Some of the tourist attraction places in London are a little to scary for some children.
In fact, there’s a darker side to London’s history, and it appeals to many visitors. That’s why tourist attraction places like London Dungeons have lines out the door and fill up reservation spots online weeks or sometimes months in advance. From nighttime ghost tours to explorations of Jack the Ripper, you may wonder if some of London’s darker experiences are appropriate for your little ones.
Will they get a little fright like Halloween night and laugh it off? Or will it scare them to the point it’s no longer a fun, enjoyable experience?
We want to help you schedule London tourist attraction places that are well suited to every member of your family. Consider this a list of red flags that may save you from a bad experience. If you have any of these attractions or places of interest on your itinerary, do some extra research to make sure they aren’t a bit too scary for the little ones in your group.
Greenwich Foot Tunnel
The Greenwich Foot Tunnel allows you to walk 50 feet below the Thames River. The 1,217-foot tunnel was created to give dockworkers easy passage from Greenwich on the south bank to docks on the north bank. When you duck into the northern end, you can see reinforcements that were used to repair the tunnel after it was damaged in a World War II bombing.
Many kids are excited at the idea of walking beneath the river, but the tunnel takes about 10 minutes to walk and is a dark, underground experience that can become scary. It’s open 24 hours a day, so visiting during the day may limit the fear factor for children who are easily frightened.
If your children do find the tunnel exciting, there are other secret underground passageways in London. For instance, the Woolwich Foot Tunnel is 1, 655 feet in length and places you close to 70 feet below ground.
Jack the Ripper Ghost Walks
There are other ghost walking tours in London, but Jack the Ripper tours are among the most popular. They’re also the some of the scariest tourist attraction places in London due to the gory details that are often discussed along the way. You walk the streets of London to see where Jack once lived his life and carried out his crimes, and the guides are often quite detailed despite the presence of younger tour members.
Most Jack the Ripper tours recommend a minimum age of 12 or 14 for participation, but many don’t set strict age restrictions. It’s up to parents to determine the suitability of the content for their children.
The London Bridge Experience
The London Bridge Experience proudly claims the title of London’s scariest attraction, and that alone should serve as a red flag for parents with young children or even teenagers and young adults who are easily frightened. The theatrical performance goes through thousands of years of London history and focuses on the most gruesome stories that once unfolded throughout the city.
You’ll encounter everything from spiders and clowns to bloody walls as you go through interactive experiences like the London Tombs. While there is no age restriction for the event, children under 15 are required to attend with a parent.
Tower of London
The tower is one of the biggest attractions in London, but many parents don’t realize that it has a spooky past that some children may find terrifying. For instance, the tower was once used as a prison, and there are many stories of torture and even hangings that happened inside or on the grounds. Parents should realize that these topics are often talked about openly on Tower of London tours.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to tell when an attraction may become too much for children and teens of any age. Even adults can get more creeped out than expected when walking through some of London’s darker attractions. Knowing what to do when that happens is important.
For starters, never feel awkward exiting an attraction early, even if it means excusing yourself from a guide or leaving a live performance. It’s better to spare a seriously scared child the rest of the experience than to push them to the end and deal with their emotional reaction later.
You may also try distracting a scared child if their reaction is minor. For instance, young children may get a bit scared but then relax when cuddled into a parent’s lap with their face turned toward the parent. If there are less scary sections of an attraction, one parent can keep the child there while the rest of the family enjoys the full experience.
Talking about potentially scary attractions before you enter can help limit a child’s fear. Make sure that they know what to expect and understand that there is nothing that can hurt them or anyone else.