Overnight Fun in London for Families

 In Europe

Summer vacation planning is in full swing. Lela Lake from HostelBookers.com has jumped in to help you plan the perfect overnight itinerary in one of my favorite cities in Europe- London. We all travel on a budget,and now you can see the city without the tourist prices.

London‘s one of those fabulous cities with family-friendly attractions and budget-friendly accommodations all grouped together for a perfect overnight summer outing with the gang!  With just a little planning, you can embark on a 24-hour excursion of delightful activities like exploring Museum Row, admiring the Royal Albert Hall, rowing the lake in Hyde Park and communing with furry friends at the London Zoo.  Here’s a sample itinerary for a fun-filled overnight adventure to London that’s easy on the pocket book.


The linchpin to a successful family getaway is finding a hotel that’s close to everything and welcomes guests of all ages. The helpful folks at Hostelbookers.com have identified Camelot House near the Edgeware Road tube station as one of those delightful budget hotels that’s remarkably convenient to family fun in London.  Though not fancy, the rooms are comfortable with kid-friendly furnishings, private bathrooms and mini-kitchens for snacks.  You can even fuel up before your big Saturday exploration with a hearty complimentary English breakfast.


Photo credit: Camelot House

Friday Evening

Once you stowed your gear at the hotel, walk down Edgeware Road where you’ll find lots of excellent ethnic restaurants.  The most highly recommended for families, Mahal (138 Edgware Road), serves home-style Indian food for a reasonable price in a relaxed atmosphere.  After dinner, continue down to the end of Edgeware Road and go around the corner to the bus stop on Bayswater Road.  From there, you can pick up the 274 bus for a 25-minute ride to the London Zoo that stays open late on Friday nights in June and July.  The kids will have a blast with the free “Party Animals” app that allows them to take pictures of their favorite zoo animals and superimpose human faces.  The zoo is open until 10:00 PM and at the same bus stop the 10:10 PM bus will take you back to your hotel after quick change to bus 205 at Baker Street.


Great White Pelicans at the London Zoo (Photo Credit: Snowmanradio/Wikipedia CC)

Saturday Morning at the Museum(s)

After breakfast, walk up to the Edgeware tube station to pick up the Circle Line Tube where you can take an 18-minute trip to Cromwell Road, better known as Museum Row.  Your first stop will be the Natural History Museum with a fascinating wildlife garden out front.  After admiring nature’s splendor, you can walk around the block to the Science Museum where marvels of technology such as the Apollo 10 command capsule and Stephenson’s Rocket are on display.


Stephenson’s Rocket at the Science Museum, London   (Photo credit: William M. Connolley/ Wikipedia CC)

Lunch in the Garden

When tummies start rumbling, go to 54 Gloucester Road where you’ll find one of the best lunch deals in town, The Sandwich Shop.  Serving the student community, your family will find plenty of healthy sandwiches with hearty fillings offered for extremely reasonable prices.  Get your order to go and walk down to the Queen’s Gate Gardens in the next block for an impromptu picnic.

An Afternoon at the Park

After lunch, hop on the Glouchester Road bus number 49 for an 18-minute ride to the Queen’s Gate Lodge entrance of Hyde Park.  From there you can hike around the Flower Walk ending at the playground that’s across a street from the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain.  Cross the Serpentine Bridge and walk around the shoreline to the Boat House to rent a paddle boat or take a relaxing cruise on the Solarshuttle, a vessel powered only by the sun.


Boat at Hyde Park (Photo Credit: Maryam (one bored chica)/ Flickr)

Noodle Dinner

At sundown, head back to Queen’s Gate Lodge and ignore all the ultra-expensive restaurants on Kensington Road and head for Wagamamas (26 Kensington High Street), a popular Japanese chain food restaurant serving noodle dishes with fresh ingredients and scrumptious desserts to top it off.

The Encore

Before returning to the hotel on the Tube from the Kensington District Line Station, treat the family to a walk around majestic domed red-brick Royal Albert Hall.  It’s spectacularly lit at night and surrounded by impressive sculptures, bubbling fountains and gilded fences.

Disclaimer: Lela Lake from Hostelbookers.com provided the content in this post. All opinions are her own. 

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