Guidebooks and a Map

You'll need a good guidebook and a good map to enjoy it all (we'll also list a few favorite things of our own just below).

For a guidebook, we strongly recommend the one below above all others (click on the link to buy it on-line from Amazon.com):

“London must be walked to be appreciated for all that it is"¦” With that the author of London for Families had me. Having lived in London for two years with kids, I'd say that there is no better advice for families. I'd buy the book just for that sentence, but the goodness is not over—there's more. Please click here to read the rest of our review…

If you're planning trips in England a bit further a field (for example, Stonehenge, Oxford, Gloucester, the Midlands, Yorkshire, etc.), then please read on. Take the Kids to England is for you.

As for a map, the ultimate London guide is London A-Z, a spiral bound book of every street, alley and wide path in the city. The title is pronounced “A to Zed”. Amazon.com does sell it, but you can also buy it at just about every bookstore and news agent stall in London.

Use your A-Z to find your way around and then hang on to it as a reminder of how wonderful your trip was. I've still got the one I bought 15 years ago as a student, which still got us places when we visited when we had only one child (“the heir”), and then again three years later with the second child (“the spare”, just kidding sweetheart) in tow.

While only helpful at home (or if you travel with a laptop or some other fancy Internet device) StreetMap UK currently has street maps for Greater London and road atlas maps for the whole of mainland Britain on-line, and are working on getting Northern Ireland. You type in an address and the site shows you a color map of the area.

Of interest if you have older children, or if you want to have a night out at the theatre, is the weekly magazine TIME OUT. Available on most news stands, the magazine lists every club, theatre, movie and art exhibition in town that week, along with prices and some reviews.

TIME OUT is comprehensive, so if ads and reviews dealing with more grownup adult subject matter are not right for your children just yet, proceed accordingly.

For on-line theatre listings and ticket purchases, try What's On Stage.

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