London is an exciting city for kids and grownups alike, but it can be a bit overwhelming at first, especially for children. A good way to see many of the main sights, get a feel for the city, get orientated a bit, and also ease the family into the holiday is to take one of the different city tours that is available.
With a set schedule and leadership it is something that the whole family can enjoy with relatively little pressure.
Some of the best London tours for kids include:
Hop On Hop Off Bus
A number of different companies offer hop on hop off bus tours of the city. Most have an informative commentary. You may find some that have a live commentary in English, especially in the high season, during which the commentator injects humour, personality, and extra details. Others have taped commentaries, usually available in different languages. Some also offer commentaries especially for younger guests, pointing out the things that are likely to interest kids the most around the route and giving information in bite-sized chunks so as to appeal to young minds. Not only will you all see many of the top London sights as you ride around but you can also get on and off wherever you like, spending more time at the things that interest you all the most. It’s a good way to stop little (and big!) legs from getting tired as you move from place to place. Some companies offer deals on multi-day tickets too, meaning that you can ride for longer and try some of the varied routes that cater to different interests. And you don’t need to worry about the weather! Whilst many off the double decker buses are open at the top, allowing you to feel the breeze through your hair and get better views, it is also possible for a cover to be pulled over in case of inclement weather.
There are many different companies that run boat trips, in a variety of vessels, along the River Thames. Your family can enjoy seeing a different side of the city as you cruise past many of the major landmarks and relax in comfort. Also, how many kids don’t like being on boats?!
There are various choices when it comes to deciding on which river cruise is best for you and your kids … there are boats that you can get off and back on the next one at designated stops along the river, there are some with onboard commentaries, and there are some that run of an evening with dinner included. There are shorter commuter services that provide a handy and fun way of getting from A to B, meaning that your kids can enjoy a little time on the water without it eating too much into the rest of your day’s activities, and kids who like a bit of adventure will almost certainly enjoy the faster boats, such as the inflatable boats operated by London RIB Voyages that positively zip along the water.
If your kids are itching to have a go in an amphibious vehicle you’re in luck! Explore land and water with an exciting ride on the Duck Bus! London Duck Bus offers a number of different awesome tours, with some that cater to specialist interests. The Classic Sightseeing Tour is a perfect introduction to London, whilst the Pirate Treasure hunt, Pirate Adventure, Code Breaker trip, and James Bond Tour are sure to be a big hit with youngsters.
Of course, you can hit the pavements independently and by yourself to explore London, but you could also add more focus to your wanderings with one of the many excellent walking tours available. Some that are particularly loved by children include Harry Potter Tours and Muggle Tours, where kids can marvel at the real-life locations that were used to film scenes in the different hit movies, walks that take in the city’s fabulous street art, sporty tours of Olympic sites, and the Old Palace Quarter walks with lots of unusual things to see and heaps of fascinating stories from the past to keep your kids spellbound. Older children might also enjoy the evening ghost walks where they can learn about London’s spookier side.
As a bonus mention, even though it’s not a tour as such, planning your day to make the best use of the London Underground, AKA The Tube, can also add lots of excitement to the journey for kids.