Do you guys, like me, get the visiting parents from time to time, and instantly panic at how to entertain them? Whether it’s the parents that expect you to take them around all the tourist sights, or parents who have expressed their hatred at anything to do with the tubes, the crowds and the smell of dirty London streets, we can find something for them! So, check out these ideas below and see if you can’t find something new and interesting to show them…

For the wanderers

My parents love nothing more than a good wander, with something interesting to see on the way being a bonus. So, if the weather’s okay, hop on the tube to Notting Hill Gate and wander up the bustling Portobello Market Road. At the top of the road, grab a drink or some lunch from the various pubs, cafes or even street food stalls, then wander back towards Central London, and through the peaceful, picturesque Hyde Park. All in a days work…

For the bright lights lovers!

Why not book them a show? There’s some great shows your parents will love – I recommend ‘Bend it like Beckham’, ‘Wicked’, ‘The Comedy About  A Bank Robbery’ or even ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ (which is about to start in London with Pixie Lott). To give your day added star quality, why not have Afternoon Tea beforehand in Central London and wander the sights. You can walk between London Eye, Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square really easily – without even seeing the inside of a tube carriage!

For the historians

There are tonnes of walking tours around London. Whether it’s a specific area tour (where I live there are historic Bow and Roman Road tours), a tour based on former residents (such as the Krays), a look at London’s architecture (RIBA does these) or even a more comedic tour (like the Bullshit guide to London), you can find one to suit your folks.

For those after some R&R

Just fancy going for a drink? Impress the parents with a cocktail and a good view up the Shard or the Sky Garden in The City. And for even more spectacular views, take them just before sunset – the photo opportunities are endless!

For the rainy day entertaining

If the weather’s not as you planned, take a day trip over to Greenwich. Grab a seriously delicious and quick lunch from the brill range of stalls in the market, then head to the Cutty Sark, Planetarium or Maritime Museum for an interesting day out, whilst undercover! There’s a great variety of shops in the town centre and, if you head west along the river, there’s some cozy pubs with views over the river to while away the afternoon.

For a girly weekend

Got a female heavy family visit? It may be cliche but head to Oxford Street and hit the shops! Start at Tottenham Court Road and work your way along – and why not drop into Soho for a drink or some lunch en route? Find out my favourite Soho spots here and here!

For the beer-loving dads

Head out to Greenwich and take your dad on the Meantime Brewery tour. The tour takes a couple of hours, where you learn about the beers produced here, get plenty of tastings and have a wander around the brewery. The tour-guide is a ‘proper’ South London geezer – with a crazy sense of humour and plenty of banter! It’s a great tour – but not for the faint-hearted as there’s plenty of audience participation!

For a view from the top

There’s plenty of spots to get a spectacular view over London and if your family are up for a walk, why not try The Orbit at the Olympic Park, Hampstead Heath or Greenwich park – see my top views blog for a sneak peek at some of the best views and where to find them!

Well, there you have it – plenty of stuff to keep the parents entertained this year! Where are your favourite places to take the folks when they’re visiting?

One thought on “What to do with visiting parents in London

  1. I usually take visitors to a market or two that reflects their own interest. There’s normally plenty to do and have a look at. Then I throw in something with a good view (like a rooftop bar) and then some interesting restaurant visits. Great list!

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