Family Trip to London

My goodness. We really packed it in during our little family trip to London. Here’s a list of what we fit in:

We rode around on a double-decker bus tour to get an overview of the city.

We took a ferry up the Thames from Big Ben to the London Tower.

The older kids saw Shakespeare’s Alls Well That Ends Well at the Globe Theatre.

family trip to london visit to globe theater
family trip to london visit to globe theater

We rode the London Eye.

family trip to london riding the london eye
riding the london eye
ben blair and gabrielle blair in london
family trip to london view from the london eye

We visited Big Ben.

family trip to london visiting big ben
family trip to london visiting big ben

We got familiar with the London Underground.

We saw the final Harry Potter movie on opening night at Leicester Square.

We took Afternoon Tea at The Orangery at Kensington Palace.

family trip to london tea at the orangerie at kensington palace

We went shopping at Hamleys.

family trip to london shopping at hamley's toy store
hamley's toy store in london
face painting at hamley's toy store in london

We swam at the hotel.

We saw the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.

changing of the guard at buckingham palace

We met up with our brother-in-law (and Shakespeare Professor), Bruce Young.

We shopped at Liberty of London.

liberty of london
liberty of london
liberty of london fabrics

We saw the White Cliffs of Dover.

We toured the Tower of London.

family trip to london visiting the tower of london
family trip to london visiting the tower of london
family trip to london visiting the tower of london
family trip to london visiting the tower of london

And we walked through lots of rain! rain! rain!

rainy london day

P.S. — Note to self: next time, pack wellies.

44 thoughts on “Family Trip to London”

  1. What a totally delightful tour! I could feel the rain! But mostly I felt the
    excitement and joy of really being there and being with FAMILY!
    Thanks millions for sharing.

  2. London is one of my favorite places in the world – I love reading/hearing about everyone’s visits there!

    I’ve never been on the London Eye – I think I definitely need to check it out next time I go!

    1. I don’t know if it was intentional, but because you left the H off of “how”, I was forced to read this in a Cockney accent in my head, a fitting complement to reading about the Blairs’ trip to England.

  3. Interesting. Thanks for the ideas. My family is going to London for a week beginning Saturday, and i have been having a hard time figuring out what to pack, since the forecast is for high 60s/low 70s, and it’s hitting 100 here. I’ve forgotten what to wear in such weather!

  4. Your trip to London looked like so much fun! We headed there in October with our kids that are ages 9 and 12. We are having a hard time coming up with a good musical or play to take the kids to when we are there. What did your kids think of All’s Well That Ends Well? Was the Shakespeare to hard for them to follow? Thanks.

    1. Good question, Amy. Our 9-year-old stayed at the hotel with me, but our 12 and 13 year olds really enjoyed it. My husband went over the story with them on the way there, and then they read the synopsis in the handout at the theater. They said it was hard to get used to the language at first, but that after awhile, they understood. Which is exactly the experience I have when I’m watching Shakespeare. : )

  5. We were there 2 weeks earlier and it was warm and sunny. England sure changes quickly. We also did the London Eye/boat ride. It was awesome. We even got to see Tower Bridge closing. There is so much to do in London. sounds like you packed in alot.

  6. Love your London photos Gabby!! What kind of camera(s) did you use? I can’t wait to visit London with my husband. He goes often and he just now decided to ride the London Eye next trip! ;D How long does the London Eye ride take? We’re looking forward to reading more about your exciting weekend.

  7. Haha, i flew home from a 39 degrees Hungary on Saturday – our London summer was definitely a shock. Everyone here is saying it’s the worst summer for 20 years.

  8. What a fun trip! Just curious – how do you handle baby gear and naps for June when you travel? My daughter is a few days younger than June, and I don’t even know how I’d manage London with a baby!

  9. Glad that you enjoyed it. I live in London and I did feel for you coming to visit in such miserable weather. It’s been so changeable recently but the last week has been horrible, weather wise! I’m pleased to see that it didn’t stop you in your mission to pack as much in as possible. I hope that we can dish up better weather on your next visit!

    Jennifer – I’d pack lots of layers – it can be quite warm – and also very cold and wet! July has been bizarre – I’m sending the kids out to nursery with raincoats and sunhats and everything in between at the moment!

  10. Next time you visit, I’m going to have to send you my recommendations – now that you’ve got the basics ticked off! And I promise it wasn’t raining like this until last week – we do have summer weather sometimes, honest.

  11. Your London trip posts are amazing! I recently went to see HP myself and was caught in a severe lightning/rain storm on my way back home. Very scary. lol. These London pics are gorgeous! So glad to see everyone having so much fun.

  12. I find it so surreal that I’ve followed your blog for such a long time with you thousands of miles away and even in France it’s still a rather large distance; but while you were in London you were less than 30 miles away!! ;-) So glad you had fun and got to see so much! I’d apologise for the rain but without it, it just wouldn’t have given you the ‘proper’ English experience! ;-) xx

  13. Sounds fab! I think I would have stuffed all that in, too. I am having my hubby bring wellies back from his next business trip to Norwich. And the obligatory chocolate and cheese…any suggestions on what to bring from Poland? BTW… I took a class at BYU from your fabulous brother in law. Jealous that he is in England. And I am not.

      1. Fantastic! Didn’t you just love it?! It was a nice break from all of the tragic and disturbing Shakespeare plays I’ve been seeing for school this summer (don’t get me wrong, I have loved them all). This was a nice lovely little comedy. Anyway, wish I could have been on the lookout for y’all :)

  14. Alrighty, I officially want your life ;) Looks like a magical time had by all. London is my fave city in the whole world. I daydream about relocating my family of four to the hip hood of Islington. Some day.

  15. I’m so impressed with everything you managed to pack into a quick trip… more especially because of the entire gang being involved! Exceptionally well done. :) I think it’s great that you did a mix of activities for all ages — and a mix of things that are “we did it once” and “we’d do it again!!” too. Because, let’s admit… Changing of the Guard is cool once, but not something you’d want to do every time you visit London. However, the Tower? I HAVE done that every time! And Tea at The Orangerie? Yep, that’s on my must do frequently list too – love it! The only better scones are at the V&A Museum (of all places!). I’m looking forward to hearing what everyone thought of the Tower too… I’ve always thought it would be the best for kids, even though I’ve yet to take anyone that small to London. {hmmm… begins to scheme…} Well, let’s just say… next time? Sign me up for gratis kid-sitting duties! :-)

  16. Hello
    So glad you enjoyed London. It’s my last couple of weeks here: I was born and bred and now am leaving with my family to live in Ann Arbor where my husband has been offered a Chair – so big changes for us!
    We close on our house very soon and need to find a central London hotel – not something we’ve stayed in before, naturally, in our home city. I skimmed your report as there is so much to do, but couldn’t see where you stayed. A hotel with a pool TofL sounds great – where was it? The Tower Thistle? Glad you are enjoying al that Europe has to offer: hope I don’t miss it too much, but I do intend to get back here between 4-5 times per year!

  17. um. yeah. Shot 16? Your hair couldn’t be any more perfect!! add navy and white stripes. sooooo casual chic!!

    best – d.
    post script: don’t forget, today’s the day.

  18. OH! You are wearing sweaters. And jackets. And it is raining…and the sky is overcast. That’s it…I am going to vacation in London in the summer. I am ready to escape this heat. This time of year I long for autumn, and start dreaming of burnt orange, and cable knit tights, and cool grey skies.

    I also agree with the previous commenter: your hair looks so nice! Did you lighten it just a bit?

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