London is a fab city whatever you’re after. From the West end shows to the street entertainment, the Michelin-starred restaurants to pop-up food stands, the flashy architectural wonders to the ruins of yesteryear. In the city that has everything, it can be a real wonder to take it back to basics and for families, the glimpse of the Queen’s home and the London Bridge referenced in the long-standing nursery rhyme is sometimes all they need. For this ‘48 hours in’, we strip it back to being a tourist in one of our favourite cities in the world….
No stranger to the Park Plaza hotels, they’ve four-star hotels right the way across the UK with several towering properties located in some fantastic central London locations. Summon up images of elegant, non-fussy, sleek hotels with great service and you’re getting somewhere close.
The Park Plaza Riverbank is as the name suggests, overlooks the Thames River nestled between bustling Embankment and the commuter exchange of Vauxhall making it the perfect location for exploration.
Towering 17 stories high, the rooms feature spectacular views of the city. Peering out to Parliament and the London Eye, our clean and contemporary Ultimate Family Suite consisted of two spaces – a modern bedroom and separate kids chamber providing generous space.
The children loved their own private area that is kitted out for up to three children with a separate single and bunk bed. The quirky second room is bursting with cool style and the fun factor – board games, books, teddies and chalk walls adorn a vibrant room with neon lights, beanbags and lots of handy storage. The icing on the cake was the treat trolley, enough said!
The sprawling hotel features buzzy bars, an effervescent restaurant and a rarity in the city, a 12m sized pool, perfect for a dip and some family fun away from the London streets.
Fill up on a hearty buffet breakfast where you’ll find all the best British delights before heading off for a day of exploration.
With most city landmarks walkable from the Park Plaza, it’s easy to fill your time treading the cobbled banks; however for a slightly different view of the city, the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers welcomes you to take to the river and meander up and down the Thames with several stop offs providing some respite for tiny feet. Youngsters will marvel at the new perspective on some of London’s infamous landmarks such as the O2 and Tower Bridge.
Combine sightseeing with the traditions of an afternoon tea. Hop on Brigit’s Bakery Afternoon Tea bus tour to take in the London sights without even needing to leave your seat. Tuck into delectable sandwiches, cakes, warm homemade scones and a cup of your favourite brew, as the vintage Routemaster navigates through the city highlighting the history and legends that behold some of the landmarks along the way.
And for those families with younger children, be sure to check out the special series of Peppa Pig tours are also available with the narration provided by Peppa herself!
The Park Plaza Riverbank welcomes guests to a One Bed Suite (River View) with prices starting from £254.80 per night, based on full occupancy. www.parkplazariverbank.com
Uber Boat by Thames Clippers Family River Roamer is an all-day hop-on, hop-off ticket with access to 23 piers across London for two adults and up to three children priced £36.70.
B-Bakery runs several afternoon tea tours with prices starting from £35/child and £45/adult. Take a look at their website to see the wonderful seasonal specials on offer – https://b-bakery.com/london/bus-tours