A Tourism Guide: London’s Most Popular Tourist Attractions (Part One)

London has such a massive amount of things to do and see, there is no doubt that there is something to please everyone. Whether you visit in the summer, or you prefer to come at winter, the attractions in London are always open.

It doesn’t matter if you’re visiting London for the first time or you come every month– there are certain attractions that always prove a favourite with everyone (even those that live here!)

With everything that is on offer, it’s not surprising that London is one of the most visited destinations in the world. Read on as we reveal some of London’s most popular tourist attractions!

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Where to Go in London: Parks

With 8.6 million residents, and even more tourists, there aren’t many places in London where you can relax free from the rat race. Thankfully, London is home to some of the best parks the UK has to offer. Whether you’re looking to relax, see some wildlife, or even visit an open-air theatre, you’ll find it all at one of the parks dotted around the capital. Better still, these are homes to some of the most stunning views you can find in London. We’ve pulled together a list of some of the best parks in London, but there are plenty more that haven’t made the cut.

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Hyde Park

A list of London parks would never be complete without Hyde Park, London’s most famous park. Located centrally between Knightsbridge, Mayfair and Bayswater, the 350 acre park has something for everyone. From swimming and boating in the lake to cycling and even skating, Hyde Park offers an enjoyable time whether you are looking for something relaxing or more active. The park hosts more than its fair share of events too, whether it be a gig or an open air theatre.

St. James’s Park

This park has been dubbed by many as London’s best looking park. Surrounded by three royal palaces, the park is home to the famous St. James’s Park pelicans that you can watch being fed at 2.30pm every day, as well as many owls, woodpeckers and bats. You can find plenty of refreshments in the park too, with the contemporary Inn – The Park cafe restaurant serving food from breakfast to dinner. If the stunning views of the wildlife, plants and lake don’t satisfy you, the park also boasts one of the best views of Buckingham Palace.

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Greenwich Park

One of the oldest Royal Parks in London is Greenwich Park, located just south east of the city centre and easily accessible on the Tube. If you’re interested in history then this is the park for you, housing the Royal Observatory, the Prime Meridian Line (which defined the time zones of the world) and the National Maritime Museum. Being on top of a hill, Greenwich Park holds one of the best views of London and the Thames.

Regent’s Park

This park has enough to do to keep you occupied for a whole day. Home to the London Zoo and a boating lake with many species of wild bird and waterfowl, you’ll be able to get you wildlife fix. If sports is more your thing, the park contains the largest outdoor sporting area in London with football, rugby and cricket being played regularly in the summer.

 

Of course, if you’re visiting all these parks you’re going to need a place to stay. Thankfully there is the Swinton Hotel, a luxurious and cheap Kings Cross hotel. We’re just 5 minutes away from Kings Cross, allowing you to hop on a tube and get to any of these stunning parks easily. To check availability for our rooms, book online or call us on 020 7837 1451 and a member of our friendly team will be happy to help you.

 

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WHAT’S ON LONDON: April Highlights 2015

Whatever you find a good time, we can pretty much guarantee that in London, you’ll never be bored or short on fun things to do! As a place that’s got, well, everything, London has always got a jam-packed calendar all year round, and in the summer – it’s calendar is double booked!

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So, as your favourite of London’s King Cross Hotels, we’re here with your monthly guide to the weird, wonderful and be-there happenings in London this April 2015. Enjoy.

Vivienne Westwood: Cut From the Past

When: Showing now until 30th October 2015

Where: Danson House, Bexleyheath

If you’re a lover of the fashion world, we’re sure you’ll already be aware that the Vivienne Westwood exhition is currently on show at London’s breathtakingly ornate Danson House, in a 2015 celebration of eighteenth-century art and design. The exhibition showcases designs and outfits referencing the Rococo paintings of French artists Watteau and Boucher.

Alongside the beautiful garments from the British fashion legend, the show offers pieces loaned from the V&A, as well as a selection of Westwood’s earlier works, including the Cut, Slash and Pull collections.

This exhibition is a must for any art, fashion or design lover! Seriously, this is one not to be missed.

London Original Print Fair

When: 23rd April – 26th April 2015

Where: Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly

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London’s Original Print Fair is the longest running art fair, and is set to return to the Royal Academy for its 29th year with fifty leading print dealers who specialise in everything from Old Masters to contemporary masterpieces. This year, the Royal Collection loan 30 prints to the fair, including works from Raphael and Canaletto, as well as a few prints made by royalty, including Queen Victoria and Print Albert.

Prices range from a few hundred to thousands, but don’t worry! The event is just a fantastic day out for any arty folk, and is the ideal place for any novice who may be looking to start buying art!

London Marathon

When: Sunday 26th April 2015

Where: The Start: Greenwich

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The mammoth 26 mile run is back, and if you aren’t planning on taking part yourself, be sure to show your support for those who are! The London Marathon is a fantastic excuse to get patriotic and soak up the atmosphere by propping up the best spectating spots.

Whether you’d prefer to be on the finish line or showing your support in a nearby pub, bar of cafe – be sure to get involved with this very special and very-London event!

The London Coffee Festival

When: 30th April – 1st May 2015

Where: Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane

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Back for 2015, the London Coffee Festival is the UK’s largest coffee and artisan food event, and celebrates London’s vibrant coffee culture. The event will feature gourmet coffee, speciality tea, artisan food, demonstrations from world-class baristas, live gigs and plenty of seminars that’ll educate everyone – from coffee lover to caffeine fanatic!

If you’re more of a fashionista, head to the Milk & Sugar area for extra fashion, design and food events!

Here at Swinton Hotel, we believe that London is one of the best cities in the world, and as you can see from above – you definitely will not be lost for things to do, whatever time of the year you visit! So, for more information, or to speak to one of our friendly and helpful team – please do not hesitate to contact us on 0207 837 1451 today!

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The Best of London West End Theatre: The Shows You Really Need to Watch (Part One)

London is always an exciting city to visit. There are plenty of things to see and do, which can keep you busy all day, every day!

One of the biggest attractions in London is theatre. There are a hundreds of them around the whole of London, but the biggest and more popular of them are in the West End. This particular group of theatres, 45 in total, are home to some of the most brilliant and fascinating musical shows.

Below, we’ve put together a short guide to some of our favourite musicals, giving a brief synopsis of the show and why you should go see it. There are far too many to talk about them all, so we have split this into two parts. However, we can guarantee that whatever show you choose to go and see, you’ll be talking about it for months later.

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Wicked (Apollo Victoria)

Originating in theatre on New York’s Broadway stage, Wicked opened up its stage doors in London for the first time in 2006 and is set to run until 2016.

This extremely popular musical takes the audience on a magical journey, looking back into the past of the notorious Wicked Witch of the West from the classic story The Wizard of Oz.

We all know the story of how Dorothy survived her time in Oz by beating and destroying the Wicked Witch with a bucket of water. What you don’t know yet, is the background behind Elphaba (The Witch), which includes her family life, childhood and how this led to her destiny of being wicked.

Putting a new perspective on the original story, this musical will make you laugh and cry. It’ll make you view things a different way.

We guarantee that the songs will be stuck in your head for days, if not weeks afterwards.

The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre)

The Lion King is probably the most famous and popular show in the West End. The show has been open in London for 16 years, and has had celebrated record-breaking tours in both the UK and Ireland.

This extraordinary reimagining of one of Disney’s most loved animated films is one that people of all ages will take to their heart.

Characters from the film are brought to life through colourful costumes, breathtaking backdrops and wonderfully catchy songs. Follow Simba the fearless cub as he makes his journey into the unknown on his quest to be king.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Theatre Royal Drury Lane)

A wonderful adaption of one of Roald Dahl’s famous books, this hit musical really brings to life the dark twisted character of Willy Wonka and innocent strong willed nature of young Charlie Bucket.

The show has been running since May 2003 and will be in theatre until June 2016, giving you plenty of time to get it booked!

As with the book, the show tells the story of five golden tickets and the opportunity of a life-time. A particular highlight from the show is seeing the chocolate garden and the mysterious oompa-loompas brought to life straight from your own imagination.

London Theatre, Queen's Theatre

 

If you want to take advantage of what London theatre has to offer and you’re looking for affordable hotels in London then we can help. We offer cheap Kings Cross hotels, located just 5 minutes from Kings Cross Station, where you can hop a tube to the West End, a mere 5 minutes away.

You can check availability for our rooms and  book online or call us on 020 7837 1451 and a member of staff will be happy to help you.

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THINGS TO DO IN LONDON THIS EASTER

There is always plenty to see and do in London, and it seems that this Easter will be no exception. With the Easter holidays fast approaching, many parents will be wondering what they can do with their children to keep them entertained. Or maybe you’ve decided to head down to London with a loved one or some friends, and are wondering what new and exciting things you can experience during your week. Even if you live in London but want to do something different during the Easter period, then there’s sure to be something on for everyone.

Here is a quick rundown of what’s happening in London over Easter.

Death by Chocolate – London Dungeons (Up until Sunday April 12th_)

The London Dungeons have put their own scary twist on Easter this year by introducing a new Victorian sweet shop that offers up lots of colourful sweets and chocolate for the visitors. Whilst this might sound like a good thing, you must be warned that all confectionary are made with poison, so eat at your own risk! (Okay, so not real poison, but it’s fun for the kids!)

The Roof Gardens (Sunday April 5th)

If you fancy something different this Easter, then head down to The Roof Gardens on Easter Sunday for fun for the whole family. Set across 1.5 acres of greenery, it’s something different away from the hustle and bustle. Children can enjoy a chocolate Easter egg hunt with an egg-cellent prize for the winner! And parents, don’t feel left out; you can sit back and enjoy one of the Easter-themed cocktails whilst you watch the hunt going on!

Discover a Country Fair at River Lee Country Park (Sunday 5th April – Monday 6th April)

This two-day country fair offers plenty of fun for all the family! There’s huge array of events happening over the two days to keep everyone involved. There are several different animal shows throughout the weekend, including a live birds of prey show, a dog show and even a unique chance to bottle-feed lambs during a goat exhibition. (The children will love this one!) Other points of interest include motorcycle stunts, arts and crafts displays and plenty of food and drink stalls!

Egg Hunt at Selfridges (Thursday April 2nd – Sunday April 4th)

Easter wouldn’t be Easter without a good old-fashioned Easter egg hunt! Taking place across the fourth floor of the huge department store, children are invited to search for chocolate eggs in a race to see who can find the most. It’s free to join in and makes a perfect afternoon activity for parents to take their little ones.

Visit a chocolate shop (All year ‘round)

Everyone loves chocolate, and Easter is the perfect excuse to go visit some of London’s fabulous chocolate shops. We can’t name them all as we’d be here all day, but some of the ones that we do recommend are: Choccywoccydoodah, Melt, Rococo Chocolates and Artisan Du Chocolat. With every kind of chocolate you can think of and those you’ve never heard of, these chocolate heavens have something for everyone.

If you’re looking for great Kings Cross Hotels, then we’re the perfect choice, located just 5 minutes from Kings Cross Station. You can check availability for our rooms and book online or call us on  020 7837 1451 and a member of staff will be happy to help you.

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