Are you looking for the best day trips from London with toddlers? While there are many guides to day trips from London with kids and London with kids itinerary, we know as parents of toddlers that they enjoy different things to older children. That is why we have rounded up all the best toddler friendly day trips from London to include your London itinerary with toddlers.
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Best Day Trips From London with Toddler
Hampton Court Palace
One of my favorite day trips from London with toddlers to take has to be Hampton Court Palace as it has things that appeal to both toddlers and adults.
If you are a royal history fan then you will love this day trip, but there are lots of other things that makes this day trip appealing for families.
Hampton Court Palace was originally the home of Cardinal Wolsey but then went into the hands of Henry VIII. So is a great place for those wanting to learn about Tudor history.
However if you are visiting with toddlers you will be interested in the other attractions outside of the historic rooms.
For instance there is an extensive garden to explore as well as a working Tudor kitchen which is always my kids favourite thing to do there.
However for most toddlers there favorite thing to do at Hampton Court Palace will be the Magic Garden kids playground. There are lots of traditional playground facilities here as well as a great water play area so make sure you bring a spare change of clothes for toddlers as they will get wet.
And if you plan to visit Hampton Court on a winter day trip from London we recommend trying the ice rink which is one of my favorite things to do in London at Christmas.
How to Get to Hampton Court Palace with Toddlers: Direct train from Waterloo to Hampton Court Station that takes around 30 minutes. From there it is a short walk. However if you have more time then I would recommend heading to Richmond or Kingston and jumping on the boat down the Thames to the Palace. I love doing this as it feels like the traditional way to get to the palace and you also get to go through Teddington Lock an experience in itself.
For more information on how to plan and what to do on a Hampton Court Day trip click here! Usually we only include this on longer length London itinerary opposed to those where you are only have a weekend in the city.
Day trip to Legoland Windsor with toddlers
Legoland Windsor is a really easy to visit from London with toddlers and there are lots of rides that your children can go on particularly if your toddler is over 91cm tall.
For smaller and less thrill seeking toddlers the best area to go is the Duplo area, but be sure to bring a spare change of clothes as there are lots of water play areas here.
Note about tickets: A visit to LEGOLAND Windsor can be expensive so it is best to buy your tickets in advance as there is a discount for not buying them at the gate on the day. It will also save you time when arriving at the park. You can book your tickets online up to 24 hours in advance of your visit so this even works if you are planning a somewhat last minute trip.
For more information on visiting Legoland Windsor with toddlers check out this post
After Hampton Court, Windsor is my next favourite castle day trip from London. Windsor Castle is where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle married in 2018 in the Windsor Castle St Georges Chapel.
Windsor is a brilliant castle to visit for those who love royal watching as they will get to step in the footsteps of royals. There is also a fabulous audio guide which helps to understand the history of Windsor.
However there is even things to do with toddlers at Windsor Castle.
The Learning Centre is open during school holidays and offers family activities such as crafts and storytelling activities. There is also a chill out zone for toddlers complete with duplo and books.
And don’t forget that Windsor Castle also has changing of the guard as well as buckingham palace. Just be sure to check the website to ensure it is on on the day of your visit.
After a visit to the castle my children love to go to the Great PArk and long walk to blow off some steam!
How to get there: There are direct trains from Paddington and Marylebone Station though some services may require a change at Reading. It takes just under an hour to reach Windsor station and then it is a short walk to the castle.
York Day Trip from London With Toddlers
York is absolutely my favourite city in the whole of the UK but especially to visit with toddlers. York used to be our hometown before London so I feel I have a great idea of things to do with toddlers in York.
It is really easy to do a day trip to York from London with toddlers as you can jump on a train at London Kings Cross direct in less than 2 hours.
Some of our favorite things to do in London with toddlers are:
- taking a cruise from the river Ouse
- visit the Jorvik Viking Centre to learn about the City’s viking history and
- our toddlers absolute favorite thing in the city is a visit to the National Railway Museum.
Oxford Day Trip from London With Toddlers
Oxford is another great city that can be easily reached from London that has a plethora of things to do with toddlers.
Although Oxford is known for its university, the city has loads to do for toddlers even outside of Harry Potter which is why a lot of older children want to visit this city.
One of our favorite things to do with toddlers is visit the university colleges. The university colleges are open to the public but depending on when you go will depend which colleges are open so it is worth checking before you arrive. Our favorites to visit with toddlers are New College and Magdalen college as they have extensive gardens.
However the best thing to do with toddlers in Oxford in our opinion is the Story Museum.
The story museum has something for children of every age but the Small Worlds Exhibit is particularly aimed at children from ages 0-5.
Also at the weekends and during the holidays there are interactive storytelling sessions that will keep toddlers enthralled.
Our toddler also loves Oxford Museum of Natural History which is smaller than it’s London counterpart but I actually find easier to do with toddlers.
Henley on Thames
We love Henley on Thames, it is a charming market town on the river Thames that is filled with amazing pubs. However if you are visiting with toddlers we recommend hopping on a boat down the Thames for a ride or heading to the famous River and Rowing Museum.
There are lots of artifacts relating to the Henley regatta and famous Oxford Cambridge boat race but children esepcailly toddlers will love the Winds and the Willow Exhibit.
How to get here: It takes around 45 minutes to an hour to reach Henley by train from Paddington with one change, or can be reached by car in about an hour.
Kew Gardens with Toddlers
When we lived in London we were annual pass holders at Kew Gardens which needless to say means we were big fans. And on top of that Kew Gardens with toddlers is a great idea as there are plenty of garden and playground activities designed for them.
The Children’s Garden, as the Kew Gardens play area is called, is a sure fire hit for those visiting with toddlers as it is designed for children aged 2-12.
This playground has everything from everything from trampolines, climbing equipment, slides and a canopy walk-way all of which toddlers will love.
Just be sure to book your tickets in advance.Entry is free and you select an hour slot. It is worth booking these in advance to avoid disappointment.
Also there is no bad times to visit Kew Gardens as there are several palm and temperate houses which means there are always plants in bloom whatever time of year you visit. On top of that there are great seasonal events such as Christmas at Kew – some amazing London Christmas illuminations. But for me one of the best times to visit is Spring when the cherry blossoms and roses start to bloom.
How to get here: Take the overground or district line (green line) to Kew Gardens station. From there it is a short walk to the gardens entrance. The walk from the station takes you through Kew Village where there are coffee shops and also places to pick up picnic food or stop for lunch. For those wanting something historical to accompany their visit do try the Maids of Honour Cafe.
When you think about the perfect biscuit tin image of England the image you conjure will undoubtedly be represented by the Cotswolds. I often get asked about the feasibility of doing a Cotswolds day trip from London especially with kids in tow and toddlers in particular.
If you are visiting Cotwolds we a toddler we recommend heading to the Bourton on the Water area as not only is this a beautiful village but toddlers will love visiting Birdland at Bourton on the Water.
Woburn Safari Park
If you have access to a car then you should consider a visit to Woburn Safari Park with toddlers.
At this park you can see everything from elephants and lions to bears and tigers and a drive through monkey section but we warned they go for cars. There are also lots of playgrounds and play areas and some rides and even a train to take you round the grounds.
Brighton with toddlers
Brighton with toddlers is a great idea for those looking for a beach day trip from London. And is probably the easiest beach to reach with toddlers from London.
The town also has an aquarium, an observation tower and some great museums toddlers will love.
Please Note: Brighton Beach is actually a pebble beach not a sand beach but it is still a great place to sun bath and swim in the sea. And if your toddler is anything like mine they will love collecting pebbles on the beach.
How to get here: You can catch trains to Brighton from London Victoria and it takes about an hour. Southend on Sea
Southend-on-Sea is a classic British seaside destination in Essex that has a lot to offer for toddlers on a day trip from London.
One of my favourite things to do in summer in London is to head out towards Croydon to the beautiful Mayfield Lavender. While there are a few places to see lavender fields near London Mayfield is definitely the closest. This is an instagrammers dream with the rows of beautiful purple lavender transporting you more to Provence than London. There is also a lovely cafe selling a variety of lavender infused products.
How to get there: There are several public transport options to get from London to the farm the quickest is to take the train from London Victoria to Sutton and take the S1 bus to Banstead (Woolpack stop) and then the 166 bus to the farm gate.