Planning a Mother-Daughter trip to London? Here’s how to have the perfect trip — from a London travel blogger (and her mother!)
There’s nothing quite like doing a trip to London with your mom (or ‘mum’ as I should say).
Between touring famous London sights, sipping on afternoon teas and having all the mother-daughter moments that even Instagram couldn’t do justice — it’s a big trip.
But for such a limited time together, you’ll want to do it right. After almost two years of not seeing my mom due to the pandemic, we were finally able to unite in the city I call home; and yes, we went all out.
From me to you, here’s how to do the perfect mother-daughter trip to London including where to stay for a mother-daughter trip to London, the best things to do for a mother-daughter trip to London, and all the tips you need to make a mother-daughter trip to London you’ll never forget. Tried and tested by me and mama.
Where to Stay For a Mother-Daughter Trip to London
If you’re living in London already then you’ll of course save a pretty penny by making your mum call your couch (or bed) home for her stay. But if you’re both travelling to the Big Smoke together you’ll undoubtedly need someplace to stay.
In terms of neighbourhoods, I suggest staying in Zone 1 – Zone 2 max as you’ll want to be in close proximity to all the London neighbourhoods and sightseeing spots you’ll be visiting during your trip. My favourite London neighbourhoods to stay in for a mother-daughter trip would be:
Known for its cobble stoned streets, street performers, Neal’s Yard, the Royal Opera House and London theatres.
Hotel Recommendations: The Henrietta Hotel or The Resident Covent Garden. Budget-Friendly Recommendation: The Z Hotel.
Read More: 25+ Things to do in Covent Garden, London
Notting Hill: Zone 1
A postcard-perfect neighbourhood in West London — known as the birthplace for the Notting Hill Movie Portobello Market, vintage & antique shops and the Notting Hill Carnival.
Hotel Recommendations: The Portobello Hotel, The Laslett or Juliette’s Bed and Breakfast at Dawson Place. Budget-Friendly Recommendation: Hostel One Notting Hill.
Holland Park: Zone 1
A quaint posh West London neighbourhood sprawling with charming flats and houses and the beautiful Holland Park.
Hotel Recommendations: Ravna Gora or Holland Park Avenue Apartment. Budget-Friendly Recommendation: Safestay Hostel Holland Park.
Read More: 5 Best Things to do in Holland Park, London (+ Map!)
Chelsea: Zone 1
A small-town wealthy area in West London known for the Chelsea Flower Show and the Saatchi Gallery
Hotel Recommendations: The Chelsea Harbour Hotel & Spa or the Draycott Hotel. Budget-Friendly Recommendation: The W14 Kensington Hotel.
Fitzrovia: Zone 1
A very central hub in London home to lots of famous British pubs, shopping opps and cocktails bar — and plenty of al fresco dining spots come summertime.
Hotel Recommendations: The Bloomsbury Hotel or Fitzrovia by Capital. Budget-Friendly Recommendation: The Exmouth Arms Hostel, Euston.
Little Venice/Maida Vale: Zone 1
A residential and quiet neighbourhood, home to plenty of celebrities and beautiful riverside walks in Little Venice along Grand Union Canal and Regent’s Canal.
Hotel Recommendations: London Marriott Maida Vale or The Warrington Hotel. Budget-Friendly Recommendation: Nox Maida Vale.
Read More: A Charming Guide to Little Venice, London
Kensington: Zone 1
London’s most royal borough with the Natural History Museum, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Palace and Hyde Park all within walking distance.
Hotel Recommendations: The Resident Kensington or The Ampersand Hotel. Budget-Friendly Recommendation: Astor Hyde Park.
Soho: Zone 1
A buzzing neighbourhood in the West End known as London’s gay capital, home to Chinatown and lots of bars and clubs.
Hotel Recommendations: The Resident Soho or The Soho Hotel. Budget-Friendly Recommendation: Astor Museum Hostel.
Greenwich: Zone 2
A very historic and charming neighbourhood in Southeast London known for its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, classic pubs and the beautiful Greenwich Park.
Hotel Recommendations: DoubleTree by Hilton London Greenwich. Budget-Friendly Recommendation: Ibis London Greenwich.
Read More: The Best Things to do in Greenwich, London
Hampstead: Zone 2
A leafy London neighbourhood known for its picturesque architecture and houses, in close proximity to Camden, Primrose Hill and Belsize Park.
Hotel Recommendations: Airbnb or Vrbo. Budget-Friendly Recommendation: Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage.
You can also find stunning places to stay for your visit in these neighbourhoods on Airbnb or Vrbo.
If you’re not too fussed about location (no shame, you’ll be exploring most of your trip anyway!) then you can use sites like Airbnb or Vrbo with budget in mind and book from there (just making sure to stay in Zone 1 if you can).
P.S – I’m working hard on my London hotel guides behind the scenes this month, so stay tuned for more recommendations!
Best Things to do for a Mother-Daughter Trip to London
Explore Top London’s Attractions & Exhibitions
Although I’m a huge advocate for exploring local London neighbourhoods, there’s no shame in indulging in some good ole London sightseeing for your mother-daughter trip to London.
I suggest taking a look at London’s top attractions and grouping your sightseeing together. This could look like getting 1 or 2 day London Pass and using those days to do strictly sightseeing (with a dinner or theatre show in the evening).
Or visiting 1-2 attractions per day of your trip in the mornings and using the rest of your time to explore the rest of London, take a London walk or do a unique London tour.
If you’re still unsure of where to visit, all of the Historic Royal Palaces are great for feeling like you’ve stepped into British history.
Brigit’s Bakery Bus Tour
About a year ago I tried the Brigit’s Bakery Bus Tour — and loved it! As my #1 Instagram fan I remember my mom saying she’d love to go one day when she comes to London. Little did she know I’d keep that in mind for nearly 2 years, successfully surprising her with none other than the Brigit’s Bakery Bus Tour.
The French patisserie will whizz you through the city for 90 minutes, all while sipping on glorious tea, and indulging on pretty cakes and treats (check out our experience on the tour here!).
You’ll also pay sight to iconic London landmarks like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, Hyde Park, The Royal Albert Hall, Nelson’s Column, Downing Street, Harrods, Marble Arch and more!
We loved this tour for a mother-daughter’s trip to London because it combined London sightseeing, riding an iconic double-decker bus and afternoon tea all in one, can’t get better than that!
Spa & Afternoon Tea Date
I don’t think there’s any better mother-daughter activity than a spa date, especially if it’s in London (and includes Afternoon Tea). During our trip I decided to treat my mum to a little T&C at InterContinental London – the O2.
I went for their Jubilee Afternoon Tea a while back, but after finding out they did spa treatments too, I had to make a round 2.
Our spa treatment included lovely tandem massages followed by some light snacks and a dip in the pool.
After that we had a mother-daughter catch up for the books over a yummy afternoon tea (our waiter Nick was the best!)
The location is just a stone’s throw away from the Emirates Air Line too, so make sure you go for a ride after.
P.S – Celebrating your mom’s birthday? Here’s 101+ London birthday ideas!
See a Show at the Theatre
One thing I regret not doing while my mom was in London was seeing a show at the theatre (we had a STUFFED itinerary).
If there’s a show you’ve both been dying to see, you can book London theatre tickets in advance on Official London Theatre.
Otherwise you can leave it to chance on the day and get super discounted on TodayTix or The TKTS booth in Leicester Square.
P.S – You can always skip the theatre and go for a Jazz night instead — here’s the 5 best Jazz Bars in London
See Local London Neighbourhoods
As a London travel blogger with an adamant obsession for all things local London, I highly encourage you to explore past the tourist sites for your mother-daughter trip to London and give local London neighbourhoods a try.
This could include picking a few hidden London spots to sneak into your itinerary, trying a local London walk like Hampstead to Alexandra Palace or Stratford to Hackney Wick or picking a tourist-attraction free neighbourhood to explore for the day — the choices are endless!
Try Traditional British Foods
One of my favourite things to do during our mother-daughter trip to London was make my mom try all the British foods I’ve come to know and love since moving to the UK.
From Full English Breakfasts to Afternoon Teas, make sure you save some room in your stomach for London foodie explorations during your trip. Here’s some recommendations!
Read More: 5 Famous British Foods You Have to Try
Take a UK or Europe Weekend Trip
Although I’m a total advocate for doing as much ‘Londoning’ as you can during your mother-daughter trip to London, it’s important to remember how many amazing places there are to discover across the UK too.
If you have the time, take a day or weekend trip from London during your visit to do a little UK staycationing.
Day & Weekend Trip Ideas: Cambridge, Oxford, Brighton, Bristol, Lacock, Bath, Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, Castle Combe, Worcestershire County
P.S – If you’re feeling extra adventurous, why not do a trip from London to Paris? Here’s how to find the cheapest London to Paris train tickets.
Final Tips for How to Do the Perfect Mother-Daughter Trip to London
Create your own itinerary:
As you may have noticed, I didn’t provide a step-by-step itinerary for your mother-daughter trip to London — but that’s because you need to make your own! Not only do you have to consider the amount time you’ll both be in London, but your mom’s (mum’s) interests and yours as well.
To make the best itinerary I suggest picking no more than 3 major activities to do each day from the recommendations above, that’s a good balance between both your interests.
If you’re on a budget for your trip:
As much as we’d all love to splash the cash when mama comes to town (or you both do), the reality is London is expensive, and you may have to adjust some things to make it a more budget-friendly trip.
In this case, I suggest picking one really nice activity to do (for example, the spa & afternoon tea) and keeping the rest of your activities simple and low-cost such as visiting London’s free museums, antique or vintage shopping, picking up food from the local grocery store and picnicking at London’s beautiful parks.
Take lots of pictures:
As a London blogger, taking loads of pictures of my mother-daughter trip to London was a given (here’s a live look at all we did during our trip!) but I believe everyone should try to capture as many moments as they can with their parents when they see them.
As our mothers grow older and we move through adult life, it’s far too easy to take the times you have with them for granted.
I hope you soak up every minute of your mother-daughter trip to London, and of course, make it a trip you’ll never forget.