Are you traveling to London with a baby and looking for local insight and tips? Well in this guide I share with you everything I know about being a local in London in a baby from the best places to go with babies under 1 in London, how stroller friendly London is alongside other top tips.
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Traveling to London with a baby tips
As a London I can attest that London with kids of any age is a great idea. It is absolutely brimming with things to do and things to see, but if you are traveling to London with a baby it does take a bit more planning. As while we think city breaks with babies are a great choice of vacation, there are some practical things you need to consider. That is why we will turn our attention to some of the more practical aspects about visiting London with a baby before we look at things to do.
Is London baby friendly?
I am often asked is London baby friendly or Should I worry about travelling with babies in London?
For me as a London mum the answer is undoubtedly no! While London can be a busy place, there are lots of baby friendly transport options and places to take a baby in London. For that reason we think London is very baby friendly.
So how do you get around London with a baby?
Getting around London with a baby or toddler
So perhaps the first thing any parent is worried about when visiting a new city is about the best way to get around with a baby and London is no different.
There are actually a great many options for getting round the city on public transport from the famous London buses to the London Underground.
Therefore we will look at each options and what you need to know about them for using with a baby in London.
Using the London Underground with a baby
If you are travelling to London with baby then chances are you will have to use the London Underground at some point.
The London Underground is one of the busiest underground systems in the world and dates back over 150 years and can be a daunting prospect for parents who haven’t used the Underground before.
We often get asked by those thinking about taking babies to London is about whether the London Underground is easy with babies – and our answer is yes and no.
The London Underground is a very efficient method of travel but given its age, it should come as no surprise that it isn’t entirely accessible or stroller friendly.
Our first tip for using the London Underground with a baby is to pick up a London Underground map and download the TFL app with its digital map.
Once you have this open look for stations with a disability symbol on them. This shows you which stations have step free access and will be accessible even with a stroller (we will talk more about using a stroller in London later along with our recommendations for best stroller for European City breakS).
We recommend trying to pick your London accommodation near an accessible station if you plan on using a stroller. Also be sure that the line closest to you is not closed on your dates of travel as this would be very inconvenient.
But in good news that your baby and any other children you are traveling with under the age of 11 are free on the London Underground.
For more information on using the London Underground with kids or with toddlers check out our dedicated posts.
And for advice on getting from the airport to London check out this post or check out our other London travel tips here.
Buses in London with a baby
Another great way to get around London with a baby is via the iconic London bus.
Although the Underground can be quicker depending on the time of day that you are traveling, the bus is another convenient option.
On a London bus you don’t have to contend with turnstiles and gates like you do on the London Underground and you don’t have to worry about elevators or escalators. And depending on the route you travel on there are some great sights to be seen (more on this later).
While not all London buses will have a drop step access for you to wheel directly on, the newer buses definitely will which makes it more accessible with a stroller.
And new buses will usually have dedicated stroller parking or buggy parking on the bus which means you won’t have to remove your baby from your stroller to ride.
Even on older buses there is usually a spot to park strollers or wheelchairs, however if the bus gets very busy you could be asked to fold down your stroller to make more space for a wheelchair. However in all my time living in London I have never had an occasion where I have had to do this.
Also there are plenty of things to see out of the window on a bus compared to the Underground. It can also be a cheaper option.
Therefore don’t overlook the bus when looking at traveling around London with babies.
London Hop On Hop Off Buses
We have always loved a Hop On Hop Off bus. They are a great way to see the main sights of a city but can be difficult to use especially in the summer if you are traveling with a baby as you aren’t guaranteed stroller parking on these buses.
Be sure to have a compact stroller or a carrier if you are planning on using one of these with a baby.
Looking for things to make baby travel easier? Then check out this post!
Taxis in London with a baby
You can indeed use a taxi in London with a baby however this is a very expensive way of getting round the city. And also if you decide to use taxis with a baby in London you need to think about car seats.
UK law states that when travelling in taxis children under three may travel without a car seat! However I personally do not feel comfortable doing this and never travel without a car seat. For this reason it is very rare that we take a taxi in London with our baby.
If you know that you can store a car seat at your destination or perhaps have a convertible car seat stroller then this may be something you decide to do but it can be an impractical option if you aren’t able to use your car seat as part of your stroller for the rest of your day in London.
You could try booking a car in advance however with a company that provides car seats but this will obviously mean you have to keep to a tighter schedule. For this reason we always advocate using public transport in London with babies.
If you want to use Uber, this is currently available in London however they do not provide car seats so you will need to bring your own which can be hard to store on a day out in London.
Walking around London with toddler or baby
However my favorite way of getting around London with a baby or toddler has to be on foot.
London is a great walkable city and as far as European cities go I think London is stroller friendly, as most pavements are flat and have space for a stroller or pushchair or pram as we call them in London.
However not all London attractions for babies are stroller friendly. Keep reading for more information.
Ferries can be used with your Oyster card and are a great way to see many of the London sights in relative comfort and are easy to use even if you have a stroller.
What to Pack for London with a baby
When you are looking at what to pack for London with a baby it is really important to pack for the weather. For that reason we have monthly packing guides which you can check out here:
However some things that you should always have on your London packing list are:
- a stroller as there is lots of walking involved in any trip to London
- a carrier for those who are using lots of public transport and are visiting less stroller friendly attractions in London such as the Tower of London.
- a good chaining bag with changing mat. While it is easy to find changing tables in London the cleanliness is debatable so having a good changing kit with you is essential.
- Sterilising equipment
- Pacifiers and bottles and other feeding paraphernalia.
If you have any other baby travel essentials you think you should take to London check out this post.
Where to stay in London with a baby
When you are looking at where to stay in London with a baby, I would really emphasise picking a good and central location near to an accessible tube stop.
We always prefer to stay in a hotel in London over an AirBnB or VRBO. There are some great chain hotels in London that have good family friendly locations and amenities as well as being budget friendly. We have a list of best places to stay in London guide however if you want some more specific guidance why not check out the best premier inns to stay in in London.
We always opt to stay in a Premier Inn in London as the price point is great for families, they have some great central locations and they always have good set ups for those traveling with children.
For more inspiration on the best city breaks with toddlers in Europe check out this post.
Where to Buy Baby Supplies
Whenever I travel with a baby, one of the first things I look for is where I can buy baby supplies. Now in my opinion London is actually a really easy to buy baby supplies.
You can find diapers, baby food and formula in most supermarkets, even in the smaller Express supermarkets, as well as in pharmacies. One of the places we use to pick up baby supplies in London is Boots, which is a pharmacy style super store and you can get baby snacks for those doing baby led weaning, formula and pouches.
Best Restaurants in London with babies
One of the great things you will find about eating out in London is that all restaurants will have baby high chairs and changing tables in the rest rooms.
Some of our favorite places to eat with kids in London include:
- Franca Manca
However for more information on the best places to ear in London with kids check out this post.
Also if you are wondering if you can go to a London pub with a baby then the answer is that you usually can unless there is a specific notice outside.
Best things to do in London with baby
So now you know how to get around London with a baby and the best places to stay, let’s turn our attention to London’s baby friendly attractions and best things to do in London with baby.
As any parents of babies will tell you that babies don’t need to be as catered for in terms of attractions as older kids, however having said that there are still lots of places that are great with babies in London here are our favourites.
Next read: If you would like to find a London itinerary designed specifically for babies and toddlers then check this post out!
Although babies don’t always need attractions specifically for them, one of the best places we have found to visit with babies is an aquarium. And the great news is that London has a fantastic one.
One of the things that we love about London is the huge multi layered shark tank. If you want to visit the London Aquarium we recommend you book your tickets in advance here to make sure you don’t have to queue.
And if you are going to several of the London Merlin attractions consider buying the combo ticket as this can be a cost saver.
The London Eye is one of the most iconic attractions in London and is something on most peoples London bucket list. While toddlers could perhaps get bored on the rotation of the London Eye it is a great thing to do with babies.
However if you decide to visit with babies I strongly recommend Pre booking tickets as the queue for the London eye gets very long.
Top Tip: If you are planning to visit several London attractions from Merlin Entertainments group these include: Shrek’s Adventure! London, Madame Tussaud’s London, Sea life London Aquarium, The Coca-Cola London Eye and The London Dungeon it will save you a TON of money to buy the group ticket – you can buy the Merlin Magical London ticket here!
London has some of the best Museums is the world and there are plenty of museums that have areas designed for toddlers and babies.
Some of the best London museums for toddlers and babies are
- National Army Museum
- Natural History Museum
- Science Museum
- London Transport Museum
Another great thing about most of the above museums (barring the London Transport Museum) is that they offer free admission and are great for people traveling to London on a budget.
No matter what age your child is, zoos are always a popular attraction to visit. London has a great zoo in Regent’s Park which babies will love.
To save your children waiting in line be sure to grab your Skip the Line tickets in advance HERE
Best London Parks for Babies
One of the Things I love about London is the amazing parks all over the city. Some of out favorite parks and playgrounds in London for babies are:
Princess Diana Memorial Playground
This huge outdoor playground is one of the most popular and best things for toddlers to do in London and there are some small areas that are great for babies too.
Some of my little ones favourite parts of the garden are the pirate ship, sensory trail and wigwams.
The only downside to this playground is how busy it can get especially at weekends and during holidays so try and go early and on a weekday.
Please note: The park opens at 10am each day (closed on Christmas Day). The park is supervised however children must be accompanied by an adult.
A lovely park in good proximity to the museums to let children blow off steam
St James Park
A beautiful park with interesting wildlife and good play area for little ones.
It is also well located near to Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard which is totally doable with a baby in tow!
There is a children’s playground located close to Wellington Barracks and also a coffee shop for parents in need of caffeination.
A great park but with the added bonus as being home to the London Zoo.
Baby Activities London
If you are what to do in London with baby then the below activities are specifically designed for littles.
Discover Children’s Story Centre
The Discover CHildren’s Story Centre is a great interactive centre for small children.
There are different exhibitions areas and events at this interactive children’s space so be sure to check what is on before going so you can plan your day.
For those looking for what to do with a baby in London you may want to check out the storytelling sessions that are aimed at the 0-3 yrs.
Playbase at National Army Museum
This is a particularly great place in London for toddlers. It is a dedicated soft play area for under 8s with a dedicated infants section!
Children aged 1-8 years old: £4.75
Children under 1 year old: FREE*
£1.00 booking fee applies per online transaction
Children aged 1-8 years old: £5.75
Children under 1 year old: FREE*
It is one of the best baby activities in London!
The Garden at Science Museum
A special place designed for children aged 3-6. This is actually one of my favourite London toddler activities!
Be warned though that although there are aprons available I always find children using the water play get wet so advise taking extra clothes with you just to be on the safe side!
Royal Albert Hall Story Telling and Music Sessions for 0-4 year olds
If you are looking for what to do in London with a baby then one of the best places to go for activities for babies in London is the Royal Albert Hall.
They offer London baby activities aimed at the 0-4s markets in the form of musical Sessions for the under 4s. These sessions usually last about 35 minutes.
Please note this is a ticketed events and cost 5GBP a person.
Puppet Theatre Barge
Looking for toddler shows, London has a few places that cater for the toddler age range but one of the best is the institution know as the Puppet Theatre Barge.
The Barge theatre holds around 50 people and offers some great shows. It is located in Little Venice which is also another area of London that is great to have a wander around with kids.
FAQs about visiting London with baby
Do you need a car seat in a UK taxi?
UK law states that when travelling in taxis children under three may travel without a car seat! However I never travel without a car seat so we never take a taxi with our little one.
If you decide to use an Uber however a car seat will be required by law. However Uber in the UK doesn’t currently provide car seats.
And if you decide to rent a car in the UK with babies then you will definitely need a car seat as this is a legal requirement.
You could try booking a car in advance however with a company that provides car seats but this will obviously mean you have to keep to a tighter schedule!