchill War Rooms, Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Tube Station) “ Visit Kate & Wills’ wedding venue, Westminster Abbey, the coronation church of the British monarchy since the 11th century. Just a short walk from the Thames, Westminster Abbey is a must-see and a significant structure in British history. This beautiful gothic church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site popular with many visitors to London. Complete with paintings, stained glass windows and other religious artefacts, Westminster Abbey owns the most important collection of monumental sculpture anywhere in Britain.Highlights: Charles Dickens, Geoffrey Chaucer, Dr. Samuel Johnson and Charles Darwin were buried in the church’s grounds.The Abbey’s history is made up of famous Kings and Queens, as well as renowned poets and priests – even heroes and villains were embroiled in its past!Memorial for Isaac Newton in Scientists corner. Westminster contains impressive statues and monuments from the Virgin Mary holding a baby Jesus to the grave of the unknown warrior
The Little Cloister which leads to the College Gardens, the oldest garden in England, where the clergy staff live.”

2. The famous Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace is well worth a look and gives children a chance to see the Queen’s soldiers take part in this historic ceremony.

TIP: Go with a guide or get there early or don’t bother, particularly over prime tourist periods. The best place to stand is not out in the traffic circle where the ceremony begins, but near the palace gates.

3. Walk past 10 DOWNING STREET to

4. Churchill War Rooms TIMES: 09.30 – 18.00 Address: Clive Steps, King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AQ,

“Explore the secret headquarters of `the greatest Briton’, Sir Winston Churchill, and uncover the underground nucleus of Britain’s war effort. The first London museum of its kind, the Churchill War Rooms and Museum depicts all ninety years of Winston Churchill’s life, divided into five chapters starting from his childhood, through his early years as British Prime Minister and the period famously known as the `Gathering Storm’.

“Highlights:Uncover the life in Churchill’s bunker and discover the camaraderie, secrecy and fear of WWII attacks. The War Cabinet Room includes the Map Room and the Transatlantic Telephone Room, taking you back in time to experience the planning and the plotting of the Second World War. The Churchill Museum is an interactive gallery of Churchill’s life, with a 15m long Lifeline at the centre exhibiting documents, photos and film clips of his famous political reign”
5. IF TIME AS NEAR TRAFALGAR SQUARE

London Brass Rubbing Centre (near Trafalgar Square). Address: St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, Trafalgar Square, London WC2. London Pass Benefits:Free brass rubbing up to the value of £4.50, or £4.50 off brass rubbing of a greater value. 10.00 – 18.00 Thursday, Friday and Saturday until 20.00 Sunday until 17.00. Brass rubbing can be both meditative and a great way to learn history for both children and adults. At the London Brass Rubbing Centre helpful staff will instruct you in the use of specialist materials to get the best results from this, one of the most absorbing of London handcrafts. With a choice of 90 replica brasses on offer – including Medieval knights in armour, glamorously costumed ladies, St George & The Dragon and William Shakespeare – no matter what you’re interested in, there’s a historical figure to suit you and create a superb artwork as a gift or just as a souvenir for London visitors to take home and show your friends and family.

On Thursdays to Saturdays the Café, Shop and London Brass Rubbing Centre at St Martin-In-The-Fields are open until 10pm so you can relax with a glass of wine while children entertain themselves! The UK’s oldest free Lunchtime Concert Series has been entertaining audiences at St Martin-in-the-Fields for the last 65 years. The series is a platform for emerging and internationally recognised performers to make their mark in the centre of London’s classical music scene. All are welcome every Monday Tuesday and Friday at 1.oopm.

DAY 3 With a guide: BUROUGH MARKET; TOWER OF LONDON; TATE MUSEUM; WALK PAST GLOBE THEATRE; BRITISH MUSEUM. On your own: PM LONDON RIB BOAT AND LONDON EYE AT SUNSET

Going through museums with a guide is preferable to going alone as they know how to get from place to place in the museum quickly and orderly, which is a must when traveling with children.

Details for Day:

1. Tower of London
Address: Tower Hill, London EC3 TIMES: 09.00 – 17.30. “See the world-famous Crown Jewels and meet the Beefeaters on a tour of the highlights at the Tower of London.The Tower of London is one of the world’s most famous fortresses and has seen service as royal palace, prison, armoury and even a zoo. The ancient stones hold within them dark secrets, as fortified vaults shine with priceless jewels and historic uniformed Beefeaters stroll the grounds. Situated in Central London, just a stone’s throw from the River Thames, the Tower of London is one of the city’s premier attractions.Highlights:Rich history dating from the Norman Conquest.It has undergone amazing restoration over the centuries, including damage from the Blitz.Used by Royals through the years as a refuge and powerbase.The Tower is still home to her Majesty’s Crown Jewels, on display for visitors to see.The Beefeaters are tasked with the job of guarding the jewels, as well as acting as tour guides for the attraction.”
2. Tower Bridge Exhibition explores the Bridge’s history and development through time as a fully functioning bridge and offers a high-level walkway across the two towers

3. Borough Market. Address: 8 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TL, England 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
“Borough Market is London’s most renowned food market; a source of exceptional British and international produce.It is a haven for anybody who cares about the quality and provenance of the food they eat – chefs, restaurateurs, passionate amateur cooks and people who just happen to love eating and drinking.But it’s not just the sheer quality of the food on offer that makes Borough Market special – it is also about the people and the place.Start your visit by meeting our traders, find out about what’s happening in the Market, take a look behind the stalls or sample our delicious seasonal recipes.”
4. Tate Modern. 10.00 – 18.00 Friday and Saturday until 22.00 Bankside, London SE1 9TG (near Globe Theatre) Every day, 10.00–18.00
“See some world-class modern and contemporary art at the Tate Modern including works by Lichtenstein, Warhol, Picasso, Dali and Rothko. Tate Modern London is the national gallery of international modern art for Britain. Based in a spectacular disused power station in the heart of London, Tate Modern was created in 2000 and has since become world renowned as a centre for modern art from around the world. The collection at Tate Modern includes all the major modern art movements from Fauvism onwards. It features Picasso and Matisse, Dali, Ernst and Mirò. There are works by Pollock, Naum Gabo and Giacometti and the Seagram Murals of Rothko are displayed in the famous Tate Rothko Room. Pop art has its place, including works of Lichtenstein and Warhol, as does Minimal art and Conceptual art. . . .. Admission to the gallery is free for everyone.”.

You will want to see the fabulous building and limit time with children inside. Here are ten of the Tate’s most famous works to show children.

Fire at Full Moon, Paul Klee
“This petite painting, Fire at Full Moon, is one of the artist’s best-known works. With its distinctive grid composition and mix of warm and cool colours, it’s an eye-catching piece.”

Weeping Woman, Picasso
“Modelled on Picasso’s lover, Dora Maar, this colourful but unhappy scene depicts a distraught woman, her face broken up into Cubist shards. The work is an offshoot of Picasso’s iconic work Guernica, and is intended to convey the suffering of the Spanish Civil War.”

Metamorphosis of Narcissus, Salvador Dali
“This work, which depicts Dali’s unnerving interpretation of the Greek myth of Narcissus.”

Water Lilies, Claude Monet
“Monet’s Water Lilies is still one of the most beloved works of Impressionism. The dreamy and hazy composition centres on a tranquil scene of blossoming water lilies floating in a lake, and also conveys the artist’s fascination with light.”

Red on Maroon, Mark Rothko
“One in a series of paintings created as a commission for New York’s Four Seasons Restaurant in the late 1950s, this work displays Rothko’s characteristic large-scale compositions and colour-blocking techniques. “

Fish, Constantin Brancusi
“Brancusi’s sleek and quasi-abstract sculpture is meant to suggest the sensation of a fish diving into water. Composed of wood and gleaming, polished bronze, it sense of movement is captivating.”

Variants, Mira Schendel
“One of Latin America’s most important 20th century artists, by Mira Schendel, . . . . this supremely delicate, ethereal work consists of small pieces of rice paper in suspension, scrawled with subtle markings.”

Cadeau, Man Ray
“A leading member of the Dada movement, Man Ray delighted in producing absurdist works that depicted everyday tools and objects made unusable by their defects. This piece, a clothing iron studded with nails, has become nothing short of a Dadaist icon.”

Yellow Islands, Jackson Pollock
“Made in a slightly different manner from Pollock’s other splatter canvases, this composition was created when he poured black paint onto the canvas and then hung it sideways to let the paint run across the surface. The result is a dark and chaotic work, characterised by bold, brash lines and splashes of yellows and reds.”

Giuseppe Penone, Tree of 12 Metres
“It’s not easy to walk past Giuseppe Penone’s Tree of 12 Metres without stopping to have a look. A member of Italy’s Arte Povera movement, Penone has here carved away a massive block of sawn wood to “free” the base structure of the tree inside, revealing its delicate trunk and beginning branches. The two-part work is extraordinary for its scale and delicacy.”

5. Shakespeare’s Globe TheatreTIMES; 09.00 – 12.00 Monday until 17.00 address: 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9DT “Visit the reconstruction of Shakespeare’s historic 16th century playhouse and take a behind-the-scenes tour of the open-air Globe Theatre. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is an open-air playhouse built as a reconstruction of the building where the great playwright penned many of his plays. The Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Tour and Exhibition introduces visitors to all aspects of the Globe, historical and contemporary, including Sam Wannamaker’s epic struggle to recreate the theatre from the 1599 original. Highlights: Reconstruction of the original Elizabethan playhouse built In 1599. Authentic timber frame building with an open-air stage. To maintain the true sense of a Shakespearean play and experience, there are no spotlights, microphones, speakers or amplification and all music is performed live on period instruments.”

6. The British Museum, Thursday hours 10:00 am – 5:30 pm
Address: Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG, United Kingdom

As with any museum with children, limit the time inside to the highlights recommended for children. Here are the recommendations for the British Museum for Families:

Here are Grandma’s top of the top ten for children:

The Rosetta Stone

“What is it? It’s a decree passed by Egyptian priests on the first anniversary of the coronation of a pharoah, Ptolemy V. The decree is written in hieroglyphics – the priestly form of writing by then, in demotic or everyday Egyptian of the period and Greek. By comparing the three languages on the tablet, scholars were finally able to unlock the mysteries of Egyptian hieroglyphics. Where To see it? Find it in ground floor gallery 4. It is one of the museum’s selection of “A History of the World in 100 Objects.”

The Sutton Hoo Ship Burial Helmet

“What is it? The most iconic object from the Sutton Hoo site, an incredibly rich an undisturbed ship burial of a wealthy Anglo Saxon individual – probably a king – dating from early 7th century East Anglia. Objects from the burial include a hoard of coins and intricately worked objects of gold, jewels and leather. Where To see it? The assembled mask and a reconstruction of what it would have looked like when new, along with many other treasures from the burial are located in the World of Sutton Hoo exhibit in Room 2 on the Ground Floor.”

The Lewis Chessmen

“What is it? A large group of chess pieces, carved in walrus ivory and whale bone sometime during the 12th century. The pieces have been variously attributed to Icelandic, English, Scottish and Norse craftsmen. Current thinking is that they were made in Norway and were hidden by a merchant en route to trade them in Ireland. Fans of the Harry Potter films should find them familiar as they made an appearance in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” They are the largest collection of objects for leisure use from the period ever found. Where To see it? See the chess set in Room 40, the Medieval Room, on the Upper Floor.”

The Elgin Marbles

“What is it? The Elgin Marbles are a series of friezes and sculptures that were originally part of the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Greece. They are somewhat controversial as, from time to time, the Greek government campaigns for their return – particularly since the creation of the New Acropolis Museum which was built to house them. The British Museum maintains that they are safer in London where they are more widely available to millions of visitors. This is an ongoing argument but, meanwhile, the British Museum is the place to see them.
Where To see it? The suite of marbles and objects from the Parthenon has a whole gallery devoted to it. See the marbles, which are called the Parthenon Marbles, in Room 18 on the Ground Floor.”

Colossal Granite Head of Amenhotep III

“What is it? A gigantic head (about 9 1/2 feet tall, 4 tons) of Amenhotep III, a pharoah who ruled between 1390 and 1325 BC, originally part of the temple of Mut in Karnak, Egypt. The features were later recarved for Ramses II (1279-1213 BC) to represent his own ideals. That included thinning the lips. The head is wearing the double crown of the Upper and Lower Egypt.
Where To see it? See it in Room 4 on the Ground Floor.”

Hoa Hakananai’a – The Easter Island Statue

“What is it? An original Easter Island ancestor statue, made of basalt. The name Hoa Hakanania’a means “Stolen or Hidden Friend”. It was probably carved around A.D. 1200
Where To see it? The statue is part of the Living and Dying exhibition in Room 24 on the Ground Floor.”

The Vindolanda Tablets

“What is it? Vindolanda is a Roman fort and settlement near Hadrian’s Wall on the northern edge of the Roman Empire in Britain. The tablets, discovered during excavations, are letters home written by ordinary Roman soldiers. Written on thin sheets of wood in a carbon based ink, they about ordinary life: a set of accounts from a merchant showing brewery bills paid, a civilian’s appeal to a provincial governor protesting an unjust beating, a letter from one slave to another talking about preparations for the December festival of Saturnalia. The British public recently voted the Vindolanda Tablets the greatest treasure of the British Museum. They are the earliest examples of handwriting in Britain. Where To see it? The tablets are in Room 49, Roman Britain, on the Upper Floor”

The Cat Mummies

“What is it? The British Museum has a very fine collection of mummies, many of which are displayed so that visitors can appreciate their elaborate wrappings and, in some cases, see the clothes and shoes they were buried in. But the cat mummies are an interesting devotional sidelight of the later Egyptian period, perhaps the 1st century. Cats were associated with the goddess Bastet and it’s possible that young cats were periodically culled from her temples and mummified in elaborate wrappings so that the faithful could purchase them and bury them in special cat cemeteries. Where To see it? Look for the Cat Mummy as well as a falcon mummy and a big collection of human mummies in the Egyptian Room, Gallery 62-63 on the Upper Floor.”
You can spend just 1 hour at the British Museum and see highlights of the museum:

Ground floor
1. The Rosetta Stone
2. Assyrian Lion Hunt reliefs
3. Parthenon sculptures
Upper floor
4. Lewis Chessmen
5. Oxus Treasure
6. Royal Game of Ur
7. Mummy of Katebet
8. Samurai armour
Lower floor
3. King of Ife

If you have extra time to allow the children to play:

There are Object handling sessions at the Hands On desks Daily, 11.00-16.00
Free, just drop in A unique opportunity to handle objects from the Museum’s collection. Volunteers will help you and answer your questions.

7. London Rib Voyages. Address: The London Eye Millennium Pier | Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB, England. 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. This is the number one boat tour on Tripadvisor. “London RIB Voyages’ provide Thames speed boat experiences from the world famous London Eye. The original, fastest and smoothest Thames RIB adventures on the Thames today, with the newest fleet of vessels. Our London speed boat experiences depart hourly from the London Eye, 7 days a week, all year round since 2006 when we took the river by storm with these new and innovative boat trips. We leave other boats in our wake as we zoom through London at 35 knots eating up the Thames with 630hp of engine power. The ultimate Thames cruising attraction, with an adrenalin packed difference.Thames speed boat rides to ensure you `pull G’ past all other attractions, whilst our comedian and West end guides ensure sparkling, informative banter along the way. No impersonal PA systems, just performers with real personality ready and waiting to take you on-board and show you the sites worth seeing. More speed, more sites, more style and more returning passengers than any other operator.”

8. THE LONDON EYE address: South Bank of the River Thames, London SE1 7PB, England. Phone Number: 44 (0) 870 990 8883 10:00 am – 8:30 pm. Recommended length of visit:1 hour. “Breathtaking views are available to vistors of London Eye. More than a ferris wheel ride — London Eye’s rotating attraction offers 32 enclosed capsules for full, 360 degree views of historic London.”

TIP: Lines will be long. Consider Flexi Fast Track. Visit any time during the day of your choice. Fast track entry. 30-minute rotation. Samsung interactive in-capsule guides. Entry to 4D cinema experience . There is a discount on line and a discount on Family Tickets
DAY 4 AM: KENSINGTON PALACE and KENSINGTON WITH CONTEXT TOURS; PM: WIMBLEDON

AM: It is good to take a neighborhood tour and Context Travel has a wonderful London Walk with a scholar for tour hours:

PM: 32 MINUTES BY TUBE TO WIMBLEDON ; TAXI FARE ESTIMATE 37 POUNDS

Wimbledon Tour Experience. Tours run daily Times Vary – Please call to check Address: Church Road, Wimbledon, London SW19 , Telephone: 020 8946 6131 “ behind the scenes at the home of tennis in the UK with the award-winning Wimbledon Tour Experience. The Wimbledon London tour gives you V.I.P access to restricted areas where even tournament ticket holders are forbidden to enter and is led by specially trained Blue Badge Guides who bring to life the colourful history of the world’s most famous tennis club. The Wimbledon Tour Experience includes entry to the hallowed ground of No 1. Court, the Millennium Building and the Press Interview Room, where you can almost sense the presence of the world’s best tennis players at their most elated or deflated, (depending on their performance!) During your visit, London Pass recommends visiting the enchanting Water Gardens, a little known feature of the club with stunning views of over the city; the tour also includes entry to the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum. Visitors should note: the Wimbledon Tour Experience may change depending on scheduled events and tournaments. Pre-booking is strongly advised at any time of year.

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum Open 10.30 – 17.00 Address: Church Road Wimbledon, London SW19 5AE , “The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum was opened in 2006 by H.R.H the Duke Of Kent. This state-of-the-art tennis museum in London has since received thousands of visitors from all over the world. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, London visitors to the Wimbledon museum can experience the atmosphere in the 1980’s Gentleman’s Dressing Room and watch John McEnroe guide you through normally off-limits areas and reminisce about how he first met Jimmy Connors and how he prepared himself for matches. Interactive touch screen consoles throughout the tennis museum in London take you through the history of the game and this world famous tennis club – not to mention the inside story on the tournament that has become one of the highlights of the summer sporting calendar. You can also view the Powerful Posters: Tennis and Advertising, 1893-2015 exhibition opening on 20 March 2015 exhibition and see the extensive collection of posters dating from 1893 to the official poster for The Championships 2015. London Pass holders should note that the Wimbledon Experience Tour is also available free and features VIP access to restricted areas including No 1 Court and the Press Interview Room as well as informative commentary from a trained Blue Badge guide.”

DAY 5 GO OUTSIDE LONDON: STONEHENGE AT SUNRISE INNER CIRCLE , OXFORD AND WINDSOR CASTLE

Some good sights for Kids outside London:

● Hampton Court – Built in 1514, this beautiful Palace situated along the River Thames, was a favourite residence of the infamous Henry VIII. Five of his wives lived here and the ghosts of two (Jane Seymour and Catherine Howard) supposedly haunt it. Costumed guides take you on a fascinating tour of the State Rooms and can explain in detail the rich history and events which surround them, plus a visit to the Tudor Kitchens, Gardens, Maze and the world’s largest grape vine is a must … An advantage of Hampton Court and Windsor Castle is that they are close to London.

● Windsor Castle – For any child with an interest in the British Royal Family a visit to England’s largest royal residence provides an unrivalled insight into 900 years of history – all in a single day. With magnificent State Apartments, St. George’s Chapel, burial place of Kings and Queens, and Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, exquisitely perfect to the tiniest detail, there is plenty to see and do for the whole family.

● Oxford University will please the kids more than ever before. Many of the scenes in the Harry Potter films were set there including Hogwarts’ library, hospital, dining room and the staircase. Please note that there is a minimum age for admission to the library.

This Grandma chose the best tour she found which includes one of the few tours that gets inside the circle at Stonehenge, Oxford University, and Windsor Castle. Here is a review in USA TODAY of Evan Evans Tours: “Evan Evans Tours (evanevanstours.co.uk) is the oldest sightseeing tour company in London, founded in 1930. The all-day Stonehenge inner circle tours offer your choice of sunrise or sunset access. Both tours also visit Windsor Castle and Oxford. At Windsor Castle, your guide will lead you through the castle and the lavish State Apartments. The Oxford stop includes a guided walk through the campus, including spots that were used in filming the Harry Potter movies. The inner circle portion is fully narrated.”

SUNRISE TOUR LEAVES 5 AM –RUNS ON SATURDAY 9 ½ HOURS

Entrance to Windsor Castle, Christ Church and Stonehenge is included in the tour price.
DAY 6 WEMBLEY STADIUM TOUR; CHELSEA; NOTTING HILL; COVENT GARDEN

You can do this on your own. Here are the details of the day:
1. Wembley Stadium Tour. OPEN: 10.00 – 19.00 Saturday 10.00 – 17.00 Sunday 10.00 – 16.00 Address: Wembley, London HA9 0WS tube: Stadium
“Visit the England Football Team’s home turf, Wembley Stadium, and take a behind-the-scenes tour of the players tunnel and team changing rooms. Wembley Stadium is London’s largest and most prestigious sporting stadium. It is the home of the England football team, the venue for all domestic club competitions such as the world famous FA Cup and host of both the 2011 and 2013 UEFA Champions League Finals. Opened in 2007 this impressive structure took over 4 years to build at a cost of over £790m and has over 90,000 seats. The new stadium is built on the same site in North-West London as the original stadium which hosted the 1948 Olympic Games and the 1966 World Cup Final, famously won by the hosts – England! Since opening Wembley Stadium has played host to the first NFL game outside of North America, an event which has become an annual affair, and hosted the football finals at the 2012 London Olympics. Each 75 minute tour takes visitors behind the scenes with access to the exclusive Club Wembley Middle Tier, England dressing rooms and Press Conference Room. Visitors get to experience the tension of the tunnel which leads players out to the pitch before a big game and then climb the 107 steps to the Royal Box where winners collect their trophy. At the end of the tour, all visitors can enjoy `The Exhibition of Champions’; a stunning free visitor attraction celebrating 56 years of glorious European Football history. It features prize exhibits including inspirational Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard’s 2005 captain’s armband, David Beckham’s jersey from Manchester United’s victorious 1999 campaign and Graeme Souness’ three winners’ medals from ’78, ’81 and ’84.”

OR

2. Chelsea Football Club. Address: Stamford Bridge | Fulham Road, London SW6 1HS, England. “Chelsea Football Club also offers an established and acclaimed Stadium Tour and Museum attraction, offering an information and exciting insight into Chelsea Football Club and Stamford Bridge, alongside an interactive and immersive museum experience. “ http://www.chelseafc.com/#_=_

3. Chelsea: A neighborhood in London that is known for King’s Road and Carnaby Street in Soho, which formed the center of “Swinging London” in the Sixties. “If you want a quick taste of what Chelsea is like, you should take a trip down the borough’s most famous road, King’s Road. This part of south west London has few underground stations, so you will have to rely on buses or a lot of walking. King’s Road is nearly 2 miles long. It begins at Sloane Square which is on the underground circle line. Here you start to see the flagship high end fashion stores which has made the area famous. Mary Quant and Vivienne Westwood are synonymous with this street and there is the long held belief this is where the punk movement began. Close to Sloane Square is the Saatchi Gallery. The punk area of the street is a long way down and there is very little to see today. Vivienne Westwood’s shop World’s End has a lot of history associated with the Sex Pistols and punk in general. Currently it is behind hoardings. The World’s End area is just beyond the Bluebird Café as the street does a kink left. Buses 11 and 22 run the length of the street and will save you a lot of walking. No 11 continues into central London terminating at Liverpool Street. It passes a lot of London’s main landmarks and should be considered an attraction in its own right. 3km Catch the circle line underground to Sloane Square and start your exploration there. It is a long street”

4. Notting Hill. Address: London W2, England Website
“Activities: City walk sightseeing, People-watching, WalkingTrendy and fashionable neighborhood in London with a distinctive, small-village feel, made famous by a movie of the same name. “Notting Hill Bookshop: This famous bookshop still has the same atmosphere of the famous movie. Inside of this lovely book shop is not noisy by tourists even many people took picture outside of the entrance. Many selective kid’s books were on sale. And of course, the travel section is at the end.” Portobello Market.London has many markets, but one of the best is most definitely the world-famous Portobello Road Market – and we’re not just saying that because this is a guide to Notting Hill! Portobello Market is absolutely unmissable on your visit to Notting Hill (both as something to visit, but also physically, seeing as it’s on one of the most popular roads in the area!). The mile-long street market sells a wide variety of goods, clothes, antiques and even food, with different items being sold on different days. It is open every day, except for Sunday. On weekdays, you’ll find a wonderful fresh fruit and veg market, generally located between where Portobello Road intersects Colville Terrace and Westbourne Park Road. Almost every day you’ll find some stalls selling a variety of knick knacks, perhaps some handcrafted items, unusual one-off items and similar. The market runs from where Portobello Road intersects with Chepstow Villas, right up to the intersection with Golborne Road – although by both of these intersections, there’s fewer stalls. Head to the bit of Portobello Road from Colville Terrace up to the Westway for the “thick of the action” i.e. the most stalls.Whatever day you go on, you’ll find a number of cafes, pubs and bars along Portobello Road and just off it, so there are plenty of places to take a rest and grab a bite to eat or a drink during your visit to the market.Opening Hours Monday – Wednesday: 8am – 6.30pm Getting There: We would recommend either travelling to Notting Hill Gate Underground station and walking down the Portobello Road, or going to Westbourne Park station and heading up the road.”

5. Covent Garden
Address: Covent Garden, London WC2E, England
“Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours. Activities: Shopping, Dining, Filled with restaurants, bars, markets and boutiques, London’s premier tourist center offers fabulous shopping by day, and the destination of theatergoers and patrons of the Royal Opera House by night. “Went with my family to explore. Lots of people out in late afternoon. Street performers were out in force by time we were done with our meal. Plenty of restaurants along the street and cafes and shops. We saw musicians, singers, performers of all types outside. Only cost is your donation to the performers. We really enjoyed it!”
DAY 7 VARY ACCORDING TO INTEREST

Here are options for Day 7.

1. Harry Potter: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter. Address: Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden WD25 7LR, England
“Warner Bros. Studio Tour London is a behind-the-scenes walking tour which immerses guests into the world of film-making. The tour features authentic sets, costumes and props that showcase the British artistry, technology and talent that goes into producing world famous and successful movies, created at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden. The Studio Tour will initially focus on the Harry Potter film series which has made the Studios its home for over 10 years. First tour 9 am. We recommend arriving no earlier than 20 minutes prior to your allocated time slot; however you will have access to our Studio Café and Studio Shop before you begin your tour. Please make sure you have your booking confirmation with you on arrival to show to our Car Park Team.”

TRAVEL TIPS: Be aware that you must have purchased your timed tickets for the Studio Tour in advance from the website. Tickets are NOT sold at the Studio and if you do not have a booking confirmation/ticket you will not be admitted.
Top Tip: If you are going by train on a weekday (Monday to Friday), book a tour for 10.30 or later to take advantage of cheaper off-peak fares and ‘Groupsave’ discounts.

Getting There:

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter. Public transport: Watford Junction- there are direct trains from both London Euston (20 minutes journey) and Birmingham New Street (1 hour journey). A shuttle bus will run from Watford Junction to the Studio Tour.

The easiest way is by fast London Midland train from London Euston to Watford Junction. There are departures every 10-20 minutes and the journey takes between 15-20 minutes; you can get exact timings for your date of travel from the London Midland website
You are asked to arrive at Watford Junction 45 minutes before the time on your tour ticket; so if you aim to be at London Euston 90 minutes before you should have plenty of time.

Here are tips I found on the internet:

“You need to book ahead, and book a timed ticket slot. Bit of nerdy trivia – the Studio Tour admits 590 new guests every hour, but because people like to dawdle, not all of those people will leave the tour in the 2.5 hours Warner Bros estimates you’ll spend wandering around.”

“As the day goes on, the number of people in the tour gets gradually higher and higher. By the time we left the site at 4pm (the tour is open from 9am to 10pm) it was extremely busy and a bit chaotic in the main lobby of the attraction. A PR guy we spoke to said the company is doing some statistical analysis to adjust for the number of `residual’ visitors but in the meantime, if you want the best experience, my advice is to book early.”

“When you arrive on site, pick up Potter Passports for your children – they’re free, and include a treasure hunt for kids, and let them `stamp’ their passports at key points around the tour. It’s a little thing, but all three of the kids with us thought they were great fun, and they make for a great souvenir.”

“When you go into the tour, you’ll be taken first into a dark room with screens on the side. If you can, head for the door on the far wall, left hand side and stand there. This ensures you’ll get the best seats in the house for the next stage of the experience.”

“The first set you see is The Great Hall, and my favourite thing here is spotting all the things that never really got featured in the films but were made anyway – the attention to detail in the Potter movies was absolutely amazing. Check out the carvings on the back of the giant fireplace, the house point counting machines behind the teachers’ table, and the detailing on the pitchers and crockery on the long refectory tables.

“When touring the interior sets, don’t miss the opportunity to ride a broom in front of a green screen. Don’t be afraid to REALLY over-act, as the photos are so much more fun if you adopt a terrified face, or an evil face (in Flea’s case) which can be super-imposed on to a cloudy sky with the Dark Mark leering in one corner. Another quick tip : don’t wear a straight skirt, everyone waiting in line will be able to see straight up it when you sit on the broom.”

“Be sure to ask the guides lots of questions because they REALLY do know their stuff and love to share their geeky knowledge, from which buttons to press to make the flying car invisible, to which masks were worn by which death eaters.”

“Halfway through the tour is an outdoor back-lot with the main exteriors from the films and some vehicles. There are two stands – one selling sandwiches, and one selling butterbeer. You can also bring your own picnic and eat it here. I’d recommend doing so because the queues for food are long, and can be slow – although the queue for just Butterbeer is much shorter.”

“Having said that, even if your kids want to taste Butterbeer, I’d still recommend bringing along a bottle of water, too – it’s an acquired taste (shall we say) and none of our three kids liked the taste of their Butterbeer! (it’s quite sweet, a cross between butterscotch and caramel). For my money, the frozen Butterbeer in Florida is much more palatable. If you buy the souvenir cups for your drinks, don’t forget a plastic bag to put them in to take home, because they will be ridiculously sticky!”

“Save plenty of time for the second half of the tour, which covers all the creatures and monsters of the films, and the castle itself. There is a room holding a scaled-down model of the castle, which was used for all those sweeping exterior shots, and while it’s fun to gaze at the model in awe, the touchscreen computer displays allow you to do so much more, and learn so much about how the films were put together, and what goes into making certain shots and effects happen.”

“Prepare your kids for the gift shop. We set our kids a budget before we arrived on the day, so they knew what they could spend. That’s important when a Hogwarts school jumper costs almost £60 and a set of robes is £79. Even the wands are around £25 each. Of course, the quality reflects the price and there are some truly wonderful souvenirs, but you could easily spend a fortune here.”

2. BBC Broadcasting House Tour. BBC Broadcasting House. Portland Place. London W1A 1AA. Underground – Oxford Circus on the Central, Bakerloo and Victoria lines is approximately five minutes’ walk away.

“Our entertaining and informative guides will bring to life the work our brand new, state of the art, multimedia broadcasting centre in the heart of London. On a tour some of the things you’re likely to experience include a camera’s eye view via our big screen into some of the studios broadcasting to the nation, including television and radio news studios, as well as hearing about the rich history of the building and the BBC. We’ll give you a view over our state of the art newsroom and you’ll have the chance to try your hand at reading the news yourself!
We’ll tell you about how BBC Radio Drama is made and you’ll be able to have a go at making your very own radio play complete with music and sound effects! On some but not all tours, you may get the chance to peek into the newly restored Radio Theatre (if production schedules permit) where Radio 2 concerts and popular radio comedy shows such as Just a Minute, the News Quiz and The Now Show have recently been recorded. . . . .Children (between 9 and 15 years) .We’re sorry, but we can’t admit babies, or children under the age of 9, on the Broadcasting House tour. This is because the tour content is not appropriate for children of this age. Family ticket available.”

3. “Fly” a British Airways jet. British Airways will let you “fly” in the same flight simulators used to train their pilots. Info.

“Flight Simulator ExperiencesFly a simulator.Welcome to the pilot’s seat.Absolutely no experience is required. Prepare yourself for the thrill of a lifetime as you take control of a multi-million pound, full motion flight simulator.This is your opportunity to fly a Boeing flight simulator, normally reserved for the exclusive training of professional pilots. First you will be given a 30 minute pre-flight briefing including flight deck instruments, controls and systems. Once your training is complete you will be at the controls from take-off to touchdown, including start-up and shut-down. All of this under the instruction of a British Airways pilot. You may either enjoy this experience exclusively or have one additional guest accompany you. They can either watch or share the flying time with you. 1 Hour Flight.”

4. Tour and Witness the Royal Courts of Justice In Action.
“No country does justice with quite the pomp and circumstance (wigs and gowns for days!) that
England does.Not only is the architecture impressive but the proceedings, which you can witness from the gallery, are fascinating too. Guided tours should be booked far in advance.”

5. High Tea At a Hotel. Most hotels have a high tea. Check out Time Out London for the week you are there. Inquire at the concierge for an inexpensive High Tea. The children will not know the difference.

So you have it. This Grandma’s vetted best tour of London for children,. . . .and probably for adults too. Do not forget to check out London Theatre and see at least two musicals with children.

Pick and choose what fits your children’s interests. Choose your days according to when you can get the Evans Evans tour, which is either Friday or Saturday, and adjust the itinerary accordingly. Remember planning and anticipation is the best part of the trip, so go on the web with the children and begin the

 

Joy,

 

Mema

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