6 Days in London: Our Itinerary

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Plan 6 days in London for your family vacation with these helpful itinerary tips from our family’s trip this spring.

A family of four stands in front of the Tower Bridge in London.

Planning our itinerary of things to see in London took me almost 3 solid months. I poured over guidebooks, countless websites, talked to friends, and devoured endless YouTube videos.

I have to admit, of all the research I did, the most helpful sources of information were from real families who shared their experience in London on travel blogs.

Reading through Jessica Turner’s notes about her family trip gave me a realistic sense of how much you could squeeze into a day with your kids. Her family skews a little younger than mine so our trip ended up looking a lot different but I’m so grateful for bloggers willing to share their experiences!

I hope you find this description of our 6 days in London helpful as you plan your own family adventure! Have any questions?? Leave me a comment, I’d be thrilled to help.

Getting There

Our journey to London started with an evening flight from Charlotte to New York. There was an hour layover as we changed planes to go from New York to London.

The hardest part was waiting all day long to leave but we had plenty of time to pack and get the house ready for our absence.

We planned to arrive at the airport nearly 3 hours early because we were driving in rush hour and I didn’t want to chance getting caught behind a car accident or some other delay.

That extra padding in the schedule ended up becoming essential with a few mishaps. You can read more about my tips for departure here.

We checked our bags and had very light carry-ons. Little did I know just how important my carry on packing list was going to be in just a few short hours . . .

A young girl pulls a red suitcase up the escalator at the airport.
The last time she’d see her luggage for several days . . .

We made our connection to London and did our best to sleep on the plane. You’ll definitely want to read my tips for being cozy on an overnight plane ride here.

Day 1: What to Do When Things Don’t Go as Planned

We arrived in London at 10:30 am local time.

We went to pick up our luggage at baggage claim and discovered the airline lost my youngest daughter’s suitcase. Since we were traveling for a holiday, we were told we may not see it again until late on Sunday or Monday at the earliest, if they could even find it.

You can read more about what to do when the airline loses your luggage here.

Needless to say, this put a major kink in our first day’s plan. Thankfully I had planned a very flexible and easy first afternoon, so we put things on hold so I could take my daughter shopping for an entirely new wardrobe.

You can check out where we replaced Every. Single. Thing in my best places to shop in London article here.

We checked into our AirBNB, I immediately took her shopping while my husband and older daughter went to buy treats for celebrating Easter the next morning.

We met back up and had our first proper meal in London around 3 pm.

After refueling, we wasted no time in learning how to ride the London underground and headed straight over to Hamleys toy store for a birthday shopping trip we promised my oldest.

After a little more shopping and sightseeing, we took the tube back towards our AirBNB but it was still only 7pm.

To help fight the jet lag, we wanted to stay awake as long as possible. We stopped back in at the pub near home for some drinks and dessert to pass the time.

Then it was off to bed to rest.


  1. With arrival at 10:30 am, we didn’t get to central London until about 12:30pm.
  2. Checking in at the AirBNB was a bit of a process, we were in the door by 1pm. I had booked the unit starting the day before our actual arrival so we didn’t have to worry about hanging on to luggage until a 3pm or later check-in. This is something worth every penny, in my opinion.
  3. Keep your afternoon very flexible, you have no idea what challenges you might face with your travel and luggage. You won’t want to miss timed tickets or reservations, so keep this first day loose.
  4. Stay awake as long as you can, it helps your body adjust to the local time and reduces jet lag.

Day 2: Easter Sunday

Our spring break trip may not be typical for your vacation since we were traveling over Easter Sunday.

You can read my tips for how to celebrate Easter in London here.

However, we spent the day:

A family of four stands out front of Kensington Palace near the Queen Victoria statue.
After our tour of Kensington Palace.
  1. Touring Kensington Palace
  2. Walking through Hyde Park to see the Prince Albert Memorial and Princess Diana Memorial Fountain
  3. Had Lunch at The Mayfair Chippy for fish and chips
  4. Attended Easter services at Westminster Abbey
  5. Saw Big Ben
  6. Explored London by Foot as we walked to dinner
  7. Ate Easter Dinner at The Ivy
  8. Walked to Buckingham Palace for photos

And for the record, STILL no suitcase for my daughter.

Day 3: Exploring London

Monday morning we slept in just a pinch. Then it was out the door for a very full day.

We started with a visit to St. James Palace to watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony.

The royal guard band playing outside of St. James Palace

We walked from there over to Trafalgar Square and then on to Piccadilly Circus.

My husband wanted to pick up a classic English cap as his gift from London, so we took a little shopping break to visit the hat shop followed by a light lunch at a local coffee shop.

Then we walked over to the Churchill War Rooms for our 2pm timed ticket entry. This was one of the tickets I booked in advance of our trip.

After our tour of the museum, we walked across the Westminster Bridge over to the London Eye Pier to take the Uber ferry boat down the Thames to Greenwich to see the Prime Meridian.

That adventure was complicated enough I’ve written the directions on how you can do it too. Learn everything you need to know to visit the Greenwich Observatory and Prime Meridian here.

We took the tube over to The Spaghetti House for dinner and then used an Uber to get home out of sheer exhaustion.


  1. Changing of the Guard
  2. Visit Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus
  3. Shopping and Lunch
  4. Tour the Churchill War Rooms
  5. Ride the Ferry from the London Eye to Greenwich
  6. Dinner

Luggage Update: We got back to the AirBNB just before bedtime and discovered my daughter’s suitcase had been delivered while we were gone. Where did the delivery driver leave it?? IN THE RUBBISH CLOSET. We are so thankful she thought to peek inside the door and even more thankful the trash had not been collected that day!!

It was a full three days of our trip she was left without her items but we’re grateful she finally got her clothing back.

Day 4: From London to Paris

My husband’s “One Thing” for our London trip was to experience a ride on the chunnel train that goes from London to Paris underneath the English tunnel. I’ve written much more about this experience separately if you’re interested in the full explanation.

We didn’t leave for Paris until dinnertime, so we had all morning to spend in London.

I booked us “Sunrise at the Sky Garden” tickets for 8:30 am.

Tourists walking along the indoor garden near a wall of windows that look out at London.

After coffee and pastries and a glorious view of London from up high, we took the tube across town to visit Harrods department store. This is for sure one of the best places to shop in London even if you don’t buy anything.

We took the bus back to the AirBNB because there was a major delay on the tube. You’ll definitely want to read about all the ways to get around in London because we used them all!

We packed our bags for Paris and then headed out the door for our afternoon tea reservation at Peggy Porschen’s.

After tea, we walked back to the AirBNB, picked up our prepared luggage, and took the tube from Victoria Station over to St. Pancras International for our Eurostar train to Paris.

We arrived in Paris around 11 pm and took an Uber to our hotel. Checked in and crashed.


  1. Coffee and Pastries at the Sky Garden
  2. Shopping at Harrods
  3. Packed for Paris
  4. Afternoon Tea at Peggy Porschen
  5. Eurostar Train to Paris

Day 5: Day Trip Day

You could spend your entire 6 days in London and never run out of things to see and do.

A day trip is not necessary at all, but it can add something truly memorable to your family vacation to get out of the city and see something more.

We chose to do our day trip in Paris, you can read all about that experience here.

However, you might want to consider one of these other day trip options:

  1. Bath
  2. Windsor Castle
  3. Stonehenge
  4. Oxford
  5. Cambridge
  6. The Harry Potter Experience

After our day trip to Paris, we got back to our AirBNB in London at just before midnight.

Day 6: Exploring London

By the last day of our trip, everyone was exhausted and we were feeling both sad to leave and ready to go home.

I had reserved tickets to visit the Tower of London at 9 am so we could be in the early entry group to visit the Crown Jewels.

The White Tower within the Tower of London museum.

In hindsight, it was a mistake to book something so early in the morning after a whirlwind trip to Paris the day before and getting home so late at night. However, my family was up for the challenge and even though we were running on fumes at this point, everyone was game for one more day of adventure.

We headed directly to the Crown Jewels to avoid getting stuck in a long line to see them. Then we slowed down and walked straight over to the Tower of London Cafe for coffee and scones and a sit.

We spent most of the morning at the Tower of London and then took our time taking tons of photos in front of the Tower Bridge.

We walked across the Tower Bridge for free with the rest of the pedestrians. If you’re interested, you can also pay to tour the very top of the bridge where there’s a museum and display.

My older daughter was so excited to sample the TikTok-famous strawberries covered in chocolate available at Borough Market so that was our next stop.

A teen girl holds a cup of fresh strawberries covered in melted chocolate.

Unfortunately we arrived right at 12:30 pm during the peak lunch hour crush. The market was absolutely jam-packed with people and it was a fairly stressful experience. But she got her strawberries and it was a highlight of the trip for her.

I definitely recommend visiting Borough market NOT during a peak meal time.

The entrance to Covent Garden has a large floral display in front.

We ended our afternoon by taking the tube over to Covent Garden for a last round of shopping but ended up spending more than an hour just sitting on a bench watching the street performers.

The live entertainment was so fun but I think at that point our feet were nearly broken from all the walking and we had no more energy to sacrifice in the name of adventure.

We hobbled back onto the underground back towards the AirBNB and ate our final dinner in London at the same pub where we enjoyed our first meal.

It was somehow the perfect bookend to the trip because we all knew we’d love the food, it was just one block from the AirBNB, and it had the perfect cozy London pub vibe for our final send-off.


  1. Tour the Tower of London: Head directly to the Crown Jewels to avoid long lines
  2. Take Photos by Tower Bridge
  3. Walk Across Tower Bridge
  4. Visit Borough Market
  5. Go Shopping at Covent Garden (or just enjoy the street performers)
  6. Enjoy a Final Dinner

Going Home

We had an early morning flight from London to Chicago with a layover and walk through customs before finally boarding our flight home to Charlotte.

In retrospect, if we can afford direct tickets from our destination home on that last leg of the tour, it would be worth a lot more than spending the money on upgraded seats.

We left London at 6:30 am and arrived at our house back in Charlotte at nearly 7 pm. With the time changes and plane switches, my daughter calculated it was a 17 hour day. A direct flight would have fixed a lot of that.

Coming home was more physically difficult than going there. The jet lag feels much worse on this side, probably because we were also recovering from walking 20,000+ steps for 6 days in a row!

Final Thoughts

Nothing about this experience was a “vacation,” this is the perfect example of a “family trip.”

We knew heading into our itinerary that our goal was to do, see, experience, and enjoy as much as possible. We wanted to squeeze in as much as we could and we didn’t “waste” one single moment.

Even still, we didn’t even see a fraction of the things that London has to offer.

My husband and I both agree, London is such a fun and wonderful place to visit, it would make for an incredible “true vacation” spot someday. One where we don’t do punishing 20,000+ step days.

A true relaxing “vacation” in London could include sleeping in, leisurely strolls in the open parks, maybe sightseeing one thing in the day, stopping for afternoon tea, and definitely attending at least one theater performance during the trip.

I hope that by sharing this peek into our real family experience you’ve got a better idea of what can be done in a day in London.

Don’t miss my other helpful bits of advice for planning your trip here:

The photo collage shows a family in front of the Tower Bridge next to a photo of a red bus in London.

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