Have a Cracking Easter Weekend in London 2014

London is a fantastic place to visit throughout the year but it gets even better this Easter weekend! So instead of spending the eating all your (or your children’s) Easter eggs, why not enjoy an extra long Easter weekend in London? There really is something for everyone to enjoy whether you’re on your own, a couple or have a family. Read on to find out all about excellent Easter activities that are taking place in the capital this year.

Ducklings at WWT London Wetland Centre - 5th April 2014 to 21st April 2014

If you’re after something cute and cuddly make sure that you head to the WWT London Wetland Centre where you will learn all about the life of a duckling. You’ll get to meet some truly adorable ducklings and even make your own duckling inspired crafts!

Berwick St Record Store Day – 19th April

All of the independent record stores and retailers of Berwick Street Soho are joining together to provide an exciting (and free!) outdoor gig. 7 artists will perform on the main stage and visitors can take advantage of an array of activities throughout the day. This is a place that all music lovers must visit.

Horniman Easter Fair – 19th April – 20th April

The Horniman Easter fair hosted by the Horniman Museum & Gardens is to be an extremely exciting event full of Easter egg hunts, arts and craft stalls, and a band stand bunny hop dance. With free entry it is a fantastic place to take the family or visit with your friends. You’ll certainly come away from this event feeling cheery!

Feast of St George – 21st April

On Easter Monday, you can enjoy the feast of St George in Trafalgar Square. This event includes; traditional English feasting, live music, entertainment, Morris dancing, juggling and more! If you’re a food lover you should certainly head to this festival as you will find an array of street food stalls and cookery demonstrations!

Go on, get down to London this Easter weekend, there is so much to see, do and experience! So if you are looking for Kings Cross hotels, here at the Swinton Hotel we can offer you high quality rooms at affordable prices – be quick though we have limited availability. London is a truly exciting place to visit, so whenever you choose to visit you certainly won’t be disappointed.

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3 of London’s Best ‘Secret’ Attractions

quiet

Whether you have visited London a hundred times before or are considering your first glimpse into the nation’s capital, this city still has the capability to amaze you. There are thousands of attractions, from Big Ben to London Zoo, which will provide you with hours of entertainment. However, there are a lesser-known set of attractions that really let you see under the veil, and discover the hidden treasures of London. With years of experience when providing Kings Cross hotels to those that have explored the city, we thought we would highlight some of our favourites:

St Mary’s Secret Garden

Often described as a peaceful oasis, St Mary’s Secret Garden is around 0.7 acres in size, and has four interlinked areas which include natural woodland, food growing, herb and sensory gardening, and an area of herbaceous borders. You can attend therapeutic sessions in this garden, and flower shows are also held at St Mary’s.

Chislehurst Caves

With tours available for adults, children and seniors alike, Chislehurst Caves are a great place to spend the day. There is no need to book a place, as tours of this cave take place every hour.  The caves at Chislehurst are a labyrinth of tunnels which come with hundreds of years of stories, including tales of smuggling and murder. The guides at Chislehurst Caves are passionate about what they do, and you won’t fail to be impressed by the facts you find out. Also, be sure to look out for Chalky, the cave cat.

The Women’s Library

The Women’s Library is Britain’s main resource on women and the women’s movement, focusing primarily on Britain in the 19th and 20th century. There are many fascinating archives held here, including those of Emily Faithful, Elspeth Howe and Maude Royden to name only a few. The printed collection of the Women’s Library contains over 60,000 books and pamphlets, and over 3,500 periodical titles.

The museum inside this library has over 5,000 items, including at least 100 suffrage banners. Even if you only have a passing interest in the suffragettes, this fascinating museum is well worth a look.

Whichever ‘secret’ attraction you choose, you’re sure to discover a whole new world of amusement beyond the established norm of tourist attractions. One extra element that these locations all have in common is that they are off the tourist route, and are therefore much quieter; no long queues, no large crowds, just you and some of the city’s best hidden gems…

As a base to visit these great places, you should consider booking a room at The Swinton Hotel. Our hotel is conveniently located near the train station, underground and bus station. To book a room call us today on 020 7837 1451.

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A Day Out at London Zoo will be a Roaring Success

If you are coming down to London for Easter, the May half term holiday or simply as a weekend treat, there is so much to see and do in London, and you don’t have to travel far to reach the capital’s top attractions and many exhilarating days out. If you are visiting London with family, friends or even as a couple, one of the best attractions is just north of our hotel in Regents Park: London Zoo is an unmissable experience, and the recent birth of three new tiger cubs makes it even more worthwhile.

Join the Cub Fanclub at London Zoo
In February, five-year-old Sumatran tigress Melati gave birth to three healthy and adorable cubs. The cubs spent the first few weeks of their life being carefully nurtured by their mum, but yesterday, just in time for Mother’s Day, the three cubs made their way outside for the first time. After taking a cautious few steps outside, the three baby tigers were soon enjoying their new play area with some encouraging nudges from their mother. The cubs haven’t yet been given names as their gender is still unknown, but according to zoo keeper Teague Stubbington they have nicknames based on their personalities.

Explore a World Full of Wildlife
london tiger
Although it isn’t guaranteed that you will spot the three tiger cubs, they are now officially allowed into “Tiger Territory”, so it is worth a visit to spot them and they will be visible far more frequently the more they grow. Aside from the tigers, London Zoo offers 17 other exhibits, including the amazing indoor rainforest; monkey kingdom, where you come up close and personal with cheeky black-capped squirrel monkeys; the adventurous gorilla tracking trail and, from Easter onwards, you can meet the adorable pygmy hippos in their new enclosure in the “Into Africa” exhibit. There is something for everyone at London Zoo; from seeing your favourite animal to watching an amazing live animal show where certain species get to show off their moves. Visit www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo for more information and tickets.

Stay in a Top London Hotel
When you’re having a trip away to the capital, you want to save as much money as possible to do the things you want to do; such as visiting attractions and eating out. Swinton Hotel is one of the best cheap London hotels, offering good value rooms without compromising on quality and comfort. Single standard rooms start at just £54 a night, and double basic standard rooms start at £69 a night. We are wonderfully located just off Gray’s Inn Road; a five minute walk from Kings Cross Train station and the nearest underground. This is a perfect base for attractions like The British Museum, The National Gallery, Camden town and, of course, London Zoo. If you do fancy mingling with monkeys and playing with penguins at the zoo, then simply hop on a Northern line tube to Camden and you can be at the zoo in 15 minutes.

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Make London Your Mother’s Day Treat

It’s difficult to know exactly what to get your mother for mother’s day. Buying her flowers is thoughtful and sentimental, but if you have got her flowers for the past few years then the novelty of this could begin to wear off. As Mother’s Day is an extra special day, why not treat her to a few days in London by booking a room at the Swinton Hotel? You could arrange a room for your mother and father, or if you don’t want to miss the fun you could go with her for some quality time.

There are many things you can do that have ‘Mum appeal’ in London, including:

West End Show

With a variety of exciting shows available to watch in the West End, from Billy Elliot and The Bodyguard to Mamma Mia and The Commitments, you will surely find a show that your mother will remember for years to come. If you would like to see what is on at the West End then click here.

Kensington Palace

Treat your mother to an afternoon at Kensington Palace. This grand building has beautiful gardens that are perfect for springtime strolls, and there is a Georgian-style tea party in Kensington Palace’s restaurant. It is open 7 days a week all year round, except between 24th – 26th December.

Shopping

It goes without saying that London is renowned for its shopping. There really is no better way to show your mother how special she is to you than by taking her round Oxford Street, Camden and Bond Street. For more information on these areas, please look at a previous blog we have written titled ‘3 Sensational Shopping Spots in London’.

Bars

As this is a special time of the year, it is well worth arranging a visit to a champagne bar. The champagne bars in London are elegant, impressive and have extremely friendly staff. After a day of shopping the delicious champagne will be the perfect complement.

If you are looking for Kings Cross Hotels for a mother’s day treat, you can book a room at the Swinton Hotel. Call us on 020 7837 1451; our rooms are comfortable, attractive and modern, not to mention the fact that they are extremely affordable.

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Top Family-Friendly Days Out in London

If you and your family live outside the capital, then London is one place you should take the kids whilst they’re still young enough to appreciate the amazing history, and also the magical royal connections of places like The Tower of London and Buckingham Palace, as well as the joy of seeing animals in zoos and the sheer delight of playing in parks. Children appreciate the smaller things in life, so take them to London in the school holidays and feel the reward when their faces light up at the fun attractions on offer. Here we have picked the 5 most unmissable places to go with the kids.

Tower of London

There’s nowhere like the Tower of London to set your child’s imagination alight. This world famous tower was home to famous prisoners such as Sit Thomas More, Anne Boleyn and various traitorous royals. Your children can read about the stories of the tower, as well as making up their own stories. You can catch a glimpse of the gleaming crown jewels, discover the variety of animals that lived in the tower and be enchanted by actors dressed as historical characters. Free children’s packs are available at the welcome centre, which also includes treasure trails and activities.

Nearest train station: Tower Hill Underground

 

Hackney City Farm

You wouldn’t think it, but hidden among the urban sprawl there are several farms in London. Hackney hackney sity farmCity farm is one of the largest and most vibrant. It is free to visit and you can view and pet a variety of cuddly creatures including lambs, donkeys, chickens, geese, pigs and goats. Hackney City Farm often has events to raise money for the farm, and they also run classes such as making mosaics and pottery which are great fun for the family. It’s best to ring before you visit to see what’s on.

Nearest train station: Hoxton Overground or National Rail

 

Science Museum

science museumThe Science Museum makes for an amazing and cheap family day out. This museum has interactive displays, simulators to ride in, games, videos and an incredible 3D IMAX cinema. Not only will your little ones have bundles of fun, but they will also learn plenty and you’ll be inspired too! Explore decades of science and technology development on seven floors, with topics ranging from human psychology to space exploration. Guided tours of certain floors are available, so check with staff on arrival.

Nearest train station: South Kensington Underground

 

Holland Park

This is the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s largest park. It covers 22 hectares and incorporates gardens, greenhouses, a huge children’s play area, cafe and woodland which is abundant with wildlife. There is also a beautifully landscaped Japanese garden, and areas to play sports such as tennis, golf and football. Children will love the adventure playground which has swings, large climbing frames, mini climbing walls and an aerial zip wire. Why not make a day of it and take a picnic?

Nearest train station: Kensington High Street Underground

 

Staying in London with the family doesn’t have to be expensive; if you’re looking for cheap London hotels then we have comfortable rooms of varying sizes, some even with access to a courtyard garden. We have family rooms and triple rooms available, but hurry because they get booked up quickly!

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3 Sensational Shopping Spots in London

London is a superb destination for shopping, and it doesn’t matter what your budget or tastes are, as there is always something for everyone to enjoy! Of course any successful shopping adventure requires a little planning, so we’re going to use our knowledge of London to share the best shopping spots in this amazing city. You will find everything from independent vintage stores to high street stores and even high end designer-wear. So read on and start planning your shopping spree today.

Oxford Street

London 1

When you visit London you must head to Oxford Street, here you will find an array of all the best known department stores such as Debenhams and Selfridges. Oxford Street is truly the heart of London shopping, there are over 300 stores here ranging designer outlets to all the high street favourites.

Closest Underground Stations: Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court and Bond Street

Camden 

London 2

Camden is the place to visit if you desire something a little bit different. In Camden passage, you will find a range of independent boutiques in addition to vintage stores – you’ll definitely find something unique here. Camden Lock Market is an incredibly exciting place to visit, and is overflowing with items you won’t find anywhere else. You won’t just find clothes but arts, crafts and jewellery too! The markets get busy though, so do be aware of this.

Closest Underground Stations:  Camden Town, Chalk Farm and Morning Crescent

Bond Street

London 3

If you’re into designer fashion then you must head to Bond Street, even if it’s just to have a browse. Here you will find all of the biggest names in the fashion world, including Burberry, Chanel Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co and many more! You really will feel like a superstar when you head to London’s most exclusive and luxurious shopping destination.

Closest Underground Stations:  Oxford Circus, Green Park and Bond Street

Head to London and go on a shopping spree! Make sure that you check out the above locations, as you won’t get a better shopping experience anywhere else in the country. Kings Cross the perfect base camp in central London for your shopping extravaganza, as it is close to all the major public transport networks. So if you’re looking for Kings Cross hotels then make sure that you choose Swinton Hotel. We offer comfortable, attractive and affordable rooms so that you can get the best out of your London adventure. Reserve your room today by heading to our booking page.

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Shows to Keep Your Calendar Free For

hotel outside view

 

From the very beginning of civilization, the theatre has helped us discover and understand ourselves. This philosophy when analysing theatre is still relevant in this modern era, as going to the theatre can entertain, enthuse and move us. Over the coming months, London has a rich array of plays that are exciting critics and audiences alike. You could make a weekend of it by booking accommodation at the Swinton Hotel, a renowned London Kings Cross Hotel, and watching one of the following plays:

Twelve Angry Men

The play ‘Twelve Angry Men’ is being shown at the Garrick Theatre, and it stars Martin Shaw, Jeff Fahey, Nick Moran and Robert Vaughn as jurors. They have a life in their hands as they have to decide whether a young delinquent is guilty of killing his father. If you have served on a jury then, even though this was originally written in the 1950s, you will still recognise and empathise with the characters. This could be down to the fact that the administration of justice has many similarities to the theatre. This neat drama will resonate and linger with you well after the end of the last act.

Let The Right One In

The Apollo Theatre is going to reopen with the National Theatre of Scotland’s ‘Let The Right One In’. This play is based on the famous novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, and has already been shown on the big screen on two separate occasions.

The play adaptation tells the story of a teenage boy who lives next door to a mysterious girl. Some unexplained killings begin to take place, which have the characteristics of a vampire’s attack. It is a much anticipated show, as the book was a bestseller and both movies were successes. A tale of love and revenge and loneliness, rather than horror and gore, you won’t be disappointed with this drama.

play tgeatre

The Mousetrap

Arguably one of the most famous plays in England, ‘The Mousetrap’ is a classic ‘whodunit’ from the pen of Agatha Christie. Shown at The St Martin’s Theatre, the plot is centred around a group of people who are trapped in a hotel because of heavy snow. A policeman arrives and warns all the guests that there is a killer on the loose. When one of the hotel guests is murdered, it becomes apparent that one of the murderers is staying at the hotel; but who did it?

This nail biting journey will take you by surprise in true Christie fashion. You will be on the edge of your seat watching this absorbing affair. If you want to know the secret of The Mousetrap, then book your tickets as soon as possible.

 

Jeeves and Wooster

Is PG Wodehouse the funniest writer that ever lived? He certainly gives the likes of Woody Allen and Stephen Fry a run for their money. This adaptation of Wodehouse’s ‘The Code of the Woosters’ at the Duke of York’s Theatre illustrates why his reputation is unsurpassed. The show stars Matthew Macfadyen and Stephen Mangan, who flawlessly bring to life Bertie and his inimitable butler Jeeves. This play has plenty of hilarious situations and perfect nonsense that will delight audiences of all ages.

Give yourself the complete London experience by exploring its sights and visiting its shops as well as watching a play. We always have cheap hotel rooms for you, which will be the perfect base, located just a five minute walk away from King’s Cross station. If you would like more information then call us on 020 7837 1451, and one of our members of staff will be more than happy to assist you.

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March Events – London, 2014

London is one of the most wonderful cities in the world, and March’s list of upcoming events promises to provide a month brimming with excitement. If you’re looking for a weekend or a week away, then head to London; you can experience art, culture, science, history and more within this bustling metropolis. So, if you’re looking to visit London here are a few of the many events that you can look forward to this March.

Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) – 04/03/2014

In London, Pancake Day is more than a day to indulge in everyone’s favourite flat food; here you can experience the excitement of the Pancake Day races that have become a tradition in London. Participants have to try to flip pancakes in a pan whilst completing the course (usually for charity). It is fantastic to be a part of, and extremely fun to watch!

Ideal Home Show – 14/03/2014

The Ideal Home Show is a place where you can dream of the finer things in life. It is a favourite place to visit for homeowners all across the country and has been going for over 100 years. Interior design and decor experts can provide you with advice on how to make your home look sensational. Even if you can’t afford anything, it is a great day out where you can let your imagination run wild.

St Patricks Day – 17/03/2014

The St Patricks Day festival (16th March) and parade (17th March) that takes place in Trafalgar Square and throughout London is incredible. You will see marching bands, floats, street theatre and more; so it is certainly an experience that you won’t forget in a hurry. Anyone of any age can enjoy the festivities where all 32 Irish counties are represented – plus it’s free!

The Head of the River Race – 29/03/2014

For sports enthusiasts, or those who want to experience something entirely traditional, there is the Head of the River Race that takes place from Mortlake to Putney. Hundreds of boats head to this event to take part in this incredible, invigorating race. The race started in 1926, and is a truly unforgettable experience.

So, if you’re looking for the perfect getaway this March, then head to London. For fantastic Kings Cross hotels, look no further than Swinton Hotel; with our central location, along with a comfortable and classy interior, you are guaranteed a wonderful stay in England’s fabulous capital city. To make an enquiry or to place a booking, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.

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London: A Remarkable City to Visit

According to recent news in the Telegraph, London has now become the most visited destination place in the entire world. A surge in tourism last summer has resulted in the capiTower_Bridge_London_Feb_2006tal being officially named as the favourite haunt for such sightseers, and this success is rendered even more noteworthy in the aftermath of the Olympics. One might think that the heightened atmosphere of the Olympics would have been hard to match in more ‘normal’ circumstances. However, the 4.9 million visitors who frequented London over the summer of 2013 actually bettered the milestone set in the Olympic year by almost 20%.

This specific popularity has been attributed to factors such as the birth of the new Prince George, the prolonged good weather in summer 2013 and Andy Murray’s historic Wimbledon triumph. Attractions like the Tower of London, the National Gallery and St. Paul’s cathedral have been performing particularly well, although other forms of entertainment, such as West End shows, have also heavily contributed towards this boom in London’s appeal. It is not only British residents who are spending more money there either, as overseas spending in London also rose by 5% when compared to the equivalent figures in 2012.

The London Mayor, Boris Johnson, has expressed his enthusiasm over the recent appeal that London is commanding as a destination site; proudly dubbing it ‘the greatest city on the planet’. Observers are already looking towards the future with regards to tourism figures, and events such as the opening of the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park and the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth are being viewed as major selling points for 2014. Clearly, the fascination with London is anything but fleeting.

With fresh attractions consistently on offer there has never been a better time to start planning your visit to the UK capital. Any tourist in London requires a reliable place to staLondon_Eye_Twilight_April_2006y, and here at the Swinton Hotel we are ideally situated to form a base for any excursion into London; particularly for those wishing for easy access to a Kings Cross tourist attraction. This area of London includes renowned sights such as the British Library, Oxford Street and a multitude of music, theatrical and restaurant facilities, so there are few better areas to begin your exploration of the city. If you’re looking for cheap hotels in London that still retain an exemplary reputation, you’ll not find better than the services on offer at the Swinton Hotel. Please do not hesitate to call us on +44 207 837 14 51 to find out more.

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Plan your perfect London weekend

London is one of the most exciting cities in the whole of Europe and possesses a charm that is all its own; no other city in the world is even similar to London, and its unique charm draws tourists from all over the world. The fast pace of London and the fact that there is always something to do ensures that nobody is ever disappointed with a trip to the nation’s capital, and people can always find something enjoyable to keep them occupied. There are three main categories that trips to London fall into, and 2014 is shaping up to be a stellar year for all of them.

London’s theatres are world famous for providing the best quality entertainment to visitors; and many of the theatres, such as the Apollo and Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, are renowned as some of the best theatres in the world. Whatever type of theatre you choose to see, be it a musical or Marlow matinee, London is sure to have the thing for you. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre recently announced its 2014 season, included are classics such as ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ and lesser performed but equally enthralling plays such as ‘Titus Andronicus’. If you do not want to deal with Shakespeare’s brilliant but often heavy work, then any of London’s famous musicals such as Mamma Mia and the Lion King are sure to give you a night to remember.

There are literally thousands of other attractions that people flock to London to enjoy, including such world famous attractions as The London Dungeons, the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace. These are great attractions that always draw a crowd. One of London’s most popular attractions is London Zoo, and 2014 promises to be another huge year with over 750 different species of animals present; so you are always going to see something new and surprising.

If you have a spare day left in London then there is one more category that London is a world leader in; namely shopping. Whether it is Oxford Street or Saville Row you are sure to find that perfect item (or the perfect 10 items) for you or a loved one. People flock from all over Britain and even further afield to explore the incredible variety of shopping that London offers, and you will never be disappointed with a shopping trip to London.

Here at the Swinton Hotel we understand that London is a constant draw and strive to help people to explore this great city. We provide accommodation in Kings Cross for those that want the perfect base to explore this amazing city. If you are planning a trip to London in 2014 then why not visit our bookings page and make sure you get the perfect hotel booked for your trip.

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