13 June 2014
London’s unrivalled historic and cultural attractions, landmarks, parks, gardens and child-friendly museums is one of the most exciting destinations in the world for families to visit – and over half of all trips to experience the city this year will be made in the spring and summer period.
However, according to new hotel industry research*, it is also the most expensive city in Europe to stay in a hotel. Average London room rates have increased by more than 13% since 2013, reaching almost £116. This is no small matter when you have little people in tow and you need a bigger room, not to mention all the little extras - from ice creams to dinners and activity costs – which quickly add up. It’s no wonder that when visitors to London are asked what would make their visit more enjoyable, making it more affordable is the most frequent response**.
Susan Cully, Managing Director of Marlin Apartments said: “There are so many ways to cut costs in London without compromising on the experience, to make visits affordable for families.
As a world famous destination, with so much to offer, London shouldn’t turn you off because of hotel costs.”
In fact, with so much to do, London can be one of the easiest and most accessible places to take kids for a weekend or a longer stay. Susan Cully, Managing Director of Marlin Apartments, offers her top tips for families looking to visit London on a budget this summer:
1. Day-trips on your doorstep: All across London there are free, family friendly things to do to keep the kids entertained. Access to free museums is one of London’s greatest gems. (The British Museum and National Gallery most popular sites last year – both free)
2. Walk to the iconic monuments: World famous sites like Big Ben, Tower Bridge, St Paul’s, Wellington Arch, and the Shard, just to name a few, are dotted about London, it is a pleasure just to go for a walk around London. Seeing the world famous sites is a free and fun way to explore London on a sunny summer’s day. Specific London Apps can help you understand the historic importance of the attractions for free, so the kids can be the tour guide.
3. Picnics in the Park: A cheap and easy way to enjoy London is by using some of the world-famous parks located across the city. There are lots of activities in our parks to keep kids entertained, like paddle boats in Hyde Park or ZSL London Zoo in Regents Park. Preparing your lunch at home before you head off will save you from costs, long lines and preservatives.
4. Wandering the markets: Wandering the retail street markets in London is an easy way to spend a full day. With tens of central London markets – be they covered, outdoor or street markets – there is something for everyone. Spread all across the town, some of the most notable London markets are Borough, Spitalfields, Portobello, Camden Lock and Covent Garden.
5. Getting around: The London Underground and London double-decker busses – provide fast and access to all the city’s top family attractions, with locations mapped out and easy to find. Get a Day Travel Pass or an Oyster Card for the easiest and most cost efficient way to jet around on both busses and trains.
Susan Cully added: “Families need more space in which to relax, kitchens to prepare food and large family bathrooms for young children. Of these, we know that space is a big benefit for families, which is why our serviced apartments are three times the size of the average London hotel room, at 50m2 compared to just 17m2. Now there’s no need for families to fear and avoid trips to London; but instead choose flexible accommodation in the heart of the city as a perfect base.”