London and surrounding areas

London is one of the world’s most open, multi-cultural and cosmopolitan cities. A diverse city boasting a population of over 10 million, London is a buzzing metropolis filled with stunning architecture, world famous attractions, bustling shopping streets and over 60 Michelin star restaurants.

Great Ormond Street Hospital’s central London location means that we are close to historical and cultural attractions. In fact, the hospital itself is an important historical landmark with connections to many famous people including J M Barrie, Charles Dickens, Lady Diana and even Queen Elizabeth II, who is our Royal Patron.

We've put together this list of things that you and your family might enjoy doing while staying in London.
Please be aware that this is a suggested list of attractions, but there are many others in London and the surrounding area. We are not affiliated to any of these attractions and cannot be held liable for any information found on their websites, or your experience at their facilities. If you need more information about any of the below, please call the London Tourist Information centre on +44(0)20 7332 45.

  • Coram’s Fields
    A unique seven-acre playground and park for children under 16, just a few minutes walk from the hospital. No adult access without a child. Free entry.
  • Hyde Park
    One of London’s eight Royal Parks and covers an area of 350 acres. Free entry.
  • Regent's Park
    One of London's eight Royal Parks and covers an area of 395 acres. Free entry.

  • The British Museum
    The British Museum holds in trust for the nation and the world a collection of art and antiquities from ancient and living cultures. Free entry – there may be a charge for some exhibitions.
  • Foundling Museum
    The Foundling Museum holds the collection from the Foundling Hospital, a home for abandoned children that was set up close to the hospital. Free for children.
  • Museum of London
    The Museum of London explores the history of London from prehistoric time to the present day. Free entry – there may be a charge for some exhibitions.
  • Science Museum
    The Science Museum's world-class collection forms an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Includes many interactive displays for children. Free entry – there may be a charge for some exhibitions.
  • Natural History Museum
    The Natural History Museum is a world-class visitor attraction and leading science research centre. It is home to an enormous blue whale, dinosaurs, precious gems and high-tech exhibits. Free entry – there may be a charge for some exhibitions.
  • V&A
    The world’s leading museum of art and design. Free entry – there may be a charge for some exhibitions.

  • London Zoo
    The world’s oldest scientific zoo. The Zoo has hundreds of species including lions, tigers, penguins, snakes and monkeys! The Zoo is in Regent’s Park. Tickets are more expensive in peak season.
  • London Eye
    The world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel, overlooking the Thames and offering superb views over London. Ticket prices vary, please check their website.
  • London Aquarium
    The aquarium contains over 500 species in 14 themed galleries. Entrance fees vary, please check their website.
  • Tower of London
    Created by William the Conqueror in the early 1080s, the Tower of London has played a part in the most significant moments of English history. Entrance fees vary, under 5’s go free.
  • Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace
    Watch the New Guard exchange duty with the Old Guard in the famous Changing the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace. Free to watch, although tours will be charged.

  • West End
    Discover London's "West End", the largest theatre district in the world. Many theatres hold child friendly shows. Ticket prices vary, please check their website.
  • BFI IMAX
    The biggest cinema screen in Britain is situated in London. Watching a film at the BFI IMAX theatre is a completely immersive experience. Ticket prices vary, please check their website.
  • Seasonal
    At Christmas time, London lights up. Christmas fairs, including Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, appear across the capital, as well as ice-skating rinks at Somerset House and the Natural History Museum. As a diverse city, there are always festivities going on around major national, international and religious occasions.

  • Harrods
    The world's most famous department store, a name synonymous with luxury, excellence and service. Sells high end luxury items, in a stunning location.
  • Selfridges Oxford Street
    Voted the best department store in the world, Selfridges has the latest designer collections, must-have toys and gifts for the whole family.
  • Liberty London
    A luxury department store, Liberty sells designer accessories, luxury fabrics, exclusive beauty and gifts in a beautifully constructed mock-Tudor building.
  • Fortnum and Mason
    The ultimate destination for unique gifts such as hampers, famous teas and coffees and luxury food items.
  • Harvey Nichols
    Luxury department store offering designer fashion, beauty and food in the heart of Knightsbridge.
  • Oxford Street
    Europe's favourite shopping area, with over 300 shops including Selfridges, House of Fraser, Apple, Ted Baker and others.
  • Westfield Stratford City
    The UK’s third largest shopping centre, and one of the largest in Europe. The centre has around 280 stores and 70 restaurants.

  • Thorpe Park
    Thorpe Park is a theme park resort outside London. Ticket prices vary, please check their website.
  • Windsor Castle
    The oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, Windsor Castle has been the family home of British royalty for almost 1,000 years. Areas of the castle, including the State Rooms, can be visited. Entrance fees vary, please check their website.
  • Oxford
    The City of Dreaming Spires is world famous for its University and historical landmarks. For over 800 years the city has been home to famous academics and scholars, and is easily reached for a day trip from London.
  • Brighton
    Brighton is an English seaside resort town. It has a broad shingle beach, backed by amusement arcades and Regency-era buildings. Brighton Pier was built in 1899, and has a funfair and shops.

  • Tube
    The London Underground, or ‘tube’ is a public rapid transit system serving London and adjacent counties. It is a useful way of travelling around the city. The system is divided into nine zones; central London being in Zone 1. There are 11 tube lines that cross the city in multiple directions. There are maps of the system in every station, or you can download one. You can buy a single journey ticket, a day pass, or an Oyster card, which is the most economical way of paying for travel in London. You can also pay by contactless bank card.
  • Bus
    London is served by an extensive bus system. London’s iconic red double-decker buses are a cheap and convenient way of travelling through London with a view. The bus network covers the whole city with a 24-hour service. You cannot pay a bus fare with cash, only with a contactless bank card or an Oyster card. Fares are fixed at a flat rate of £1.50. You can only pay for one person's travel per Oyster or contactless card.
  • Overground
    London Overground is a train network that forms an outer London orbital network, covering six routes.
  • DLR
    The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) is a driverless train system that serves parts of East and South-East London. It is connected to the Underground system and paid for using the same payment methods: a single journey ticket, a day pass or with an ‘Oyster card’, which is the most economical way of paying for travel in London.
  • Oyster Card
    An Oyster card is an electronic smartcard that you can use to pay for public transport in London. It is the cheapest way to pay for travel in London. You can buy a Visitor Oyster card online before you arrive in London, or at Transport for London (TfL) visitor centres, stations and Oyster ticket shops. To use an Oyster card, touch the card to the yellow reader as you enter and end your journey on train or tube. You don’t need to touch out at the end of your journey on buses and trams. If you run out of credit on your Oyster card, you can add more at a touchscreen ticket machine at a station, at Oyster ticket shops, or TfL visitor centres. You can use an Oyster card for travel on all buses, trams, the tube, DLR, Overground train and train within the nine zones of London.
  • Train
    The UK is covered by an extensive train network. If you are travelling somewhere outside of London, you may consider taking a train. There are a number of large national and international train stations in London, which can you across the country and into Europe. You may also find it necessary to use a train when travelling into south-west London. You must purchase a ticket before travelling on a train. However, if you are travelling within the nine zones of London, you can use your Oyster card or contactless card. Tickets can be bought online or at a station.
  • Taxi
    There are a number of taxi firms working in London. The world-famous London 'black cabs' are the only taxis that can be hailed in the street. If the yellow sign is on, the cab is available for hire. These taxis are metered, but not all taxis are, so be sure to ask prices before travelling. Be sure to order a taxi through a reputable source before travelling, and to ask prices before travelling as luggage can cost extra. In the UK taxi drivers are tipped, but usually only to the nearest pound.
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