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Distant view of the London Eye near Thistle Hotels

Fun family holiday activities

For a memorable escape this half-term head to London and enjoy historical sights and fantastic seasonal events to keep you and the kids entertained. Our central London Thistle hotels have a variety of room options to suit everyone, with locations smack-bang in the heart of the action in Piccadilly Circus; adjacent to the beautiful Hyde Park (near the Natural History Museum); or around the corner from the British Museum in Holborn.

Exterior view of White Tower near Thistle Hotels

The Tower of London

The Tower of London, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has almost 1000 years of tales to tell. Marvel at the Crown Jewels, the ravens, Bloody Tower, Medieval Palace, battlements and an incredible collection of armoury in the White Tower. Discover the many roles the Tower played throughout the centuries – from medieval palace and fortress to infamous prison and execution site. 

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A tour boat by the Tower Bridge near Thistle Hotels

Terrible Thames boat tour

Horrible Histories proudly presents a brand-new brilliant tour: Horrible Histories Live Onboard - Terrible Thames!
Take a dive into the stories of King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Julius Caesar, the Duke of Wellington, Queen Boudicca, Jack the Ripper and Captain Kidd, in this history of the Thames with the nasty bits left in!

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The London Dungeon poster near Thistle Hotels

The London Dungeon

Delve into the ancient capital’s most horrible history at the London Dungeon - a walk-through experience that re-creates scenes from London’s scary past.

Everything that you see is based on real historical events from Jack the Ripper, to the Great Fire of London, torture and the plague. With three scary rides, the London Dungeon provides a thrilling and fun experience that will leave your family screaming for more!

Remember to book your tickets in advance.

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Shrek mascot at a children's party near Thistle Hotels

Shrek's Adventure! London

Star in your very own crazy adventure to the Kingdom of Far Far Away surrounded by Shrek and his fairytale friends. You’ll experience 10 themed shows, along with a good dose of Donkey’s cheekiness, some amazing Dreamworks animation and of course, captivating storytelling.

Meet everyone from Princess Fiona, Puss in Boots, ‘Gingy’ the Gingerbread man, to Pinocchio and the Three Little Pigs.

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Teddy bear mascots by the Hamleys entrance near Thistle Hotels

Shopping in London

Yes, even shopping can be an adventure and provide hours of entertainment for your little ones this half-term holiday. Create your own Lego portrait in Lego’s flagship store, moments away from Thistle Picadilly and Thistle Trafalgar Square hotels. Step into the magical world of Hamleys toy store. Or explore the colourful chocolate-filled wonderland of M&M’s World in Leicester Square. Beware, you may have to literally drag your children out of there...!

Blue Whale Skeleton Natural History Museum near Thistle Hotels

Natural History museum

Be amazed by the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit, or visit the educational and evolving display 'Our Broken Planet' which demonstrates how humans have transformed the natural world.

The Natural History Museum's event, 'Operation Planet Earth', is on from 14 to 20 February, and we strongly recommend a visit. Help to explore Earth's environmental and climate challenges in their free half-term family activities.

A Sumatran Tiger Cub captured near Thistle Hotels

London Zoo

For some real, live animal fun this autumn, why not visit the brand new baby tiger at the London Zoo over half-term? He arrived just in time for the Chinese New Year, aptly named the Year of the Tiger!

The closest underground station is Camden Town, and from there it's a short walk to ZSL.


Performers on stage in Family Theatre near Thistle Hotels


Enjoy a wonderful family matinee performance at one of the many London theatres. Sing-a-long with Frozen, have a spoon full of sugar with Mary Poppins, or be swept away with the chorus of the Lion King. There is something for every age and taste in London’s theatreland this half term!

Our central London hotels are perfectly situated for easy access to a broad range of popular shows.

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Interior of British Museum Great Court near Thistle Hotels

British Museum

Visit the spectacular British Museum, around the corner from Thistle Holborn, and take on a Museum Mission featured in six galleries and challenge your family to a variety of tasks. At the weekends pick up an activity backpack, or a Museum explorer trail, from the Families Desk to guide you around the galleries on an in-depth exploration of the different times and cultures on display.  

During school holidays the museum runs a range of playful and inspiring workshops that bring the stories in the Museum collections to life, suitable for kids of all ages.