It’s looking like I’m not going to get a holiday with my children this summer, so instead I thought I’d compile a list of things to do in London with teenagers this summer as we will hopefully get the odd day together here and there amongst all their other holidays and to be honest, I LOVE London in the summer. No school traffic and our area is very quiet. Obviously the central London is busier than ever with the exchange rate proving favourable to tourists, but that makes it wonderfully buzzy for teenagers. This list will only be of interest to you if you have relatively uncultured children like I do (aka teenagers) don’t want to be dragged around visiting churches and museums all day long, but would rather plug in and switch off or spend time with their friends. So I’ve got mostly food and drink with a bit of culture thrown in here and there, so here we go, some of my teenage kids favourite places to go in London, in no particular order….make sure you feed and water them regularly so they don’t collapse in a heap complaining that they are so exhausted they are about to die and can’t make their legs work:-
Borough Market is only just recovering from the horrendous attack it suffered recently and needs your support! It’s a thriving, fascinating part of London with lots of energy and great food venues. Best on a Thursday/Friday/weekend. Our new favourite place to eat lunch or dinner – El Pastor – it’s Mexican, but not as you know it – the kids will love it and so will you…
Best views of London in town – expensive at the bar, but take them for a drink there – that saves the money on paying for the viewing area and you get to see the views whilst having a gin and tonic!
Good to do a brief visit here from Borough Market on your way along the Southbank. Lots of great exhibitions on here you can do quickly!
The home of Shakespeare and because it’s such an incredible building, it really gives a sense of what it would have been like back in the day. It will capture the imagination of the teenagers – believe “Much Ado About Nothing” is on, but check!
Walk along from Borough Market through to Waterloo by the river. Such incredible views of St Paul’s Cathedral et al with lots to see along the way. The London Eye is also a good option, just near Waterloo if the weather is clear.
Young Vic/Old Vic
Two great theatres very near each other. The Young Vic generally shows interesting and engaging plays for a younger audience. Again, you’d need to book in advance. The Old Vic is currently showing the hot ticket of the moment “Girl From The North Country” featuring lots of Bob Dylan songs. Five star reviews all round.
Bat Out Of Hell
This new musical is currently on at The Coliseum and is BRILLIANT. Fun for all the family! Then go and eat at J Sheekey’s if you want to spot some celebrities (Kate Moss and Sienna Miller were there two days ago). Or eat there before the show. But hurry up, it ends soon.
Kensington is a great place to wander – Kensington Gardens are very pretty and the palace is where Princess Diana used to live. There’s a hotel across the road that does a fantastic afternoon tea as well. Let me know if you want the details and I’ll try and remember the name!
Natural History Museum
A walk from Kensington High street and always popular, no matter what age you are.
Brunch at The Wolesley
This is one of my favourite venues in London. Formerly a car showroom, it’s old style art deco and does fantastic food. The kids will love it. Again, you need to book.
The Royal Academy
Do this before or after The Wolesely as it’s just down the road from there and always has some great art exhibitions on. It’s about to start a new Matisse exhibition which looks fab.
Old Bond Street
You can then walk up Old Bond Street to Oxford Street and then left to Selfridges for a spot of fancy shopping with the kids. They’ve just opened their Christmas shop so you can at least buy a bauble to take home if nothing else!
Get a boat along the river
Always good to get a river’s eye view of London – best idea is to get the Duck Tour, which takes you along the streets of London and then floats off amphibian like into the river so you get a birds eye AND duck’s eye view of both worlds.
Got to be done…
Pergola On The Roof
Pergola On the Roof is a great pop up venue to eat and drink in. Very lively with a young crowd. You need to book though.
Cool area of London to wander around in – they have some pop up shops at Shoreditch Box Park which are quite fun, with street art on the way.
Well worth a visit and lots of cool restaurants for lunch afterwards. Check out the times though. It tends to start quite early.
The Saatchi Gallery is on the King’s Road and it’s currently got the coolest exhibition in town for teenagers and will have them gripped for hours. Called “From Selfie to Self expression” it’s on until September with free admission and it’s FAB. Lots to eat and drink on the King’s Road too.
This photo is generally regarded as the first ever selfie, taken on the roof of the Marceau studio on Fifth Avenue in December 1920. They both have to support the weight of the camera:-
Me, looking a little devilish:-
Very cool area of London with lots of vintage stalls and shops and again, food and drink locations galore.
Richmond is a great suburb of London with a lovely high street. You can also walk up Richmond Hill and into the park which gives you a huge sense of space and challenge your kids to find some deer (but don’t get too close) Head to Pembroke Lodge in the park for lunch, coffee and/or ice cream.
If all else fails and you actually find that you’re too hot because that elusive British sun has come out – head to Brighton for the day!
Let me know how you get on and good luck!