Mini Travellers – Family Travel & Family Holiday Tips
Visit Greenwich
Blog Family Holidays London United Kingdom

Things to Do when Visiting Greenwich with Kids

AD | I have been or could be if you click on a link in this post compensated via a cash payment, gift or something else of value for writing this post. See our full disclosure policy and privacy policy for more details.

We go to London quite a lot. We go and visit friends and family and hubby and I go for work lots too. Whilst lots of fun they are often rushed and frenzied visits trying to fit a lot in and trying to make as much of our weekends or days as possible.

When the opportunity arose for me to spend three days and two nights in Greenwich to explore some of the sights out there I jumped at the chance. Well initially I jumped at the chance and then I wondered what I was doing saying yes to a trip into London from Liverpool with my three girls aged 5,4 and 4. What I loved about Greenwich and what made my trip doable with the girls was the fact that it was a little further out than exploring central London, yet still easy to get to and the wonder of the DLR! The tube can be crazy busy, hot, noisy and can lead to panic when your kids are not used to it, but the DLR well it’s not like that at all (most of the day) and that makes travelling round that area actually a pleasant experience!

Visit Greenwich

We got an early train down from Liverpool and arrived into London by 10.30. It’s a good hour out to the Excel but the Aloft London Excel hotel attached to the Excel (so perfect for events there) is literally on the walkway from the Prince Regent DLR stop. It couldn’t be easier to find or to get to.

Visit Greenwich

We were checked into the hotel quickly and given directions to our room. The receptionist seemed slightly confused by our connecting rooms but when we got up there they had all been set out correctly, the doors were open between the suite and the next room and the kids pack was in situ!

During the summer their family offer is that kids eat for free and you get 50% off the second room, but check back regularly for other holiday offers.

The kids pack amounts to a fun tent complete with bed and duvet, a large game of dominos, a bag of sweets each and a colouring set. The tent caused much amusement with my three and the only ‘downside’ was the negotiations as to who was going to sleep in it as we were only staying 2 nights and there was 3 of them. Thankfully I have one child who gives in to the others so all was well with the world.

The rooms themselves were huge, particularly for London. An enormous super king sized double bed and a large walk in bathroom area which would have been superb even without the lounge area. We had a suite connected to a bedroom so could see what both looked like, but with the addition of the lounge area in the suite it made it a really comfortable place to be with three kids, and the air con (we visited in a heatwave) was very very welcome. I love a hotel room with a nespresso machine (an add on for the suite as the rooms had kettles and coffee sachets) but I took full advantage.

Visit Greenwich

We made a slight error of judgement by not picking up any food on our way out to the hotel but after jumping around on the beds (sorry Aloft) and playing dominos we decided to wander down the river to the Emirates Cable Car and have a picnic on the riverside. Tesco came to our rescue (I dislike eating out at every meal when away) and we bought a French Stick, ham, cheese and snack type bits and sat on a shady picnic bench watching the world go by.

Visit Greenwich

We took the cable car over to the o2 and decided to get off and look at the included exhibition (depending on tickets purchased) on the other side. The girls had fun pretending to be pilots for half an hour but it wasn’t an essential visit. If you decide to book the simulator ( for £45) then it may be but it would be skipable for us.

Costs: The Emirates Air line (cable car) costs £10.70 per adult and £6.20 per child (return), with a reduction for Oyster card users. It costs £45 to try out the Emirates Aviation Experience and fly a plane – up to four people can be involved in that session.

Our cable car had to stop in the middle of our return journey and this gave the girls a fright but a funny exchange with the cable car going the opposite way lightened the mood!

Visit Greenwich

The promised ice creams helped our very warm walk back to the hotel as did the promise of a trip to the swimming pool. What a luxury to be in a swimming pool in a London; I was already seeing major benefits of staying a little further out of town than I might have thought before.

The swimming pool was a perfect end to quite a hot day of traveling and we must have been in it for over an hour. If you are travelling with older kids or without any at all then there is also a decent sized gym, a sauna and a steam room too. Unfortunately I didn’t get to try them out with three novice swimmers to watch out for. We finished our day with an early tea in the restaurant. The food was really pretty good. I think you can get used to fairly average food in a hotel but the scallops and chorizo skewers I had after the smoked meat platter we all shared to start was superb. The kids burger and chips was huge, as was the pasta dish and I had to help Lily with the huge chicken gougons. A couple of glasses of prosecco finished off my dinner very nicely and we all headed up to bed happy and content.

Visit Greenwich

 

The morning started really very slowly and that for me was a real benefit to staying in a hotel with such large rooms. If we had just been in a small central London hotel we would have had to rush out of the room to start exploring as the kids would have been climbing the walls in the room. As it was they played a few games, chatted and made up a bizarre game with the dominos whilst I had a leisurely start to my morning.

We made our way over to Greenwich around 10.30am and followed people in the general direction of the National Maritime Museum, pausing to look in awe at the Cutty Sark which is unmissable when you come out of the Cutty Sark DLR stop.  The day was again very very hot and as we were meeting Lily’s godfather at 1ish we decided to spend the morning exploring inside the Museum.  However we didn’t end up doing much exploring, take a look at this post by Family Travel Times to see what we should have found, as the girls just loved the activity workshops in the Learning Space, so much so that we didn’t even make it upstairs – there is always next time! The staff in the Learning Space were excellent and we spent nearly two hours making an old fashioned treasure map and listening to story time and songs about birds from New Zealand.  The staff were kind and engaging and I can’t recommend the activity team highly enough. Costs:The National Maritime Museum is free to visitors and is open from 10am to 6pm every day. It usually has a special exhibition on although the current exhibition Above & Beyond has just ended.

 

Loving our treasure maps @NMMGreenwich @visitgreenwich #familytravel #summerholidays

 

A photo posted by Karen Beddow (@mini_travellers) on

 

Visit Greenwich

We only left the National Maritime Museum because the kids were hungry and it was getting close to 1pm. We bypassed the cafe at the back of the museum in favour of a shady tree in Greenwich Park and sat down to eat our picnic. There was families of all shapes and sizes in the park and it was again fun to watch the world go by whilst we took some time out and waited for Lily’s godfather. We had a combined ticket to the Cutty Sark/Royal Observatory so decided to wander up the hill first to The Royal Observatory whilst the kids were slightly less tired. My lack of awareness as to what exactly was at the top of the hill meant our trip wasn’t as successful as perhaps it could have been as I told the kids we were going to the planetarium. To be honest I hadn’t realised they were different things. For us the Royal Observatory just wasn’t worth while for the kids (5 and 4) as they didn’t understand the concept of time so the clocks and the GMT line were a little beyond them. They did have fun with a piece of measuring equipment for a while but I think a show at the planetarium would have been more fun for them. The staff on the desk weren’t as helpful as they could have been either as I only realised when writing this review that the planetarium is actually free it only cost to see a show. This wasn’t clear as had it been we would definitely have wandered in. The view from the top of the very steep hill is fabulous, but all in all on a very hot day, a little difficult for the kids! Costs: The Royal Observatory (which includes the courtyard and also Flamsteed House which teaches you all about time) costs £9.50 for adults and £5 for children. You can also pay £18.50 for adults and £8.50 for children and get a joint ticket for the Observatory and the Cutty Sark (see below…) Entry to the Planetarium is free.

Visit Greenwich

A promise of an ice cream at the bottom of the hill, got them down with a sense of humour (ish) and we decided to wander through Greenwich Market eating said ice cream before visiting the Cutty Sark. The girls had a really fab time exploring the Cutty Sark, they watched a really quite short video about the life on board the Cutty Sark but have been quoting it back to me ever since.  They played happily for ages on the sailors beds and dressed up in sailors clothes.  It really is quite an incredible sight and just wandering through the huge bulk of the ship makes you start to get a feel for what life could have been like on board.  The Cutty Sark also puts on lots of family activities during the day but our timing wasn’t quite right to try these out.

Visit Greenwich

We finished our day in Greenwich at the wonderful Rivington Grill where the staff Oliver,  Davide, Jaim and Brendan couldn’t have done enough for us. We arrived very hot and in need of urgent refreshments and iced water was immediately poured. They even humoured my elder daughter’s desire to be a waitress too! Due to the number of tourists in Greenwich there are a lot of chain restaurants with average food. This isn’t one of them.  The butter was to die for. We all had extra bread just so we could have more of the butter and my friend is a proper foodie so that’s saying something. In fact he is a total fan of the restaurant’s burgers, so much so that he has been known to head out to Rivington Grill Greenwich from Canary Wharf (where he works) for a burger at lunch, such is their amazingness!   We decided not to try the burgers though that day and whilst I had the beetroot and feta salad to start, Oli had the burrata and both were excellent. The quality of the ingredients shines through in dishes like this.  I plumped for the rainbow trout for my main course, with ‘buttered’ green beans and Oli the steak and chips.  Both were again excellent and nothing was left on our plates despite both being fairly substantial! Up to Kids (per adult) eat for free in the Rivington Grill Monday – Saturday between 12 and 7 when accompanied by a paying adult. This is a fantastic offer particularly if the kids choose from the Big Kids menu. Two of mine weren’t particularly hungry when we went and happily had the crumpets and cheese on toast, but the ‘Chish & Fips’ ordered by one of the twins looked amazing.

Visit Greenwich

Now time for Chis and Fips @rivingtongrill @visitgreenwich with the #minitravellers #London

A photo posted by Karen Beddow (@mini_travellers) on

We couldn’t manage any desserts such was the size of the fabulous meals but we didn’t feel short changed having had various ice creams and sweets during the day, so we made our way back to Aloft London, tired and happy.  Four of us tucked up in bed by 8.30, me with the Great British Bake Off and the kids asleep almost instantly.

Our last day in Greenwich was due to involve the Thames Clipper (a fabulous way to get to or from Greenwich) but we decided against this in favour of a paddling pool day in a friends garden followed by The Railway Children (INCREDIBLE – read our review here!). Sorry Greenwich you really were so very very hot for those 3 days.  It is’t a problem though, as we will definitely go back and Visit Greenwich such was the fab time we had staying there and will absolutely do the river boat another day!

All in all we can highly recommend Greenwich as a place to stay when visiting the capital for not only the fantastic attractions going on there, but also for a more relaxed and less manic London stay.

WHY NOT PIN THIS FOR LATER

Visit Greenwich

NB: We were invited to Greenwich by Visit Greenwich who covered a number of the attractions visited, and we had a complimentary stay at Aloft London, all views are however my own.

You Might Also Like...

27 Comments

  • Reply
    barjerow
    4th September 2016 at 8:41 am

    Sounds like you had a fabulous time. I never knew there was so much to do in Greenwich. X

  • Reply
    Cathy (Mummytravels)
    10th September 2016 at 10:09 am

    I love Greenwich- one of my favourite days out and we had a great time on the Cutty Sark. Taking the boat along the Thames is fabulous too, although it’s tempting to stay nearby so you don’t have to pack it all into one day.

  • Reply
    Trish @ Mum's Gone To
    19th September 2016 at 8:08 am

    Why have I still not been to Greenwich? I really must go and this is such a comprehensive post, I think I’m sorted. The hotel looks excellent (can’t beat a Nespresso in the room) and the Rivington Grill sounds fab.
    Hope you enjoy running #mondayescapes and congratulations on your MAD Blog award 🙂

    • Reply
      Mini Travellers
      19th September 2016 at 11:04 am

      thanks Trish

  • Reply
    Nell (the Pigeon Pair and Me)
    19th September 2016 at 10:58 am

    You’re right, Greenwich is so much easier to manage than a trip to central London with young children. We live close by, so we go there often. Haven’t tried Rivington’s though – must change that! The Planetarium shows are great for youngsters, but you’re right, the Observatory’s better for older kids an adults (it’s fascinating though).

  • Reply
    marta
    19th September 2016 at 11:11 am

    This sounds like such a lovely trip: I haven’t brought the kids to London yet (our only UK trip was to Thomasland!) and when we do we will definitely include Greenwich. Great to have a reliable address in London, it is always such a headache to find good accommodation there!

  • Reply
    Coral -Way too much luggage
    19th September 2016 at 12:39 pm

    The hotel looks great – I love the tent too -I can imagine the excitement, and negotiations! 😉

    Really must get on to arranging a trip to London with my 3 it has been far too long!

  • Reply
    Kat
    19th September 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Wow this sounds like a perfect trip! I hadn’t thought of staying in Greenwich before as we go to London quite a lot, and try to be central however there seems to be so many pluses to staying a little out of the way! #mondayescapes

  • Reply
    Tanja (the Red phone box travels)
    19th September 2016 at 2:26 pm

    I’ve done the cable car! fun! #mondayescapes

  • Reply
    Notmyyearoff
    19th September 2016 at 3:12 pm

    Your girls look so well behaved on the train. My two would be running up and down I think, which terrifies me a bit about trains :). We love London too but we’ve never taken the boys to Greenwich yet. My friend keeps telling to me to go on the Emirates cable cars so think we’ll have to have a go! #mondayescapes

  • Reply
    Claire at Tin Box Traveller
    19th September 2016 at 4:06 pm

    What a lovely, chilled out visit to London with your girls (who Tin Box Tot thinks she’s now firm friends with after seeing all their lovely pictures in this post!!). I really enjoyed wandering around Greenwich when we were there in April. I think it was the most relaxed day of our week in the capital. The Cutty Sark is great, right?! We didn’t get to do the museum though. It sounds fab. Another for the list! #MondayEscapes

  • Reply
    theCuriousPixie
    19th September 2016 at 7:48 pm

    Do you know I live in London and still haven’t visited Greenwich. Sometimes when things are so close you take them for granted. It’s on my list to very soon after reading your post!

  • Reply
    Kathrin Schoenberg
    19th September 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Looks fun! Especially the tent and the cable car! I’ve never been to Greenwich, will have to add that to my list. Thanks for continuing #MondayEscapes!

  • Reply
    Sam
    19th September 2016 at 10:32 pm

    We took our kids to the Cutty Sark over the summer and they loved it. It was a hot day when we were there too and we enjoyed wandering around the park and people watching. That hill is rather steep isn’t it! Your photos are lovely, by the way!

  • Reply
    Corey with fifi + hop
    20th September 2016 at 2:44 am

    I keep reading great things about the Cutty Sark – earmarking for our eventual trip to London some day! Thanks for continuing #mondayescapes !

  • Reply
    Ruth
    20th September 2016 at 5:28 am

    What a fun trip! I feel like joining the fun! Your daughters are so adorable. I am happy you guys had a wonderful time. Love all the places I saw on your photos.

  • Reply
    Tracey Williams
    20th September 2016 at 11:59 am

    We were in London just a few days before you, and yes what a heatwave London was having. I would never think to visit Greenwich, but there is certainly so much going on for a few days stay. I love the idea of where you stayed, and how cool is the tent and all the other bits you get in the room. I think I would have wanted to stay in the tent lol #MondayEscapes x

  • Reply
    Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles)
    20th September 2016 at 2:47 pm

    I think Greenwich is such a fabulous part of London! We visited in early Spring and had such a great time exploring the Cutty Sark and in the wonderful kids’ areas of the National Maritime Museum. Your hotel looks like a great base for exploring the area. Thanks for hosting #MondayEscapes

  • Reply
    May, A Million Little Echoes @mmlittlee
    20th September 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Your girls are beautiful =) And the weather looked really nice in your pictures though! A long way for us to travel to London from Singapore but definitely on my list. The last I was there, my husband and I were still enjoying our couple hood. Now that the kids are here, holidays are always centered around them #MondayEscapes

  • Reply
    Wave to Mummy
    20th September 2016 at 9:49 pm

    Ah Greenwich is one of my favourite places to go on a hot summer day. It really is a gorgeous location. Cutty Sarkozy is good for kids of all ages, and then of course the park. We really enjoyed the cable car too:)

    #mondayescapes

  • Reply
    Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely
    20th September 2016 at 9:59 pm

    I think you’re incredible for doing all that with the girls. I feel faint at the thought of taking my two on a solo trip anywhere near London … well, anywhere near anywhere, really. I’ve stayed in that area a couple of times when I’ve been at shows at the Excel. It really does have a quieter, more manageable feel to it. I liked it.

  • Reply
    Lauren The Helpful Hiker
    21st September 2016 at 6:50 pm

    I love Greenwich, such a beautiful part of London, with amazing outside spaces. Definitely high on our list for a future family outing. Looks like you and your girls had a fantastic time 🙂 #MondayEscapes

  • Reply
    David Mellor
    21st September 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Despite visiting London on a regular basis I’ve never spent a great deal of time in Greenwich. I like the look of the Emirates cable car and flight experience. I’ll have to check those out next time we’re down there.
    Potty Adventures
    #MondayEscapes

  • Reply
    Pitter patter travelers
    22nd September 2016 at 6:31 am

    I have a lot of fond memories.of visiting Greenwich as a child with. my nanna and I’m now my boys would love exploring the Cutty Dark. Thanks for stirring up some happy memories #mondayescapes

  • Reply
    Jo Addison
    27th September 2016 at 8:27 pm

    I’d never thought of staying in Greenwich with kids before, but I can see how it would be a great place to stay with them now. I’d love to explore the park, the Maritime Museum and the Cutty Sark with my boys – I’ll have to think about Greenwich when we next head down to London.

  • Reply
    Sarah Christie
    2nd October 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Ah it looks like a fab trip, and the hotel looks great x

  • Reply
    Cindy
    3rd October 2016 at 2:32 pm

    I love visiting Greenwich and looks like you all had a lovely time! The Aloft looks like a great place to stay #MondayEscapes

Leave a Reply

shares