London with Kids – The Best Family Hotels

Updated: September 16, 2015

London with Kids on the tube

The 12 Best Family Hotels in London

Four Seasons Hotel Canary Wharf – luxury

Four Seasons London with Kids
Beautiful pool and usual Four Seasons’ kid-friendly service. Removed from the city’s bustle but an easy tube ride into the city. River ferry from jetty in front of hotel goes to West End offering great tour of River Thames’ attractions. A good choice if you want to leave the city behind for a slower pace at night. (Only downer: the pool is open to kids only from 9am to 11am.) Phone: +44 20 7510 1999

Cheval Gloucester Park at Kensington – luxury

Cheval Gloucester with Kids
Wonderful 2 and 3 bedroom apartments comfortably sleep families of 4 and 6. Kitchens have dishwasher, oven, and fridge. Rooms are cleaned daily. Great location near Gloucester Road tube station and 2 grocery stores and a 5 minute walk to the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, and Victoria and Albert Museum. Phone: +44 20 7373 1444

51 Buckingham Gate, Taj Suites And Residences – luxury

Taj Suites with Kids
Luxurious 2 and 3 bedroom suites (with turn-down service) have full kitchens, satellite TV, and DVD players. The Michelin-starred Indian restaurant attached to the hotel serves amazing vegetarian food. Close to Buckingham Palace and several tube stations. Phone: +44 20 7769 7766

The Darlington Hyde Park – moderate

Darlington Hyde Park with Kids
Family, triple, and quadruple rooms available (get a quadruple if you don’t want to be on the basement floor). Close to Paddington Station and Hyde Park. Full English breakfast included. Phone: +44 20 7460 8800

Premier Inn London County Hall – moderate

Premier Inn with Kids
Large family rooms and good value breakfast. Also close to several restaurants and cafes. 1 minute walk to London Eye, 2 minutes to London Aquarium, 5 minutes to Waterloo station, 7 minutes to Big Ben and Parliament. Phone: +44 15 8256 7890

Quality Crown Hotel Hyde Park – moderate

Quality Crown Hotel with Kids
Quadruples have 4 twin beds (in one room), suites have 2 twin beds in the living rooms and a full in a separate bedroom. Good free breakfast. Phone: +44 20 7262 6699

City Marque Waterloo Serviced Apartments – moderate

City Marque Waterloo with Kids
The 12 suites here are all 2-bedroom apartments and have 2 queen beds. Luxury at mid-range prices. Walking distance to Waterloo station. Phone: +44 845 680 0679

Comfort Inn Victoria – budget

Comfort Inn Victoria with Kids
Inexpensive hotel with triples and quadruples. Great location close to Victoria Station and many tourist attractions. Phone: +44 20 7233 6636

Luna & Simone Hotel – budget

Luna Simone with Kids
Comfortable homey rooms. Very helpful and friendly staff. A great warm breakfast is included with the room. Phone: +44 20 7834 5897

Best Western Chiswick Palace & Suites – budget

Best Western Chiswick with Kids
Family rooms have 1 full and 2 twin beds. This is an inexpensive hotel I might choose in a pinch – cheap, free parking, close to Heathrow and 20 minutes to central London by tube – but it wouldn’t be my first choice for an extended stay. Phone: +44 845 373 1023

Park Grand London Hyde Park – budget

Park Grand London with Kids
Handy for catching the express train to Heathrow. Prices are hit and miss. Sometimes very cheap, other times overpriced. Quadruple rooms have 2 queen beds. Phone: +44 20 7262 4521

More Hotels for Families

All of these hotels have triple, quad, or family rooms. There aren’t many large rooms in London so they get reserved far in advance. Book early.

London Houses & Apartments

Recommended rentals for families. Most units have kitchens, washer/dryer, and internet.

Hotels with Swimming Pools

Recommended and Helpful Links

39 questions and comments

  1. Best Thing To Do with 6 Year Old Boy in London

    So much great info! We are in London for a weekend. We have (a little selfishly) planned out some adult-centered activities but have time to do one attraction with our 6 year old in mind. What would you suggest. We’ve thought about the London Natural History or the London Transportation Museum. Which would you recommend if we can only visit one?

    1. David Post author

      Both the Natural History Musuem and the Transportation Museum are wonderful – but for a 6 year old I’d lean towards the Transportation Museum which is probably my kids favorite attraction in London. The big plus for the Natural History is that it’s bigger. At the Transportation Museum you’re looking at 1 to 2 hours. The Natural History Museum could fill 2 to 5 hours, or more. So it depends what sort of time slot you’re trying to fill.

  2. London in January with Kids

    Like everyone else has said, wonderful information here. Thanks. I’ll be in London in January with by 10 and 12 year old daughters. I know this isn’t summer but wondering what to expect. Is this an OK time to visit or should we delay until some time when we can come in summer. Will the main attractions and museums be open in January?


    1. David Post author

      January in London is great if you’re mainly interested in the museums and indoor attractions. The British Museum is wonderful to wander around at this time of year – it seems almost empty (if you’re used to the high season crowds). From April to November the Rosetta Stone has a crowd 5 deep around it. In January you can walk straight up to it and spend 30 minutes looking without bothering anyone else. The weather, of course, can be cold and wet. But London has a great transportation system so that shouldn’t bother you much.

  3. London with a Stroller

    Would you recommend using a stroller when getting around London? Trying to decide whether to take the stroller for my 3 year old. Nothing special planned besides seeing the iconic sights and a maybe the British and National Museums.

    1. David Post author

      Strollers can be nice for the larger museums (e.g. the British Museum) as when they’ve tired out you can put them in for a nap or just to buy 30 or 60 more minutes. But in general, out and about, they’re more of a pain. The tube often requires lots of stairs, sidewalks are buys in central London, even the bus has stairs (most are double decker). I don’t think the benefits outweigh the costs. I’d leave it at home.

  4. Pool at Marylebone Hotel

    Love the look of the Marylebone Hotel. How is the location? And how is the pool? It sounds like it’s part of an athletic club. How does that work? Do you have to go outside to access the club?

    1. David Post author

      I love the Marylebone. The pool is great, though they do have limited hours for children and kids under 5 can’t use it at all (check the website for current hours). It is part of the athletic club, but no, you don’t have to go outside to get to it. There’s a special elevator at the back of the hotel which goes down to the pool.

      Update: Just looked at the Marylebone website and it has incorrect info about kids’ swim times. I emailed the hotel and the (current) correct times for when kids can swim are: Monday to Friday 15.30 to 17.00, Saturday and Sunday 10.30 to 12.00 & 15.30 to 17.00.

  5. Catching Train to Paris – Recommended Hotel

    We have 3 days in London before catching the Eurostar to Paris. Then 4 days there, 2 in Amsterdam, and back to London for the final 2 nights. Where does the Eurostar depart from? Is that a good area to stay? Could you recommend a 4 or 5 star hotel that would make it easy to catch the train in the morning (and the same on the way back). And on the Paris end, where does the train arrive and is that a good neighborhood to base ourselves. We are a family of 4 from Chicago. We know big cities but don’t know Europe. Thanks, Wendy.

    1. David Post author

      The Eurostar leaves from St Pancras International. Arrive early as you’ll need to go through passport control and security. A good family hotel near the station (5 minute walk) is Pullman St Pancras. There are good sized room with king bed and sofa bed. When the train gets to Paris you’ll be at Gare du Nord. The area around the station is not great but not terrible either. I’ve stayed in the Midnight Hotel Paris which is a 5 minute walk from the station and has some very nice suites that are good for families (and have free breakfast). The hotel was recently refurbished and is very good value for what you get. But since you have 4 nights in Paris staying in a more central neighborhood is probably worth the effort.

  6. Family Hotel or Apartment Close to the British Museum

    We have a week in London and have a 13 year old girl who would like to spend a good part of it at the British Museum and a 12 year old boy that would like to go the London Transport Museum (as well as the British). Adults would like to visit the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery. I think it’s best if we find a hotel that will comfortably sleep 4 somewhere near the British Museum (which is in Bloomsbury, right?) – can you recommend a good hotel in this neighborhood for us? The thinking is that we’d be close enough so that our daughter could visit the museum on her own if the rest of the family has had their fill. Being close to shopping would please by wife. I know London is expensive but we would like to keep the charge around $400/day while still having a good bit of room to relax and not feel cramped. Where should we stay?

    1. David Post author

      Try the Private Apartments on Oxford Street – though they’re actually on Tottenham Court Road just off Oxford Street and about a 3 minute walk to the British Museum. They’re a 15 minute walk to the London Transport Museum, National Portrait, and National Galleries (or a direct tube ride). It’s in a very central location. There is good shopping (and grocery stores) just a short walk away.

  7. Good Family Restaurant in London

    We have a busy 3 days planned for our family of 5 while in London. We have 1 night free of events and would like to hit a good (great?) London eatery. Any suggestions for a restaurant that won’t be too expensive, good for kids (ages 6, 9, and 11), and has good food? We’re staying in the West End but open to going anywhere that sounds good. Preferably a place with locals and few tourists. Thanks, Darren.

    1. David Post author

      The Golden Hinde is a great fish and chips restaurant just off the high street in Marylebone. The restaurant is over a 100 years old so is doing something right. Mainly locals here. It doesn’t take reservations and is open for lunch and dinner. Highly recommended!

  8. Bus Routes for Seeing London

    I’ve heard that taking the double decker buses are a great way to see the city? Would you agree? What are some good routes to see the top sites in London? (We are staying north of Oxford Street.)

    1. David Post author

      Bus is a great way to both get around London and see some great scenery and street life at the same time. My favorite scenic routes are #159, #24, and #433. All will take you by Trafalgar Square, Westminster, Big Ben areas. If you travel outside of rush hour you can usually get good seats upstairs with a nice view. (Be sure to get an Oyster Card as it makes travel in London much easier.)

  9. Best Theater Show for Kids/Best Playground for Kids

    We’ve booked hotel and are now making plans for our week stay. There doesn’t seem to be any playgrounds close to our hotel in London. Since we have to go out of our way to get to one what would you say is the best playground in central London? And as far as theatre and musicals, what are the best shows for kids in London?

  10. Cheap Hotel for Family of 6 in London

    We will be in London at the end of September (2016), a family of 2 adults and 4 children. Can you suggest a nice place to stay in London, near tube/bus, but not too expensive? It is ok an apartment or room with 6 sleeping accommodation. thank you, regards

    1. David Post author

      If you want an inexpensive place to stay in London that will sleep a family of 6 you’re going to have to compromise on something (most likely location). Try Globe City Apartments – nice rooms, close to the tube (Stepney Green station), but not a great area. I wouldn’t call it unsafe but it’s not a neighborhood you’re hanging around in. If you’re out all day seeing the city you might not care a whole lot though.

  11. Lexie

    Personally, I’d recommend The Athenaeum Hotel, it’s in a great location (Mayfair), and even has a kids’ concierge, offering Wii games, Xbox, scooters, Frisbees, magazines, DVDs etc. And being an 11 year old kid blogger myself, it was definitely family-friendly.

  12. Best Neighborhood in London for Family

    We are coming to the end of a 3 week trip through Europe: London, Paris, Rome, Spain, then London, and home. We stayed near Hyde Park on the first visit and loved it but want a different area. I think we’re tired of more traditional sightseeing and want a neighborhood that is very family friendly yet close to the main attractions, metro, playgrounds. What would you recommend for neighborhood and hotels? Our kids are ages 8 and 10.

  13. Whitechapel Hotel in London for Family

    We plan to travel with the children (under 5) to London in August. We’ve already booked for our accommodation in The Whitechapel. It isn’t one of recommended ones. Do you think we made the right choice?

    1. David Post author

      The one and two bedroom apartments at Whitechapel are great value (the other rooms are rather small). The location is ok – easy access to the tube to get around London but not a lot immediately around the hotel.

  14. 2 Weeks in the UK

    We will be in England and Scotland in early July. We fly to Paris (the flights were cheaper) and then need to get over to London. Family will drive us from there to Edinburgh. We’ll have 2 days in Paris at beginning and end, and 3 days total in London. Questions:
    1) For a family of 4 would bus or train be better to get from Paris to London?
    2) What would be the top 3 things to do with kids in London (ages 8 and 9)?
    3) When should we book our hotel for July in London?


    1. David Post author

      1) From Paris to London train is much better and faster than bus. You’ll take the Eurostar. It’s a quick and enjoyable trip.
      2) Top 3: British Museum, London Transport Musuem, London Imperial War Museum.
      3) Book hotels as soon as possible. London doesn’t have a lot of family-friendly rooms – the sooner you get them booked the better.

  15. Bus or Tube in London with Kids

    We’re from New York and will have 1 week in London in early August with out 2 kids ages 8 and 9 before taking the train to Paris for an additional week there. Would you recommend the tube or the bus for getting around London?

    1. David Post author

      You will have to use the tube to get to some more distant places in London – or from one corner of the city to another – as it’s the fastest and most efficient way to get around the city. But for shorter trips within central London the bus is awesome. The buses run often (we rarely waited for more than a few minutes for any bus) and provide a great view of the city if you go up top (most buses are the double decker kind). But regardless of which one you take be sure you get an Oyster card or a Travelcard as soon as you arrive in London – very handy and make traveling around London easy. Buses don’t accept cash so it’s either a card or individual tickets.

      Here’s a map of bus routes in London:
      map of central London bus routes

  16. Paula

    The highlight of our trip was the British Museum. My 2 children whom are 8 and 12 positively loved it. We had one full day in London and were torn between visiting the British Museum and the Natural History Museum. Though I can’t speak to the Natural History Museum as we never got there I think we made a great choice. We were staying nearby which helped tip the scales for the BM. It was great that it was free as we came in the morning, left for lunch, and returned in the afternoon. Our flight was delayed by 5 hours the following day so we also got to pop in the following morning for 2 more hours. (Yes, I realize we should have tried to get somewhere else but the kids were so keen I wanted to follow their passions.)

    There were audio guides for kids but not sure I’d recommend them for kids older than 10 as they’re really for young ones. Good but not teen-friendly–opt for the adult version for anyone older than 9 or 10. There were also treasure hunt maps that, once again, were fine for my youngest but not so much for my oldest. What was really spellbinding for both were the many volunteers that populated little exhibits around the museum. They would call the kids over and talk in-depth about certain stones, a knife, an axe, a pot, that they had out. They’d compare different ages of different tools and how you determined one was from the bronze age and one was from the iron age. It was fascinating (even for me) and I was so proud of kids for asking such thoughtful questions. You could really tell they were “getting it”. Ahhh, to live in London and be able to experience these institutions every day.

    Only other word of advice is to leave early for the airport. We hit construction-related traffic and even though we planned to have several hours at the airport, essentially just made it in time to get ticketed and through security. Leave lots of time!

  17. Joyce

    We are regular visitors to London with our kids ages 10 and 12. London is our favorite city for the girls to have both educational and family fun.

    The Girls and my top attractions are the following.

    The British Museum. This was great when the girls were a little younger and keeps getting better with each visit and the girls appreciate the exhibits on a different level. Check in with the information desk to see what they have available. The audio guides are very kid-friendly.

    The National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery are both very kid friendly and some of the best museums for an introduction to art and painting. The how’s, why’s, and historical significance.

    The Victoria & Albert Museum is also very good. It’s near the Science and Natural History museums which had initially brought us to the neighborhood, but the girls and I both liked the exhibits at the V&A and would end up staying the whole afternoon after intending only an hour to take a look.

    The markets that you’ll find around London are simply excellent. Many are outdoor which is a refreshing change as London will have you indoors for most of the time. The Camden, Greenwich, Portobello, and Borough markets are all good, though I’m by no-means an expert as we hear of a new one on each visit that is supposedly better than all the rest.

    I also recommend using the double decker buses to get around town as opposed to the tube. Less busy, lots to see, and less stressful. The public buses (which I recommend) are different from the tourist buses that have a narrator and are a little tiresome. Use the public buses to get around town and get a free sightseeing tour at the same time.

  18. Marc

    You must get out of London and visit the Royal Air Force Museum. It’s fantastic for all ages. There’s so much to see, so many planes (British, German, American), helicopters, displays, and so much to read, that it requires a full day. The kids got an excellent and detailed explanation of what makes flight possible. Worth the trip up in itself as it’s really stuck with them. The museum is free which makes it good value. It is a ways out of London but worth it. The distance also serves to keep the crowds away and there appeared to be more workers/volunteers than visitors. It’s about a half-hour by tube from King’s Cross so not too far. There are 2 things to note about getting there. One: You’ll get on the Northern Line, but you need to be on a train heading to Edgware (and not High Barnet or Mill Hill East). The route splits at Camden so if you’re on the wrong line you’ll obviously go to the wrong place. This is easier than it sounds, just be sure the trains destination is Edgware. Two: You’ll get off the tube at Colindale (not Edgware as might be implied by above), from there you can walk to the museum (about 10 or 15 minutes) or get on the 303 bus which will drop you right at the museum’s door. There are places to eat at the museum and the food is good, kid-friendly, and not expensive by any means. The gift shop has some wonderful things to buy (models, photos, toys). We were ready to leave and then spent 45 minutes just perusing the gift shop. My only complaint was that some of the interactive exhibits for kids were out of order.

    Within London the London Transport Museum, The Natural History Museum, and the London Eye were our kids favorite attractions. The Eye, in particular, surprise me as I thought this was one for the parents but the kiddos were really into it. I recommend going near the end of your visit so the children have some context for what they’re seeing and you can point out places you’ve visited. Our one regret was leaving the British Museum to our final day, a Sunday, when it was too busy to enjoy properly.

    We were in London with our 2 kids ages 6.5 and 10.

  19. Where To Stay with Kids in London

    Trying to decide between a hotel in Paddington or a hotel in Kensington. Which is better for a family? (We fly from New York to Gatwick in late June and then from Gatwick to Rome 5 days later.)

    1. David Post author

      I prefer Kensington for its shops, green areas, and number of museums. Hyde Park is an easy walk from both neighborhoods. It’s easy and convenient to get from Heathrow to Paddington but since you’re flying out of Gatwick that’s not relevant. Both are fine neighborhoods but in your case I’d go with Kensington.

  20. London Pass Card for Families

    We are heading to London this spring and one thing I did to decrease sightseeing costs was purchase a London Pass Card. This covers admission to 55+ attractions in London. You might do better on prices if you know exactly where you want to go and pre-purchase tix online. However, I wanted the flexibility of not worrying about tickets I purchased to see a cathedral …if I later changed my mind. To get your monies worth you have to see a lot of attractions in a short period of time.

  21. Princess Diana Memorial Playground for Kids

    Hands down my boys favorite place in London is the Princess Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens. It’s a Peter Pan themed playground complete with pirate ship, tipis, lost boy’s hideouts, and the like! Best of all it’s free. There’s also a little cafe there for snacks or a light lunch–all kid friendly of course! Our family takes the tube to High Street Kensington to have lunch at Whole Foods (great for our multiple food-allergy fam) then walks over past Kensington Palace. It’s a great day out!

  22. How To Save Money for Family on London Tube

    Any idea of the best way to get around London on the subway with kids. I mean as to cost and saving money. Are there day passes? Thanks, Eric

    1. David Post author

      There are day passes – Oyster cards and travelcards – but whether you’ll buy or need them for your kids will depend on their ages. Generally 10 and under and they won’t need a Oyster card, as long as they are accompanied by an adult they’ll be free on trams, buses, light rail and the tube. Ages 11 to 15 they’ll be free on the trams and buses, and have the child rate on light rail and the tube but they’ll need the Oyster photocard.

      The Oyster card is awesome and highly recommended for adults. It makes getting on the tube, buses, and light rail so easy. You never have to worry about having the right change or money. And it makes most trips cheaper than if you bought a single fare. They do require a small deposit but getting it refunded on your last day in London is easy. You buy them at any tube station and get them refunded at any tube station. You can add money to them at kiosks in any tube station as well. When you enter a tube station with the card there are usually special gates you can use that will allow your kids to enter with you (and avoid the turnstile type gates that allow only one person through at a time). If you have any trouble just ask an attendant and they’ll wave you through with your kids.

      You can also buy the Visitor Oyster Card online and in advance and then use it for getting from Heathrow to London after you land. (Oyster cards don’t work for the Gatwick trains.)

      I hope that helps.

      Good luck.


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