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Best sights in London with kids in 2.5/3days

Hello! We've never travelled to London and are looking for things to do with kids. We are a family that likes to eat/drink and see historic fun stuff. We arrive from a train from Paris about 11am on a Monday in April (staying in Chelsea) and will be flying back to America from Gatwick on a Thursday at 11am. Best suggestions of sights to see within the same areas to save walking/trip time?
I dont want to waste that first Monday but not sure if we should go straight into a museum. Also Is Windsor or Bathe a total crazt thought for our short time frame? Thanks

Posted by
1524 posts

Andrea - How old are the kids ?

From Chelsea area, you have the options to visit Windsor castle with kids. If kids like soccer, then take a tour of Chelsea F.C. soccer stadium, you have the opportunity of visiting National Army museum, Battersea Park Children's Zoo, day trip to Canterbury UK, Warner Brothers Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter is another option.

Posted by
5026 posts

Bath is a full day trip and Windsor is a 1/2-3/4 day trip, so if you want to see anything of London itself, you don’t have the time. Bath is unlikely to be of much interest to children compared to what London can offer.

Posted by
12538 posts

Yes, how old ar the kids?

Chelsea itself does not have the popular tourist sites but you can easily reach them by Tube, bus or Thames Clipper ( waterbus).

The No. 11 but runs up Kings Road in Chelsea to TrafLgar Square and then past many famous buildings:

https://www.tripsavvy.com/number-11-london-bus-route-1582169

It is a good introduction to London and something you could do on your arrival day. You don't have to go all the way to Tower of London, but you can. At St. Paul's you could get off and cross the Thames on the pedestrian-only Millennium Bridge to the South Bank pedestrian path, and walk back west for great views and lots of cafes and restaurants on offer. When you are ready to head back, you could catch a boat and ride downriver to Chelsea Harbor Pier. Here is the route map for the Thames Clippers:

https://www.thamesclippers.com/route-time-table?_ga=2.89111965.70368903.1576093903-1246342216.1542556449&_gac=1.220965738.1576093903.CjwKCAiAxMLvBRBNEiwAKhr-nJP-KJjvpb5_DuUZhWi1AouXebu95-zUh-iw3BfV8ewjzRUZNBxUixoCaHsQAvD_BwE

Note that after London City Pier, you will have to cross back to the other side to catch the RB6 boat which goes upriver as far as Chelsea Harbor Pier.

Here is a map of more useful bus routes:

http://content.tfl.gov.uk/bus-route-maps/key-bus-routes-in-central-london.pdf

Posted by
2023 posts

Our Tweens really enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes museum. Cannot remember for certain but they may only allow a certain number in at one time. We had to wait in line for maybe 30 minutes. Don't know about pre buying tickets. It is a fairly small museum --2 floors I think-You see it in about 45 minutes. There were two wax figures (done by Tussard) and the kids were fascinated with them. We tried to let the kids make some choices on the sights.

Posted by
2904 posts

Tower of London if you don't do Windsor, maybe British Museum, Museum of London
If they're Harry Potter fans, you must do Warner Brothers but you will need to get those tickets NOW.

Posted by
12538 posts

We still do not know how old the children are. . . .

Posted by
2 posts

Hello and thanks for the replies. My kids are 9 & 12. Not sure they’d be into soccer stuff (not big into sports). But I love the ideas of Sherlock Holmes Museum and a play. We’re staying in Chelsea near Knightsbridge stop (I think). Thanks for the information!

Posted by
8625 posts

Oooh, 9 and 12 - Definitely the Tower of London with the free tour with the Yeoman Warders! Be sure to take your time here even though your days are limited. Do stop for refreshment and a snack or a meal as there is a lot to see. I have overwhelmed myself here on a couple of occasions by not taking time out to sit and refresh.

I'd skip Bath (although it is a personal favorite). IF your family decides they want to visit a castle that is still inhabited Windsor is a good one. I'd probably skip it for this short visit but if someone is particularly wanting to see it then plan for it to take a half a day.

On your arrival day it will probably be early afternoon before you are settled and ready to look for lunch and activity. I'd not do the Tower this day - I'd start there first thing in the AM when everyone is fresh.

Posted by
5026 posts

The London Transport Museum in Covent Garden is great for all ages. I didn’t enjoy the Tower of London at that age.