Catch the nearest "Big Red Bus", and take the youngsters to The London Eye, also, The London Dungeon, which is very close. They might also enjoy the Tower of London. Nearby is the Tower Bridge, which teenagers might like a tour of it!
The Park Lane is a very nice hotel, have stayed there, but do not remember a lot about the area.
Am sure you will get some good advice from MRI! You should consider a Thames River cruise as well. You can catch a boat right at The London Eye!
The London Eye is a real hit with youngsters!
The Big Red Bus is fun for all, and an inexpensive way to see all of London. It's a "Hop on/off" for a full day!
Please check other prior London posts on MRI!
Have a lot of fun!
Be patient. The lines may well be long at many of the attractions. Get a tour of the Tower of London. Westminster, Big Ben, head out to Windsor for a day. Since you have the teens, Madame Tussauds, Jack the Ripper Tour London Walks "first and best of the walking tour firms" Fodors, take a river cruise on the Thames. We picked one up right near Parliament. Takes you all the way down to the Tower Bridge and back - also has a small bar on board for you! You may be able to tour Buckingham Palace. Check hours and dates and ticket info, take in a play then go out for Chinese food near Picadilly.
Most of all, enjoy!
I just returned from a week in London and a week in Paris. In London we stayed at the Marriott Park Lane and had a fabulous stay. Here is a link to my review here on the Insider: http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/reviews/20276
The property is located in Mayfair, which is a very upscale area. There are plenty of restaurants around as well as shopping on Oxford Street. The Marble Arch Underground station is mere steps away and we utilized it everyday.
Just as others have suggested, we got tickets for a hop-on/hop-off bus, but we took the Original Bus Tour as opposed to the Big Bus. They appear to be pretty identical so select the cheapest. I would highly suggest that you buy tickets online prior to your departure because many companies offer online discounts. For our bus tour I paid 22 pounds per ticket.
I think was Jerry who on another post suggested the Cabinet War Rooms, which I had visited on a previous trip and was astounded at. It's a few blocks from Parliament and as mentioned, London Eye. Speaking of the Eye, again I purchased tickets online and got a 10% discount and didn't have to wait on line to purchase tickets once there.
One thing that we did which hadn't been mentioned here is renting bikes in Hyde Park. I think this was one of the highlights of our trip, it was just a great way to see the park and all of the gardens. The only problem you will encounter which may inhibit your ability to do it is your credit card. Cards issued in the U.S. still use the 1970's era magnetic strips while all cards issued in Europe contain a Smart Chip. About a month before I left I had called Chase and requested chip cards for all my family members and it was probably the single smartest thing I could possibly have done. Every kiosk we used during our trip -without exception- , from subways to vending machines, required a chip card. Although you can use cards with magnetic strips in restaurants, it will slow you down.
Another highlight of our trip was a Beatles walking tour, which ends at mecca - Abbey Road. This was money well spent. That evening we attended the show "Let It Be", which actually exceeded my (low) expectations.
On our last day in town we took the train to Hampton Court to see how the other half lived. This was my first time there and it was a great day spent out of London.
Never thought of buying tickets in advance! What a wonderful idea, and saving 10% as well!
Thanks for also suggesting renting the bikes! That sure would have saved my legs on the long walks around London. How do you handle the security of your bike? Should you just pack a "Bike lock" and take it with you?
Mike, again, thanks for your post and information!