Saturday, 28 March 2015

Top ten family holiday activities in London - voted by parents


·        Despite being voted the top capital city (19 percent) for a family holiday, 70 percent of UK parents haven’t visited London with their children
·        The top reason (38 percent) that parents overlook London for a family holiday is that it’s perceived to be too expensive, however 50 percent of the top ten London experiences for kids to try before they’re 12 years old are actually free
·        Those in Bristol (80 percent), Belfast (79 percent) and Sheffield (75 percent) are among the areas where the majority of families have not visited the capital 

With the half-term and Easter holidays around the corner, a survey has shown that despite a wealth of culture and top attractions our capital city is being overlooked by UK families as an option for a break away.

Commissioned by the Royal Garden Hotel which offers a family-friendly package, the survey of 2,000 parents revealed that almost half of British parents (38 percent) think London is too expensive for the average family to visit.  Contrary to this, the research showed that 8 out of 10 of the top ten experiences in London that parents think will enrich their children are either free or have a minimal cost – while visiting all ten attractions would cost a family of four under £200 [1] in total. 

Top London experiences for kids to try before they’re 12 years old:
1.      Travel the underground (46%) – free for 10 and younger
2.      Ride on the top of a double decker bus (45%) – free for 10 and younger
3.      Take a ride on the London Eye (41%)
4.      See the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace (35%) – free to see
5.      See the dinosaur skeletons at the National History Museum (34%) – free general entrance
6.      Go to the Science Museum (33%) – free general entrance
7.      See the penguins at London Zoo (31%)
8.      Visit Winter Wonderland (30%) – free to visit
9.      Buy a toy from Hamley’s (28%)
10.   See the Houses of Parliament (25%) – free to see

A third (31 percent) of parents are under the illusion that London museums charge for entry, however top attractions such as the Science Museum – where 33 percent of children want to visit – and the Natural History Museum – where 34 percent of children want to visit – actually have free general admission all year round.

Another interesting finding is that a fifth (20 percent) think London hotels don’t cater for families when in actual fact there are many family-friendly hotels offering  great value room packages during school holidays.

Despite reservations of London being a holiday destination, parents actually voted London the top capital city (19 percent) to visit with the kids, followed by continental capitals, Paris (18 percent), Rome (12 percent) and Madrid (10 percent).

Commenting on the survey, Jonathan Lowrey, General Manager at the Royal Garden Hotel, said: “It’s a pity to see that lots of children are missing out on visiting the country’s capital city. With our research showing the top ingredients for the perfect family break are spending quality time together (62 percent) and having fun things to do and see (57 percent), families are missing a trick if they don’t consider visiting London this half-term or Easter.

He continued: “We know that planning a family holiday can be a challenge and our research shows that the top stresses for parents are travelling to the destination (45 percent), packing (35 percent) and organising fun things for the family to do (30 percent). With easy transport links and a wealth of free and reasonably priced attractions to alleviate these worries, London offers families the opportunity for an action packed break away with the kids without having to compromise on great value.”

[1] For a family of four with children 12 years and under, the cost to visit all ten attractions would be £193.04. Underground and bus: £36 per family for a day travel card. Parents are £12 each and kids are £6. London eye: £74 standard ticket. London Zoo: £68.04. Toy at Hamley’s: standard cuddly toy is £15.

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