London to go

London is one of the world’s leading tourism destinations, it attracts close to 15 million international tourists per year. Most of the major attractions are in walking distance to each other, so take a great umbrella stroller with you, a rain cover or raincoats and a back-pack (in place of a fancy diaper bag which might not be most convenient). We enjoyed our walk from Sloan Square to Knightsbridge and across the Hyde Park in the beautiful summer weather in the month of August.

When to visit
While autumn and winter months (September to February) are usually rainy and cold, the summer weather is the best time to visit with your little tots. While bright and sunny in the summer months, the weather is still unpredictable (even the weather man can’t get it right), so dress your tots in layers to suit the weather.

Attractions
Many of the attractions in the city are within walking distance. It is usually best to choose a hotel that is in vicinity of these major attractions. I would not rely on the London Underground also known as “The Tube” to get around as there are rarely escalators or elevators that can take you from the street level to the platform level. This is especially for parents traveling with toddlers in strollers. If your tot can walk around with you – Tube is a great option. The Tube is usually clean (not spot free) and always on time and connects to most of the major attractions in minutes. You can track the connections using HopStop.

Attractions I loved visiting with Devam who was 16 months then were:
1) Sea Life Aquarium (right next to London Eye)
2) London Eye (there is a kids park at the Jubilee Gardens overlooking the London Eye)
3) Hyde Park (great ponds to go sailing and great open grounds to have a picnic)

Playgrounds in London
1) Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground – Kensington Gardens
2) Kingston Gate Playground – Richmond Park
3) Bushy Park Playground – Bushy Park
You can find a list of all playgrounds around London here: London Play

Adventure Parks, National Parks & Other Interests around London (especially for 4-8 years old)
1) Alton Towers: Farley, England (2 Hours from London)
2) Lego Land: Windsor, England (1 Hour from London)
3) Drayton Manor Park – home of Thomas Land: Tamworth, England (2 hours from London) – other Tamworth attractions Snowdome and Big Play Barn
4) Thames Ditton Minature Steam Railway: Thames Ditton, England (1 hour from London) – for 4-5 years old
5) Peppa Pig World: Romsey England (2 hours from London)
6) Marwell Wildlife: Winchester, Enland (1.5 hours from London)
7) Intech Science Center & Planetarium: Winchester, Enland (1.5 hours from London)
8) New Forest National Park + Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway: Lyndhurst, England (2 hours from London)

Shopping & Essentials
Larger grocers like Asda carry many organic options from companies like HIBB and non organic options from companies like Gerber & Nestle for baby foods and most of the large brands (Dr.Brown, Avent, Pampers, Huggies etc.) for items like baby feeding bottles, pacifiers, diapers, wipes etc. I would thus not worry too much with if you traveled with minimal items and bought as per your need on the go. Department stores like Peter Jones can be a great source for not too expensive clothing and all other baby goods. Also, Peter Jones baby department has great changing stations and dispensers for diapers (I wish more places had this).

I loved the city and it was quiet a stress free visit with Devam (16 months then). We will be visiting again to cover other attractions.