I initially wrote this blog post for a fellow blogger’s blog but I thought time had come for me to post on my own blog the updated version.
I love exploring, it probably comes from my own parents who were great at exposing us to a variety of places and taking us on various trips in France and abroad. Since moving to England more than 10 years ago I have done my fair share of exploring. Now, as a mum of 3 I am delighted to share with you my favourite family friends spots in London.
Wether you are a mum/dad, an auntie/uncle or a grandparent, I can guaranty you will find a nice place to visit in this list. They have all been tested and approved by myself and I’m picky;)
- London Wetlands : this place has got to be one of my favourite quiet places in London. I was there again this morning with my toddler. It’s so close from the city centre and yet is such a haven of peace and tranquility, surrounded by birds of all sorts. I would really recommend it to anyone. There is a cafe for food, snacks or drinks for the grown ups and little ones as well (plenty of available high chairs). I wrote a blog post on my own blog about it which might inspire you.
They currently have a special lego exhibition with brick model animals until the end of the month which is fun to see. Read all about it here
(photo credit: London Wetlands)
London Wetlands – link here
Queen Elizabeth’s Walk
- Pembroke Lodge: it’s in Richmond Park not far from Richmond Gate but has super views across the Thames Valley. We love having a walk with the kids there as it’s never too busy and we sometimes stop in the newly restored garden where the kids enjoy playing. There is a really good cafe where we can warm ourselves up if the weather is a bit cold. If you are brave, you can even walk down the hill to Petersham Gate where there is a nice sandy playground for the kids.
Pembroke Lodge – link here
- Chiswick House and Gardens: a beautiful park with lots of lanes where the kids can cycle (bear in mind that Cycling is restricted to the tarmac drives within the gardens and not allowed on garden paths and lawns) or scoot. There is also a small play area and a good cafe.
There will soon be another Chinese Lantern Festival which is phenomenal. We visited it last year and loved it. Find out about it by reading my blog post from last year about it right here and/or book your tickers here.
Chiswick House and Gardens – link here
Chiswick W4 2RP
- Horniman Museum: it’s one of my favourite museums for the little ones as it’s like a small National History Museum And a Music Museum all at one. The Museum gardens are also great as you have space to experiment with different instruments, great views across South London and there is also a small farm and a nice cafe. The only problem is the parking in the area around the museum so I would encourage people to come by public transport and stop at Forest Hill train station or get on a bus.
Horniman Museum – link here
100 London Road, Forest Hill, London, SE23 3PQ
- Morden Hall and Deen city farm
A great park part of the National Trust with lots of beautiful roses in the summer and a pretty good city farm which is free entrance (donations are encouraged though). It’s easy to park and there is a good garden centre where you can shop at the end of your visit. There is a cafe at the entrance and a cafe at the City farm.
We visited the place many times but last year we went there on Father’s day and the roses garden was amazing. Totally worth a visit to take a few nice family pics.
Morden Hall NT – link here
Morden Hall Road, Morden, London, SM4 5JD
Deen City Farm – link here
39 Windsor Avenue, Merton Abbey, London SW19 2RR
- Battersea Zoo: it’s a small zoo right in the heart of Battersea Park. The park itself is a really nice park for walking with the family with a lake and lots of different alleys and even roads where you can cycle/roller skate etc. And you have the added bonus of being by the Thames which provides beautiful light and views, not forgetting to mention the sight of the stunning Peace Pagoda. The zoo is not too big, perfect for the under 8s I would say and there are lots of picnic tables if you fancy lunching al fresco. The kids love the play area which can satisfy the younger kids as well as the ‘older ones’ (up to the age of 10 years old in my opinion)
Battersea Zoo – link here
Battersea Park, Chelsea Bridge Gate, Battersea, London, SW11 4NJ
- Museum of Childhood: a fantastic museum with a really fabulous selection of old toys. It’s fun for the whole family and it’s free of charge. Beautiful building and plenty of spaces for a spot of lunch etc. We went on a Sunday morning which meant we had no trouble finding a spot to park and no crowd to bother us. It’s close to Bethnal Green Station so any other time, it would be better to come by tube.
Museum of Childhood – link here
Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9PA
- Kew Royal Botanic Gardens: it’s an all time favourite. It’s huge and even when it gets busy there are so many cornered alleys to find a quieter spot to picnic, feed a baby, play, read etc. We love it and when everyone has had a real walk we can go the Creepers and Ladders for some play time or we go to the small aquarium in the Main Green House.
Kew is worth visiting at any time of the year, you will always find something special to see. Beautiful colours in the autumn, fabulous flowers in the Spring and Summer and in Winter you still have the temperate houses.
Kew Royal Botanic Garden – link here
Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB
- RAF museum: based in Hendon, it’s a fantastic museum that will probably impress more the boys than the girls but still terrific. It’s free of charge but you do pay a small amount for the parking (lots of space). There are amazing helicopters, planes…and it’s so big you are never bothered by anyone. Just don’t lose one of your little ones in there as it happened to us, we had a good 10mn panic search to find our little girl who had gone sulking behind one of the massive planes.
RAF Museum – link here
Park Way, London, NW9 5LL
- Southbank:it’s not technically a place to have a walk around but it’s perfect spot to pit stop with the family as it’s big and I never have to worry whether the little ones are on their best beahviour. There is space for them to run around particularly if you go there during the week and they have changing facilities which come in handy. The cafe is spacious and have high chairs. You are then ready to explore the south bank and see the London eye, London aquarium, the Tate modern…
Southbank Centre – link here
London SE1 8XX
- Kensington Gardens & playground
We tend to go there on a Sunday morning as otherwise it’s tricky to park or we take the bus if we are feeling really brave. Good place to have a walk & take the kids to the big playground which features a giant pirate ship. The play area is safe as you are only authorised inside if you come with a little one.
Happy family outings to all!
All photos are mine except when stated. Shot with my DSLR Canon 400D for those from my archive or my Canon 7D mark II for the most recent ones.