How to Spend a Week in London
Before we dive into how to spend a week in London, we want to preface that we spent our time here pre-pandemic and pre-baby. As you read further, you’ll find that most of the tips and places suggested are kid-friendly. However, we added a few more spots and tips to consider (based on outstanding reviews) during your trip planning. You will find this guide is perfect for first-timers to this memorable destination!
Keep on scrolling to read a detailed guide for your next trip to London!
- Getting to London
- Where to Stay
- How to Spend a Week in London: Day 1
- How to Spend a Week in London: Day 2
- How to Spend a Week in London: Day 3
- How to Spend a Week in London: Day 4
- How to Spend a Week in London: Day 5
- How to Spend a Week in London: Day 6
- How to Spend a Week in London: Day 7
- Other Things to See and Do
- Travel with Kids Tips
- Enjoy London
Getting to London
On this journey, we took a direct flight from Seattle, Washington to the London Gatwick International Airport. One thing we love about traveling in Europe is how easy it is to hop from country to country. If you’re looking for cheap flights, we have you covered! See how we book cheap flights here.
Once we landed, we grabbed our carryons (oh the days of carryon only travel) and followed the signs to find our car rental agency. If there is one thing that we learned on this first trip here, it was how much we didn’t need the car until we were venturing outside of the city. Since we were staying in Croyden, a car was useful in getting there, but not entirely necessary for our whole trip.
As you plan your trip, just know that most of your transportation will be on foot or on public transport while you explore this exciting destination.
Pro Tip: Grab an Oyster Card here. This is the most cost effective way to get around!
When exploring the city of London, you can also expect there to be lots of people, locals, and travelers alike. It was commonplace to observe others hauling their rolling luggage as compared to other places we have traveled to in the past.
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Where to Stay
As you can imagine, with a city this size, there are tons of accommodation options. From hotels to Airbnbs, among other types of stays, London will likely have what you’re looking for. From the airport, it was easy to get to our hotel and check in. During our search, we found a good deal on this hotel and decided to make it our base during our stay. We found that having a “home base” made our travel experience so much better!
Pro Tip: Staying outside of the main city, you will likely find better rates for hotels. If you’re willing to take the train into the city, you can save some money!
Here are some highly-rated options, including family-friendly spots. To make things even easier, here is the link to the map above!
Hotel Indigo London – Kensington (Family Friendly)
You’ll find this hotel in the Kensington area of London. It’s location is an easy connection to the itinerary days that are planned below! Some of the top reviews are based on how easy it is to get to, access to a variety of pubs and very close to many beautiful gardens!
Staybridge Suites London – Vauxhall
Can you get any closer to the Thames River? With the Staybridge Suites hotel being centrally located, it is an easy choice to make your home base while visiting London. To support these details, the reviews for this hotel include friendly staff, close to major attractions and easy access to the train and other public transport.
Hotel nhow London (Family-Friendly)
This hotel is close to St. Paul’s Cathedral and other sightseeing stops. This hotel is also about a 10 minute walk to the Angel Tube station. Reviews noted the friendly staff, affordable parking and the ease of access from their location. The great sized rooms are ideal for families!
Hilton London Canary Wharf (Family Friendly)
Lastly, but certainly not least, this Hilton hotel boasts an excellent location along with a view to remember it by! Situated close to the Tower of London, it would make an excellent choice as a home base for sightseeing in London. Another consideration for this accommodation is that its is close to many restaurants as well!
How to Spend a Week in London: Day 1
Visit St. Paul’s Cathedral
One of the top rated attractions in London, St. Paul’s Cathedral is a must see. Taking photos is not permitted while inside the cathedral. So be sure to keep this in mind when you visit this iconic stop.
Walk Across the London Bridge
I think many people confuse the Tower Bridge with the London bridge. Although this bridge is located near the Tower bridge, it is smaller in size and much different in appearance. The London bridge is a major pedestrian and traffic path that will connect you to some of the major attractions in the area!
Do the London Bridge Experience
When we signed up for this attraction, we weren’t quite sure what we were getting into then. But we were pleasantly surprised by the mix of gory history and haunted house vibes! This is neat experience for those that like spooky things.
Explore Borough Market
This market is one of the more popular markets in London. Lcoated in a busy area, serving locals and tourists in a variety of ways. Grab a quick bite or peruse the stalls selling locally made items.
How to Spend a Week in London: Day 2
Take a Day Trip to Stonehenge
how could you not witness this historic site? One of the world’s top UNESCO locations, Stonehenge holds mystery and is the gateway for many theories on it’s existence. Check out our top tips for visiting Stonehenge.
Indulge at a Pub
There are so many pub options to choose from in England! To make the decision less daunting, one of our tips for this is utilizing Google maps and typing in “pub” for your search. At that point, you are able see the highly rated recommendations of the area. We have found this to be the quickest way to find great food and hidden gems across the world.
How to Spend a Week in London: Day 3
Enjoy High Tea
Some of the more populate places require reservations. A couple of family friendly options include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory High Tea and The Orangery at Kensington Palace.
Tour the Tower of London
Let your jaw drop while gazing at the Crown Jewels during your tour of the Tower of London. This site is full of history and many stories to soak in. Located near the Tower Bridge, making it an easy transition to other sites in the area. Be sure to explore all that this medieval castle has to offer!
Walk Across the Tower Bridge
An iconic bridge that most anyone can immediately recognize the location as London. There is a tour that you can book, but we passed on that since we had already been on a couple of tours that particular day. We opted for cool pictures of the bridge and walked across with the rest of the traffic and pedestrians.
How to Spend a Week in London: Day 4
Day Trip to Windsor
Windsor is located on the River Thames, to the west of London. This quaint town is home to British Royals and the famous Windsor Castle. When visiting Windsor, it can be tough to find parking in the area. Therefore, parking out a little ways from the castle was easiest. From our experience, we recommend that you spend your day exploring the castle and then treat yourself to one of the local pubs in town.
How to Spend a Week in London: Day 5
Hop On/Off Bus Tour
Booking a tour like this one is super easy for the whole family! Learn about this vast city as you sit topside on a double decker bus soaking in the views. Ready to hop off the bus to explore more than the pre-recorded tour? Each city tour has different stops to get off at and get back on when you’re ready. Be sure to download the guide’s app or grab one of their maps so you know where their stops are located at!
Check Out the Museum Of London
The Museum of London is a fun stop to learn pre-London history, all the way up into the Modern day tales. Many of the exhibits are interactive and a fun way to learn for the younger ones!
Visit Kings Cross and See Harry Potter’s Platform
This part of the itinerary is fun for the Harry Potter fans in your family. This spot can get REALLY busy, both inside the store and outside near the platform. Plan ahead and allot plenty of time if adding this into your travel plans.
See the British Museum
Any Night at the Museum movie fans out there? The British Museum is so much fun even if the exhibits don’t come to life, like in the movie. The building itself is magnificent, and once inside it’s a playland of history. Exhibits extend far beyond that of the city. Be sure to add this stop if you’re a history lover like us!
How to Spend a Week in London: Day 6
Take a River Boat Tour
Explore the River Thames by boat! Similar to the hop on/off bus, but on the water! On the tour we took, the guide was very entertaining and knowledgable as we went down river. We started our tour near the Tower of London, but there are various tour operators and docking points to start from.
See Big Ben
During our first trip to here, Big Ben was under construction and is set to be revealed sometime in October 2022. Even with scaffolding covering the historic clock, it is still a worthwhile site to take in.
Admire Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey is a magnificent gothic structure with protestant services still happening to this day. If you plan on doing this tour, be sure to book your tickets early!
Walk Through Sutton Ground Market
This was a smaller market that we visited, but was an easy walk from some of the larger attractions. Down a side street, you will come across a variety of stalls and tents selling local goods. Make sure to bring a reusable bag for your shopping!
How to Spend a Week in London: Day 7
Grab a Traditional English Breakfast
If you haven’t already done so, enjoy a traditional English breakfast! This meal includes streaky bacon, bangers (sausages), baked beans, fried tomatoes, fried eggs, breads and fried mushrooms. Sounds delicious just reading this!
Visit the Sky Garden
One of the free attractions in London, the Sky Gardens have a memorable view of the city. Reserve your spots ahead of time. If you decide to eat at the restaurant located there, you can forego the reservation for the view and just enjoy it alongside your meal.
Other Things to See and Do
We’ve saved these places on a Google map for you to check out!
See Buckingham Palace
Take the Kids to Shrek’s Adventure
The London Zoo
Explore the London Aquarium
Travel with Kids Tips
Are you excited now? If you’re traveling with kids, here are some tips to consider while exploring this new-to-you destination.
Bring a Quality Stroller or Carrier
With the amount of walking you’ll be doing you may want to consider a quality stroller. Another thought to consider is how easy it will be to fold up and transport (thinking of when you’re on the train or other public transport. You can opt for a baby carrier, in lieu of a stroller as well. For toddlers, a hiking pack is a great option too!
Wear Safe Shoes
Make sure the whole family has comfortable, sturdy shoes to wear. With the amount of miles you’ll be covering, be sure they are safe and already broken in!
Consider the London Pass
Many of the attractions listed above are covered by the London Pass (not affiliated, we just love using them!). Children under 5 don’t need to pay for a pass! Another way to save money is to be sure to purchase using Rakuten, so you can earn cash back on your purchase!
Another post you may like: Top 10 Toddler Travel Essentials
Enjoy every minute of this spectacular destination! If you haven’t already caught on, a week is not enough to see ALLLL of this city, but our hope is that you’ll return again and again. Please share with us the places you’ve tried that we haven’t included in this guide, below in the comments.
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