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London Eye and London Aquarium side-by-side | © Yogendra Joshi/Flickr
London Eye and London Aquarium side-by-side | © Yogendra Joshi/Flickr
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The Top Family-Friendly Attractions in South London

Picture of Ruaidhrí Carroll
London Travel Writer
Updated: 27 June 2018
South London boasts some of London’s most impressive attractions. Whether it’s the historical significance of the HMS Belfast or the Royal Observatory, the natural spectacles at the London Aquarium and the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, or artistic splendour from the Tate Modern, South London has something to offer every family.

Imperial War Museum

Immerse the family in the harrowing history of war at the Imperial War Museum London, one of five museums of the Imperial War Museum brand. Founded in 1917, the Imperial War Museum encourages the study and understanding of modern warfare and ‘wartime experience’ through a range of interactive exhibits and genuine military hardware.

Planes from the Second World War suspended from the ceiling at Imperial War Museum
Planes from the Second World War suspended from the ceiling at Imperial War Museum | © Ashley Pomeroy/Flickr

London Eye

Observe the beauty of London from a big, sturdy pod suspended in the sky over the River Thames. Looking down, to the east are St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and the snaking tracks of Waterloo station, while the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben sit just across the river on the north bank.

London Aquarium

Marvel at the wonders of aquatic life at the London Aquarium on the south bank of the Thames, perched just across from the Houses of Parliament and right next to the London Eye. Catch an animal at feeding time, take a walk over a tank full of sharks or learn about all things subaquatic at the London Aquarium.

Kew Gardens

Explore the rich biodiversity in the flower fields of London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage site. Striving to express the truth that all life depends on plants and fungi, the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew is perhaps the most naturally striking setting London has to offer.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew | © Ghislain Mary/Flickr

Tate Modern

Survey the perpetually pioneering works of international and modern contemporary art on display at the Tate Modern art gallery on the south bank of the Thames. Come to understand the political propensity of modern art and learn about how art relates and responds to different spheres of modern life.

HMS Belfast

Jump aboard the HMS Belfast, the buoyant branch of the Imperial War Museum that has been anchored in the River Thames since 1971. This maritime museum is itself an exhibit, having fired some of the first shots during the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944, before seeing further action in the Korean War.

HMS Belfast in the River Thames
HMS Belfast in the River Thames | © Steve Parker/Flickr

Royal Observatory

Discover the home of the prime meridian and the international waypoint of time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park, overlooking the Thames. Commissioned by King Charles II in 1675, and opened the following year, the observatory has served as a hub of astrological advancement for British astrologers ever since.

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

Step into history and make some furry friends at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, which has been responsible for helping over three million cats and dogs since it was established in 1860. Although it was originally founded in Holloway, the animal rescue centre moved to its current location – which Battersea Power Station was later built next to – in 1871.