London Calling: A Perfect Weekend Escape Packed with Family Fun

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Advisor - Caroline Rust
Curated By

Caroline Rust

  • City Travel

  • Family Travel

  • London

  • Hotel Guide

  • Outdoors

  • Entertainment

London Calling: A Perfect Weekend Escape Packed with Family Fun
Curator’s statement

Navigating from Paris to Northern England, our family seized a spur-of-the-moment opportunity to explore London for a weekend. Juggling the logistics as a mom on the go, this spontaneous decision turned into a captivating experience of exploration and joy. Despite having explored parts of England before, we did not have the opportunity to visit London's magnetic charm until this trip. Join me as I share our family's delightful adventure in this iconic metropolis.

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London Unveiled: A Family Adventure

After savoring the delights of Paris, our family embarked on a journey to Northern England to reunite with relatives. This marked our second visit to England. This time around, we decided to seize a last-minute opportunity to explore the enchanting city of London. The impromptu decision not only added a delightful break to our train-heavy itinerary but also unfolded into a captivating experience for all.

Where We Stayed: A Family-Friendly Hotel

Our home base in London was the Park Plaza County Hall, nestled in the vibrant Waterloo district. To our pleasant surprise, the hotel turned out to be incredibly kid-friendly. Right from the start, the hotel staff showered both adults and kids in our party with warmth. During check-in, the little ones received a charming welcome bag containing coloring books, crayons and some candies. It was a gesture that set the tone for their excitement throughout the stay.

The room itself provided ample space, with a thoughtful separation between the bed and sofa bed, creating a cozy two-bedroom feel at night. Noteworthy amenities included a work desk, mini-fridge, microwave, sink and basic utensils. The bathroom, spacious and spotless, added to the overall comfort. The hotel also boasts a gym and spa for relaxation. The icing on the cake? Breakfast was included in our rate, served buffet-style every morning. The kid-friendly section offered a delightful array of pancakes, waffles and chocolate milk. It was complete with colorful plates, utensils, activity books and a photo booth for some playful memories.

Strategically located, the hotel placed us within walking distance of restaurants, pharmacies and exciting attractions like the London Eye and Sea Life London Aquarium. Not to mention easy access to the metro station and the iconic Westminster Bridge.

Where We Ate

Our first night saw us dining at Locale Southbank. An Italian gem boasting friendly staff, stylish decor, indoor and outdoor seating and a tempting menu. From the perfection of lasagna to the exquisite Linguine di Mare and classic cheese pizza for the kids, the meal was a culinary delight. To cap it off, we indulged in a Chocolate Fondant, a personal weakness of mine.

On Saturday, we enjoyed breakfast at the hotel. Lunch was a cozy affair at a local pub, where good food and an early arrival ensured swift service.

Making the Most of Our Day

Given our limited time, we decided to make Saturday a whirlwind tour of London's iconic spots. Opting for a hop-on-hop-off bus tour proved to be an excellent choice. The kids reveled in the bus adventure, complete with a guided tour in multiple languages and a convenient resting spot between attractions. Our focus was on external views to cover more ground, skipping interior tours and museums. Buckingham Palace stole the show, with us witnessing the Changing of the Guard ceremony and later enjoying a leisurely time at The Green Park.

We wrapped up the day exploring and shopping at the renowned London mall, Harrolds. Before retreating to our hotel room for a relaxing night, we picked up take-out to cater to our tired spirits.

As the sun rose the next morning, we bid farewell to London. Cherishing the memories, we headed towards Northern England, eager to continue our adventure.

Need to Know

In sum, our weekend in London emerged as the perfect introduction to this vibrant city, leaving us yearning for more exploration. The Park Plaza at County Hall proved to be an ideal haven for our family. The warm reception and thoughtful gestures towards the kids added an extra layer of joy to our stay.

Exploring the local dining scene near the hotel was a delightful experience. The city's walkability emerged as a key asset, allowing us to make the most of our brief visit. With each step, we uncovered new facets of London's charm. This short but sweet adventure only whetted our appetite for the many treasures the city holds.

I wholeheartedly recommend both the Park Plaza at County Hall and London itself as family-friendly destinations. The anticipation of returning for a more leisurely exploration is already building. Until next time, London!

This trip report is part of our ongoing series on travel to London. In need of further inspiration? Check out Alexandra Gonzalez’s guide, A First-Timer’s Guide to 5 Days in London.

Advisor - Caroline Rust

Travel Advisor

Caroline Rust

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