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London Accommodations for Family of 4

Any accommodation ideas for a single mother with three children (13, 15, & 18) spending one week in late July in London?  We’d like a comfortable place, conveniently located with some services. Know London is expensive and mid-range price is ok. Thanks!
P.S. Also, would welcome suggestions for activities teenagers would especially enjoy in London.

Posted by
1225 posts

I suggest an apartment. That doesn't necessarily mean you have to cook every day, but it enables the children to make their own breakfast and enjoy it in front of the TV when they want. We used and were satisfied.

Try not to go too far from the center as you might spend every saved accommodation penny (and valuable vacation time) on transport.

Posted by
2748 posts

We are also a family if 4 going to Europe this summer and to minimize costs, we booked family rooms at all the hotels and B&B’s we are staying at. However, they are in short supply and high demand so you may be too late for this.

Posted by
529 posts

You may have seen this trip report, but if not:

They will love the Tower of London. If it rains and/or they like learning how people lived in the past, I found the Museum of London to be a great place to get a feel for the history of the city with exhibits on the ice age, Roman London, and the Renaissance. if they like planes or military history, the Royal Air Force Museum in Collindale might appeal to them. If they like boats, consider Greenwich or a day trip to Portsmouth. Expose them to guidebooks and planning websites and see what they come up with. Mine chose a day trip to Bovington to the Tank Museum (warning: very long train ride, just barely within my tolerance limits for a day trip).

Sorry I don't have any suggestions on places to stay. We wound up getting two very expensive rooms in a small hotel near Victoria Station.

Posted by
4 posts

Have you considered AirBnb? Our family of 4 will be traveling next week to London and managed to make two bookings. at different locations just last week. Someone may cancel and the apartment or home could become available. We canceled our hotel reservation and look forward to enjoying added space and full kitchen, washing machine, and A/C. Best of luck.

Posted by
43 posts

In the midst of high school graduation so haven't had time to digest everything here; but I'd be remiss not to say immediately how very much I appreciate your suggestions! A particular thank you for pointing out the London travel report by a woman who traveled with 'tweens. Didn't see that and it is packed with information to be digested next week. Again, thanks much!

Posted by
7575 posts

Start looking now for your accommodation. At this late date I’d search via AirBnB or

Right in the middle of the tourist season in one of the most popular Cities in the world. Make certain you stay within in travel Zones 1 & 2 or you travel into and out of the city center will be costly.

Teens in London.
It will be interesting to them because it’s different.

You can take them into pubs for lunch.
Riding the tube will be new.
The sights, sounds and smells will be different. The crowds will open their eyes. The accents will open their ears. Full English breakfast with tomatoes and beans will be different. Bangers and mash. Candy is known as sweets and will be different although they can find a Snickers bar.

Language will be different:
Lift is an elevator
Crisps are potato chips
Chips are large fries
Loo is the restroom
Nappy is a diaper
Flat is an apartment
Trainers are sneakers
Telly is television
Biscuit is a cookie

So here’s my suggestions to keep them entertained:

Rent Notting Hill the movie or stream together... then visit Portobello Market.

Camden Lock Market then walk along Regents Canal.

Brick Lane Market. Lots of eye candy and food stalls. Do the Graffiti tour.

Go boating in Regents Park.

Walk past Kensington Palace or tour it. Explain it’s where Prince William and Kate and Prince Harry and Meghan reside. Enjoy the waterfowl at the Round Pound.

Do some London Walks. Pretty certain they’d have interest in Jack the Ripper.

Cruise the Thames.

Go mudlarking.

Are they Dr Who fans?
Beatles fans?
Harry Potter Fans?

Take them to Carnaby Street.

Pop inside Liberty.

Take them to the Woman in Black.

Picnic in Hyde Park.

Lastly check TimeOut London online to see if there’s something of interest. You could always try the new zip line or try the Tower Bridge Experience.

Posted by
503 posts

Here are my suggestions: Definitely scour Airbnb and for accommodation. There are a few aparthotel chains in London - Fraser Suites and Citadines which, depending on your budget might work as well.

For food: Pret a Manger, M & S Simply food are great for lunches - inexpensive (by London standards), tasty and with multiple locations throughout the city. Pubs can be good for dinner but can get pricey. If not staying in an apartment, budget friendly restaurants include Wagamama (asian) and a huge variety of ethnic eateries in Covent Garden and Soho.
Not sure of your children's interests. Bet some guidebooks (from Amazon or the library) and let the kids go through them to see what interests them!
My recommendations having taken our boys several times:

Tower of London (do the Crown Jewels first, then the Beefeater tour).

British Museum (check online for the various exhibits then map out what you want to see)

Westminster Abbey - do the verger tour - very interesting!

Imperial War Musuem - for those interested in WW1 and WW2

Shopping on Oxford street and environs for those who like to shop.

Lastly: London Walks - All different subjects and areas of London - great way to see parts of the city you would otherwise miss! No need for reservations - just check the schedule and then show up at the appointed day/time at the listed tube stop. Prior to the trip, check the schedule online for a description of walks and see if any interest your group!

Posted by
1172 posts

As a family of four, we rented a flat last summer. We liked having more space to relax after a long day of sightseeing and also having the chance to have some food and drinks on hand. My kids were 12 and 9. If your kids are or ever were Harry Potter fans, I highly recommend the studio tour. We were there for 5 hours. So well done
We also enjoyed the Tower of London and the Churchill War rooms. We also took the train out to Hampton Court Palace for the day.
We were there during a heat wave so also took advantage of the 2012 Aquatic centre.

Have fun!

Posted by
1540 posts

Take a look at the Jesmond Dene Hotel 2 blocks from St. Pancras and Kings Cross stations and metro. It is more like a B&B, but they do have quad rooms.
No elevator, full English breakfast available for a bit extra.
If you pay your bill in cash at the end of your stay, you do get a bit of a discount.
Book directly with the hotel to avoid add on fees by booking sites.

here is a link with photos. (i have stayed there several times and it is my go to lodging in London.)
Others on this board may have other suggestions.
Happy Travels

Posted by
335 posts

I know you are probably overwhelmed with things to investigate, but thought I would mention that we have found terrific apartments using or (sister companies). If you stay near Russell Square, or in Holborne, there are terrific Bus and tube connections. When you look for apartments count how many beds and what size beds there are in the apartment or take a good look at how long the couch is— by the time kids are teens they usually are not too keen on sharing a bed and one of your kids might be able to sleep right on the couch.

Our teens really enjoyed London theatre “The play that goes wrong” (comedy/farce); witness for the prosecution (Classic Hitchcock); STOMP ( drumming; comedy). These are top notch plays and I found theater tickets less expensive than in the US.

They also enjoyed anoutdoor flea market called Camden market , 15 minutes by bus direct from Russell Square, very easy to get there. I thought it was a bunch of junk but even with 37°F weather kids were enthralled !

Posted by
1 posts

we ordered for a family of 4 on , its kind of unknown but it has only professional hosts and the home we got was really top notch, the girls really had a great time.