London’s Most Famous Bear Returns

This month sees the triumphant return of London’s most famous bear – Paddington. The well-meaning and well-loved bear created by Michael Bond stars in a new film which is due to reach cinema screens on the 28th of November.

However, you won’t just find Paddington on the big screen. If you’re in London between now and the 30th December, you’ll be able to search for 50 unique statues of the famous bear, designed and decorated by famous names and scattered throughout the city close to the capital’s favourite sights and attractions. By following the Paddington Trail, you can discover all the bears – and the city, too!

Our favourite bears on the trail include:

  • Sherlock Bear – Designed by Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch and in place at the Museum of London, this Paddington has adopted the famous detective’s deerstalker hat.
  • Paddington Who – Designed by Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi, this Paddington’s duffel coat is painted to look like the Doctor’s TARDIS. Fittingly for a time-travelling bear, he’s in place at Greenwich on the Prime Meridian line – the point from which time is officially measured.
  • The Journey of Marmalade – Designed by Hugh Bonneville, who stars in the new movie, this Paddington is a tribute to the bear’s love of marmalade. He’s in Hyde Park, keeping a nose out for marmalade sandwiches.
  • Gravity Bear – Designed by Sandra Bullock, star of the award-winning film Gravity. This Paddington is ready to explore space from his position inside the Royal Observatory at Greenwich.
  • Paddington – The classic Paddington Bear, as designed by his creator Michael Bond. He is found, naturally enough, at Paddington station, the place where he was found and from which he took his name.

Whichever Paddington you prefer, there is also an opportunity for you to own one – the 50 bears will be auctioned off by Christie’s at the end of the event with bids starting at £500 and all proceeds going to the NSPCC.

If you’re planning a trip to London this November, the Swinton Hotel is one of the best cheap Kings Cross hotels available, giving you affordable and comfortable accommodation for your stay. For more information, to check availability or to make a booking, call us on 020 7837 1451 or email

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Christmas Shopping

There’s no denying that Christmas is coming and with the Christmas retail campaigns now in full swing it’s time to start thinking about those all important Christmas gifts. When it comes to Christmas shopping you cannot beat London for the perfect shopping experience, and there’s so much on offer you’re sure to find something for even the most difficult people to buy for. So here we take a quick look at some of the best Christmas shopping spots in London worth visiting this winter.

Christmas Markets

London is famous for its many amazing Christmas markets. For example the South Bank Centre Christmas Market is a traditional German-style affair featuring some great wooden chalets. You can enjoy some great mulled wine and festive mince pies as you explore the array of unique hand crafted gifts on offer, which make the perfect individual gifts for friends and family members alike.

christmas shopping1


No London Christmas shopping trip can be complete without a visit to one of London’s most iconic stores, Harrods, which is in many respects a London institution. It’s worth a look round this store just to admire its legendary interiors, even if you don’t actually buy anything, and it has become something of a tradition to visit Harrods to take a look at its amazing winter displays. The store has already been transformed ahead of the festive season, revealing its world famous festive displays, which this year follow the theme of “the land of make believe” and is sure to be a real treat.




If you’re planning on making your London shopping trip a family affair, then a trip to the iconic toy store Hamley’s is a real treat for kids. The store is home to 7 floors to explore with everything from traditional wooden toys to the latest toy trends, and is worth visiting for the experience alone, especially at Christmas time.


Oxford Street

Oxford Street is renowned for being one of the best and biggest shopping streets in London, and when it comes to Christmas shopping there is no better destination. Oxford Street is home to an array of stores, including all your favourites such as House of Frazer, John Lewis and many, many, more so you’re sure to find whatever it is you’re looking for.

oxford street

If you’re planning a Christmas shopping adventure in London and are looking for somewhere to stay then here at the Swinton Hotel we are the perfect choice. We are a cheap Kings Cross B and B located in the heart of London, and are the ideal destination for a restful night’s sleep after a hard days shopping. For more information please do not hesitate to contact us by giving us a call on 020 7837 1451.

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London: A November Guide

London is a great city to visit at any time of the year, and there’s so much to see that often the hardest part can be deciding where to visit first. So here we give our guide to some top picks and November highlights worth visiting in London this November.

Ice Skating

With the growing chill in the air there’s no denying that winter is almost here. A great iconic winter activity is ice skating, and London is home to a number of great ice rinks, indeed you will almost be spoilt for choice. However undoubtedly one of the best venues for ice skating is the Somerset House ice rink which will open later this month .This is a truly magical location and the perfect spot for a bit of winter fun.

Ice skating

The Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red 

This summer saw 888,246 poppies (one for each British fatality during World War I) take up residence at the Tower of London to commemorate the Great War and those who fought and died in it. The poppies are a truly amazing spectacle to behold and it is estimated that as many as 4 million people will have visited the site by the time of its closure. The installation will close following Remembrance Day on the 11th November, so it’s not too late just yet to visit the installation for yourself.


Winter Wonderland

A trip to Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is a great way to get into the festive spirit. The hugely popular festival will be returning again this November and will be opening from the 21st of this month. Winter Wonderland has plenty to offer, from Christmas markets to roller coasters and stunning frozen sculptures, so there’s plenty of fun and entertainment to be had, for adults and children alike. The great thing is entry to Winter Wonderland is free too!

winter wonderland

These are just a few of the many amazing things to see and do in London this November, and there are plenty more for you to discover too. If you’re looking for cheap Kings Cross hotels in London then here at the Swinton Hotel we can help. We are a cheap hotel located in the heart of the city of London in the Kings Cross area. For more information or to speak to a member of our reservations team please do not hesitate to contact us by giving us a call on +44 20 7837 1451.

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WHAT’S ON LONDON: Remember, Remember, The 5th of November

With the autumn evenings growing crisp and cool, there’s no better way to welcome in November than with an abundance of beautiful fireworks, sparkling fun and a good old bonfire or two.

The capital is the perfect place to spend the romantic evening with your lover, or a booze-induced evening with your closest pals – so wrap up warm and head over to one of London’s firework displays for the bonfire season!

Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival – Saturday 1st November 2014

1Alexandra Park

Alexandra Palace will be home once again to one of London’s most popular and appreciated firework displays, providing plenty of fun for the whole family! Alongside the impressive large-scale bonfire show, tickets include entry to the family zone with rides and entertainment for the little’uns, as well as an adult funfair and plenty of street food and craft beer to enjoy! There’s also an indoor ice rink, what more could you want? For more information or to purchase tickets please visit the Alexandra Palace website, but be quick. Tickets are selling out fast!

Lambeth Fireworks Display, Brockwell Park – Wednesday 5th November 2014

2Lords of Lightning

Set to return for its annual firework party, Brockwell Park is sure to host the perfect evening’s entertainment for all. Festival favourites ‘Lords of Lightning’ will perform an exhilarating show, while other attractions include a human Catherine wheel and a giant mechanical menagerie from Emergency Exit Arts! This is sure to be one of the capital’s most creative and artistic bonfire evenings, so come down and enjoy the 20-minute firework display, produced by Titanium (who have also organised London NYE and the Olympic Opening Ceremony). Tickets are £6, but be sure to get down early to avoid disappointment!

Battersea Park Fireworks Display, Battersea Park – Saturday 8th November 2014

3Battersea Park

Enjoy a night of music and colour magic with the annual Battersea Park fireworks display. Hosted by Wandsworth Council, you can expect a perfect family night for all ages! Enjoy choreographed fireworks to magical music, tasty food stalls and plenty of family fun. For more information or to book your tickets please visit the Battersea Park website.

Here at Swinton Hotel, we’re dedicated to enhancing every magical moment you spend in the capital. As a cheap Kings Cross B and B, we provide quality accommodation at affordable prices, and are situated near all transport links and tourist attractions. For more information or to book a room during the wonderful bonfire week – don’t hesitate to get in contact with our friendly team on 020 7837 1451 today!

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A Guide to The Best London Markets

London is famous for its many vibrant and bustling markets, where you can uncover some hidden gems,  and discover another side to the city. So, here we give a quick guide to some of London’s best and most iconic markets, that are a real treat for visitors to the city.

Borough Market

One of London’s oldest and most iconic markets is the unrivalled Borough Market, which is undoubtedly one of the best food destinations in the city. Offering a vast array of delectable delights, Borough Market is home to a fantastic range of some of the best British and international produce available. As such, Borough Market is a haven for food lovers – so if food is your thing, make sure you pay it a visit. A handy tip is to try arriving as early as possible, especially at weekends (the market opens around 8 am) so you can beat the hungry crowds.

market1 Brick Lane Market

Brick Lane Market has grown significantly in recent years and is a place that has a real buzz about it. The market offers an eclectic mix of different stalls where you can find almost anything. Indeed, the stalls here offer all sorts of weird and wonderful products, as well as some great vintage pieces. Brick Lane Market is also a great place for a bargain and is handily located near a number of great food stops, such as Brick Lane’s infamous curry houses.

market2 Covent Garden Market

Covent Garden Market is a great place to find some amazing hidden gems and is, in many respects, a London institution, offering an array of crafts, gifts and much, much more.


Portobello Road Market

Portobello Road has been home to a thriving market since the 1800′s and these days the market here is more popular than ever. Home to numerous stalls offering a wide variety of items from fruit and veg, to antiques and vintage fashion, Portobello is a real experience and a must-see for visitors to the city.

market4 These are just a few of London’s many amazing and iconic markets. If you’re looking for cheap Kings Cross hotels in London then here at the Swinton Hotel we’re 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, including its amazing markets. For further information, or to speak to a member of our reservations team, please don’t hesitate to contact us on +44 (0) 20 7837 1451 and one of our friendly staff will be happy to help.

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