Things To Do In London This October

London is a vibrant city with plenty to see and do for everyone, and this October in London is set to be no exception with a number of exciting events to watch out for. Here’s our quick guide to some of the many amazing things happening in London this October

Sherlock Holmes

Arthur Conan Doyle’s infamous literary character Sherlock Holmes in arguably one of the most famous Londoners ever, with the character having captivated generations with his unique brand of wit and detective work. This October will see an exciting new Sherlock Holmes exhibit take up residence at the Museum of London. The exhibit will reportedly transport visitors to the real Victorian London and is set to be a must see for fans of the detective.

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Wonderful Wildlife

Another must see exhibit this October, at the Natural History Museum in London, is the wildlife photographer of the year exhibition which will run from the 24th of this month. The highly acclaimed competition exhibition is a great chance to see some truly extraordinary images of some of the most spectacular species on the planet.

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London Film Festival

The London film festival is undoubtedly one of the best events of the year for film enthusiasts. Beginning on the 8th of October the festival will be screening a wide variety of films at cinemas across the capital, from major Hollywood blockbusters to less well known gems.

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Chocolate fans will be delighted to hear that the world’s largest chocolate show will be retuning for another outing at London’s Olympia Park from the 17th till the 19th of October. The exhibit will play host to a number of leading chocolate brands from the UK and beyond and will be serving up an array of delicious treats for visitors. The event will also include a number of talks and demonstrations from professional chefs and acclaimed chocolatiers.

chocolate These are just a handful of the many amazing events happening in London this October. If you are looking for cheap London hotels then here at the Swinton Hotel we are the perfect choice. Conveniently located in the heart of the city of London, the Swinton Hotel is the ideal place to stay during any trip to the city and the perfect base from which to explore all the city has to offer. For further information or to speak to a member of our reservations team please do not hesitate to contact us on +44 20 7837 1451 and one of our friendly staff will be happy to help you with your enquiries.

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Must-See Art Exhibitions in London

London is definitely an art capital of the world; there’s always some form of exhibition going on in the big city. So if you’re a budding art student, professional artist or simply just an art lover seeking inspiration, a trip to London is certainly in order. There is an array of fantastic art shows on throughout the year, so let’s take a look at a few must-see shows that you really shouldn’t miss!

Late Turner: Painting Set Free – Tate Britain

 Sep 30– Jan 25

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Turner is probably one of the most famous landscape painters to have ever lived. His paintings are full of emotion and colour – his paintings are distinctively his. Brimming with action and yet a glorious ambience, his paintings seem to change as you look deep into them, so they are truly a sight to be seen. So take a trip to the Tate Britain this autumn or winter – you certainly won’t be disappointed.

Trisha Donnelly – Serpentine Gallery

Sep 30 – Nov 9

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Trisha Donnelly is an artist from New York, so seeing her solo exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery (shown above) is definitely the option for you if you are looking for something a little more modern. She will fill the gallery with a beautiful and thought-provoking site-specific work. Her work is inspired by the passing of time, light and nature – you can be certain that you will experience something spectacular here.

Constable – The Making of a Master – V&A

Sep 20 – Jan 11

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This exhibition is an experience not to be missed; it is an exhibition that features Constable’s influences and his favourite painting techniques. One of Britain’s most loved artists, this exhibition allows you to take a look into his famous masterpieces and develop an understanding of how they were created. It really is an amazing place to seek inspiration.

Freize Art Fair – Regent’s Park
Oct 16 – Oct 19

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The Freize Art Fair is a huge event in the art world and this year it marks its 12th anniversary. With over 150 galleries involved you can certainly get your art fix here. It really is an experience that can’t be missed. Artists and art lovers alike from all over the world travel to London just for this special art fair!

London is a fabulous place to visit when it comes to the arts and these are only 4 of the many many art exhibitions that are on throughout autumn and winter. So if you’re looking for inspiration or something a little bit creative head to London for a getaway and have the most enjoyable time! If you are looking for cheap London hotels, don’t worry, here at the Swinton Hotel we offer outstanding, comfortable rooms so that you can experience London and have space to relax afterwards!

For more information please get in contact by calling 020 7837 1451.

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London: Home Of The Theatre

The city of London truly is the home of the theatre. London is home to some of the most iconic theatres in the world, such as the famous Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and London’s West End plays host to a thriving theatre community. Whether you’re a theatre enthusiast or just fancy doing something a little different, a trip to one of London’s fantastic theatres is a must for all visitors to the city. Here’s our guide to some of the best upcoming shows London has to offer that are sure to captivate you.

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Hamlet is arguably one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays and is no stranger to London’s theatres, having been adapted and performed many times. It was recently announced that a new production is set to grace the stage of the Barbican in London next summer, with actor Benedict Cumberbatch having landed the title role. The announcement was greeted by much excitement and the show is one of the most highly anticipated ventures of 2015. Indeed the huge demand for tickets has seen the production become the most in-demand theatre show of all time.

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Another modern classic, War horse, adapted from the novel of the same name by author Michael Morpurgo, will also soon be retuning for a run of shows at the New London Theatre. This hugely moving play has received much critical acclaim, winning numerous awards and delighting audiences across the world.

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For musical fans another exceedingly popular show currently running in London’s West End is the musical Wicked. To date the show has been a resounding success having been well received by audiences, and is now entering its sixth year.

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If you’re looking for cheap London hotels then you need look no further than the Swinton hotel. Conveniently located in the heart of the city of London, the Swinton hotel is the ideal place to stay during any trip to the city, and the perfect base from which to explore all the city has to offer, such as its amazing theatre scene. For further information or to speak to a member of our reservations team please do not hesitate to contact us on +44 20 7837 1451, and one of our friendly staff will be happy to help you with your enquiries.

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London’s Statues Start Talking

“If the statues could talk, what stories would they tell?”

The 19th August unveiled the new ‘Talking Statues’ project, involving 35 of London’s most famous public statues being brought to life with the power of speech. To encourage the statue to speak, passersby must swipe the code displayed nearby and then receive a recorded telephone call from the statue in question. These recorded messages include funny anecdotes, witty tales, humorous stories and the occasional one-liner brought to the streets by modern writers and artistic minds that try to imagine what these notable characters from the past would want to say to passersby.

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The project is the latest works by Sing London, who aim to lift the nation’s spirits by filling the capital’s streets with creativity, and are behind many of London’s most contemporary and artistic projects.

The line-up includes the likes of Queen Victoria, Isaac Newton, Peter Pan, Sherlock Holmes and Dick Whittington’s cat; some of the most famous names and moggies of the historical day. The locations of the statues vary all over the city, both indoor and out so be sure to keep your eyes peeled!

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The voices of the selected historical figures are brought to life by many a famous name, including; Patrick Stewart, Russell Tovey, Frank Skinner, Anthony Horowitz and Jeremy Paxman, who adopt the personality and character of the statues perfectly! There’s also an amazing opportunity for the public to put their creative words into the mouths of four other statues around the city, including William Shakespeare at The British Library. To enter the competition click here.

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For a full lowdown on the historical figures and their new created personalities from The Telegraph, click here. For more information on the project please visit the Talking Statues official website.

Talking Statues is the perfect city instalment for both Londoners and visitors alike to discover, bringing a little eccentricity and something different to the capital’s creative scene. We are pleased to be one of the best Kings Cross Hotels and are dedicated to providing high quality and affordable hotel accommodation in the heart of London. For further information or to book a room please give our friendly team a call on 02078 371 451 today!

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London: Music Capital

This week saw the much-anticipated return of singer Kate Bush to the music scene. The singer, famous for her numerous hit singles such as ‘Running Up That Hill’ and ‘Wuthering heights’, recently came out of retirement to deliver her first live performance for 35 years at London’s iconic Hammersmith Apollo. A fitting venue, given that it also played host to her last live show all those years ago. The singer will be performing shows between the 27th of August and the 1st of October, much to the delight of her many fans.

With tickets for the full run of shows reportedly selling out in 15 minutes you might have to wait till later in the year to get your hands on tickets to see Kate Bush for yourself. However, London is home to a wealth of musical talent, and there are numerous other upcoming music events taking place in London over the next few months worth taking a look at.

Another returning favourite is London native Jamie T, who released the first new single Don’t You Find off his upcoming album back in July, after a 4 year hiatus. The singer-song writer is due to perform a number of gigs in London this coming November.

Fans of classical music will be delighted to hear that there are still tickets available to attend one of the greatest classical music events in the world, namely the BBC proms 2014.The BBC Proms are a two month long affair held predominantly in the Royal Albert Hall in London between the 18th of July and the 13th of September, and are designed to showcase the works and talent of a diverse range of artists.

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If you’re looking for cheap Kings Cross hotels in London then you need look no further than the Swinton hotel. Conveniently located in the heart of the city of London, the Swinton hotel is the ideal place to stay during any trip to the city and the perfect base from which to explore all the city has to offer, such as its vibrant music scene. For further information or to speak to a member of our reservations team please do not hesitate to contact us on +44 20 7837 1451 and one of our friendly staff will be happy to help you with your enquiries.

 

 

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London’s Weekend of Colour

Each year, the August Bank Holiday weekend brings an explosion of colour, sound and delicious aromas to the streets of London. The Notting Hill Carnival is one of the biggest in the world, bringing people from all around the world to both perform in the parade and to watch it.

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The Carnival has been going since 1964, beginning as an offshoot of the Trinidad Carnival, and still stays true to its Caribbean roots with a diverse range of performers. Every year, you’ll see stunning floats, astonishingly detailed costumes, and great music from parading Samba drummers and other musicians.

Whilst the parade takes place in West London, visitors often stay in different areas of the city. A million visitors are expected, so naturally there’s considerable overspill into the rest of London! Media reports also often tend to focus on the unfortunate disturbances caused by a small number of attendees when the night draws in, so carnival attendees can feel a lot safer if they have a hotel to return to out of the area. It is actually quite easy to catch a bus from the Kings Cross Area to the carnival area – and in fact, quite large numbers of performers can themselves be seen each year on the bus with their drums! However, you do need to check road closures before you go, as the stops can change on the day.

The main Carnival itself is on the Bank Holiday Monday, starting on the Great Western Road before moving along Chepstow Road and turning onto Westbourne Grove. It will then move onto Ladbroke Grove, and if you can get a view from the top of the hill here it is quite a sight to see, with literally thousands of performers filling the road and vibrant crowds surrounding them.

It’s not just colourful costumes and music of course – you’ll also find plenty of food stalls selling traditional jerk chicken and other Caribbean delights.

However, it’s not the only event. The Carnival weekend also includes Family Day on the Sunday, which is a great, friendly day with a children’s parade and costume prizes.

If you’re thinking of attending the Notting Hill Carnival, we recommend the Time Out guide to help you make the most of it, and if you’re looking for cheap hotels in Kings Cross for your stay, we’d be happy to hear from you!

For more information, to check availability or to make a booking, call us on +44 20 7837 1451 today!

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Keep the Kids Happy This Summer Holiday

The school summer holidays are nearly upon us, and scarily, six weeks sounds like a pretty long time to keep your little darlings busy!

Kids of school age (and maybe even university level) require attention and solid holiday plans to fill their days with adventure, excitement and engaging activity that they can tell their friends about on their long-awaited return to school.

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No matter where you are or what you have planned, try to schedule a visit to the wonderful capital in your calendar! London offers plenty to see, do and enjoy and is the perfect pit-stop for family day trips, offering great and good-value-for-money options for all ages and all personalities.

Go on, give your children (and you!) something to be excited for this summer and fill your holidays with these fun and fantastic day out options!

The Making of Harry Potter, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, WD25 – OPEN DAILY

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 Warner Bros. Studios is the home to the fabulous Harry Potter tour that everybody has been talking about since it opened. Whether you are lucky enough to have already been or have planned to go since it first began, the summer holidays are definitely the time to fill your little pumpkin’s day with magic and Hogwarts-fun (even if they haven’t yet read the books!)

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The tour offers an enchanting look into the wonderful wizarding world, sharing production secrets and allowing all visitors to walk the eerie streets of Diagon Alley, enjoy the wonders of the Great Hall and even have a cheeky Butterbeer or two! To book your family ticket or for more information please visit the Warner Bros. Studio Tour website.

Thorpe Park, Surrey – OPEN DAILY

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The UK’s most respected and enjoyable theme park offers a fantastic range of rides and attractions for all ages and personalities! Whether you love rollercoaster speed, or enjoy a casual mooch around the fairground games – Thorpe Park has something to suit you and your family!

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Thorpe Park offers a fantastic day out for the whole family, with affordable prices and saver deals on family tickets! Thorpe Park is also home to the newly-opened Angry Birds Land! For further information please visit the Thorpe Park website.

The London Dungeons, Next to the London Eye, SE1 – OPEN DAILY

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Visit one of London’s most popular attractions, offering history, fear and culture under one roof. The amazing and fascinating London Dungeon explores historic events and discovers the secrets behind some of Britain’s most notorious crooks, including Guy Fawkes, Sweeney Todd and Jack the Ripper.

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Discover the gruesome tales of London’s streets whilst sitting in a pub and hearing the landlord relay the terrors, or wander the streets and visit the locations of crimes and famous rebellion with re-enactments and an eerie atmosphere in the air. The London Dungeons are a must for anyone interested in the history of some of London’s most infamous events – for further information please visit The London Dungeon website.

Coram’s Fields, Guildford Sreet, WC1 – OPEN DAILY

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Coram’s Field is a free park, open all year round from 9am until dusk to children and young people under 16. No adult can enter Coram’s Fields without a child, and the friendly on-site staff ensure that everyone enjoys their visit. Coram’s Fields is quite like no other, and provides activities, sports and daily games completely free of charge to all.

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Set in the heart of London, between King’s Cross and Holburn it also offers toilets and nappy changing facilities, as well as a small farm with plenty of furry friends including goats, chickens and rabbits! Coram’s Fields provides a fun day out for all the family, and is the ideal option if on a budget! For further information please visit the Coram’s Fields website.

Here at the Swinton Hotel, we are dedicated to providing the perfect hotel accommodation for any London adventure. Whether you are visiting for just a night or have a jam-packed summer holiday planned and are looking for cheap kings cross hotels – we are perfectly situated in the heart of the capital, situated in close distance to all transport links and attractions. For further information, to make a booking or to check availability, please give our friendly team a call on 020 7837 1451 or email us at swintonhotel@hotmail.com!

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What’s On in London This Week…

Extend your cultural horizons this week in London! Celebrate homegrown talent, or rejoice for the land of the free…

Skylight at Wyndham’s Theatre, Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0DA (until Saturday the 23rd of August)

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Bafta award-winning actress Carey Mulligan and Golden Globe winner Bill Nighy grace the stage of Wyndham’s Theatre in the West End to star in David Hare’s 1995 psychodrama Skylight, about a schoolteacher who receives unexpected visits from her former lover and his son.

The play won the 1996 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play & the 1997 Theatre World Special Award for Ensemble Performance, and was nominated for four Tony awards in 1997. This performance is not to be missed!

 

4th of July, Independence Day U.S.A

If you’re celebrating Independence Day in the capital this year, you may wish to check out where and when the best celebrations are taking place!

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Benjamin Franklin is known as being one of the Founding Fathers of the USA, as well as a scientist, diplomat, philosopher and inventor. Franklin lived at a Charing Cross address for 16 years between 1757 and 1775, and today the house is a dynamic museum and educational facility.

If you visit the Benjamin Franklin House on the 4th of July, you can expect cake and champagne in honour of both Franklin and the USA’s Independence Day.

Alternatively, at Portman Square Garden you can join in with the Democrats Abroad UK American Independence Day Picnic! There will be plenty of American-style burgers, hotdogs and barbeque food at this annual Independence Day picnic. There will be a tug-of-war, face painting, crafts for kids and live music. Everyone is welcome at the celebration but only US citizens can buy tickets.

 

If you are looking for Kings Cross hotels this July, please do not hesitate to contact us here at Swinton Hotel by emailing swintonhotel@hotmail.com or by telephone at +44 20 7837 1451. Swinton Hotel is a friendly and relaxed hotel located in the very heart of London, with a reputation as one of the top London hotels, and is perfect for all those who are wanting to have access to tourist attractions, shopping areas and transport connections.

 

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As Seen on TV

London is a fascinating city, and as such it has been featured in film and television more times than you can count. If you’d like to follow in the footsteps of such famous actors as Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Radcliffe, and Hugh Grant, here are just a few of the capital’s most recognisable locations.

Speedy’s Cafe – Sherlock

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When the BBC brought Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective into the 21st century, they couldn’t actually film his famous 221b Baker Street address for exterior filming – there’s far too much Sherlock Holmes memorabilia on the street.

Instead, they took their cameras to the other side of Regent’s Park and filmed on North Gower Street, where you can visit Speedy’s sandwich bar and cafe – yes, it’s real – and enjoy some good fresh food. And yes, that includes specials named the Sherlock and the Watson!

Platform 9 ¾ – Harry Potter

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For Harry Potter fans, this is a big draw, and one of the first sights they’ll see in the capital. At London’s Kings Cross station, you can find a railway luggage trolley embedded in the wall beneath a sign for Platform 9 ¾ – and often, a queue of Harry Potter fans waiting to take their picture with it!

Other Harry Potter sights can be seen in London, too – exterior shots of the Ministry of Magic were filmed at Scotland Yard, and both Borough Market and Leadenhall Market offered filming locations for Diagon Alley.

Black Books – Black Books

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In Channel 4’s cult favourite sitcom Black Books, the bookshop above was run by Bernard Black (played by Dylan Moran) and his assistant Manny (played by Bill Bailey). In real life, it’s called Collinge & Clark, and it offers an impressive array of rare and secondhand books.

You can’t get a wine ice lolly here, but you can get some really interesting and beautiful books that’ll look great on your coffee table back home.

St Mary’s Garden, Regent’s Park – About a Boy

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The lake in St Mary’s Garden is a lovely place for a picnic, where you can enjoy the sunshine and feed the ducks. Just don’t throw an entire loaf of dense bread at them, as the titular boy does, as we can’t guarantee that Hugh Grant will step in to save you from the law.

Whether you plan to tour film and television locations, go shopping or take in a show, if you’re looking for Kings Cross hotels we at the Swinton Hotel would be more than happy to welcome you. For more information, to check availability or to make a booking, call us on 020 7837 1451.

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Wimbledon: Two Weeks of Strawberries, Pimm’s & Tennis

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Ladies and gentlemen, it is that time of year again! Dig deep in your wardrobes for an all-white ensemble, put ‘strawberries and cream’ on the shopping list, and get a pitcher of Pimm’s No. 1 and lemonade at the ready, because Wimbledon is just around the corner…

Getting a Ticket
The ticket queue for this year’s Wimbledon officially opens at 8am on Sunday June 22. Around 500 tickets every day are available at the Gate 3 turnstile for Centre Court (except for the last four days; tickets for those days are like gold dust) and court numbers 1 and 2, plus several thousand grounds tickets. If you are wanting to turn up to The Championships after work, the late entry queue opens at 5pm daily. You can often pay a reasonable rate for the seats of spectators who have left the venue earlier. Please note that tickets can only be purchased by cash.

It is worth noting that the queue does not commence in Wimbledon Park before 8am on Sunday 22nd June 2014.

History of Wimbledon

The Wimbledon Championship, commonly referred to as simply Wimbledon, is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and is widely considered the most prestigious. Wimbledon is one of the four worldwide ‘Grand Slam’ tennis tournaments and has been held at the All England Club in London since 1877.

Traditions

The Championships are famously free from advertisement and sponsors, and they instil a strict dress code for all participants. Rest assured this dress code does not extend to the audience (so feel free to wear that terribly subtle I heart Andy Murray t-shirt from last summer). The players are instructed to wear all white (or as much white as is humanly possible).

Each year, approximately 250 ball boys and girls are employed at Wimbledon. Potential ball boys and ball girls must pass a series of fitness, mobility and tennis rules tests.

Each year, tennis fans at Wimbledon consume more than 28,000kg of strawberries and 7,000 litres of cream.

The English Royal family has supported and attended Wimbledon since 1907 and the players are supposed to bow down when either Her Majesty the Queen or His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales are present at the court.

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The best way to get to Wimbledon is by shuttle bus from Southfields tube station, which is on the District Line. If you are looking for Kings Cross hotels please do not hesitate to contact us here at Swinton Hotel, by telephone at +44 20 7837 1451.

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