Plan your trip

10 Days Family Holiday in UK

Trip details:

I'm planning a family holiday in the UK (me, my wife - both 36, and two kids - 7 and 3). We'll be travelling in May for 10 days. We would like to cover London for about 5-6 days and then a trip outside (don't know where, maybe Lake District?). Our flights are already booked. Will need help with picking hotels (or apartments), things to do and choosing the destination for the side trip. My wife is vegetarian.

... Show more

Sunday 18th May :

Thames River Lunchtime Jazz Cruise


Thames River Cruise


It's great that you're coming in May; the weather will be warming up but won't get scorching hot like it can in peak summer where it can get uncomfortable. On a nice day, there's nothing better than a casual cruise down the Thames to see London from the riverside. This cruise also has live music for you to enjoy. Lots of the sights are located close to the river, and there are some lovely sceneries. 


Cost £48 adult £32 child


http://www.bateauxlondon.com/cruises/sunday-lunch-jazz-cruises/

  • Comment (0)
  • Add a note to self (0) 
  • Log in as the trip owner to use these features.
Monday 19th May:

Picadilly, Leicester Square & Covent Garden 


Three great places in London - all very close in walking distance of each other. In Picadilly you can go to the famous Fortnum and Mason's store.  (There are three premium department stores in London: Fortnum, Harrods and Selfridges. Fortnum excels in food - definitely check it out if you are looking for some nice food gifts. Harrods and Selfridges are both excellent, but if you don't have time to visit both, I would say go to Harrods. It just has a certain majesty about it. And it also has a very nice toys section which I'm sure your kids will love).


Covent Garden has lots of nice restaurants and boutique shops. If you'd like to shop for perfumes, cosmetics, jewellry or boutique clothing this would be a good place to head. There is also a famous square in the middle where there are always street entertainers and in the indoor section there are often classical musicians playing - you can find cafes and restaurants overlooking to enjoy the show! 


And Leicester square has a couple of good stores I'd recommend - the Disney store and the M&M store. Both are very popular with kids. 


As mentioned, all of this is in short walking distance of each other, but there is always the underground if you want to hop on for a couple of stops. I'd suggest visiting this area on a weekday as it can get very busy during the weekend.  Try and head out at around 10am to avoid the work rush hour. You can have a nice walk around, shopping and seeing what takes your fancy - a meal in a Covent Garden restaurant or Cafe,  then a theatre show.


Theatres have matinee performances in the early afternoon, around 2:30pm, which would probably be better if you have a 3 year old. (The evening performance starts at 7:30pm). There are a few theatres around this area, but others aren't far away. I would recommend:


- The Lion King


- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory


- Wicked

  • Comment (0)
  • Add a note to self (0) 
  • Log in as the trip owner to use these features.
London 17-20 May:

Small Car Big City Tour



This was the #1 thing to do in London on Tripadvisor in 2013.  It is a tour around London in your own private classic Mini Cooper, accompanied by your own guide. It's a great way to see the major sights, but in a completely novel way. 


If you can, ask for 'Rob' as your guide - he is excellent, very polite, charming and knowledgable about all things London. 


It's a max of 3 people per car, so you could ask for two cars for this tour: 


http://smallcarbigcity.com/a_list_tour


Reviews here:


http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g186338-d1568864-Reviews-SmallcarBIGCITY-London_England.html

  • Comment (0)
  • Add a note to self (0) 
  • Log in as the trip owner to use these features.
London 17-20 May:

Science Museum



I would recommend this museum for you. I remember you said you weren't too keen on going to lots of them - but this one is very good. And it has lots of interactive things, shows and games which is much better and exciting for kids. It's free to go to, open every day from 10am to 6pm.  Some of the special events costs extra though. 


http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/

  • Comment (0)
  • Add a note to self (0) 
  • Log in as the trip owner to use these features.
London 17-20 May:

Pedalos in Regents Park 


If it's good weather and you fancy visiting one of the Royal parks in London,  you may want to go to Regents Park. Lovely place anyway, but you'll also be able to rent out pedalo boats and have nice time on the lake.  There are also places nearby the boat place to get really nice ice cream afterwards too. 



They also have boats to rent out in Hyde Park.

  • Comment (0)
  • Add a note to self (0) 
  • Log in as the trip owner to use these features.
1   2  
Your Trip to London By Greg Aubert
Replies (+)

Greg Aubert wrote:  

Hi Aditya, 

Thanks for getting touch. 

I've got some ideas for your trip, but to really tailor the itinerary to you I'd like to ask a few more questions if that's ok.

 

- First and foremost, have you visited London before? (Wouldn't want to recommend things you've already seen!). 

- Are there any sight/attractions/activities that you really want to do, so I can factor them in?

- Do you guys have any special hobbies or interests? E.g. if you enjoyed music I could see if there are any special events going on.

- What dates are you in London? (For the above reason, I'll have a look to see if there are any special events planned while you are here). 

- Roughly what is your budget per night for hotels? 

 

Thanks again, looking forward to planning this trip for you guys! 

 

Cheers from London,

Greg 

Aditya Sharma wrote:  

Hi Greg,

Nice meeting you. To your questions,

- yes, this is our first visit to London

- we would like to cover most tourist attractions - shopping, London eye, etc. - we're not that big on museums but would like to visit one that the kids might also like.

- we like live music venues (pubs/bars but one's that allow kids).

- Our flight arrives at 7:20am on May 17 and departs at 9:15pm on May 26. We don't know yet which of those dates we'll be spending in London and which on the side trip.

- I don't really know what's a decent budget for London hotels. In other European cities (Paris, Amsterdam) we've generally stayed in 90-100 Euro per night rooms. We prefer places with a central location and reasonably spacious for the four of us - don't really care that much about style, etc.

Let me know if you need any other information from me.

Aditya


Side trip By Aditya Sharma
Replies (+)

Aditya Sharma wrote:  

Hey Greg, I noticed you posted a few activities in the itinerary - they look good. I was hoping we'd finalize the side trip destination first. I've heard a lot about the Lake District - is May a good time to go there? Or do you suggest some other place that's suited for a 4-5 days stay? We're mostly interested in relaxing and seeing the countryside - maybe some interesting villages, etc.

Aditya

Greg Aubert wrote:  

Sure.  Well, I was going to recommend Bath as an option for the side trip;  a beautiful little city, steeped in history, very picturesque and has countryside nearby.

But if relaxation and seeing countryside is what you'd like, then I think the Lake District is definitely a better option. Especially since you're coming in May - it's the perfect time. The mains spots in the Lake District get pretty crowded during June-August when the school are out, so usually its best to go April-May and September. Also, it's more family orientated. There is a lot there for families to enjoy together. My boss has three young kids and they go to the Lake District a lot and they've even got a place there now they go so often! 

 

A key question though is whether you'd prefer to rent a car or use public transport. It's definitely possible to do a 4-5day trip on public transport. You'll be able to move between the main towns/villages/attractions no problem. The drawback is that you'll have to carry everything you need for the day on you, and a big thing is if it rains - it'll be quite unpleasant walking around and waiting for buses. On the plus side, you won't have to worry about parking - although in May it shouldn't be too much of a headache. Which would you prefer? 

 

I've got ideas for the Lake District in note form; I'll put the up properly when I get back from work. 

G

Aditya Sharma wrote:  

Thanks. We'd prefer to rent a car - public transport and carrying our stuff along with the kids is too much hassle. Lets go with the car option.


Accommodation By Aditya Sharma
Replies (+)

Aditya Sharma wrote:  

Hi Greg, hope you had a nice trip to Malta! Was hoping to finalize the accommodations this week, both in London and Lake District. Let me know your recommendations.

Aditya

Greg Aubert wrote:  

Hi Aditya, 

 

yes thanks it was lovely!  Sure, will be back to you soon with your accommodation 

Greg Aubert wrote:  

Lake District:

I would recommend the Fisherbeck 

http://www.fisherbeckhotel.co.uk/

 

 

or the Regent 

http://www.regentlakes.co.uk/

 

Both are near Ambleside, which is a good area to stay in - near other amenities and well positioned to get to the other places I mentioned in the itinerary. 

 

And for London I'd recommend:

The Rhodes (3star)

http://www.rhodeshotel.com/

or The Nadler (4star)

http://www.thenadler.com/kensington.shtml

 

The Kensington area is nice to stay in and both are near Hyde Park which is a great area. Both are close to tube stations so it'll be easy to get around. 

Aditya Sharma wrote:  

Quick question - are hotels in UK usually finicky about the number of kids allowed and room occupancy? My 3-year old can share a double bed with my wife and me, so we'd be ok booking a room that accommodates 3, but some hotels insist on booking a room for 4 (once we've been forced to move to a quadruple room once in Paris). The Fisherbeck seems to have a reasonably priced room with a maximum occupancy of 3 - would that be a problem?

Also the Rhodes in London has a triple room, which we could use if they allow it.

Btw, both the options in London are quite expensive - can you suggest something in the 120-pound range for a triple room?

Aditya Sharma wrote:  

Any updates about the last message?

Greg Aubert wrote:  

It depends on the hotel - some have stricter policies saying a max of 3 people (2 adults plus one child) per room,  perhaps in order to get people to book 2 instead of 1.  Whereas others are more relaxed; there is no set rule. 

 

I'll check for the Fisherbeck to see what they say. 

 

London is unfortunately pretty expensive for hotels! To get costs down, I suggest going for a popular hotel chain such as Premier Inn in Old Street.  It has a great location, is £142 for a quadruple room, has onsite restaurant and great reviews:

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g186338-d2416251-Reviews-Premier_Inn_London_City_Old_Street-London_England.html#REVIEWS

I would advise against moving to the outskirts. While it will be cheaper you'll end up paying more for travel anyway, and it would be a lot more hassle commuting in and out everyday, which in my opinion won't be worth it. I would advise you to maintain a central location and either go for the higher hotel prices or choose a larger chain who are able to provide great service at a lower cost.  

 

Book directly on the Premier Inn Old Street's site for the best and up to date rates:

http://www.premierinn.com/en/hotel/LONOLD/london-city-old-street

 

Greg Aubert wrote:  

By the way, the triple room also seems to be priced at £142 so if you want to take this option may as well go for the quadruple. 

Greg Aubert wrote:  

I contacted the hotels:

The Fisherbeck has a stricter policy so you would have to get a full family room.

The Regent is ok for you to share a bed as you described. 

Aditya Sharma wrote:  

Thanks so much, Greg. I've gone ahead and booked them as follows:

May 17-20 (3 nights): Premier Inn, London

May 20-25 (4 nights): Fisherbeck

May 25 (1 night): Premier Inn, London

One last thing before we're done - can you help me with suggestions for things to do (sightseeing tours, etc) on the other days I'm in London?

Thanks so much again. This has been wonderful.

Greg Aubert wrote:  

My pleasure!

Yes sure already got a few ideas I think you will like. But I'll do some more research and post what I find soon for you


Lake District:

I would recommend the Fisherbeck or the Regent 


Both are near Ambleside, which is a good area to stay in - near other amenities and well positioned to get to the other places I mentioned in the itinerary.

  • Comment (0)
  • Add a note to self (0) 
  • Log in as the trip owner to use these features.
London:

The Rhodes (3star)


The Nadler (4star) 


The Kensington area is nice to stay in and both are near Hyde Park which is a great area. Both are close to tube stations so it'll be easy to get around.


London is unfortunately pretty expensive for hotels! If these seem too expensive then to get costs down, I suggest going for a popular hotel chain such as Premier Inn in Old Street.  It has a great location, is £142 for a quadruple room, has onsite restaurant and great reviews.


I would advise against moving to the outskirts. While it will be cheaper you'll end up paying more for travel anyway, and it would be a lot more hassle commuting in and out everyday, which in my opinion won't be worth it. I would advise you to maintain a central location and either go for the higher hotel prices or choose a larger chain who are able to provide great service at a lower cost.

  • Comment (0)
  • Add a note to self (0) 
  • Log in as the trip owner to use these features.