Our Curated Guide To Family Stays In London

20 May 2024

As planning for summer break begins, London shines bright as a family-friendly destination. With a host of unique areas to explore, a rich history, and plenty of modern attractions, we explore the reasons children and adults alike thrive when visiting the UK’s capital.

The streets of London have a labyrinthine quality that somehow sets it apart from other major cities. There’s a magic to its alleyways and cobbles; the pretty mews and winding lanes that unravel organically, taking unexpected twists and turns. It’s a magic that invites exploration. And it’s easy to see the appeal for young imaginations. Whether visiting for the first time or a regular on the scene, in London, parents have an opportunity to delight their own inner child, while taking their family on a whirlwind adventure.

The perfect family day out in London

London comes alive in the summer, with bustling street markets, family activities and outdoor pop-ups. And as one of the greenest cities in Europe, a visit to one of its many parks is a good place to dive in.

Full to the brim with tulips in spring, Holland Park’s flowerbeds give way to roses and irises come summertime. With graceful waterfalls and mossy stone lanterns, the park’s Japanese area, the ‘Kyoto Garden’, is breathtakingly beautiful but little ones will be most impressed by the submarine-sized koi carp and strutting peacocks.

When energy is running high, the Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens is the perfect place for children to let off steam. A pirate ship takes centre stage, complete with sandy beach, teepees, and plenty of seating for grown-ups. If the nautical theme appeals, a swift trip on the Thames Clipper whisks you to the other end of the city, where Greenwich Park offers unparalleled views, acres of open space, and a chance to straddle the famous Greenwich Meridian.

London has plenty of places to make the most of the sun, but when it’s time to cool off there are no shortage of indoor activities either. London Zoo is the perfect place to find some shade, with a range of covered habitats housing a spectacular show of wildlife. The ‘Secret Life of Reptiles and Amphibians’ is a new addition for 2024, a custom-built facility featuring some wonderfully weird creatures, including crocodiles, geckos and giant frogs. 

Nature is also the name of the game at the Natural History Museum, where a vast blue whale skeleton inspires wonder in the entrance hall, while interactive exhibits await in the Dinosaur Gallery.  The Science Museum is just next door, chock-full of immersive displays, hands-on games, and an enormous IMAX where 3D screenings transport you to outer space or under the sea.

Entrance to National History Museum with blue sky in the background
Back view of boy and girl holding hands wearing mini rucksacks
Hyde Park, tulips, footpath and trees
Iconic London red telephone box next to the Albert Hall

Celebrate a new culture

Also new for 2024, London’s first Paddington Bear Exhibition. Opening at the end of May, it promises an interactive journey through the beloved bear’s quintessentially English world, and will be sure to please the city’s youngest guests. Paddington, incidentally, has his own thoughts on London. In the eponymous book ‘A Bear Called Paddington’, he offers this opinion: “In London, everyone is different, and that means anyone can fit in”.

Wise words, and true. Because each of London’s neighbourhoods is refreshingly different, from the pastel terraces of Notting Hill, to the ancient walls of the Tower of London. Teens seeking their own niche will find plenty of diversion in buzzy Camden, complete with quirky market stalls and vintage shops. Then, as evening approaches, perhaps it’s time to be ‘Spirited Away’. Following the roaring success of the on-stage adaption of ‘My Neighbor Totoro’, this Studio Ghibli classic has had its scarier moments tamed, making the show friendly for audiences of 7 and up.

Scones, fruit selection, cream and girl's hand picking up a strawberry.
Girl in pink dress and sunglasses with ice-cream on rooftop pool
An assortment of Cedric Grolet patisserie
The Berkeley's mini burgers, fruit kebabs, chips and goujons

Food, glorious food

London is a very walkable city, but with each step, appetites will sharpen. So it’s fortunate that London is also a cornucopia of eateries, cafes, restaurants, bars and food stalls. In west London, there’s no better way to start the day than at The Berkeley’s very own patisserie, where Cédric Grolet’s seasonal creations are whimsical, playful and utterly delicious. A visit to Borough Market means nibbling your way through artisan goods and enticing street food, while Fortnum and Masons is the place to go for a take-home treat. With an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ atmosphere and gorgeous array of beautifully styled products, this landmark store has appeal for all ages. (And when the kids have seen enough, Hamleys London’s most dazzling toy shop is just around the corner.)

Boy and girl in The Berkeley's white dressing gowns holding hands by the Berkeley rooftop pool
Arrangement of children's activities: jellycat dog toy, games console, twister board game, cards, caterpillar made from macarons
Boy and girl laughing playing with build-your-own wooden dinosaur
Girl in The Berkeley's white dressing gown throwing jellycat toy into the air and laughing

Alfresco adventures at The Berkeley

While London’s neighbourhoods provide plentiful entertainment, quality family time is on offer closer to home – right from the comfort of The Berkeley. One of the best hotels in London for families thanks to its prime location and a host of thoughtful touches and in-room entertainment for younger guests. These range from treats on arrival, to themed bed linen, and even mod-cons missed from home (think games consoles, cuddly toys and snuggly bathrobes).

Interconnecting suites provide the ideal blend of privacy and proximity, and when it’s time for some adult relaxation, experienced babysitters are on hand, giving parents a chance to zone out, head to the Surrenne Spa, or simply unwind over dinner.

City views and sunshine invite exploration upwards, where a heated rooftop pool provides a cool breather on sultry summer afternoons. Dedicated children’s menus make mealtimes a breeze, and a new Children’s Concierge is on hand to help plan fun-filled days.

Next time London’s calling, don’t hesitate to answer – family in tow. It’s a city full of interesting diversions, play and joy. A place where lasting memories will be made, no matter what age you are.


A Family Story

Elevating family time, this extra-special Knightsbridge tale offers the perfect place to stay in London, with a complimentary second room when staying in one of our suites – or 50% off a second room with all other room reservations.

Two children, a girl and boy, by the Berkeley rooftop pool, smiling and laughing.

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