A good way to prepare children for travel is to expose them to the culture and history before you leave. This is a list of books for children to read before leaving for the United Kingdom, mostly centered on London. They can either be read alone by a child, or preferably as a read-aloud for the family. This will give your entire family a base on which to compare what you see in London. The first section is mostly for parents to prepare them for the journey...be it armchair travels, or beyond!

Travel Guides:

  • Let's Take the Kids to London, A Family Travel Guide by David Stewart White (Roaring Forties Press). 2012 edition now available (paperback and eBook)
  • Kids' London by Simon Adams (Dorling Kindersley)
  • Children's London, A Nicholson Guide (may be out of print)(Nicholson-Harper Collins)
  • Take Your Kids to Europe by Cynthia W. Harriman (Globe Pequot Press)
  • Eyewitness Travel London (Dorling Kindersley) (not specifically for children, but the photos and information may intrigue them about their destination)

Books for Younger Children

  • Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
  • Peter Pan in Kensington Garden by J.M. Barrie
  • Paddington Bear books
  • A Medieval Feast by Aliki
  • Young Merlin by Robert D. San Souci (A Picture Yearling Book)
  • The Other Alice (The Story of Alice Liddel and Alice in Wonderland) by Christina Bjork and Inga-Karen Eriksson (R&S Books)
  • The Knight at Dawn by Mary Pope Osborne (Scholastic)
  • Knights by Catherine Daly-Weir (Grosset and Dunlap)
  • Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest by Ann McGovern (Scholastic)
  • Knights of the Round Table adapted by Gwen Gross (Bullseye Classic by Random House)
  • Robin Hood by Angela Bull (A Classic Reader, Dorling Kindersley)
  • Days of the Knights by Christopher Maynard (Dorling Kindersley)
  • D-Day Landings by Richard Platt (Dorling Kindersley)
  • The Inside-Outside Book of London by Roxie Munro (Picture Puffins)
  • The Usborne Book of London by Moira Butterfield (Usborne)
  • This is London by M. Sasek (Simon and Schuster)
  • Castle Diary by Richard Platt (Candlewick)
  • Good Queen Bess by Diane Stanley (Harper Collins)
  • The Bard of Avon  by Diane Stanley (Morrow Junior Books)
  • Charles Dickens, the Man Who Had Great Expectations (Morrow Junior Books)

Older Children, Informational

  • Don't Know Much about the Kings and Queens of England by Kenneth C. Davies (Harper-Collins)
  • Kings and Queen of England and Scotland by Planteganet Somerset Fry (Dorling Kindersley)
  • Knights in Armor (A Living History book) edited by John D. Clare (Harcourt Brace and Co.)
  • Fourteenth-Century Towns (A Living History book) edited by John D. Clare (Harcout Brace and Co.)
  • Knights and Castles (Eyewitness Anthologies) by Christopher Gravett and Andrew Langley (Dorling Kindersley)
  • Shakespeare (Eyewitness Books) by Peter Chrisp (Dorling Kindersley)

Older Children, Fiction

  • Doomed Queen Anne by Carolyn Meyer (Gulliver Books, Harcourt)
  • Mary, Bloody Mary by Carolyn Meyer (Gulliver Books, Harcourt)
  • Beware, Princess Elizabeth by Carolyn Meyer (Gulliver Books, Harcourt)
  • Queen's Own Fool by Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris (Penguin Books)
  • Shakespeare's Scribe by Gary Blackwood (Puffin)
  • The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood (Puffin)
  • Elizabeth I, Red Rose of the House of Tudor by Kathryn Lasky (Scholastic)
  • Mary, Queen of Scots, Queen Without a Country by Kathryn Lasky (Scholastic)
  • Victoria, May Blossom of Britannia by Anna Kirwan (Scholastic)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
  • Any book by Charles Dickens
  • Books by Jane Austen
  • Sixty-Minute Shakespeare (various titles available) by Cass Foster (Five Star Publications)