London is one of the greatest cities in the world, attracting visitors from all far-reaching corners of the globe (in normal times, anyway) and seeing all the sights of the capital is made far easier with well-connected public transport.
Not only does the London Underground offer a quick and easy means of travel from one end of the city to the other, other services (such as the Overground and buses) also means that sightseeing is a breeze. However, anyone with a young child will know that it isn’t just a case of moving yourself from one place to another – you also have to consider everything that comes with the child.
That means thinking about the changing bag, buggy/pram and, of course, their favourite toy. When you consider all of that, thinking about the best way to get around London becomes a little bit more difficult. The last thing you want is to walk onto a crowded tube and have to force your child’s pram into another passenger’s shins.
Consider How You are Travelling
Before you travel around London, you must travel to London. For many, this will mean taking the train to London King’s Cross. When travelling with a little one, it is a good idea to book yourself on a fast train where you can reserve your seating (especially if you are boarding from a smaller station soon after a station, meaning the carriage is likely to be full).
Try to travel as light as possible, which is easier said than done with babies and toddlers. If possible, travelling with a pram that can be easily folded when not in use will save you, and every else around you, a lot of space. This will be particularly useful for families with toddlers that are able to walk alongside their parents, but still require a buggy from time to time.
If you do have the option of travelling by car, this is by far the easier mode of transport for those with children. There is nothing quite like having your own space and it means that you can pack more essentials that may come in handy. For families staying in hotels, parking up in the facility’s car park saves having to spend out on expensive overnight parking spots at train stations.
When and Where You are Travelling
Peak times can be a nightmare travelling in and around London, but certain areas will always have high amounts of traffic (such as King’s Cross, Oxford Circus and Leicester Square). That means being canny with your travel plans and reducing the chances of getting stuck in crowds of people.
Tourist attractions, such as the Tower of London and museums, are going to be main areas of interest for visitors. Arrive as early as possible. That way, you won’t be stuck in a long line for hours with impatient children waiting to learn about Victorian England police and other interesting points in history.
Eating and Drinking
If you are staying overnight at a hotel, then try and arrange to have your meals there to save fighting through crowds (especially if you know you will be likely to indulge at fast food restaurants). With young children, this can offer some form of respite away from the hustle that comes with London.
Should you be travelling for the day, then our recommendation is to reserve a place at a restaurant rather than taking your chances. You will no doubt be disappointed as you head from restaurant to restaurant, and that will mean you are sitting down for lunch much later than anticipated. As a result, you will have to strike off parts from your itinerary – and that could ruin the entire trip.
London can be busy and daunting for parents taking young children around with them. Always keep them in sight and with you. If you are a single parent with multiple kids, ask if another adult can come with you (such as a friend or family member) to reduce the risk of separation.