Best London Museums (Part Two)

In our last blog we took a quick look at some of the best museums London has to offer; fantastic institutions which are home to a vast array of fascinating works of art and artefacts. Here in the second part in our series we take a further look at some of the capital’s must see museums which any visitor to the city would be sorry to miss.

The London Transport Museum

This popular museum is definitely a London institution. The museum explores the history of London’s intricate transport system and how this has evolved over the past 200 years, in line with the changing face of London society.

The museum is renowned for its variety of exciting exhibits and collections and is home to a vast array of transport vehicles, including the first underground train and the iconic red London bus. This museum is a real treat for kids too and features a number of interactive exhibits including real buses and trains for them to play on.

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Design Museum

The Design Museum is a must see for design enthusiasts and offers a variety of fascinating insights into the world of fashion, architecture and design. In addition to its cutting edge exhibitions, the museum also holds a variety of family activities and talks on a broad range of topics.

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National Gallery

Art lovers need look no further than the National Gallery, which is considered by many to be one of the finest museums here in the UK. This fantastic museum, located in Trafalgar Square, displays a vast collection of western European paintings which date from the Middle Ages through to the 20th century. Here you can discover an array of inspiring works of art, including masterpieces from the likes of Rembrandt, Leonardo Da Vinci and Van Gogh, to name but a few.

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If you’re planning a trip to London and are looking for a place to stay, then here at the Swinton Hotel we’re an ideal choice. Conveniently located in the heart of the city, the Swinton Hotel is a friendly and cheap Kings Cross B and B and is the perfect base from which to explore all London has to offer. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us today by giving us a call on 020 7837 1451 to speak to a member of our friendly team.

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Best London Museums

The city of London is the culture capital of the world, and is home to a number of fantastic museums, perfect for getting yourself a quick culture fix.

However, with the wealth of options available, it can be difficult to know where to start. Hence, with this in mind, we give a guide to our top picks of the best museums in London, which are well worth a visit.

The Science Museum

No list of the best museums in London can be complete without mentioning the Science Museum. This exciting museum features an array of hands-on educational exhibits, covering all areas of science and technology.

The museum is spread across 7 floors and is world-renowned for its awe inspiring galleries and historical collections. And from outer space to medical marvels, there’s something for all the family to see and enjoy.

The Science Museum is by far one of the top attractions London has to offer, and the best part is, entry is free too!

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Natural History Museum

Located just a stone’s throw away from the Science Museum is London’s famous Natural History museum. This Victorian building is a real London landmark, and is both a leading research institution and a museum.

The Natural History Museum hosts hundreds of exciting and inspiring exhibits, and home to a staggering 80 million specimens from the natural world, spanning billions of years. Highlights include its ever-popular dinosaur gallery and impressive blue whale model. Overall, the museum can be described as nothing short of brilliant. Entry to the Natural History Museum is also free, making a trip here a fantastic and cheap day out.

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The British Museum

The British Museum is one of the world’s oldest museums and features a remarkable collection that spans over two millions years of human history. The museum is home to some of the most famous objects in the world, such as the Rosetta Stone and a collection of Egyptian mummies. This is arguably one of the best museums in London, if not the world. Admission here is also free.

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If you’re planning a trip to London then these museums are a must-see. And when you’re touring the city, you’ll need a great place to stay too. Here at the Swinton Hotel we can provide you with the ideal place to stay during your visit and are one of the best and most welcoming hotels in the capital. So if you’re looking for cheap Kings Cross hotels, please don’t hesitate to contact us today, by giving us a call on 020 7837 1451, to speak to a member of our friendly team.

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Discover the Nightlife: 5 of London’s Evening Hot Spots

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, but when it comes to providing the perfect hotspots for all you party-lovin’ folk – London’s got you covered!

From superclubs to rock & roll bars, intimate venues and musical magic – London really does have a great, diverse and pretty unique nightlife that’s sure to have you signing up for the guest list!

Whether heading to London on business or in search of a good time, here are a few of London’s best and most-loved night-time destinations. Cheers!

KOKO, Camden Palace Theatre – Camden

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Formerly the legendary Camden Palace, KOKO is a 1,500 capacity club, hosting both live music and club nights. After having undergone a massive refurbishment to be restored to its original theatrical style, KOKO provides a unique night for any music/art/theatre/great time-lover! KOKO is also home to one of the coolest rooftop bars in the whole of London, so we really can’t suggest a better place to hang out during the summertime!

For more information, visit the KOKO website.

Trader Vic’s, The London Hilton – Park Lane

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If you’re looking for a tiki-tastic night, Trader Vic’s is the perfect location for that mellow and relaxing vibe you’re looking for. This exotic paradise getaway is known for its great customer service, friendly staff and welcoming atmosphere! Providing live music, DJs and good grub from Monday to Sunday, you’

For more information, visit the Trader Vic’s website.

Fabric, Charterhouse Street – Barbican

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Fabric is probably the best club in London, if not the world – as long as you like your nights bass-heavy and fun-fuelled, of course! Known as one of the most legendary mega-clubs, Fabric provide the ideal night for any electro, house, breakbeat and DnB. Its worldwide reputation of excellence makes them the top spot for discovering both new and loved music-makers, providing a diverse choice of club nights each week!

For more information, visit the Fabric London website.

The Barfly, Chalk Farm Road – Camden

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Everybody’s heard of The Barfly! And, after helping to launch the careers of Coldplay, Blur and Oasis – it’s become renowned as the venue for rock, alternative and indie music. Barfly’s aim is to bring new music to the people, so if you’re on the lookout for new bands or just fancy sprucing up your music taste – The Barfly is definitely the place to do it!

For more information, visit The Barfly website.

Queen of Hoxton, Curtain Road – Shoreditch

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If you’re a bar-lover, club-raver, gallery-fiend and cinema-fanatic – congrats, you’ve just found your dream venue! Situated in the heart of the East End, The Queen has been busy keeping party-lovers busy with the latest in music gigs, roof-top cinemas and art exhibitions every night of the week! (Except Sundays, that’s for private hire!) Having hosted some of the biggest names on the music scene; from Gold Panda to Miles Kane, The Queen of Hoxton is very much right in their statement of being “the ultimate youth club for the adults of the East Side”.

For more information, visit the Queen of Hoxton website.

So, if you’re visiting London and looking for a place to stay – here at Swinton Hotel, we’re one of the most popular and welcoming cheap Kings Cross hotels around, and are located near to all of the major transport links. If you’d like more information, or want to make a booking – please do not hesitate to contact us on 020 7837 1451 and a member of our friendly team will be happy to help!

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15 London Facts to Help You Fit In

London is one of the biggest tourist spots in the world, with millions of people visiting the capital from overseas every year. When you’re visiting the city, you don’t want to be wandering around clueless like all the rest of the tourists; you want to have a whole wealth of London knowledge that will help you fit in with the real Londoners. This handy list of London facts will keep you just an accent and a few rhymes away from being an authentic Cockney.

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1. The Houses of Parliament are officially named the Palace of Westminster, which makes it the largest palace in the country.

2. Hyde Park is home to a pet cemetery.

3. The GDP of London is larger than several European countries (including Belgium and Sweden).

4. Sir Christopher Wren placed stone pineapples atop two towers at St Paul’s Cathedral as he saw the fruit as a “symbol of peace, prosperity and hospitality”.

5. The O2 Arena, previously called the Millennium Dome, is large enough to hold the Great Pyramid at Giza or the Statue of Liberty (but not at the same time).

6. Harrods, the famous London department store, sold cocaine until 1916.

7. Karl Marx’s famous work The Communist Manifesto was drafted in London while Marx was staying in a room above the Red Lion pub on Great Windmill Street.

8. Black cab drivers in London must pass a London geography test called The Knowledge. The test requires drivers to master 320 basic routes, all 25,000 streets within the routes, and about 20,000 landmarks and places of interest within a six-mile radius of Charing Cross. Not surprisingly, the average time it takes to pass this test is 34 months.

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9. Although buses in London tend to be red now, before 1907 each route had a different coloured bus.

10. There are several abandoned Tube stations dotted around London, and some of these have found new uses as filming locations or even bars!

11. Over half of the London Underground network actually runs above ground.

12. There’s only one Tube station that doesn’t contain any of the letters of the word “mackerel” in its name: St John’s Wood.

13. Arsenal is the only London football team to have a Tube station named after them. The station previously known as Gillespie Road was renamed in 1932 after the team moved to North London.

14. Blackfriars is the only train station to have entrances on both sides of the Thames.

15. The Queen’s Remembrancer is the oldest continually existing legal post in England and Wales, being created in 1154 and still being filled today. The post includes the overseeing of several archaic ceremonies, including the Quit Rents ceremonies and the Trials of the Pyx.

If you’re looking for a place to stay while you’re in London then look no further than us! Here at Swinton Hotels we’re one of the most welcoming, and yet cheap Kings Cross hotels around so we can certainly accommodate you during your trip. If you’d like more information, to check availability or to make a booking, contact us on 020 7837 1451 and a member of our friendly team will be happy to help.

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February 2015 in London

With all the things going in London, it would be difficult to be bored for even one minute in the capital. February is a month that won’t disappoint with the events that will be going on in it, but just to give you a head start at the fun for your February visit, here are some of the exciting goings on in the city.

Pancake Day (February 17)

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Pancake Day is a day that is always fun to celebrate and in London there are plenty of places to celebrate at. Whatever meal you are choosing to replace with pancakes, London has plenty of pancake restaurants and creperies to choose from.

One of these is My Old Dutch and can be found rather close to King’s Cross in Holborn. The pancake house serves a variety of pancakes, both sweet and savoury, and will certainly accommodate your Pancake Day appetite.

If you still feel like celebrating after you have eaten your weight in pancakes then you can watch one of the annual London pancake races. One of these is The Great Spitalfields Pancake Race, in which participants race dressed in fancy dress and flipping pancakes to raise money for the London Air Ambulance with the hope of winning a specially engraved winners frying pan.

My Old Dutch                    131-132 High Holborn, Holborn, London, WC1V 6PS

Chinese New Year (February 19 & 22)

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If you are in London for the end of the Chinese Year of the Horse and the start of the Year of the Sheep then why not celebrate the Chinese New Year in the in the biggest Chinese New Year Celebrations outside China?

Although the New Year actually happens on Thursday 19th February, the festivities kick off on the Sunday after. The biggest celebrations will be located in Chinatown, near Leicester Square, including the parade, traditional Chinese acts and dragon dancers.

If you’ve got a hunger for Chinese food then you’ll have a good time at one of over 100 restaurants in Chinatown, but make sure you book in early because they’ll almost certainly be full.

Alternatively, there’s also a Chinese New Year comedy night event at The Invisible Dot Ltd. Although the show is only tenuously linked to the Chinese New Year, with one of the acts being promised to have visited China at least once, the comedy night is bound to be a good show to see.

The Invisible Dot Ltd.                      2 Northdown St, London, N1 9BG

London Fashion Week (February 20-24)

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London’s AW15 Fashion week occurs over a long weekend in February and if you have any interest in fashion then this event is a must for you. The historic Somerset House will host catwalk shows, pop-up shops and educational panels from some of the world’s leading fashion experts. If you are wanting to be in style in autumn and winter of 2015 then you’ll be able to see over 100 designers showcase what AW will look like in fashion.

If you are looking for a stunning, welcoming and yet cheap kings cross hotels, then here at Swinton Hotel we can definitely help! We are a cheap hotel in the Kings Cross area with a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. If you would like more information, to check availability or to make a booking, contact us on 020 7837 1451 and a member of our friendly tem will be happy to help.

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