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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


 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!)


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


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!


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


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.


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


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.


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!

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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)


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!


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 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


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

platform 934

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

Black Books

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


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


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.


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.


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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Three Must-See Sights of London

The capital is a hectic and busy place, with literally hundreds – or thousands – of things to see and do. If you’re travelling for a short break, you may find it difficult to choose what to see and what to miss out on – but if you’re pressed for time these three quintessential sights of London are a good place to start!

St Paul’s Cathedral


The dome of St Paul’s is one of the most famous images of London. It’s so important, in fact, that views of the cathedral from various vantage points around the city are protected, limiting development of tall buildings within these sightlines so that you’ll always get a clear view.

Big Ben & the Houses of Parliament


One of the most recognisable sights of the city, the Palace of Westminster – and for ceremonial purposes it is indeed still a royal palace – is not a sight to be missed. Interestingly, although many people refer to the clock tower as “Big Ben” it is in fact called the Elizabeth Tower – Big Ben is the name of the bell within.

Piccadilly Circus

 Ballet of Change

When people talk about the “bright lights of the city” surely it’s Piccadilly Circus that comes to mind, with its iconic illuminated signs – it’s the heart of an exciting area of the city, by day or night, with shops, clubs and theatres all around.

If you can’t make it to all the sights of London, or if you’d like a preview of what’s in store when you come, this beautiful time-lapse video offers a wonderful insight into the city.

London from Louis Theodossiou on Vimeo.

Whatever you choose to see or do when you’re in the capital, staying at a London Kings Cross hotel gives you an excellent base. This area puts you within easy reach of both main line rail and tube links, it’s convenient for bus routes and ideal for those driving in, as it’s right at the border of the congestion charging zone so that you can easily park your car outside the boundary and use the excellent public transport to get around. For more information on our hotel, to check availability or to make a booking, call us on 020 7837 1451 today.

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What’s on in London this June?

Field Day

Saturday the 7th to Sunday the 8th of June


Over the last few years Field Day has become one of the best festivals in London, including the UK’s  best alternative acts, ranging from pop and indie rock to underground dance and folk musicians. Headlining the festival this year is American alternative rock band The Pixies, with other acts including; Metronomy, Jamie XX, The Horrors, Temples, Pond, Drenge, Neneh Cherry, Sky Ferreira, The Temper Trap, Warpaint, East India Youth, Erol Alkan/Daniel Avery, and many more! Please note that Field Day is not a camping festival, and all attendees will be asked to leave the site at the end of the event, being 11pm. Tickets for Field Day are priced at £45 for Saturday, £38.50 for Sunday, and £73.50 for the whole weekend.


Dogs Unite for Guide Dogs

Saturday the 14th of June


Animal lovers and dog owners alike will enjoy the Dogs Unite charity dog walk in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, with all proceeds going to guide dog charities. The event promises dog shows, demonstrations, Scruffts heats and opportunities to meet some super guide dogs and their trainers – there will even be a few surprise celebrities and their canine companions. Plus, each participating pup will receive a superhero cape and a goody bag!


Trooping the Colour: The Queen’s Birthday Parade

Saturday the 14th of June


Are you a proud patriot? You can watch the Queen’s Birthday parade along the Mall, or from the edge of St James’s Park for free! This patriotic pageantry doesn’t take place on Her Majesty’s actual birthday (which is on April 21), but on her official birthday, a Saturday in June more likely to provide decent weather for the proceedings. Take a picnic, take your camera, and take your Union Jack memorabilia!

If you are looking for hotels in Kings Cross from which to tour these fantastic events, please do not hesitate to contact Swinton Hotels at +44 20 7837 1451.


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Father’s Day in London: Treat Your Dad on a Budget!



On Sunday the 15th of June Britain will celebrate and honour fathers and paternal figures alike. If you think your father will appreciate a change from the trusted combination of a new tie and pair of socks, there is plenty to do in our vivacious and diverse capital city. Don’t let the recession stop you from treating your dad to a well deserved break, as there are many free events and attractions in London. Plus, if you’re looking for cheap London hotels, look no further than the Swinton Hotel!  Read on to see what you could treat yourself, your family and your father to this Father’s Day.


Until Sunday the 27th of July you can enjoy free access to American artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel’s new exhibition, ‘Every Angel has a Dark Side’. Famous for his ‘plate painting’s (large-scale paintings set on broken ceramic plates), Schnabel’s exhibition is on show at the Dairy Art Centre, which is a ten-minute walk from both King’s Cross station and the Swinton Hotel (bonus!)

Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK

Are you or your dad avid comic book aficionados? Why not take a trip to the British Library and see an exhibition which features  some of the biggest names in comics, including work from Alan Moore (‘Watchmen’, ‘V for Vendetta’), Neil Gaiman (‘Sandman’), Mark Millar (‘Kick-Ass’) and Grant Morrison (‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’).  The exhibition runs until Tuesday the 19th of August.


If your dad is into sport, why not take him to one of London’s sport museums? There’s the Chelsea Football Club Museum, where alongside all the history, you can enjoy many child-friendly, interactive exhibits. A great choice for tennis fans is the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum and Tour, and for rugby fans there is the World Rugby Museum at Twickenham (which includes a visit to the England changing room!) Dads who love cricket will enjoy a trip round the Marylebone Cricket Club Museum at Lord’s Cricket Ground where you can trace 400 years of cricket history. As well as the static displays, this museum includes footage of some of cricket history’s greatest moments in the Brian Johnston Memorial Theatre. Sporty dads may also enjoy the Arsenal Museum, which includes a visit to the changing rooms, director’s box and players’ tunnel.

Food and Drink

Treat dad to a delicious meal, or a drink, at one of London’s gorgeous riverside pubs. The Dove at Hammersmith is in the Guinness Book of Records for having the smallest bar in Britain. It serves highly recommended food and beer, and is extremely popular because of this. Located on South Bank there is the Anchor Bankside pub, conveniently situated between Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and Sir Francis Drake’s world-famous ship, The Golden Hinde. The Anchor Bankside was originally built in 1615, and has a terrace bar overlooking the river Thames. For a more modern vibe, there is The Narrow, Gordon Ramsey’s riverside gastro pub, which has been called one of the most picturesque pubs in London.  The Narrow is located on the river at Limehouse, with panoramic views of the Thames river.

Wait… There’s More!

On Sunday the 15th of June, you can take your dad on a trip he can really boast about, with a climb up to The O2′s 52m-high viewing platform. Got a dad who loves to garden? Why not take him to some of the 200 private gardens opening their gates to the public, at the Open Garden Squares weekend on Saturday the 14th and Sunday the 15th of June. Is your dad a history buff? Why not take a trip down to the Waterloo Festival at Hyde Park on the weekend of Father’s Day, where you can relive the drama of the Napoleonic War and come face to face with Wellington’s Troops at this Apsley House festival, all for less than £10!

There are so many diverse and engaging events suitable for a Father’s Day treat in London. If you’re travelling to the capital for one of these fantastic events and are looking for cheap London hotels, please don’t hesitate to contact the Swinton Hotel by telephone at +44 20 7837 or by email at

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