7 Reasons To Visit London With Kids

Anyone else feeling like dusting off the passport and hopping a plane to London?   All eyes have been on London the past few weeks, and what a royal wedding that was!  I’ve never felt more proud to be British.  I loved the blend of the British pomp and American glamour.  royal wedding meghan markle Prince HarrySome parts of the ceremony literally moved the world to tears, and it felt like a global celebration of love and change.  It also fueled my nostalgia, since Hot Hubby and I married in my hometown of Chaddesden, Derby, England.

St. Marys Church chaddesden derby england
St Mary’s has been the Parish Church of Chaddesden since at least 1347 AD, according to the earliest recorded reference of the church.
wedding picture
April 18th, 1998

Granted we were not in Windsor Castle, but St. Mary’s Parish Church is still steeping with history dating back to 1347 AD, and is simply beautiful.

st mary's church derby

And just like the royals, we also had to step into a back enclave with our two witnesses, to perform the signing of the register, which is basically the U.K.’s version of a marriage certificate.

signing the registary royal wedding
Here we are officially signing the wedding registry at St. Mary’s Church; there were signatures in the book dating back to the 1700’s.

Signing the official church register, symbolized that we were officially husband and wife.  We also blended two cultures, managed family drama leading up to our big day (who doesn’t!?!), and our Toastmaster shared many colonial jokes in his toast!

toastmaster, royal wedding
Our Toastmaster was responsible for proposing the toasts, and making other formal announcements at our wedding.

So whilst I have London on my mind, here are my favorite things to do in this stunning city, in no particular order.

Visit The Tower of London

The Tower of London is one of England’s most iconic structures.tower of london england tower of london

William the Conqueror built the White Tower in 1066 as a demonstration of Norman power, building it strategically on the River Thames to act as both fortress and gateway to the capital. tower of london englandThe Tower of London is full of history and it’s fascinating to imagine how life was like in the castle. When visiting this attraction, be sure to allow plenty of time to visit The White Tower, The Crown Jewels, The Royal Mint and The Bloody Tower to name just a few. There are many things to see, and our favorite part is the armory.

armory in The Tower of London
The boys LOVED the armory in The Tower of London

Visit Buckingham Palace

Any visit to London wouldn’t be complete without visiting Buckingham Palace, the symbol of British history. buckingham palace londonbuckingham palace and london eyeBuckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of the UK’s sovereigns since 1837. It’s so regal and is easy to tell if the Queen is home by looking at the flag. buckingham palace londonThe palace flies the Union Flag when the Queen is not there, and the Royal Standard when she is there.

Enjoy The Theatre

We have seen many theatre productions in London, but absolutely loved taking the boys to see Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of the Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium.  london palladiumlondon palladium

It was their first West End experience, and they loved every minute of the performance, and the ice-creams during the intermission.

Catch a Football Match

manchester united old trafford
We support Manchester United, and were lucky enough to visit Old Trafford to cheer our Red Devils to victory!

If you’re in England, and have the opportunity to catch a Premier League football match, you’ll have the ultimate British sporting experience.

white hart lane tottenham hotspur
Six Premier League teams are based in London, which makes for lots of cross-town rivalry.

Nothing can quite prepare you for 75,000 avid football fans chanting for their home team.  You’ll hear a number of chants going around the stadium at different times.  Some are for specific players, some are traditional songs, and some that use colorful language!

derby county football club
We’ll always support Derby County Football Club since it’s our home team.
derby county football club
Come on you Rams!

Be sure to stop into the local pubs before and after the game for a pint of beer, to discuss the match with the local fans.

Ride the London Underground

london underground
Mind The Gap!

The London Underground (also known as the Underground, or the Tube) is a public transportation system in London, with 270 stations, six zones, and 12 lines.   The Tube will take you pretty much anywhere in Greater London. london undergroundThere’s even a direct link to Heathrow Airport (zone 6).   If you are staying in London for more than 4 consecutive days, it might be worth purchasing a weekly ticket to save some money.  london underground london underground london underground

The Tube is easy to navigate and fairly reasonable in price, but it’s important to do some preliminary planning and research to gather your bearings.

Sample the Local Cuisine

fish and chips
I almost gain 5 pounds just looking at this picture!

Fish and chips are a staple takeaway meal in England.  To get the full experience you need to find your local ‘chippie’, have them served in brown paper, drench with salt and vinegar, and eat with a wooden fork.  It’s the first place we go when we land in the UK.  If you’re a curry fan, I’d avoid the touristy Indian restaurants at Piccadilly Circus, and hop in a black taxi to Brick Lane.  london taxiBrick Lane is a bustling street in East London, and has some of London’s best food and vibrant street art.

Visit Westminster and Big BenBig Ben

If you take the tube to the Westminster stop, you’ll have (in my humble opinion) one of the best photo ops of Big Ben as you exit the tube station.  This is the picture you’ll get as you walk up the tube stairs to exit.  westminster abbeyIf you only have an afternoon to experience London culture, Westminster would be a solid place to start. The historic Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey sit adjacent on a corner of Parliament Square, Big Ben is looming from every angle, and The Mall that leads to Buckingham Palace is very close.

westminster abbey big benNelson’s Column and Trafalgar Square are also within walking distance, and of course there are lots of local pubs to stop for a pint of beer and a pub lunch.

passports
This is our passport situation when we roll into the UK! 😉
british airways
Time to fly home sweet home!

What are your favorite spots in London?

**  note the different sizes of the boys in these pictures… we travel to the UK almost every year and try to see something different in the UK each time!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.