London Calling!

9th August 2021

London Calling!

UK’s families are heading away from the beach and into London this summer

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, recently visited ZSL London Zoo to unveil a reimagined Tube map co-curated by his five new Mayors of Play to encourage families from across the UK to spend their summer in the capital.

The map launches as new research reveals the pandemic has left many parents unable to plan summer holidays as they usually would. In fact, a staggering 37% of parents stated that they’d not organised anything this summer due to pandemic uncertainty. As a result, London, with its abundance of activities and experiences, is a must-visit destination for families everywhere. 

The same research also showed:

14% of Brits have never visited London.
47% stated they would consider a London city break over their usual beach holiday
70% of parents cited ‘keeping the kids entertained’ as the number one challenge faced during the school holidays
The reimagined Tube map has been curated ‘for kids, by kids’ with the help of his newly appointed Mayors of Play. Following a hotly contested competition, the five winning Mayors of Play - Maya, 8, Elliott, 9, Mateo, 9, Narumukai, 10, and Neveah 11 - attended a summit at City Hall in July to help select a raft of thrilling, family-friendly activities in the heart of the capital. 
The unique and vibrant guide invites families across London and nationwide to plan a day trip, mini-break or a longer staycation in the city as it bursts back to life.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “After a long period which has seen children in particular miss out on so much fun and play due to the pandemic, there’s no time like the present to explore our city and enjoy all the fun and accessible activities London has to offer families this summer.

“The young Mayors of Play were tasked with helping me showcase the very best of family fun in London, and I’m delighted with the outcome of their hard work. This reimagined edition of our iconic Tube map showcases the breadth of the capital’s offering through the eyes of little Londoners – it’s for kids, by kids.

“With 70 per cent of families struggling to keep their children entertained during the school holidays, London – with its abundance of free things to do and exciting places to see – is an ideal holiday destination this summer and beyond.”
The research above was conducted by Census Worldwide in August 2021: Based on 2,000 parents with children (between the ages of 4-14 years old) and 500 children (between the ages of 4-14 years old).

Additional research insights of interest:

More than 1 in 10 (11%) parents surveyed said they are planning to visit London this summer as they are looking for a holiday filled with cultural and creative experiences and London offers just this.

The top 5 favourite sights/things to do in London for parents surveyed are:
The London Eye (30%)
London Zoo/and other animal parks (25%)
Buckingham Palace (24%)
Tower Bridge/Tower of London (24%)
Natural History Museum (23%)

Parents surveyed with children aged 7 are most likely to say that they are most interested by a parks and nature type of day out (43%), with parents surveyed with children aged 5 or 10 are most likely to say that they are most interested by a museums type of day out (20%)

On average parents surveyed plan to spend £388.73 entertaining their child/children during the school summer holidays this year.


The top 5 fun/playful activities children surveyed have missed most during the pandemic are as follows:

Meeting up with friends outside of school/home/park – 39%
Visiting the zoo/animal farms – 30%
Visiting theme parks – 27%
Visiting new playgrounds/play centres or splash parks – 31%
Going to the cinema – 29%


The reimagined Tube map features top attractions as voted for by children as part of the research and the Mayors of Play:

COVENT GARDEN: London Transport Museum
LEICESTER SQUARE: Kids Week – theatre activities
WATERLOO: The London Eye
CHARING CROSS: Sketch on the Square
LONDON BRIDGE: UNIQLO Tate Play (Tate Modern)
HOLBORN: Dodge: Dodgems at Somerset House (Somerset House)
GLOUCESTER ROAD: Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser at the V&A
NOTTING HILL GATE: Sherlock; The Official Outdoor Game
PICCADILLY CIRCUS: Art of London – augmented reality gallery