Does your family love to get outside and walk at the earliest opportunity? Does that mean that you usually go on holiday to the countryside? Well stop. Think. And take note. You can find great places to walk in cities too.
We’ve got some amazing ideas for the best place to stay in the heart of London for walking with your family just to prove it! You don’t need to get on public transportation all the time to experience the best of London.
For this article, we are going to share with you the best places, tourist attractions, chain and boutique hotel ideas that work well for exploring the capital with your family on foot. There are some gorgeous parts to the capital, alongside some of the more traditional spots. There really is no reason why you cannot explore some of it on two feet with your family.
Bear in mind that you will need to allow the time it takes smaller people to walk about, so give yourself longer for exploring some of the best area ideas we have here. We do highly recommend the book Secret London Walks as well. This will give you even more ideas of where to go and what to see in the Capital.
It is stunning around the Paddington station part of London due to the clos proximity of Little Venice, the Grand Union canal, and even the architecture of the station, which is fascinating. Possibly not for those that aren’t big train enthusiasts, but even little ones like a bit of Thomas the Tank Engine don’t they?
There are loads of places to eat alongside the canals, including boats that offer some really exciting food options, such as the Cheese Barge, which is very near to Paddington Station.
In order to find a suitable place to stay here, and across our other ideas for London, eBooking is a good choice to explore options. There are loads of hotels to choose from on it, and you can select those with easy access to specific London landmarks.
We recommend the Norfolk Towers Paddington hotel as one of the best places to stay in London for walking around Paddington. It is reasonably priced, and is in close proximity, just a 5 minute walk, to the station.
St Paul’s Cathedral and the Wobbly Bridge
Anywhere along the river is a perfect place to take a stroll around in Central London, and combining this with a trip to visit St Paul’s makes for a perfect day in the capital city.
The Wobbly Bridge on the River Thames is the Millennium Bridge of course, re-named by Londoners in recent years because of the swaying motion that occured on the first day it opened. This resulted in a closure and repairs, but thankfully the bridge is open again, and very much in use.
On a bright summer’s day, it is stunning to see St Paul’s across the Thames from it with the family. There are plenty of restaurants lining the road opposite St Paul’s, where you can easily find somewhere to eat with the kids.
Sometimes it can be difficult to get away with the kids if you have a dog, SO how this as the best option for accommodation, a pet-friendly hotel overlooking St Paul’s; the Club Quarters Hotel?
This is a central location, near the St Paul’s tube station for access to the Central Line, and therefore loads of other attractions in the City.
Walking through the Royal Parks
Parklife is something parents across the world know and love, and the London parks are a sight to behold, particularly Green Park close to Buckingham Palace. There is nothing quite like the Royal Parks in summer, with their beautifully tended flowers, lakes, and green space. However, they are stunning all year round, and there is always plenty for parents and kids to do.
A short walk in the parks makes you feel like you aren’t even in London anymore sometimes too!
Let the kids run around and explore a little on their own if they are older. If your family is younger, it is a perfect place to stroll hand in hand, or pop them in the buggy when they get a little tired.
The Diana Memorial Fountain is well worth a visit if you have time; a focal point now for Hyde Park, and a fitting memory for a the people’s princess.
There are so many hotels to stay around the London Parks, we can’t share them all! We do recommend taking a look at the Lindon House Hotel because it is more reasonably priced, and offers Quadruple rooms and cribs for those with younger children.
Riverside walks at Gabriel’s Wharf and South Bank
The riverside walks in London are famous, and often packed with tourists, a little bit like Covent Garden, Oxford Street and Leicester Square. There IS a reason for this; they are a wonderful place to go and take the family. Sometimes though, there are gems that are missed if you aren’t local.
Gabriels’ Wharf is one of these.
The location typically has events for the family in the holidays, alongside shopping and restaurants that suit the slightly fussier palate. Take a walk down there from Blackfriars Bridge, and you can stroll along the river to the Southbank and even the London Eye and Tate Modern, passing some of London’s landmarks on the way, including The Golden Hinde.
You can walk a long way down the river, from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge. There is loads to see and do by the River Thames. Don’t forget to visit the House of Parliament near Westminster during your stay, the parks near there are well worth a picnic too.
If you are looking for a hotel nearby Gabriels Wharf, why not check out the Novotel London Blackfriars, which even has an indoor pool for you.
Limehouse Basin and Canary Wharf
We’d like to confess a little bias here, because our editor used to live in Limehouse Basin, and it truly is a hidden gem.
It is not too far from the centre of the city, at just three stops on the DLR from Bank underground station, AND it is right on the river.
It offers restaurants, a park, the Regents Canal, Limehouse Basin, and a riverside walk up to Canary Wharf for the shopping and even more great views of London’s iconic river.
It is always a good idea to look at places a little out of the way when you visit a big city, don’t you think?
You can either choose to walk alongside the Regents Canal from Limehouse Basin, or take a trip to the Grapes pub, and then go along the riverside walk up to Canary Wharf. Children will love the bridges, and even some of the flats that they can see alongside the river, and the basin.
If you have time, it is well worth taking the DLR to Tower Gateway too, and visiting St Katherine’s Dock, The Tower of London, and Tower Bridge. Some of the boats moored at the dock are probably worth more than your house!.
The Dickens Inn at St Katherine’s Dock is also great place for grabbing a bite to eat with the kids too.
If you are looking for somewhere expensive to stay that’s a bit more luxury hotels and spacious rooms; then try The Four Seasons at Canary Wharf (!). For those that need a more family hotel, try out the Holiday Inn Express at Limehouse.
There are, of course, loads of the usual main attractions to explore in London alongside these ideas, such as London Bridge, The City of London, The Science Museum and The British Museum.
We just wanted to give you some ideas of the best places to stay for walking in London that are little off the beaten track that are suitable to try out with the kids. If you do give them a go, let us know how you get on with having a different experience of London. One from a local!
We hope you like what you see here, do check out some of the other articles we have on UK travel on the site:
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This is a collaborative post.