Central London Apartments who offer over 1000 serviced apartments in London, specialise in providing quality, great value accommodation in central London and the surrounding areas. They offer short stay apartments which can save an average of 30% on your hotel bill, whilst offering more space, comfort and flexibility.
We have been planning a trip to London with Caitlin and Ieuan but, being complete novices with family rooms, an apartment is a very tempting alternative, given our varying sleeping habits and the general cacophony of snores, whistles, shouts and completely lucid conversations with superheroes (you can guess who) emitted by the family en masse.
Then there's the issue of what to do - and the cost. Caitlin's knowledge of London has been entirely gleaned from Paddington and for her the City consists of Buckingham Palace, Madame Tussauds and Hampton Court Palace. Ieuan just wants to go on the underground.
We've got as far as considering a river cruise but the idea of being stuck on the London Eye for over an hour if one of the kids decides they want to get off is less appealing. I'd love to go on it though - and would also love to sip champagne at the top of the Shard - unlikely with the kids in tow!
I'd like to go to the London Dungeon - but will it be too scary for the kids? And then of course there's Legoland in Windsor and the Warner Bros Studio Tour of The Making of Harry Potter in Leavesden.
All of this could cost an arm and a leg so it was refreshing to read Central London Apartments' guide to 50 free things to do in London, many of which can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Here are my top five choices from their list, where you will find full information, location and websites etc.
1. National History Museum
Here you can discover the secrets of the deep sea, explore coral reefs and meet the dinosaurs. The museum is split into zones. The Blue Zone introduces you to dinosaurs and giant mammals, with a gallery of fascinating nature photography. The Red Zone takes you through a giant earth sculpture, where you can learn about the power of volcanoes and earthquakes. The Green Zone explores the wonders of evolution, and in the Orange Zone, you can see scientists hard at work, and visit the wildlife garden. There are 35 rooms of incredible exhibits, with the most intact Stegosaurus fossil skeleton in the world (in the Red Zone). There are regular free talks, tours and events for families.
4. The Science Museum
The Science Museum has over 15,000 objects on display and an exciting range of interactive exhibits. It’s the perfect place for kids (and big kids) who love robots and making things with their hands. You’ll meet robots who can write, and Adam, a robot who can carry out scientific experiments. Younger children will love the interactive storytelling events, and for older kids there are plenty of fun, free workshops. You can make a colourful magic lantern, a pop up Science Museum, an artistic doodling machine and your very own hand-made rocket mouse!
10. Free Walking Tour - Changing of The Guard
This is a two hour Golden Tours free Royal Walking Tour which follows the footsteps of Britain’s monarchy and you will see either the changing of the guard or the Horse Guards, depending on availability. Two hours may be a bit long for my kids but I'm sure we'd be able to slope off once the kids threshold of interest is reached!
Now I must confess this may be of more interest to Caitlin and I than to the boys but apart from all that luxurious designer wear and a fantastic beauty department, there is also the Toy Kingdom, a 26,000 foot realm crammed with LEGO, Barbie, Transformers, traditional teddies, books, delicious sweets, dress up clothes and souvenirs. There is also a Fendi pop up boutique – the space will mirror the building in miniature, transporting people to majestic Rome. I may struggle to remember this is supposed to be a free visit though and am quite likely to come over "all peculiar" and require afternoon tea.
29. St James' Park
St James’s Park is the oldest of the Royal parks and includes the iconic landmarks The Mall, Horse Guards Parade and the blue bridge. You can follow in the footsteps of the historic Royal processions marching down The Mall to Victoria Memorial and Buckingham Palace. And you may also meet one of the resident pelican colony. It's a great place to take a break and eat a packed lunch (even if you are wearing your kagool)!
There are so many other fabulous free places to visit and you can check out the rest of Central London Apartment's list here.
Which would you visit first?
Further information at www.central-london-apartments.com.
Like what you've read? Please share by clicking the icons below this post. Are there any must-see attractions you would add?