London is consistently named one of the top tourist destinations in the world. New parents don’t need to miss out on all the fun, you will love visiting London with a baby or toddler! There are plenty of things to do in London with toddlers and babies and it is so easy to get from place-to-place.
Here’s all you need to know about visiting London with a toddler or baby:
What You’ll Find in This Article on London with a Baby or Toddler:
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When to Go to London with Toddlers or Babies
London has a reputation for having lovely spring and fall weather, but hot and crowded summers, so we elected to go in early September. Our visit to London with a toddler had near perfect temperatures, although a few days were even a little too hot. We enjoyed sunny skies with temperatures between 20-22 °C (68-72 °F).
Tip: The amount of rainfall is pretty steady through the year in London, so be sure to have an umbrella for yourself and a means of covering your baby, like one of these rain covers for a baby carrier or a stroller rain cover.
Where to Stay in London
Two of the best areas to stay in London are:
London’s West End (north of the River Thames and west of Kingsway) is an excellent choice, but it can be a little expensive. Most of London’s top attractions are located within the West End, including Buckingham Palace, the National Gallery, Westminster Abbey and the Theatre District. Of course, this means there is also great access to transit and excellent dining choices.
The South Bank is also conveniently located near many great attractions such as the London Eye, Tate Modern and the Globe Theatre. There are many excellent dining options, including the very popular Borough Market, and the river walk along the Thames is a wonderful way to get from place to place with a stroller in London.
We rented a vacation home rental apartment in the West End, just one block from Trafalgar Square. Its central location meant that it was a reasonable walking distance to nearly every attraction we wanted to see.
Our London vacation home rental was one of the only ones we’ve ever stayed at that we wouldn’t recommend, but fear not, there are many excellent vacation home rentals in London.
Getting from the London Airport to your Hotel
Here are all the best options to get from the London airport to your hotel. Your choice will likely be dependent on if you can get a car seat provided or if you are traveling with a car seat.
Black Taxi or Uber
Taking a taxi is a convenient way to get door-to-door service from the London airport to your hotel. But, unless you bring your own car seat, taking a taxi or Uber isn’t a safe choice for your baby.
If you want door-to-door service without lugging your car seat with you, book a private transfer. You can prebook an infant car seat (9+ months old) and your driver will meet you at the arrival gate. Strollers are also acceptable luggage, but factor this in to the size of car you order.
If you wish to leave your infant car seat at home, a private transfer is your best bet.
The rest of your options to get from the London airports to your hotel or vacation home rental involve multiple steps. Your bus or train will whisk you from the airport to a transportation hub in central London. From there, you’ll need to walk, take the Underground or a Black Taxi.
Taking the Heathrow Express or Gatwick Express
The Heathrow Express and Gatwick Express trains are a nice treat after a long flight to London. The express trains are one of the fastest ways to get to London as they do not stop between the airport and the transportation hub.
The speed of these trains makes them quite popular, so we recommend not traveling on them if you have a stroller. A baby carrier is more suitable for the London airport express trains.
Taking a London Airport Bus
If you have a stroller or pram, an airport bus is a convenient alternative to travel from your London airport to city centre. These specially designed buses have a section for luggage as well as a seating area.
National Express offers airport bus service to Central London from Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted. One baby under the age of 3 can travel for free and they strongly recommend you bring your own approved car seat for your baby, but they can travel in your lap if required.
If you are flying into London with a baby and worried about baby jet lag, read all our tips for jet lag in toddlers.
Getting around London with a Baby
Walking around London with a Baby
London is a very walkable city and you can walk freely with your stroller on the sidewalks virtually everywhere.
Note, that while London itself is very walkable, there are some attractions which are not stroller-friendly. We cover that below.
Taxi’s and Uber
UK law states that when traveling in taxis or private transfers, children under three may travel without a safety restraint in the rear of the vehicle if a child restraint system is not available.
Some taxi companies will have vehicles already equipped with car seats, but these must be requested and booked ahead of time. Uber does not provide car seats, but you can read more about taking an Uber with a baby or toddler here.
Transport for London (TfL) operates most of the public transportation systems within London. This service includes the Underground, the world famous red double-decker buses and the Thames Clipper river ferries. Given how walkable London is, you will likely use the Underground only if you need to go somewhere further afield.
The standard public transit ticket is good for use on all modes of public transportation and can be purchased at multilingual ticket machines at station entrances, tram stops or London Visitor Centres. The cost of a single ticket varies depending on the distance you are traveling. Children under 11 travel for free with a paying adult.
TfL offers a smartcard called a “Visitor Oyster Card” which is a quick and easy way to pay for public transit journeys in London. Besides convenience, this card has two additional advantages: the fares you pay using this card are cheaper than the single ticket fares and there is a daily fare cap in effect.
Tips for the London Underground with a Baby
Use a baby carrier or very lightweight travel stroller as you will be carrying the stroller up and down stairs. Although many stations within the London subway system have elevators, be prepared to find some of them out of service.
In addition, there are often turnstiles which you must enter/exit through which make it difficult to bring a stroller. If you must bring a stroller on your subway travel days, bring a wrap or baby carrier as well. This enables you to carry your baby up or down the stairs, while your partner or a generous stranger carries the stroller
London Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Buses
Hop-On Hop-Off buses are a fun, easy and interesting way to get around and see London. Hop-On Hop-Off buses are double-decker buses which feature a popular open air upper deck.
The stairs to the top deck are steep and winding and as a result, you cannot bring your stroller up, but there is room to store your stroller on the bottom deck. If sitting on the upper deck is attractive to you, bring a carrier instead of (or along with) your stroller and also bring along some sun protection for your baby.
Where to Get Baby Food and Diapers in London
Having a well-stocked pharmacy nearby is a blessing for parents. Not only do they stock many of the essentials for parents (diapers, medicine, etc.), many of them also sell groceries. Boots, LloydsPharmacy and Well Pharmacy are three of the largest chains in London.
There are several grocery store chains in London, but they are typically modest in size. Many other types of stores, such as corner markets, deli’s and pharmacies sell groceries as well.
Best Things to do in London with Babies or Toddlers
Wondering what to do in London with a baby or toddler? At this age, we found we could still visit all the places we wanted to see.
We visited London when our daughter was just starting to walk. So while we didn’t have to find specific things to do for toddlers in London, we spent a lot of time stopping at small parks to let her play in-between what we wanted to see.
We also found that all the things to do in London became fun toddler activities with a few small modifications. She was happy to visit museums if we let her push the stroller. She was pretty content to be in the stroller or baby carrier at other times, as long as we gave her time to explore in-between.
Overall we found everywhere in London to be baby-friendly. There are so many things to do in London with a baby, and our daughter enjoyed them all.
A popular gathering spot for locals and tourists alike, Trafalgar Square is found in the heart of central London and is close to most of the city’s attractions.
London’s most popular attraction, the huge British Museum houses world-class exhibits on Egypt, Greece, the Middle East, the Far East and more. This is a great thing to do in London with toddlers on a rainy day or during your baby’s nap.
The main entrance to the British Museum is at the top of a flight of stairs, but there is a small elevator to the left which enables people with strollers to get to the main level. Once inside the museum, you may find some walkways are tight, but you can explore all areas of the British Museum with a stroller. Small elevators enable you to reach all the floors.
There are two feeding rooms within the British Museum: the first is adjacent to the baby changing space on the east side of the Great Court and the other is in the Ford Centre for Young Visitors (available to families during weekends and school holidays only).
Additional baby changing facilities can be found in the North stairs (level 0) and the North stairs (level 3).
We visited the British Museum on our first day after an overnight flight from Canada, so our daughter spent the whole visit sleeping in her stroller. This was one of the only days we did not take her to a playground in London, but if we had needed to Coram’s Fields & The Harmsworth Memorial Playground is only a 10 minute walk away.
If you’d like a tour of the British Museum, but are worried about your baby making noise, try joining a private kid-friendly tour of the British Museum.
National Portrait Gallery
Ok… we typically find portrait paintings kinda boring… But, the sky was threatening rain and we were still waiting to check into our nearby vacation rental apartment, so we thought the National Portrait Gallery was the perfect spot to have our daughter nap.
The National Portrait Gallery was more interesting than we’d expected. It houses painted portraits of important figures from British history – from kings and queens of long ago, to the official portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.
All areas of this museum are accessible with a stroller.
Get your baby to sleep on vacation with all our tips and these top 10 must have baby travel items to get your baby to sleep on vacation.
The London Eye
The London Eye was originally intended as a temporary structure, but the popular 135 meter tall Ferris wheel is now a permanent fixture of the London skyline.
With a baby in a carrier, the London Eye is definitely one of the baby-friendly places in London to visit. You may bring your stroller into one of the capsules as long as it is folded down prior to entering. You may not bring your stroller into a capsule if it does not fold down.
There are baby changing facilities located within the main ticket hall.
For parents traveling to London with toddlers, Jubilee Gardens is next to the London Eye on the South Bank. You will find a great playground here that you can stop at to give your little one time to play.
Along The Queen’s Walk heading east towards Tate Modern and the Tower Bridge, you will find a fun sand pit that toddlers will enjoy. We stopped here on our way back from Tate Modern to our apartment to give our daughter some time to play.
A small piece of NYC’s Times Square in the heart of London, Piccadilly Circus is full of tourist shopping.
We walked through Piccadilly Circus in the late afternoon after our daughter’s afternoon nap. Piccadilly Circus is very different than the rest of London – it feels like Time’s Square in New York City with all the big TV’s on the side of buildings, etc.
There were street performers drawing a crowd and our daughter enjoyed “dancing” to their music. We enjoy seeing places like this, but we also don’t enjoy staying too long.
A trip to London is not complete without seeing the world-famous Tower Bridge.
We hopped on the Thames Clipper commuter boat and took a picturesque one-way trip up the River Thames from the Embankment Pier to the London Bridge City Pier. This was much easier and more enjoyable than a ride on the Tube would have been with our stroller.
The Thames Clipper service is similar to a tourist river cruise, but there is no tour guide. If you only want to go one-way (like we did), you pay half what you would pay for a tourist boat.
Once off the boat, we walked eastward along the river walkway towards the Tower Bridge. The views of the Tower Bridge are quite nice from this vantage point.
Once we reached the Tower Bridge we were able to take our stroller up to the bridge deck by taking an elevator (which are available on both the north and south side of the bridge). We were able to easily cross the bridge from there. If you choose to visit the Exhibition, lifts will enable you to take your stroller to the top.
Tower of London
Nearly 1,000 years old, the Tower of London has an amazing and sometimes gruesome history. Among its many attractions, this former castle now houses the Crown Jewels and has an impressive display of weaponry and armor.
William the Conqueror did not have stroller accessibility in mind when he built this castle. While it is possible to bring a stroller into the Tower of London, you will be very limited to the areas you can explore.
If you need to bring a stroller, use the complimentary stroller parking areas in the Tower of London and explore the castle with a baby carrier. Without a baby carrier we would not have been able to visit the tower walls or the White Tower.
There are baby-changing facilities located in the disabled toilet in the New Armouries café. There is also a female-only baby care facility in the Brick Toilets behind the Jewel House.
Kid-friendly Tower of London tours are available.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
One of the most famous sights in all of London, this Cathedral has graced the London skyline for over 300 years. It has played host to some of the most important moments in London history, including the funerals of Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher and the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.
After our visit to the Tower of London, we stopped at the Festival Gardens on our way to St. Paul’s Cathedral to let our daughter out of the stroller and give her some time to crawl around on the grass. She was happy to just explore while we enjoyed views of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
The main entrance to the Cathedral is at the top of a large flight of stairs, but people with strollers may use the accessible entrance on the south side of the building.
You can explore most areas of the Cathedral with your stroller with the exception of the Galleries which are reached by climbing several hundred stairs. If you wish to visit the Galleries, bring a baby carrier and leave your stroller with the attendant at the bottom. Leaving your stroller is at your own risk, but who would steal a stroller in a church?
The 257 steps to the Whispering Gallery takes you high up in the dome and allows you to admire the beauty of St. Paul’s from above. Another 119 steps takes you to the Stone Gallery which is an outside viewing area, offering good views of London.
But the best views of London are when you climb another 152 stairs to the Golden Gallery, which is the highest outdoor viewing area. We made it to the top, but it was hard work!
Originally built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703, Buckingham Palace has been the official royal palace of the British Monarch since 1837. Buckingham Palace is only open to visitors in the summer – typically late July to September.
We arrived in the main courtyard to find a massive crowd for the famous changing of the guards. All we could see were the guards’ black fuzzy hats so we elected to proceed straight for Buckingham Palace to hopefully beat the rush.
After purchasing our tickets we proceeded to the security check where we found out there are no strollers allowed in the State Rooms. Thankfully they were able to check it for us and return it at the end of the tour.
Baby carriers can be borrowed free of charge (subject to availability). We left our stroller behind and transferred our daughter to our baby carrier and began the tour.
The best part of visiting Buckingham Palace with a baby is how quiet everyone is. They give free audio guides to visitors, making it a great place for your baby to nap. At the end of the tour your baby can burn off some steam playing in the Family Pavilion.
There are no toilets for guests in Buckingham Palace until the very end. Ensure that all diapers are changed prior to entering the Palace as there are no suitable locations within for changing a diaper.
The National Gallery
Sitting atop Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery is the fourth most visited art museum in the world. Its treasures include over 2,000 artworks dating from the mid-thirteenth century to the 1900’s. A great place to quietly take in some culture as your baby has a nap on-the-go.
The main entrance to The National Gallery is at the top of a flight of stairs, but you will find accessible entrances on either side of the main entrance. Once inside you can easily access all areas of the museum.
While museums aren’t always at the top of parents lists when traveling with a toddler, we managed at the National Gallery by letting our daughter push her stroller around. It kept her happy and content while we did our quick visit through the museum.
Paper and pencils are available at the information desks for families visiting with toddlers or small children.
Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens
Spanning a combined 625 acres, these two contiguous parks are London’s equivalent to NYC’s Central Park. Among the many highlights of these parks are the famous Speaker’s Corner and Kensington Palace (home to Prince William and Kate).
The pathways in these parks are either paved or well groomed. You can explore the entirety of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens with your stroller.
Not only did we love our time in the park, it was a great place to let our daughter explore. There are a few playgrounds within Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, but we recommend visiting the Diana Memorial Playground. This excellent playground is one of the best things to do with toddlers in London.
After letting her play to her heart’s content in the Diana Memorial Playground we turned towards home. We walked past Kensington Palace, took a few pictures and then found a nice spot nearby to enjoy a picnic lunch. This was another great opportunity for our daughter to play and crawl around in the grass, while we enjoyed a rest from all the walking.
We highly recommend a day in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens as a way to escape the craziness of London.
There is no ritual more British than afternoon tea. This fun luxury is typically served between 3:00 and 5:00PM.
We chose to have afternoon tea at the Portrait Restaurant in the National Portrait Gallery given it’s proximity to our vacation home rental. The Portrait Restaurant is located on the top floor with exceptional views of Big Ben, the Parliament buildings, the London Eye and Lord Nelson in Trafalgar Square.
We brought our fabric travel high chair along, which allowed her to sit at the table with us.
Our food tray was loaded with many tiny luxuries: four varieties of sandwiches, two kinds of scones (with clotted cream and preserves) and the top tray had four different desserts.
It is hard to imagine a place more firmly engrained in English history than Westminster Abbey. Over the past 1,000 years, this gothic church has been the traditional location for monarch coronation ceremonies, monarch funeral services and royal weddings (including Will and Kate’s).
You can visit most areas of Westminster Abbey with your stroller, but not all areas. Some of the smaller chapels have steps and may be too tight for easy transit.
There is a suggested walking tour path within Westminster Abbey which almost everyone follows (as did we). We took turns listening to the free audio tour as we explored the church.
We also took turns walking with our daughter as the other parent visited parts of the church not easily accessible by stroller. Given it was so busy, the pace of walking was slow, so we let our daughter “push” the stroller as we walked. This got her lots of attention from the other visitors, which of course she loved.
Baby changing facilities are found within the washrooms near Poets’ Corner.
Dramatically housed in a former power station, Tate Modern is now one of the most visited modern art museums in the world. On display at the Tate Modern are works by some of the best painters ever, including paintings by Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso.
We really enjoyed pushing our daughter in her stroller along the River Thames walkway to get from our vacation home rental to Tate Modern. Once inside, you can also visit all areas of Tate Modern with your stroller.
While Tate Modern may not initially seem like one of the best places to visit in London with toddlers, we made it work by letting our daughter walk slowly pushing the stroller again. She was happy and we got to slowly meander through the museum.
Tate Modern has a Baby Care room on floor 0. In addition, diaper changing facilities are found in washrooms on each level.
Save money with the Official London Pass. Enjoy free access to 80+ top London attractions, including as the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and the Tower Bridge.
What to Pack When Traveling to London with a Baby or Toddler
We have a complete packing list for travel with a baby, but we included a few items to pack for London with a toddler or baby below. If you are looking to pack light, renting baby equipment while traveling is an excellent way to do that.
We recommend reading our tips for flying with a baby and if you are traveling to London with a toddler, we also have tips on flying with toddlers and the best ways to get your toddler to sleep on an airplane.
- The most important baby travel essentials to pack for traveling to London with a baby is a good baby carrier for travel and a lightweight travel stroller. Protect your stroller in one of these stroller travel bags.
- We also recommend a CoziGo Stroller Cover to keep your baby out of the sun.
- We had a My Little Seat travel seat for restaurants which meant we never had to worry about a restaurant having a high chair. This was our favorite portable travel high chair because it packed down so small and was easy to bring with us on our daily outings.
- If your hotel doesn’t offer a baby crib, you can pack your own baby travel crib or a toddler travel bed. If you are sharing a hotel room with a baby or toddler, we recommend a SlumberPod privacy pod to create a private sleeping area for your baby.
- For the international flight with our baby, we packed her favorite toys from this list of best airplane travel toys for babies and toddler or from these screen free toddler travel toys.
- Be prepared for diapers changes anywhere with a travel wipes case and a portable change mat in your backpack diaper bag.
- Other items to pack for London are a a travel bottle warmer, a travel snack cup and a good baby sun hat.
Bring home a treasured souvenir of your first trip with your baby. Book a Private Family Photo Shoot in London.
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This post was written & edited by:
Celine Brewer is the owner of Baby Can Travel. Not only does she have years of experience traveling with babies & toddlers, but she's helped millions of new parents travel with their babies and toddlers for over a decade. In addition to writing on her baby travel blog, she has shared her expertise on traveling with a baby or toddler by contributing to articles about traveling with a baby with the Washington Post, USA Today, the Lonely Planet magazine and Pregnancy & Newborn magazine.
Celine also writes about family travel on the site FamilyCanTravel.com, which she co-owns with her husband. Being from the Canadian Rockies, she shares her passion about her home and travel to Banff National Park and area on their site TravelBanffCanada.com.