Pack Your Parent Backpack For A Day In The City!

Pack Your Parent Backpack For A Day In The City!

You’d be surprised how many people I meet in my home city of Norwich who have never been to London! Not simply that they’ve never ventured with their kiddos, but they’ve never been themselves! I can’t imagine never having visited the capital city, especially when, really and truly it’s only a stone’s throw from Norfolk! It doesn’t even have to be an over-nighter, totally close enough for a day trip, London is on the doorstep really and, there’s a wealth of things to do with children when there so, what are you waiting for?! Get your parent backpack out, fill it up with all you’ll need for a great day out and grab my tips to rale London with your little people by storm!

First up travel:

Driving from Norwich to London often takes a couple of hours and with free on-street parking in areas just outside the centre, in East London, like Leytonstone (where we used to live), you can park the car, get on the tube and head centrally that way. Alternatively look out for the Greater Anglia hare fares which are released every so often and allow return travel from Norfolk to London at an amazing rate of £24 for adults and £2 for children (return). They release these fares two or three times a year and are bookable for a short period of time but with a huge window of dates that travel can be taken. Once in London, don’t forget under 10s travel on the tube for FREE and if you use your bank card on the tap in machines you won’t pay more than the daily cap. For older children it’s worth buying an Oyster card and having it verified for half price youth travel so that they can tap in and out at a half fare charge.

Getting around London:

It’s often daunting travelling around a strange city with children in tow and I won’t pretend that London makes it easy when you’ve a set of wheels with you. However, there are plenty of great ways to do the tube if you know your stuff! Newer lines like the new Queen Elizabeth and Jubilee are geared up for easy access. There are some central stations on older lines like Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street which are now also wheel friendly so investigating routes is always a good idea but do note that everywhere in central London is easy to walk to – especially using your Google maps to get about. It feels like you might have to charge 3 times to get from A-B when in actual fact, you’re more often than not better off travelling to an easy access station in central London and walking to your detination.

Where to go:

With kids in tow the sky is quite literally the limit – London has it all! From beaches (yes, thank you Southbank centre and Canary Wharf in the summer), to museums (too many to name) with a whole heap of fun in-between, you can find all sorts to keep the kiddos entertained in the city. I’ve a wealth of information on my blog about FREE things to do in London with the kids as well as some inexpensive ideas to run alongside the more spendy options. My favourite FREE things are The Science Museum which has some paid for exhibitions but a mass of FREE, hands on activities too, The Princess Diana Memorial Playground (a short walk through Kensington Gardens from The Science Museum) and The Museum of London Docklands which also has a pay for exhibition which is worth seeing but not necessary as there’s much else to do there too. A middle money moment would be The London Transport Museum which is FREE entry for kids and a ticket for an adult will last you a year, annual unlimited visits for one price (currently £24.50) and if you fancy spending out then I thoroughly recommend The Tower of London – can’t get more London than that right?!

What to eat:

If visiting for the day and wanting to eat out then my best advice is to pick somewhere you KNOW will be child friendly. A Pizza Express or even a McDonald’s to keep the children filled up is all that suffices, however, if you’re after something fancy then take a recommendation. Mine would be for a restaurant called Colonel Saab, who have two locations, one in Trafalgar Square and another in Holborn. This is Indian fine dining but they cater for children so superbly and make little ones feel super welcome! Don’t forget to pack the snacks for the rest of the day thought!


Just go with the flow, make plans but don’t feel too rigid about it. Kids don’t necessarily need lots of things going on, or much money to be spent. Simply catching a train and walking around London looking at the sights is quite impressive on its own. In summer time places like Somerset House look so beautiful and have fountains to play in when a cooling off is needed, there are little parks dotted about London like Coram’s Fields or the small, almost secret on just off Drury Lane. Winter time sees the lights in all the famous shopping streets and displays in windows like Selfridges. You can always find entertainment somehow in London, even if it’s just a walk through Hyde Park! If you’d like any more tips for a day out in London with the kids please send me a message or comment here and I’ll get back to you!

Pack well:

I mention packing a backpack because being on your feet all ay is tough. A good back pack which can be worn over the shoulders can take the weight off. But I do also like the Day Owl designed ones which have a carry handle too. I always pack everything but the kitchen sink in my bag, including the sling, so when the older little one need a rest, he can go in the buggy, I then pop the little one on my back and I can carry my backpack like a normal bag.


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