West London has so many amazing places to go with kids, it was actually quite hard to narrow it down to just our top 5! We’ve no doubt missed out some of your favourite child friendly spots, so feel free to leave a comment below sharing your favourites or send a tweet to @kidfriendly_uk or post a comment on our Facebook page: facebook.com/reallykidfriendly
Best in West London for Visiting Dead Famous People:
It may seem like a strange inclusion, but this cemetery really is incredible and your kids will love it. Let’s face it, kids are fascinated by death, and after the triumphant opening ceremonies they will also be intrigued by the idea of getting to visit the graves of some truly incredible British heroes like Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Other famous people buried in Kensal Rise include Lord Byron’s wife, Oscar Wilde’s mother, Charles Dickens’ in-laws, Nelson’s surgeon, the original WH Smith, the first man to cross Australia from south to north, and the last man to fight a duel in England.
Best in West London for Stress-Free Shopping with Babies and Toddlers:
Possibly the most family friendly shopping experience in London! Westfield has spacious, buggy friendly shopping malls, parent parking bays, stair-free access, baby changing and feeding facilities, quiet areas, kiddy cars for children over 1 yr to drive around the shops, and a play area for under 5s. The very thought of shopping with the kids usually makes me break out in a cold sweat, but Westfield is like no other shopping centre and London mums and dads highly recommend it.
Best in West London for Mini Science Geeks
The Royal Instiution (The Ri) is all about science, discovery, innovation, invention and generally bright ideas. Among other cool and decidedly geeky things, there is a modern laboratory where kids aged 7 and up can get stuck in and actually do some experiments – this summer there are workshops in cosmetic science, cosmology (think big bang…), and a chance for children to extract their own DNA.
Best in West London for Green Space and Ecology
Okay, we admit, it does rain an awful lot in London… but every now and then we get to enjoy the most spectacular sunny weather and we are hoping families visiting London will have plenty of excuses to picnic or explore our many green spaces.
One that truly stands out is the beautiful Holland Park, the largest in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. There are of course the quintessentially British formal gardens, but there are also grassy areas and woodlands to explore, and an Ecology Centre where children can learn about the local flora and fauna. There are plenty of sports facilities and some play areas, including a separate area for under-8s, and a child friendly cafe. There are usually some activities for children during school holidays.
Best in West London for Giant Pirate Ships
A clear winner, but perhaps the category was a bit narrow… either way, the Princess Diana Playground in Kensington Gardens deserves a mention. Inspired by the Peter Pan and Wendy stories, this London playground features a giant wooden pirate ship, sensory trail, teepees, mermaid rock (really), toys and play sculptures. There are a couple of cafes nearby for the obligatory post-playground ice cream.
What have we missed?
For more ideas, we’d recommend visiting West London Mum’s website – she’s got some great ideas for places to eat with kids, and normally does an Events round-up for local families.