From April to October, there are rowing boats and pedalos available to hire on the Serpentine lake. You can get a pedalo for four people so families can go out on the water together (with two pedalling and up to three littles ones admiring the view). Be warned, half an hour of this can be tiring so if you have bigger kids, let them go on a children's pedalo for 20 minutes instead of you doing all the work.
Not a royal park but in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Holland Park is large and even has free-roaming peacocks. Most stay in the Kyoto Garden – a tranquil and peaceful Japanese garden for reflection and relaxation. On the estate of the ruined Jacobean Holland House, you can go on woodland walks and kids love the wonderful Holland Park Adventure Playground that reopened in 2019 after refurbishment. There are sports facilities and a giant open-air chessboard for families and friends to compete. Holland Park is also the base of the borough's Ecology Service. The Ecology Centre runs events and activities throughout the year, including a wildlife club for children.
LEIGHTON HOUSE MUSEUM
Close to Holland Park, Leighton House Museum is the former home of the Victorian artist Frederic, Lord Leighton (1830-1896). It is the only purpose-built studio-house open to the public in the UK. From the outside you think it's just a 'normal house' but once inside you'll see what all the fuss is about. The Arab Hall in this 'private palace of art'
has a golden dome and walls lined with more than 1,000 stunning Islamic tiles. And upstairs, his painting studio has paintings and sculpture by Leighton and his contemporaries.
Housed in the former Commonwealth Institute, the Design Museum covers product, industrial, graphic, fashion and architectural design. It's a fantastic Modernist building and there are some free areas to see including the permanent 'Designer Maker User' area. Free activities are available for families and older children can get involved with the Sunday workshops. The pay-for temporary exhibitions are usually well worth seeing too.
JAPAN HOUSE LONDON
Amazing design is also featured further along High Street Kensington at Japan House London. A new 'cultural home of Japan in London', it's a modern gallery hosting free exhibitions and events. The teens especially will appreciate the matcha teas at the cafe and the cute crafts in the shop.
INSTITUT FRANCAIS ROYAUME-UNI
Institut Francais Royaume-Uni is the French Cultural Institute, representing all things French in the UK. Ciné Lumiére has plenty of family films and there are French classes, art workshops and baby sessions too. There's also a large French library including an area dedicated to French children's literature.
ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY
The UK's learned society and professional body for geography, supporting geography and geographers across the world, the Royal Geographical Society has some excellent exhibitions and lectures that may appeal to older children.
WHERE TO STAY
Feel like a resident of one of the nicest neighbourhoods in London at Fraser Suites Queens Gate London. Families will love the modern serviced two-bedroom apartments with a well-equipped kitchen so you don't have to eat out every night. The wifi is good and there's even a washer/dryer so you don't have to worry if the kids' clothes get mucky. Breakfast is available in the dining room every day and the gym is available 24/7. Babysitting can be arranged and the Magenta lobby bar has amazing cocktails. And the excellent location means you are only a few minutes walk from the South Kensington museums so you can head back to relax between visits.
Written by Laura Porter - Travel writer for Frasers Hospitality
Don't miss out on the chance to get 20% off on a fun family holiday or a romantic weekend away to London Queen's Gate.