Regent's Park & around
Regent's Park -
Regent's Park dates back to the time of Henry VIII, when it was a large royal hunting grounds. Today the park is perfect for a family day out, including the London Zoo, pedal boating, children's playground, swans and geese on the lake, bridges and islands to explore, there are cafes in the park, or bring a picnic.
- A trip to the London Zoo has always been fun, but now kids can walk in Harry Potter's footsteps, remembering his one happy day with those Muggles the Dursleys. Check out owls (might even meet one), but don't miss the reptile room, where Harry realized he could talk to a boa constrictor.
Check out new exhibits, children's activities, crafts, storytelling: What's On
Rent a pedal boat
and go out on the lake, or for little kids, there's pint-sized pedal boats in the Children's Boating Pond
, and a playground
Drop by the Open Air Theatre
to see what's playing. Often there are plays and musicals tailored to kids. Click here
for the schedule.
Boat ride on Regent's Canal - Canals were once a main source of industrial transportation into London, and it's fun to take a ride on the canal today, for an interesting, unique view of London.
To pick up the boat, take the underground to Warwick Ave. and walk over to Little Venice, a lovely part of London where the canal is lined with green trees, ducks glide around on the water, and there's lots of colorful narrowboats, permanently moored along the canal. Spend some time walking around Little Venice, stop into a cafe for a bite to eat, then take the London Waterbus that goes along Regent's Canal to Camden Lock.
The ride lasts about 45 min., and passes through tunnels, under bridges, and goes along the back section of Regent's Park. At Camden Lock, watch the locks in action, narrowboats going up and down the canal. The canal boat trips run year round, but more frequently in summer. (The boats are closed, so this is a fun thing to do in even bad weather.)
Tip: The London Waterbus is the perfect way to get to the London Zoo. Buy a combination boat ride and zoo entrance ticket, and there's a stop for the zoo along the way.
Madame Tussaud's - It's tacky and wonderful and if you're going to see any of Madame Tussaud museums, London is the place to do it. Madame Tussaud's is a way into English history. Queen Victoria is especially lifelike. And how could you fail to miss Henry VIII and his wives.
Sherlock Holmes Museum - London and Sherlock Holmes are almost synonymous. Sherlock Holmes was a fictional character created by Conan Doyle, but he seems real to kids and adults alike. So real that when you visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221b Baker Street, there's a recreation of Holmes' study where his solved his famous cases.
If you take the underground, when you exit the Baker Street station on Marylebone St., there's a statue of Sherlock Holmes.
The Wallace Collection - A hidden gem, this museum has a stellar collection of armor from all over the world – India, Persia, Italy Germany, England, with oodles of swords, daggers, maces, helmets, shields, chain mail, horse armor.
Also, world famous paintings – our favorites are Rembrandt self portrait and his son Titus, a young lady with her dog Miss Bowles by Joshua Reynolds, The Laughing Cavalier by Frans Hals, and a charming portrait of Queen Victoria as a young woman, not dressed in black.
The Wallace Collection is free. (Tip: We visited on a rainy Sunday, along with local London families and their kids.)