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The final word London landmarks strolling route with youngsters

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The final word London landmarks strolling route with youngsters

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Attempting to see all town’s highlights on foot won’t appear a simple job, however all you want are cozy sneakers and this London landmarks strolling path to tick off the important thing locations.

Red push pin in a London city map with the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben blurred in the background - my self-guided London landmarks walking route taking you on a London sightseeing walk past the city's iconic sites.
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I’ve designed this self-guided London strolling tour so it’s simple to do in sections in case you don’t fancy a seven-mile stroll round London with youngsters, plus there are many locations to cease alongside the way in which, whether or not you need to uncover town’s household sights in additional element or simply to relaxation any weary legs.

Alongside the way in which, you’ll be able to see all the things from Trafalgar Sq. and Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, to call only a few spots on my London landmarks strolling route with youngsters. Finest foot ahead!

Image showing a graphic of the London Eye on the Essential Guide to London with kids ebook cover, and the words 'click to buy my 33-page guide to London. Itineraries, tips and all you need to know before a visit to London with kids' linking to my the London with kids shop page

Half 1: London landmarks stroll map

For those who’re searching for a shorter model of the stroll in your first time in London, you’ll be able to skip the primary few stops and start by Buckingham Palace – Covent Backyard, Trafalgar Sq., Leicester Sq. and Piccadilly Circus are all simple to mix at one other time.

Simply soar to cease 7 to chop out the primary 1.5 miles or so of the London stroll. After all, not like different guided London strolling excursions, you’ll be able to take this one at your individual tempo, and cut up the route into as many sections as you need.

In any other case you’ll be able to view the sightseeing map for the primary part of the stroll under (or click on the hyperlink). This covers round 2.5 miles and takes you from the Covent Backyard Piazza to St James’s Park, prepared to begin the following part at Horseguards Parade.

Cease 1: Covent Backyard

Covent Backyard was house to the primary public sq. within the nation, and the Piazza continues to be an amazing place to discover.

The outdated market constructing is now filled with retailers and cafes, though you’ll be able to nonetheless browse the stalls of the brand new Covent Backyard market close by.

There are usually pop-up occasions happening for households at Covent Backyard too, so it’s all the time price trying out what’s on. It’s additionally house to the London Transport Museum to see all of the methods Londoners have travelled round their metropolis over the centuries.

After you’ve appeared round, head alongside Henrietta Avenue and Chandos Place (or some other route you favor) in direction of Trafalgar Sq..

View of Trafalgar Square in London including the National Gallery and St Martin's in the Fields - one of the first stops on my London landmarks walking route with kids

Cease 2: Trafalgar Sq.

The official coronary heart of London, all distances are measured from this level – from the statue of Charles I astride his horse if you wish to know the exact location.

The sq. itself is house to the Nationwide Gallery and Nationwide Portrait Gallery, a collection of statues and public artwork on the fourth plinth, in addition to the well-known Nelson’s column with 4 7-ton lions guarding the bottom.

Discover extra of the highlights of Trafalgar Sq. with a Treasure Map Path, certainly one of a number of trails overlaying central London – plus 10% off utilizing code MUMMYTRAVELS

Behind their surprisingly relaxed exterior, there are some sudden tales too. Legend has it that if Large Ben ever chimes 13 occasions, the lions will awake… What’s definitely true is that the massive cats had been sculpted from bronze cannon captured on the Battle of Trafalgar, the place Nelson met his finish.

 Sir Edwin Landseer was given the fee (after a lot wrangling and delays by the committee in cost), regardless of being extra well-known for his portray than as a sculptor.

He additionally hadn’t had a lot expertise of lions, so after lots of time hanging round London Zoo, he lastly persuaded the zoo to let him have a useless lion as his mannequin (following a wait of two years till the animal died of pure causes).

When he ultimately received began, he labored so slowly that the actual lion had decomposed an excessive amount of for use, so the paws are supposedly modelled on an peculiar home cat! If you wish to examine one to the lions at the moment within the zoo, you’ll uncover that their backs are additionally the flawed form.

From right here, stroll again up Charing Cross Street and Irving Avenue to deliver you to Leicester Sq.

View across the fountain with the statue of Shakespeare to the buildings Leicester Square on a sunny day - my London landmarks walking route with kids

Cease 3: Leicester Sq. and Chinatown

Proper within the coronary heart of vacationer London, Leicester Sq. is all the time busy however price a cease for these within the metropolis’s film and theatre historical past. Plus, the large Lego retailer and M&M shops listed here are all the time a giant hit with youngsters.

Need to skip Leicester Sq.? You’ll be able to go direct from Trafalgar Sq. to Piccadilly Circus by way of Whitcomb Avenue and Coventry Avenue.

Dodge the crowds and spot a few of the Scenes within the Sq. statues, of assorted characters from movie and TV together with Harry Potter, Mr Bean and Paddington.

You too can hearken to the Swiss glockenspiel chime, seize low cost theatre tickets and splash within the fountains throughout summer time.

For extra issues to do in Leicester Sq. with youngsters, in addition to the encircling space, take a look at my prime ideas

From right here, you can take a brief detour to Lisle Avenue and Gerrard Avenue to wander round Chinatown. In any other case, head alongside Coventry Avenue in direction of Piccadilly Circus.

Cease 4: Piccadilly Circus

Well-known for its brightly illuminated adverts throughout the busy junction, the neon indicators are actually much more high-tech than the unique bulbs within the electrical billboards.

On the centre of Piccadilly Circus, you’ll spot the Shaftesbury Memorial statue – often referred to as Eros. Whether or not it’s truly Eros depicted right here is one thing no-one appears fairly positive of: it’s additionally mentioned to be an outline of the angel of Christian charity or of Eros’s brother Anteros.

The sculptor himself, Albert Gilbert, instructed individuals various things at completely different occasions, so perhaps even he didn’t know. Both approach, in case you ask somebody to satisfy you by the statue of Eros, everybody is aware of the place you imply.

Statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus with advertising billboard behind, including images of London - my London landmarks walking route with kids

Harry Potter followers may also take pleasure in recognizing one of many places from the movies – one of the vital difficult scenes to shoot, that includes over 300 extras, filming beginning at daybreak because it was the one time the world could possibly be closed to visitors.

It’s additionally well-known for its crowds, as round half one million individuals go by means of right here day by day. There’s no circus right here, by the way, and by no means has been: the phrase comes from the Latin for circle.

Subsequent, head on down Piccadilly itself

Cease 5: Piccadilly (Fortnum & Mason/The Ritz)

This avenue has been the house of Queen Elizabeth II, who lived at 145 Piccadilly after her delivery in 1926 – though you’ll be able to’t see the home itself any extra because it was later destroyed within the Second World Struggle.

Today, there are a string of outlets and inns stretching alongside its size, in addition to the Royal Academy of Arts.

Fortnum & Mason is likely one of the most well-known – in case you’re searching for a really indulgent place to cease for a drink, head to The Parlour for ice cream or afternoon tea – however look out for the Burlington Arcade as nicely, a historic lined arcade relationship again to 1819.

There are many extra on a regular basis retailers too, together with an enormous Waterstones with a incredible kids’s e-book division – good for locating some nice books about London for youths.

Make your approach alongside the road and ultimately you’ll get to The Ritz, on the sting of Inexperienced Park: in case you’re planning to cease for afternoon tea right here, be ready to e-book nicely forward and to decorate up!

For those who’re questioning the place the phrase Piccadilly even comes from, it’s a selected kind of collar referred to as a piccadill. One tailor specialising within the design owned a home referred to as Piccadilly Corridor, which then gave its identify to the world.

Proceed previous The Ritz and take any gate into Inexperienced Park

Sign for the Ritz hotel with lightbulbs and carved stone face above, on London's Piccadilly - my London landmarks walking route with kids

Cease 6: Inexperienced Park

One in all eight Royal Parks in London, it’s additionally the smallest – however whereas the park isn’t as well-known as a few of the others resembling Hyde Park, it’s a soothing short-cut away from the crowds as you make your approach right down to Buckingham Palace.

Until you go to in Spring, when the daffodils are in bloom, you may discover that there are not one of the formal flowerbeds of the opposite parks.

So the story goes, King Charles II’s spouse demanded that each one flowers be faraway from the park after she caught him selecting a bouquet for an additional girl – true or not, the custom continues.

It’s a good place to identify squirrels, so deliver some nuts to feed them as you go.

Observe the trail by means of the park to Structure Hill on the south facet.

Advert showing an image of a printable scavenger hunt for London's iconic sights and the words 'click here to buy your scavenger hunt for finding some of the iconic sights of London with kids, only 99p'

Cease 7: Buckingham Palace

As you emerge from Inexperienced Park, you’ll see the Victoria memorial on the centre of the highway and the black and gold railings separating the general public from Buckingham Palace.

Some of the well-known stops on the entire London landmarks strolling route, you will get a glimpse of the outside of Buckingham Palace year-round, however you solely get the prospect to go indoors for just a few months of the 12 months.

The State Rooms are often open from July to October, though you’ll be able to go to the Royal Mews and The Queen’s Gallery outdoors these months as nicely. Try my ideas for visiting Buckingham Palace with youngsters.

Check out the flagpole to search out out whether or not the monarch is staying there throughout your go to: if it’s the Royal Commonplace, meaning they’re in residence, but when it’s the Union Flag, they’re residing elsewhere. There’s all the time extra likelihood of seeing the Royal Commonplace flying on a weekday relatively than a weekend.

For extra royal locations in London with youngsters, take a look at my prime ideas

After you’ve taken a take a look at the monarch’s official residence, flip round and head down The Mall earlier than taking one of many entrances into St James’s Park.

Gilded gates and front view of Buckingham Palace - my self-guided London walk route past the city's iconic sights

Cease 8: St James’s Park

The oldest of the royal parks (and the second smallest), St James’s Park is one other pretty inexperienced haven – and right here you’ve received the prospect to identify the park’s most well-known residents, the pelicans.

There have been pelicans residing right here for the reason that seventeenth century when Charles II was given a pair and so they even have their very own island within the lake. There isn’t at the moment an official feeding time, however you’ll be able to nonetheless spot the birds swimming on the lake and preening.

Find time for a cease on the Blue Bridge over the lake for views again to Buckingham Palace and out in direction of Horse Guards Parade and the London Eye within the different course.

There’s additionally a playground within the south-west nook, not removed from Buckingham Palace, in addition to a restaurant and bathrooms on the alternative facet in direction of Horse Guards Parade.

You’ll discover loads of squirrels to feed right here too, in addition to a few of the stops on the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Stroll.

Cross the highway to Horse Guards Parade to start part 2 of the London landmarks strolling route

Half 2: London landmarks stroll map

This half covers virtually 4 miles, and takes virtually twice as lengthy – see the route under or click on right here for the map.

Cease 9: Horse Guards Parade

For those who arrive right here earlier than 11am on a weekday (10am on Sundays), you’ll be able to see the King’s Life Guard Change – much less busy than the primary altering of the guard, which runs from St James’s Palace alongside The Mall and from Wellington Barracks.

For those who’re visiting outdoors these occasions, you’ll be able to nonetheless spot the horse guards on Whitehall, with two on guard right here within the sentry bins – cross the parade floor and head by means of the buildings to exit onto Whitehall the place you will discover them roughly reverse Banqueting Home (although they’re onerous to overlook!)

The Family Cavalry Museum can also be inside these buildings, for an opportunity to be taught extra concerning the guards and to identify the horses within the stables.

Then stroll alongside Whitehall in direction of Parliament Sq., passing the memorial to the Ladies of World Struggle II and the Cenotaph, in addition to the statues in Parliament Sq. earlier than turning into Broad Sanctuary

View of the towers and front entrance to Westminster Abbey - one of the stops on my self-guided London walk with kids past the city's iconic sights

Cease 10: Westminster Abbey

Unmissable in case your youngsters are fascinated with British historical past – you’ll be able to check out the surface or head inside to discover correctly.

Over 3,300 individuals have been buried or commemorated at Westminster Abbey, together with 16 separate British monarchs (or 17, in case you imagine the bones regarded as the Princes within the Tower embrace these of Edward V) plus lots of their consorts.

You’ll be able to see the tombs of Henry V and all of the Tudors besides Henry VIII, alongside early kings resembling Edward the Confessor, who died every week after the abbey was consecrated, Plantagenet Kings and different monarchs together with Elizabeth I, proper as much as George II.

The abbey has additionally seen 16 royal weddings, from Henry I in 1100 to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011. And each king or queen of England has been topped right here, besides two – Edward V, who was deposed and presumed murdered earlier than his coronation, and Edward VIII who abdicated earlier than his may happen.

There are excursions and a free household path. Prebooking is advisable: get discounted tickets in case you e-book by means of my hyperlink utilizing code MUMMYTRAVELS6.

Stroll again to Parliament Sq.

Advert showing an image of a printable scavenger hunt for London's iconic sights and the words 'click here to buy your scavenger hunt for finding some of the iconic sights of London with kids, only 99p'

Cease 11: The Homes of Parliament and Large Ben

One other of the long-lasting sights of London, the Elizabeth Tower – which homes Large Ben – has been beneath scaffolding for the previous couple of years throughout an extended restoration venture, however has been unveiled in all its glory as soon as extra.

The 96m tall clocktower dates again to 1859 and with London visitors (and many guests climbing the steps inside as a part of the Large Ben excursions), the renovations had been the primary for round 40 years.

Now unveiled as soon as extra, the clock face is seen and excursions are beginning once more, with restricted numbers – solely appropriate for kids aged 11+.

The 13.7 tonne Nice Bell, as Large Ben is formally recognized, was silenced through the facelift, however the well-known ‘booooong’ is ringing once more, placing the hour and sounding the quarter chimes, so that you’ll be capable to hear it sound.

A view across the Thames to the Elizabeth Tower containing Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster - my London walking route with kids past the city's iconic sights

For those who’ve all the time fancied seeing contained in the Homes of Parliament there are numerous excursions you’ll be able to take to discover inside.

There are multimedia excursions, in case you desire to go at your individual tempo – together with an audio information for youths – or you’ll be able to take one of many guided excursions, to find extra concerning the historical past and traditions of Parliament and its house.

In addition to the 90-minute guided tour out there for all guests, there’s additionally a 75-minute free possibility for UK residents.

UK residents may also get a free ticket to see a debate, both within the Home of Commons or the Home of Lords – price doing in case you fancy taking in one of many extra standard debates. You’ll want ID, there’s airport-style safety and it’s a very good plan to decorate moderately neatly too.

Contact your MP prematurely, in any other case you’ll be able to likelihood your luck on the day and queue to get in to see the Home in session – recess very often coincides with faculty holidays in case you’re visiting with youngsters although.

Cross Westminster Bridge to the South Financial institution

View along the South Bank towards St Paul's Cathedral including the dolphin lamps - one of the best places to walk in London with kids, and one of the stops on my self-guided London landmarks walking tour

Cease 12: The South Financial institution

The London Eye might be the most effective recognized place to get a chicken’s eye view of the capital (though definitely not the one possibility – take a look at my ideas for another nice London views with youngsters)

Towering excessive above the South Financial institution and looking throughout the Thames, you will get some spectacular panoramas, or simply take pleasure in watching it flip slowly.

Prebooking is strongly suggested, with reductions in case you purchase your tickets on-line prematurely. There are additionally fast-track tickets out there to skip the queues, which is right with youngsters, particularly in peak season.

From right here, you’ll go a string of different household sights as you wander alongside the Thames previous Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge, earlier than reaching Bankside.

Try my publish on the most effective issues to do on the South Financial institution with youngsters for extra ideas

Alongside the way in which, you’ll be able to go to the Sea Life Aquarium, Shrek’s Journey and the London Dungeon, see avenue artwork, go a skate park, take pleasure in views alongside the water, together with an amazing level to take a photograph close to Gabriel’s Wharf, earlier than reaching the Tate Fashionable and Shakespeare’s Globe, the place you’ll be able to take a tour behind the scenes.

If you wish to detour barely away from the riverside, it’s solely a brief stroll from Tate Fashionable to Borough Market to select up one thing to eat.

Head over the Millennium Bridge again to the north financial institution of the Thames

View of St Paul's cathedral against a blue sky - one of the iconic sights on my London walk with kids

Cease 13: St Paul’s Cathedral

Famously constructed from the ashes of the Nice Fireplace of London, at the moment it’s onerous to think about London’s skyline with out Christopher Wren’s well-known dome.

Exterior you’ll be able to spot the define of the previous cathedral marked out on the bottom, to get an concept of the way it as soon as appeared.

And you can too head inside to discover St Paul’s Cathedral besides on Sundays or when it’s closed for particular providers – click on right here to e-book discounted tickets utilizing my code MUMMYTRAVELS6.

Within the Whispering gallery, a whisper on one facet may be heard on the opposite – I keep in mind doing this with my mother and father as a toddler, and it looks like magic that this must be attainable.

For now, that’s briefly closed to the general public however there are two extra galleries above with fabulous views in case you’re completely happy to climb 528 steps.

You too can see tombs of well-known Britons within the crypt, together with Wren himself, Lord Wellington and Lord Nelson plus memorials to Florence Nightingale, Samuel Johnson and poet John Donne, the one one to have survived the hearth.

Stroll down Cannon Avenue within the course of London Bridge (hold a watch out for the London Stone alongside the way in which). Flip onto King William Avenue and earlier than you get to the bridge itself, flip down Monument Avenue in direction of The Monument.

The Monument to the Great Fire of London against a blue sky, surrounded by office blocks - one of the stops on my London landmarks walking route with kids

Cease 14: The Monument

On the junction of Monument Avenue and Fish Avenue Hill, the Monument to the Nice Fireplace of London (higher recognized merely because the Monument) was additionally designed by Sir Christopher Wren and completed in 1677.

Standing 202 toes excessive, it’s 202 toes from the spot the place the hearth began on Pudding Lane – in case you laid it down, it might attain proper to the bakery.

For extra Nice Fireplace of London places, take a look at this publish

In addition to studying the plaque on the backside, you can too climb the 311 steps to the gallery on the prime of the Monument to look out throughout town.

Solely 33 persons are allowed inside at any time, with a free certificates for these which make the climb.

Earlier than you head on to the following cease, you can make a fast detour to London Bridge – there’s been a bridge in round this spot for the reason that Romans constructed Londinium, though the fashionable bridge might be certainly one of London’s dullest. You do get some nice views of Tower Bridge and the Shard from right here.

Then head to Decrease Thames Avenue and observe it east in direction of the Tower of London – it’s not probably the most thrilling part as you stroll London, alongside a busy highway, so you’ll be able to take the tube from Monument station to Tower Hill in case you desire, or head as much as Eastcheap to catch the quantity 15 bus (which additionally runs from St Paul’s Cathedral in case you don’t thoughts lacking Monument altogether)

Advert showing an image of a printable scavenger hunt for the Tower of London and the words 'click here to buy your scavenger hunt for a visit to the Tower of London with kids, only 99p'

Cease 15: The Tower of London

From the crown jewels to the well-known ravens and beefeaters, a go to to the The Tower of London makes an amazing time out with youngsters in London.

You will get a glance throughout the moat to a few of its partitions and fortifications in case you don’t need to go inside, in addition to seeing the river entrance to Traitor’s Gate from the trail on the waterfront.

But it surely’s nicely price making time to move inside. With virtually 950 years of historical past inside its partitions, you’ll be able to discover former royal residences, adorned as they might have been when kings lived there, and uncover the Tower’s grim historical past as a jail too, together with a memorial to 2 of Henry VIII’s executed queens.

It additionally homes a part of the Royal Armoury, a show on the Royal Mint, plus you’ll discover shows on the Tower’s menagerie of animals, uncover reside performances throughout faculty holidays, and stroll the partitions.

Tickets may be purchased on the day, though prebooking is advisable – there’s a reduction in case you e-book by way of tiqets utilizing my code MUMMYTRAVELS6.

There’s additionally a brand new immersive expertise close to the Tower themed across the Gunpowder Plot, the place you’ll be whisked again to 1605 to see in case you can foil Man Fawkes…

Stroll across the Tower to get to Tower Bridge – there are steps up from the river degree

My daughter points up at the White Tower in the Tower of London with blue skies in the background - one of the final stops on my self guided London walking tour with kids

Cease 16: Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is definitely probably the most well-known of London’s bridges, and in addition to getting a view of its well-known blue and white paint, you’ll be able to head inside to find its historical past.

There’s an opportunity to face on the glass walkway and look right down to the views alongside the river, earlier than heading into the engine rooms. There are common household actions for youths too, plus a Tower Bridge Path for Little Explorers and household path app. 

There’s a reduction on tickets to Tower Bridge in case you e-book utilizing my hyperlink and code MUMMYTRAVELS6 (or after all it’s free to stroll throughout in case you don’t need to go inside).

For those who’d like an opportunity of seeing the bridge’s spectacular opening as an even bigger boat comes by means of, test the raise occasions.

The place subsequent?

Congratulations! Your self guided London walks are at an finish and also you’ve ticked off a few of the key London sightseeing spots alongside the way in which.

From right here, there are many issues to do close to Tower Bridge with youngsters in case you’ve nonetheless received the power – head over to the opposite facet of the river to discover Bankside, see the HMS Belfast or Golden Hinde maybe.

You might choose up a ship from Tower Pier or London Bridge Metropolis Pier to get one other view of town from the water.

Or in case you didn’t go to Borough Market earlier within the day, you’ll be able to reward all that strolling with one thing scrumptious. Too drained to go that far? There’s a Crosstown Doughnuts truck at Extra London, round 5 minutes’ stroll away, plus some extra views of Tower Bridge.

Image showing a graphic of the London Eye on the Essential Guide to London with kids ebook cover, and the words 'click to buy my 33-page guide to London. Itineraries, tips and all you need to know before a visit to London with kids' linking to my the London with kids shop page

Disclosure: This publish incorporates affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I’ll obtain a small fee

Photographs: St Pauls and Tower of London copyright MummyTravels, Leicester Sq. courtesy AdobeStock, Predominant picture and all others courtesy of Depositphotos,

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