Trafalgar Square – Review for families

What you need to know about London's most famous Square

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What is it?

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Trafalgar Square is a beautiful public square and popular visiting spot for people from all across the globe and is home to the National Gallery. The nearest tube stations are Charing Cross, Embankment and Leicester Square.

Best for:

All ages

Cost

It’s free to wander round, but the nearby attractions might cost. The National Gallery, which is in the square, is totally free.

What’s on offer

This gorgeous historic square is a legendary part of London’s life and history. The magic has been captured in countless films and TV shows, including Captain America, St Trinian’s and Ugly Betty, which makes it a hugely popular tourist attraction.

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Most visitors come to admire some of the iconic sculpture work, including Nelson’s Column and the Fourth Plinth, a popular UK art project. Visitors less interested in stone and artwork may enjoy sitting by the 150 year old fountain, maybe eating lunch, maybe just appreciating the view of the National Gallery or the famous stone lions. Perhaps little visitors will enjoy throwing a penny into the water to make their wish come true.

For the child who takes heed from Dastardly & Mutley and loves to run riot and  ‘catch the pigeon’, Trafalgar Square is famous for the flocks of pigeons that visit the Square every day.

There are also many colourful festivals and public events on offer throughout the year, particularly during the summer months.

Trafalgar Square is also within less than 15 minutes walking distance to many of London’s popular family attractions, including:

National Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

Churchill War Rooms

London Transport Museum

London Eye

London Dungeon

Sea Life London Aquarium

Cartoon Museum

Hunterian Museum

British Museum

Buckingham Palace

St James’ Park

It’s also near to Big Ben & The Houses of Parliament, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus and the Institute of Contemporary Arts.

If your family need a bathroom break, The National Gallery is free of charge and has suitable facilities for children.

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Highlights

The rich and buzzing Square is quintessential London and will feel very atmospheric for those who aren’t locals. Alternatively, it’s a great place to relax, because even though it’s busy, you’ll need the resting time during or after a day out in Central London. For adults, people watching is a must, for energetic youngsters, pigeon-chasing is a joy.

Don’t forget to take your camera with you – little ones will probably love taking a picture beside the Big Blue Rooster. Stand in the right position and it’ll look like it’s standing on your child’s head!

What to watch out for

– Keep a close eye on your child at all times. The Square is big, busy and surrounded by even busier roads. Allow them to let loose, but stay close by.

– It’s the same with all busy tourist destinations. Trafalgar Square is busy and a likely target for pickpockets. When strolling through Central London, it’s wise to wear a cross-body bag, to keep it closed and to keep an eye on it. Be wary when you take out valuables and try to pay attention when travelling on the tube. Avoid any street games, don’t engage with suspicious people who are potentially scam artists (that gold ring isn’t worth anything!) and be careful if someone bumps into you. If you’re not local to London and want more information about common London tourist scams, read this helpful Just The Flight article.

– To ensure the atmosphere is scheduled to be just right for you and the family, please check the web for details of large public events that may cause an unsettling amount of crowding.

MFM tips:

– The earlier you go, the less busy it will be and that leaves you with the whole day to visit other attractions and perhaps enjoy a nice lunch at a nearby café

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Visit the official Trafalgar Square website

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