Should you choose as a place to stay for your family trip to the UK capital a salubrious, boutique accommodation in Chelsea London, that will be – whether you like it or not – only half the job when it comes to planning your time away. Because you’re also going to have to carefully consider the itinerary for the time you’re away from home wherever you’re staying; yes, however welcoming, comfortable and delightful your accommodation may be. In short, you’re going to have to properly plan activities each day to keep your little ones, your eager, wee balls of energy, entertained and amused.
In which case, if you’ll allow us, here are our top picks for day-out destinations that are practically perfect for families in the heart of London Town (all of them then very easy to reach via public transport or any other means from any London hotels near Chelsea)…
ZSL London Zoo
(Outer Circle, Regent’s Park NW1)
An awesome and laudable animal-loving ark of creatures of all kinds, located beside Regent’s Park in the city’s north-west, this venue’s the world’s oldest scientific zoo. Having first opened its doors in 1828, it’s home to more than 750 species, from lions to lemurs and everything in between. Here then, your little tykes can see mighty mammals at Gorilla Kingdom and Tiger Territory, plus cuties including monkeys and meerkats. Penguin Beach is popular and you and yours must experience the birds of Snowdon Aviary and the creepy critters at the Reptile House. Look out too for daily events, spanning talks, demonstrations and feedings.
(Marylebone Road NW1 5LR)
Clichéd to the hilt it may be, but the world’s most famous wax museum is family-friendly with a big capital ‘F’. The place was founded way back in the 10th Century by wax sculptor Madame Tussaud, so its reputation is long-standing, to say the least, and it comprises wax likenesses of royal family members, politicians, movie stars, writers, musicians, models, sports stars and celebrities of all kinds. Kids, indeed, will love the superheroes and Star Wars characters but be sure not to pass up the fun and frolicsome (and somewhat educational) ‘Spirit of London’ black cab ride through the capital’s history, as well as a really rather fascinating ‘Behind the Scenes’ exhibit. Oh, and don’t forget the rather dinky and delightful Sherlock Holmes Museum (221b Baker Street NW1) is just down the road; ideal for those literary detective thrills sought by amateur sleuths of all ages.
Natural History Museum
(Cromwell Road SW7 5BD)
Last but absolutely not least is this truly terrific venue – on two counts, kids adore it and it’s very near the likes of the San Domenico House hotel Chelsea. Yes, located in the wide-avenued, esteemed Victorian environs of South Kensington, this mighty, free-to-enter museum’s simply catnip for young ’uns. Home to jaw-dropping dinosaur bones, stuffed mammals and an incredible and enormous blue whale model in its Blue Zone, the place’s Green Zone is the one to hit up for a Martian meteorite and a massive emerald, while you might fancy experiencing the earthquake simulator in the Red Zone (or, at least, your kids might!). Note that both the supreme Science Museum and the V&A (which is jam-packed full of beautiful things; art, design, fashion and, er, tea) are to be found along the same broad boulevard.