11 quiet places to visit in London that are perfect for families
This is a guest post by Julie, aka Jaf in the Box.
I love exploring, it probably comes from my own parents who were great at exposing us to a variety of places and taking us on various trips in France and abroad. Since moving to England more than 10 years ago I have done my fair share of exploring.
Now, as a mum of three, I am delighted to share with my favourite family-friendly ‘quiet’ (or rather quieter) spots in London with you.
1. London Wetlands
This place has got to be one of my favourite quiet places in London. It’s so close from the city centre and yet is such a haven of peace and tranquillity, surrounded by birds of all sorts. I would really recommend it to anyone.
There is a cafe for food, snacks or drinks for the grown-ups and little ones as well (plenty of available high chairs). I wrote a post on my own blog about it which might inspire you.
More information: London Wetlands website
2. Pembroke Lodge
Pembroke Lodge is in Richmond Park not far from Richmond Gate but has super views across the Thames Valley. We love having a walk with the kids there as it’s never too busy and we sometimes stop in the newly restored garden where the kids enjoy playing.
There is a really good cafe where we can warm ourselves up if the weather is a bit cold. If you are brave, you can even walk down the hill to Petersham Gate where there is a nice sandy playground for the kids.
More information: Pembroke Lodge website
3. Chiswick House and Gardens
A beautiful park with lots of lanes where the kids can cycle (bear in mind that cycling is restricted to the tarmac drives within the gardens and not allowed on garden paths and lawns) or scoot. There is also a small play area and a good cafe.
More information: Chiswick House website
4. Horniman Museum
This is one of my favourite museums for the little ones as it’s like a small national history museum and a music museum all in one. The Museum gardens are also great as you have space to experiment with different instruments, great views across south London, a small farm and a nice cafe.
The only problem is the parking in the area around the museum so I would encourage people to come by public transport and stop at Forest Hill train station or get on a bus.
More information: Horniman website
5. Morden Hall and Deen city farm
A great park part of the National Trust with lots of beautiful roses in the summer and a pretty good city farm which is free (donations are encouraged though). It’s easy to park and there is a good garden centre where you can shop at the end of your visit. There is a cafe at the entrance and a cafe at the City farm.
6. Osterley Park
A beautiful National Trust house – I am yet to be disappointed by the National Trust. It’s a stunning property in Isleworth with a lake as you arrive, with a nice cafe and shop if you fancy an ice cream, a snack or a drink.
The main lawn is perfect for a picnic or if you fancy kicking the ball but I love going into the House garden where it’s a bit quieter and they often have garden games such as croquet. They even have lounge chairs in a few spots which come well appreciated when the weather is nice!
More information: Osterley Park and House website
7. RAF museum
Based in Hendon, this is a fantastic museum. It’s free of charge but you do pay a small amount for the parking (lots of space). There are amazing helicopters, planes, and it’s so big you are never bothered by anyone.
Just don’t lose one of your little ones in there as it happened to us; we had a good 10-minute panic search to find our little girl who had gone sulking behind one of the massive planes.
More information: RAF Museum website
8. Battersea Zoo
This is a small zoo right in the heart of Battersea Park. The park itself is a really nice park for walking with the family with a lake and lots of different alleys and even roads where you can cycle or roller skate. And you have the added bonus of being by the Thames, which provides beautiful light and views, not forgetting to mention the sight of the stunning Peace Pagoda.
The zoo is not too big, perfect for the under-eights I would say and there are lots of picnic tables if you fancy lunching al fresco. The kids love the play area which can satisfy the younger kids as well as the ‘older ones’ (up to the age of 10 years old in my opinion).
More information: Battersea Park website
9. Museum of Childhood
The Museum of Childhood is a fantastic museum with a really fabulous selection of old toys. It’s fun for the whole family and it’s free of charge. Beautiful building and plenty of spaces for a spot of lunch.
We went on a Sunday morning which meant we had no trouble finding a spot to park and no crowd to bother us. It’s close to Bethnal Green Station so any other time, it would be better to come by Tube.
More information: V&A Museum website
10. Kew Gardens
This is an all time favourite. It’s huge and even when it gets busy there are so many cornered alleys to find a quieter spot to picnic, feed a baby, play, read etc. We love it and when everyone has had a real walk we can go the Creepers and Ladders for some play time or we go to the small aquarium in the Main Green House.
More information: Kew Gardens website
11. The Southbank
The perfect spot to pit-stop with the family as it’s big and I never have to worry whether the little ones are on their best behaviour. There is space for them to run around, particularly if you go there during the week, and they have changing facilities which come in handy.
More information: Southbank Centre website
Happy family outings to all!