London in November
London is a first-class destination for families throughout the year whatever the weather, but why not try a quick visit in early November, meaning you avoid the Christmas rush - and subsequent crowds and price hikes.
In a nutshell
- Will suit: families and groups of all ages and interests
- Flying time: none
- Time difference: none
- Average temperature: typical winter temperatures are between 2-6°C
- Tourist information: www.visitlondon.com
How to get there
- National Rail, National Express coaches, or by car. If you're driving, check whether you'll need to pay the congestion charge.
Where to stay
- London is full of family-friendly hotels and one Mumsnetter favourite is the Park Plaza in Westminster.
- Laterooms.com has 1,000 hotels in the city, with rooms available to suit all budgets.
What to do
This list could roll and roll, so we've plumped for a mix that should suit all ages and tastes.
- Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
A faithful reconstruction of the open-air playhouse, first built in 1599.
- The London Eye
The world's largest observation wheel offers a spectacular way to take in over 55 of London's most famous landmarks.
- SEA LIFE London Aquarium
Home to nearly 400 species of aquatic life.
- The London Dungeon
Now a bigger, bolder and better attraction in the vast underground vaults of County Hall on the South Bank. The multi-million pound attraction brings 1,000 years of authentic London history to life.
- The Cutty Sark
Venture both underneath and aboard one of the world's most famous ships and the last surviving tea clipper.
- Up at the O2
A 90-minute experience takes you on a guided expedition across the roof of The O2 via a tensile fabric walkway suspended 53m above ground level
- Arcelor Mittal Orbit
Scale the 377ft high observation tower built alongside the Olympic stadium - Britain's largest piece of public art. Open from July 2013.
- The Science Museum
Where else can you find life-changing objects from Stephenson's Rocket to the Apollo 10 command module, catch an immersive 3D movie, enjoy the thrills of a special effects simulator, introduce children to science with exciting, hands-on interactive activities and encounter the past, present and future of technology in seven floors of galleries.
- The Natural History Museum
Why did the dinosaurs really become extinct? How big are hippopotamus's teeth? Do unicorns exist? What does an earthquake feel like? A visit to the fascinating Natural History Museum in London answers all of these questions and more.
- The View from the Shard
Europe's tallest building (310m) has superlative views.
- Travelling around London is expensive, but you can save by using Oyster cards. It is a faff on the first day, but worth it in the end - just try to not add much more than you think you'll need. Oyster cards can be used on tubes, Dockland Light Railway (DLR), buses and trams, and topped up if necessary in stations and shops.
- Under-11s travel free. If you have an 11-15 year old you can order them a ZipOyster photocard online for £10, which then gives them free travel on buses and trams and half-price fares on tubes and the DLR, but this can take up to a month to arrive.
- Don't be afraid to walk - what looks like it involves a complex system of tube changes might actually just involve a 10-minute walk overground.
- You can save by booking tickets to attractions in advance if you're certain what you want to do when. For last-minute theatre ticket availability, head to the TKTS booth in Leicester Square. You can pick up a real bargain for many of London's top West End shows for hit musicals, comedies, dramas and dance. Tickets can only be bought in person at the booth.
- Cross the Thames via Emirates Air Line – a cable car crossing from Greenwich Peninsula to the Royal Docks 1km above the city. Great views and you can use your Oyster card.
- Some of the best London attractions are free entry. The British Museum, TATE Galleries, The National Gallery, plus the three museums in South Kensington (Natural History Museum, V&A and Science Museum) and almost every historic church are free.
- Give the open-top expensive tourist buses a miss and enjoy some scenic routes on 'normal' buses, which you can ride for £1.40 per bus with your Oyster card. Route 9, from the Royal Albert Hall to Aldwych passes Harrods, Hyde Park Corner and Piccadilly Circus, while the 15 runs along the Strand and Fleet Street to St Paul's Cathedral and the City. Check bus routes and timetables here.
- Save http://m.countdown.tfl.gov.uk/ into your smartphone. This helpful page will let you know exactly when the next bus is due.
What Mumsnetters say about holidays in London
- We've always thoroughly enjoyed London Zoo and it has lots of indoor stuff so works well in bad weather - the Rainforest bit where you lean over the side with no barriers, the butterfly house, etc. Squirrel monkeys are good value, too - scampering around you in a walk-through area. London Zoo has fewer of the big animals but lots of lovely primates and the new penguin pool is fab! WillowinGloves
- Afternoon tea at the Lanesborough is great fun (but treat it as a big meal - we were stuffed). Walk along the South Bank, explore Chinatown, Greenwich Market is great. Iheartcrunchiebars
- The Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice in Postman's Park makes my day. It's in a great part of town, close to St Paul's, too. VerityClinch
- The 2-4-1 website has entry to loads of attractions (including London Zoo) with a rail ticket valid for that day - the trick is to buy a London travel card at a railway station rather than a tube station on the day that you want to use any of these offers. lalalonglegs
- The Cinema Museum, near Elephant and Castle, is good for film buffs. A labour of love by a couple of guys who obsessively collected memorabilia from old picture-houses that were closing down, stored it for years and eventually raised enough money to open this quirky museum (in a building which was a former poorhouse). You have to go online and arrange a time to go along. Possibly most interesting for those of us who remember a seat in the stalls being 2/6, although teenage son also enjoyed our visit. highlandcoo
Last updated: 11 months ago