Things to do with teenagers in London
Bold, vibrant and at the centre of countless burgeoning trends, teenagers won’t need much convincing of London’s many attractions. From a morning at the Making of Harry Potter to shopping, ice cream, and a twilight Jack the Ripper Walking Tour, this two-day London itinerary is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
Start your day out in London with a visit to the Making of Harry Potter at Warner Bros. Take the train from London Euston station for the 20-minute journey to Watford Junction, where you can catch the direct shuttle to the studio.
The Making of Harry Potter
This studio tour is a fascinating insight into the making of a wildly successful movie franchise, and has been created to appeal to every demographic. The studio houses familiar sets – including Gryffindor common room and Diagon Alley – and displays a vast array of props and costumes.
Then, catch the shuttle back to Watford Junction station to get the train to London. From Euston station, Camden Market is 20 minutes’ walk or a 10-minute taxi ride.
At its busiest on a weekend but never less than a frenetic hub of activity, Camden’s iconic market manages to be both a tourist favourite and a popular meeting point for locals. You can expect to find numerous stalls selling everything from vintage garments to handcrafted jewellery, upcycled furniture to fresh doughnuts.
Chin Chin Labs is then just a minute’s walk from Camden Market.
Chin Chin Labs
Chin Chin Labs is located in the centre of Camden Town and offers an alternative to traditional ice cream with an ever-changing menu of imaginative flavours like Pondicherry Vanilla and Apple & Sage sorbet. The ice cream is prepared using liquid nitrogen in their Soho kitchen, and the parlour is designed to look like a science lab, which adds to its idiosyncratic charm.
From Chin Chin Labs, the Roundhouse is just a five-minute walk away.
Young Creatives at the Roundhouse
This wide-ranging programme of workshops and drop-in sessions is designed to nurture young creative talent. Held throughout the year at Camden’s famous live performance venue, it’s a valuable experience for any teenager interested in media, music and performing arts – perfect for those looking for hands-on experience coupled with expert advice.
For the final stop of the day, take a 35-minute taxi ride to Aldgate East station for the 7pm Jack the Ripper Tour, which starts from outside exit 4 of the tube station.
Jack the Ripper Tour
It’s been over a century since his crimes were committed, but Jack the Ripper’s notoriety remains undiminished. Knowledgeable guides may retrace his steps on this fascinating walking tour, but it’s the claustrophobic streets and dark alleyways of London’s East End that truly make for an unsettling and atmospheric backdrop to this most enduring of mysteries.
To get back to the hotel, take a 30-minute taxi ride from Aldgate East station.
Take your teens on a 20-minute taxi journey from the hotel to the Thames Rockets departure point for the first activity of the day.
Departing from underneath the London Eye, Thames Rockets offers a thrilling alternative to the traditional sightseeing river cruise. Taking to the Thames at high velocity, these powerful speedboats are captained by knowledgeable guides who discuss the iconic landmarks with a light-hearted zeal that befits the zippy mode of transport.
Then, head to clueQuest, just half an hour away by taxi or take the Jubilee and Metropolitan lines from Westminster to King’s Cross St. Pancras, followed by a 10-minute walk.
Advertised as a live escape game, clueQuest sees small teams of three to five solve various logic-based puzzles in a bid to release themselves from a locked room. An unusual premise it may be, but the experience is exhilarating and allows a rare bonding opportunity between family members of all ages.
Next, catch a taxi for the 15-minute journey to the National Centre for Circus Arts.
National Centre for Circus Arts
Housed in the spectacular setting of an old Victorian power station, The National Centre for Circus Arts provides training across the full spectrum of circus skills. On their Saturday Youth Experience Days, teenagers are given the opportunity to learn traditional talents like trapeze and tightrope walking under the guidance of qualified trainers.
Boxpark Shoreditch is then only 10 minutes’ walk from the National Centre for Circus Arts.
Shop at Boxpark Shoreditch
A shopping park with a distinctive East London twist, Shoreditch’s Boxpark has turned retail therapy into an art form with a wide range of pop-up stores selling their wares from repurposed shipping containers. The brands and restaurants on offer here are far from your typical high street chains, and have turned the once derelict area into a buzzing retail destination.
Walk around the corner from Boxpark for dinner at Pizza East Shoreditch.
Pizza East Shoreditch
Housed in a former tea warehouse, Pizza East Shoreditch serves some of London’s most popular pizzas. With a daily changing specials menu, a roster of moreish antipasti and delicious handmade pizzas, fresh from the wood-oven, there’s plenty to please the trickiest teens here.
The hotel is then a 35-minute taxi ride away from Pizza East Shoreditch.
All journey times are approximate and subject to variation.