For many visitors to London, its iconic buildings and history provide the real draw to the city. Others make the trip to experience the amazing theatres and cultural venues or for the sensationally famous shopping venues. These reasons make absolute sense, as our great capital can provide the tourist with a plethora of world class attractions, unlike any others on the planet.
What most visitors don’t realise, however, is that hidden within London’s streets and often amongst the concrete, steel and glass buildings, lay a wealth of activities and attractions which are far less synonymous with this richly diverse capital city. With London’s vibrancy and hustle and bustle, it’s very easy to forget about the natural world and all its four-legged, tailed, and winged inhabitants.
So this month we have decided to go ‘animal crazy’! We’ll be recommending a range of animal-filled venues for you to visit in our comprehensive guide to London’s furry friends. We’re certain you’ll be surprised by the amount that London has to offer for animal lovers. And whether you prefer your creatures cute and cuddly or large and pungent, with the Easter holidays just around the corner, it makes the ideal time to visit these ‘animal gems’! There is definitely something for everyone, young and old. So go on- get out and try a few!
London Wetland Centre - Queen Elizabeth's Walk, Barnes
Meet some wildlife superstars and experience some of nature's most exciting animals at this acclaimed centre in West London. With hundreds of exotic swans, ducks and geese ready to greet you, along with four reservoirs, built in the Victorian era, home to colourful wading birds, bats, otters, frogs and newts, wildlife watching in the six hides has never been so much fun. With panoramic views of the reserve from the observatory, the wetland centre has something for everyone. Join the daily spotlight sessions to discover which bird has remained almost unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs. A real gem, not to be missed!
London Aquarium- County Hall, Riverside Building, Bridge Road
If you’ve ever fancied entering into the world of jellyfish, or feel like diving in and meeting friendly rays, then this is the place for you. Alternatively, watch fearsome creatures like crocodiles and piranhas behind glass. Or brace yourself for a thrilling polar adventure, where you’ll have an interactive experience with friendly life sized seals. So come and immerse yourselves in a wealth of creepy crawlies and other strange creatures, all a mere stones-throw from Big Ben!
Covering 2500 acres, this national nature reserve is London's largest site of special scientific interest and a European special area of conservation. It is home to a large population of over 600 red and fallow deer, easily visible throughout the year. A top UK site for ancient trees, the park supports a range of rare species including fungi, birds, beetles, bats, grasses and wildflowers. Explore the woodland garden at the Isabella Plantation. Whilst there why not try power kiting, horse riding or golf? Or you could hire a bike for some off-road cycling along the Tamsin Trail. An ideal choice for families!
Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium- Bethnal Green E2 6DG
Britain’s first cat café offers customers (over the age of 12) relaxation with a brew, spending time cuddling a range of furry feline rescue cats. Based on a Tokyo model, this unconventional café is certain to be popular here too. Booking in advance is essential, as guest numbers are kept low so as not to disturb the resident cats. A cat lover’s paradise!
Cafe & Tearoom - Hampstead Heath
For a great alfresco spot, this is a place that’s hard to beat. Arm yourself with a picnic for swimming, cruising or wildlife spotting. Located 6kms from Trafalgar Square, this is one of London's most popular open spaces. With superb countryside, this magical place is rich in both wildlife and other recreational activities, such as a lido, sports track and three swimming pools. Nearby, Golders Hill Park Zoo offers free entry and has a range of both exotic and more familiar animals. These include ring-tailed lemurs, coatis and eagle owls.
Natural History Museum- Kensington
For a free family day out where you can experience hands-on science and dinosaurs, to blue whales and even sleepovers, there's something for everyone here, within London’s heartland. The museum boasts a huge collection of bugs- with extraordinary butterfly specimens, spiders and other insects on display. A host of exhibitions and attractions, such as ‘Museum Lates’ and ‘Dino Snores’ (fees for these), add unforgettable experiences to this superb attraction.
Rainforest Café (Piccadilly Circus)
This uniquely themed restaurant is designed as a recreated Amazonian jungle. Enjoy drinks on animal bar stools in the mushroom-themed bar or dine, surrounded by fabulous rainforest animals, including orangutans, mechanical butterflies and crocs. Typical rainforest thunder and lightning storms and waterfalls add to the atmosphere. You’ll certainly be captivated by this Amazonian delight!
Hackney City Farm- 1a Goldsmiths Row
This City Farm houses a range of pigs, sheep, calves, chickens, donkeys, geese and guinea pigs, to name but a few. There are gardening courses for anyone interested in sustainability. Offering both children and adults the opportunity to get up close to these farmyard friends, you’ll even learn new skills like planting vegetables, to live a healthier, happier life.
Spitalfields City Farm(Spitalfields)
Run by volunteers and under a mile from the financial district, this 1.3 acre farm is home to a variety of pigs, ducks, geese, donkeys, rabbits, goats, sheep, chickens, ponies and even ferrets! There are also a variety of lush, green areas to while away an hour or two.
Battersea Park Children's Zoo
For hours of fun with the children and for a smaller, but cheaper alternative to London Zoo, there's a world of enjoyment at this zoo. From spying on meerkats in a secret lookout to feeding the farm animals, there’s a wealth of things to do. With a superb adventure playground featuring a real tractor/fire engine along with a host of animals to see including monkeys, snakes, donkeys, lemurs, parrots, emus, chipmunks, and wallabies, it's a great family day out. The zoo partners with global conservation projects, so funds contribute directly to breeding programmes for endangered species.
London Zoo (Regent’s Park)
Possibly the most famous zoo in the world! Opened in 1828, it’s been part of the London scene for nearly 200 years. With over 750 animal species to take in and 19,000 individual animals, the newly opened ‘Tiger Territory’, housing 2 critically-endangered Sumatran tigers, allows you to see for yourself the amazing work that goes on here. There’s also a variety of unique events to make your visit even more memorable. These include a ‘bedbugs sleepover’ or ‘being a zookeeper’ for the day.
So there you have it… a comprehensive, yet not exhaustive list of London attractions with our furry friends in mind. Animal lovers will certainly be in their element. So get out there and explore London’s ‘wild side!’
Some ‘Purrfect’ venues here! If you want to make your stay an extended one to perhaps combine a few of these amazing experiences, then let Euracom find the ideal serviced apartment for you.
Here are our 3 featured apartments for this month.
Commercial Road serviced apartments London E1
These self-catering serviced apartments are ideally suited for both business visitors and leisure travellers alike. Tastefully furnished in a contemporary style, with personal touches giving them a homely feel, these certainly deliver the perfect short stay apartments in London. In a great location close to the Tower of London and famous markets, these spacious serviced apartments are fitted to a very high standard, featuring a comfortable lounge, fully equipped kitchen & modern bathroom. With balconies providing scenic views of London’s skyline, they are well placed for all the tourist attractions, bars and restaurants.
- Balcony / Terrace (upon request)
- Bathroom (en-suite in some)/ Toiletries provided
- Concierge / Security / Reception/ Lifts/Lobby / waiting area
- Dining table & chairs
- DVD player / Satellite TV/ TV / Freeview/Wifi
- Kitchen / Iron / Ironing board / Tea / coffee making facilities / Dishwasher in some
More about our Aldgate Commercial Road serviced apartments London E1 ›
- Serviced apartments central London, Hyde Park
These beautifully restored central London apartments are within a listed building dating back to 1840. Located in the affluent Lancaster Gate area adjacent to Kensington Gardens, these serviced apartments provide the ultimate city living experience for holiday makers & business travellers alike. There’s a range of accommodation options, from studios to 2 bedroom apartments, each characterised by a different theme, bringing together grand Victorian architecture with contemporary design, comfort and technology. They are close to a wealth of clothes and food shops and the famous ‘Winter Wonderland’, whilst Edgware Road has a multitude of middle-eastern cafes and restaurants nearby.
- Concierge / security / reception/ Lifts
- Dining table & chairs
- DVD player/ Radio / Alarm clock
- Fully equipped kitchen (dishwasher in some)/ Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
- Telephone/ TV / Freeview/ Wifi
More about our Serviced apartments central London, Hyde Park ›
Serviced apartments London, Canary Wharf
This superb set of stylish apartments, some with waterfront views are ideally located in the fashionable Canary Wharf area. Each apartment has a contemporary look and feel and has an abundance of great restaurants, cafes, bars & shops close by. Perfect for a short term holiday rental to explore London iconic shows and events, they are equally suited for a business trip, with close proximity to London’s business centres. With its own private balcony and wooden floors throughout, the apartments are well planned with fully equipped integrated kitchens with modern conveniences. With easy access to London’s centre, these apartments make the ideal base for the whole family. Available for both short/long term rentals, they offer ample space, luxurious comfort and fantastic flexibility with a more homely feel than standard hotel rooms. Some apartments overlook the picturesque Marina, whilst an on-site gym in the building is available at no extra cost.
- Breakfast available/ Onsite restaurants / bars
- Concierge / security / reception / Door entry phone / Lifts
- Daily cleaning service / Daily or weekly linen change
- Desk / workspace/ Dining table & chairs
- Fully equipped kitchen / (Dishwasher in some) / Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
- Gym in building
- Telephone / TV / Freeview / Wifi / DVD player / Radio / Alarm clock
- Welcome pack available / Toiletries provided / Tea / coffee making facilities
More about our Serviced apartments London, Canary Wharf E14 ›
Whipsnade Zoo [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]
at 12 Apr 2019
‘When in Rome…’ is a classic phrase used widely to refer to the importance of adapting yourself to do what’s customary/ typical in a particular place or setting and behave like the locals of that area would. An example of using this saying could be…. “Are you certain we should be eating this rice with our hands?” Answer: “Well why not? Everyone here is eating it that way, so “When in Rome- do as the Romans do!”
As any discerning traveller will tell you, the best way to really blend in and get to know the place that you’re visiting is to get in and mingle with the locals. So, although we aren’t in Rome at present, as London is definitely the place to be, this month we’ll be looking at a few tips to help you to ‘Live like a Londoner’, enabling you to adjust yourself to a few of London’s customs, eccentricities and habits, some most certainly quirkier than others!
Top tips to ‘Live like a Londoner’
- Use Public Transport
- The Tube……The underground is a safe, cheap, easily navigated way of travelling everywhere around London. It’s great when trying to get around quickly and efficiently. However, a word of warning, avoid rush hour and always stand on the right on the escalators to avoid the wrath of daily commuters!
- London Buses…. Alternatively you could opt for the famous London bus, (unmissable as they’re bright red!) A more leisurely experience, allowing you to take in London’s superb city sights whilst travelling from A to B.
- Invest in an Oyster Card, or go Contactless
Whilst in London, you’ll probably rely heavily on public transport when travelling, as taxis are expensive. You can buy daily travel cards and one-way tickets, although it’s easier and cheaper to use a pay as you go Oyster Card, which you can top up as required. They’re available in advance online, from the station or newsagents. Alternatively use the ‘contactless’ facility on your credit/debit card. Note- You can’t pay your London bus fare with cash.
- Hail a Taxi!
If you are part of a large party, a cab may work out cheaper, however the meter tots up quickly, so beware! As regards tipping, expectations vary depending on the kind of taxi you use.
- Black cabs
These are hailed easily but are expensive, although they have a highly knowledgeable driver. Usually payment is in cash with a tip of 10%.
These are booked through a minicab office or by phone and are usually cheaper. Tipping is appreciated but not compulsory.
- Uber cars.
Booked via an app, these cabs are fast and cheap. Your fare is conveniently automatically deducted from your credit card. If you choose to give cash tips they’ll be appreciated, yet aren’t expected.
- Dress the part
When it comes to dress code, almost anything goes. The weather, it has to be said is often ‘changeable’ to put it politely, so often dominates our wardrobe. It’s therefore sensible to play safe and opt for that layered look when sightseeing, with shout walking shoes/boots and a raincoat, unless it’s high summer. Locals dress fairly casually, even office workers, except for those who work in London’s business districts like The City and Canary Wharf, where suits usually prevail. It’s sensible to have a few smarter alternatives too, as higher end hotels like The Savoy, have strict dress guidelines; ie a no-sportswear policy. Generally though, casual tops/jeans are the norm, even in many of our famous theatres, although getting dressed up is, of course great on these occasions. If you don’t wish to stand out as being ‘touristy’, avoid wearing the ‘kiss me quick’ hats, and the ‘I love London’ tee-shirts within the capital! Concerning bags- ensure yours is secure enough to carry your valuables. Make it small enough to carry any essentials, but leave your valuables like passports, spare credit/debit cards and ID cards in your hotel safe.
- Shop the Markets
Many residents head off to the London markets to shop for local produce or for a relaxing coffee/ reasonably priced lunch. Firm favourites for Londoners include Colombia Road Flower Market, Portobello Road and Brick Lane Markets, and Greenwich, yet these are also frequented by visitors, who enjoy bagging a bargain or two. Visiting these bustling places gives tourists and Londoners alike, an insight into the real London, away from more famous, expensive attractions. So go on, immerse yourself in the excellent street food and other fine crafts and trinkets that you’ll find at these amazing places.
- Visit the Pub
While visiting London make a point of having a pint, in one of the city’s fabulous pubs! There is a plethora of bars popular with residents, serving anything from craft beers to cocktails. Remember to take advantage of ‘Happy Hours’ where drinks are often reduced in price, as London is an expensive place to have a night out! Nightclubs are common throughout the city, although are always very crowded with tourists, so often avoided by residents. So to get a true picture of real London, try opting one evening for a local pub, where you might get a reasonably priced meal too. Why not try these as a start? The Victorian Bath House; Call Me Mr Lucky; Mayor of Scaredy-Cat Town and Cahoots. Mostly unknown to those other than locals, these are the ideal venues if you want to experience London like Londoners do.
- Check out less ‘touristy’ eateries
Try ditching the typical ‘restaurant chains’ that we’re all guilty of frequenting, and embark on something more exciting whilst in the capital? Londoners certainly sample the range of delicious meals at numerous food stalls and local restaurants within their area. London’s quieter streets often boast the best eating experiences and are better value for money too, so go on a food hunt to see what’s available! Its multi-cultural influence has made London one of the best places to eat in the world, with dishes originating from every corner of the globe, so there’s something to suit everyone’s taste and budget. So shop around, you won’t regret it! For instance, why not try the Welsh Rarebit, sourdough, poached egg and onion jam at ‘Caravan’ in Exmouth Market? Alternatively, try ‘The Modern Pantry’, near St Paul’s, where you’ll enjoy slow-roast tomatoes, plantain fritters and grilled chorizo.
- Take a stroll
Londoners love to get out into this surprisingly green city. In fact, did you realise almost half of the city consists of green space? There are, for example, 8 stunning Royal Parks making a delightful backdrop to the hustle and bustle of the busy streets and thoroughfares. During the summer these are populated with Londoners and visitors alike; sunbathing, playing games and having picnics, whilst in winter the parks are no less spectacular. A crisp walk, wrapped up snuggly in scarves and hats, surrounded by natural beauty, lovely lakes and exquisite architecture, certainly becomes one of the highlights of visiting our capital in winter. Top that with a hot chocolate in one of the heated lidos and you have a marriage made in heaven!
- Try Pedal Power
Aside from walking, London’s famous sites can be seen in greater detail by hiring a bike. Perfect for sightseeing and working off excess calories, consumed during your stay, these can be hired cheaply and make an inexpensive way of touring the capital. Many residents happily avoid the daily traffic jams (and congestion charge associated with car travel in the city centre), by biking to work. So why not give it a go?
- Learn the Lingo
Finally, Londoners are a funny lot…..friendly, but funny! Not least with their strange sayings, so you’ll certainly hear a range of them on the streets. Learn a few and you’ll definitely be a hit with the locals. In fact you may even become one! So loosen up those vocal chords and give them a try!
- "Faff" means to waste time doing very little, coming from the 17thC word "faffle," meaning to flap about in the wind. Eg “We were just faffing around on the beach.”
- "Fag" is a cigarette. "Fag ends" are also the last bits near the end of a reel of fabric, making up the worst bits, so in the past "fags" were the cheapest cigarettes. Now though, this slang word has spread to mean all cigarettes. Eg- "Can I have a fag please?"
- "Geezer" A very suave or dapper man and is widely used within London. Eg -“He’s a lovely geezer.”
- "Cream crackered" is rhyming slang for "knackered," or exhausted. During the 19th/20th C, ‘knackers’ were people who killed worn-out horses for hide and meat. So, those who were ‘ready for the knacker's yard,’ were tired beyond any relief. Eg- I'm really cream- crackered."
- "Doddle" An easy task is known as a "doddle." Eg- "This is going to be a doddle."
- "Gobsmacked" means bewildered, shocked or astounded. "Gob" is another word for mouth, so being gobsmacked means you're shocked and cover your mouth in disbelief.
- "Gutted" Contrary to being disembowelled like a fish, anyone who is gutted is very upset. Eg- "I am really gutted I didn’t get the job.”
- "Miffed" - Rather annoyed. It comes from the German word "muffen," meaning "to sulk." Eg- "I’m rather miffed about that."
- "Spend a penny" A polite yet novel way of saying you are going to the toilet. In Victorian times, to use public toilets, women had to pay a penny for the privilege. Eg-“Hang on, I need to spend a penny!”
- Pop your clogs" Means to die! In the past workers wore clogs to protect their feet. When they "cocked" or “popped” their clogs, their feet pointed upwards as they lay down dead. Eg-“Poor old bloke has popped his clogs.”
- "Round" – means to take a turn in buying a drink for your friends in the pub. Eg- "Whose round is it now? Yours?”
- "Zonked" Exhausted; tired. Eg- "I want dinner but I’m really zonked."
So here are a few ‘do’s and don’ts - if you want to live like a Londoner!
Do carry an umbrella, as it does rain a lot in London.
Don’t tip barmen/women, although you can tip in restaurants, if a service-charge hasn’t already been added.
Do use a knife and fork in restaurants, and remember your pleases and thankyous!
Don’t talk about Brexit. It’s a touchy subject with Brits at the moment!
Do take advantage of London’s fabulous museums. They're free, and you’ll see many residents there too!
Don’t worry which comes first- the cream before the jam or the jam before the cream! Your afternoon scone and tea will taste delicious however you do it! Just eat and enjoy!
So immerse yourself fully in this city of hidden gems and customs. Although you may not live here permanently, you can still appreciate London like the locals do, even if you are only visiting for a short break. Make the most of your stay and try to live like residents do!
Remember though, to get a ‘round’ in, don’t get ‘miffed’ in the rush hour, or get ‘cream crackered’ when sightseeing. Most importantly of all…..try not to ‘pop those clogs!’
Now you have some top tips to help you live like a Londoner during your stay, let’s get your accommodation sorted! Euracom offer you the chance to spend your vacation in some of the most spectacular serviced apartments available within the capital, all at affordable prices.
There’s an apartment for every budget, from sumptuous suites in fashionable areas like Kensington and Chelsea, to more economical studio apartments, ideal for those who need to watch the pennies. Why not take a look below at our 3 featured properties this month? For others please visit: https://www.euracom.co.uk/serviced-apartments-london/.
Studio apartment rentals London Hyde Park, Inverness Terrace Concept W2
These are perfectly situated for a short stay near Hyde Park. Located minutes from bustling shops, restaurants and cafes, the apartments offer compact studios at affordable prices, great if holidaying. Ranging from £476p/w, the apartments are within an historic Georgian terraced building, decorated with vibrant interiors and offer a cost effective way to see London on a budget. Each studio has a kitchen, high speed broadband and is cleaned/serviced weekly.
- Baby cot / high chair (upon request)
- Central heating
- Door entry phone
- Fully equipped kitchen /Laundry / dry cleaning facilities
- TV / Freeview Wifi
More about our Hyde Park studio apartment rentals ›
Luxury serviced apartments London, Sloane Street SW1X
A slightly more expensive alternative, these modern, luxury serviced apartment are ideally situated within the heart of the City of London, yet in a quiet residential street. Close to superb restaurants, pubs, shops and boutiques just off fashionable Sloane Street, the 34 apartments range from £1492p/w and have a variety of alternatives, from studios to 1/ 2 bedroomed apartments. Deluxe interiors are both modern and contemporary, with classic, simple lines and sophisticated elegance. All have air-conditioning with fully equipped kitchens and offer all the amenities traveller would expect including satellite TV and wireless broadband. With luxurious goose down duvets, sumptuous towels and bathrobes along with toiletries, these fabulous serviced apartments offer guests an exclusive on-site fitness room. A 24-hour concierge caters for everyone’s needs, from re-stocking the fridge to booking theatre tickets. With an on-site, Michelin Starred restaurant, what’s not to like?
- Air conditioning
- Baby cot / high chair (upon request)
- Breakfast available
- Central heating
- Concierge / security / reception
- Daily or weekly linen change/ Daily cleaning service
- Dining table & chairs Dishwasher (in some)
- DVD player/ Radio / Alarm clock/ Safe/ Satellite TV/ Telephone/Wi-fi
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Gym in building/ Spa
- Kitchen / Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available /Starter grocery pack/toiletries
- Tea / coffee making facilities
- Utilities included
More about our Luxury serviced apartments London, Sloane Street SW1X ›
Student accommodation London Bloomsbury WC1, Janet Poole House
Described as the most prestigious site in London, these student apartments are centrally located and therefore make ideal student accommodation. Near many universities, these long stay student apartments have great transport links. Ranging from £260p/w pp, the apartments offer a range of room types to meet everyone’s needs. Completed to a high standard, and boasting a newly refurbished cinema room, there is also a courtyard for BBQs and on-site maintenance, support and security.
- Concierge / security / reception Desk /Lifts
- Kitchen / kitchenette
- Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
- Movie lounge
- TV / Freeview Wifi
More about our Student accommodation London Bloomsbury WC1, Janet Poole House ›
at 20 Sep 2018
London - The Greatest City on Earth!
When you embark on a holiday to our magnificent capital you’ll be taking in one of the most visited and international cities on earth. With its 2000 years of historical influence, cultural diversity, fine food establishments and wonderful vibrant atmosphere, London has something for everyone.
Throughout the centuries London has been city of ideas. The city’s ability to evolve and move with the times has enabled it to embrace and develop into the innovative landscape of original thinking and creativity that it is today. This is essentially one of the many reasons why London has always been such a special place to visit, and indeed live in, and plays an enormous part in why London stands out as being one of the greatest cities in the world.
These innovators, with ‘larger than life’ imaginations, are responsible not only for a wealth of state of the art, architecturally designed buildings such as The Shard and The Gherkin, but also independent contemporary art, (London is the performing arts capital of the world), literature, (authors like Dickens, Orwell and Oscar Wilde make London the world’s greatest literary centre), pioneering music, (London has a marvellous musical heritage – with greats like Bowie, Adele, Queen and George Michael originating here. Added to this the spectacular amount of theatrical masterpieces on offer within London’s theatre land, and you have it all.
So what else attracts visitors to the best city in the world? Aside from our world class theatre, amazing art galleries and cosmopolitan multi- cultural society, 80% of visitors say their main reason for coming to London is ‘culture and heritage’. Incredibly, cultural tourism generates almost £3½ billion a year for London’s economy and visitor numbers continue to grow. Yet the city still has to endeavour to maintain its position internationally, as many other destinations around the globe are promoting cultural strategies to attract the discerning traveller.
This said, London has something that many other countries don’t possess. The pomp, circumstance and pageantry that only Britain can pull off! Take for example the Royal Wedding in May of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, at Windsor Castle. This iconic event attracted millions to London to celebrate the romantic coupling of an adored British Prince and his glamorous bride. The historical significance of such venues, along with the popularity of our Royal Family, provide a significant benefit to our tourist industry and economy. It’s a known fact that 9 out of 10 trips to London incorporate visits to the city’s top 20 cultural attractions.
So here are several more reasons why London can assuredly call itself ‘the greatest city on Earth.’
Centuries of History
London can boast more than 2,000 years of history, and the London landscape bears testament to more iconic and historically important buildings and landmarks than pretty much anywhere in the world. With Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London and Westminster Abbey, to name just three of these marvels, it’s no surprise that travellers journey from across the world to experience the wonder and majesty of these venues.
Free Cultural Experiences
Though some London attractions have a reputation for being expensive, especially if you have a large family, visitors are regularly extremely surprised that many of the city’s cultural venues are actually free. Unlike the national museums in Paris, New York and Rome where tourists pay an entrance fee, London’s museums, like the Natural History, Science, Victoria and Albert, Tate Modern, National Gallery and the Imperial War Museum are all absolutely free! We are one of the few cities in the world where you’ll be able to witness grand masterpieces and prehistoric historic exhibitions without opening your wallet! What’s more, London’s 2012 Olympic Games saw the city’s popularity skyrocket as a result of visitors being impressed by the value for money they received in the capital. This has been endorsed by producer and artist Will.i.am, (William Adams), who says…. “London is my favourite city on the planet — it’s the cosmopolitan and ‘melting pot’ feel of it all, the open-mindedness to difference and culture. And the whole city is a world-class museum, outdoors and indoors.” A fine endorsement!
London’s Green Spaces
Even though London is a bustling ‘working city’ which attracts large conglomerations of financial and other industries, there are over 5000 acres of amazing green spaces across eight London parks. Hyde Park, for instance, set deep in the heart of London, offers both world-class concerts and events together with plenty of quiet places to unwind and relax. Alternatively, Richmond Park is the largest the eight Royal Parks and the biggest enclosed space in London. Here you’ll find the lovely Isabella Plantation and Pembroke Lodge, along with wonderful herds of Red and Fallow deer. All London parks are free and open daily.
London as a whole has over 8½ million trees, 300,000 gardens and acres upon acres of green space, not only making it one of the prettiest cities in the world, but also enabling it to boast more green spaces than any other European city. Whatever the weather or season, London is always enchantingly beautiful.
Reflection and Respect
London’s recent, and not so recent history, has given Londoners a long held reputation for perseverance, courage and grit in the face of adversity and sorrow. Acclaimed pioneering cultural projects, attracting both intense media coverage, along with over 5 million tourists, have helped us to reflect on such historical events, whilst raising many millions for charity. In 2014 an installation at the Tower of London of 888,246 ceramic hand-made poppies, provided the perfect setting to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. The creative project demonstrated a poignant perspective on a world event and provided a place to reflect and respect those who fell in one of the most beautiful, historic London landmarks. Something for which, we are justly proud.
Continuing on this theme, another sad, yet positive aspect that makes London such a fabulous place is its incredible resilience. Although it has always been, and still remains, one of the safest destinations in the world to visit, recent tragedies such as the London Bridge Bombing at Borough Market will remain etched on our hearts forever. However, Londoners are a particularly defiant crowd and whatever life throws at us, business will continue as normal. A major benefit of visiting London is still the safety aspect however, as many other capital cities are far more dangerous.
British tradition, values and democracy.
Representing over 1000 years of this is our dear Queen Elizabeth. She not only provides Britain with incredible stability and important British values, but is also a testament to our wonderful democratic nation. The Royals, and especially Her Majesty, are undoubtedly important assets to our country and the reason why so many oversees visitors wish to come to experience these traditions for themselves.
Our glorious capital is home to a wealth of shopping delights, whatever your budget. For high end stores you have the wonderful Selfridges, Harrods and Fortnum and Mason, to name just a few, whilst many more fine retailers are just a stone’s throw away in the famous Oxford and Regent Streets. Alternatively for the quirkier gift you could head off to the historic Covent Garden or one of London’s finest markets. Here you’ll not only find some of the best retail therapy around, but also something else London is renowned for, its multi- cultural cuisine. From the traditional English fish and chips, to pasta, curries and a wealth of other delicious delicacies from all over the world, all available at a very reasonable cost. For something fancier, there are a multitude of fine dining establishments throughout the capital, many boasting ‘celebrity chefs’ and Michelin Stars. All are well worth a visit, showing the capital can provide something to suit everyone’s budget.
The Great British Pub
Were you aware that you’re apparently never more than 7 metres from a pub in London? This fact isn’t one that I’ve tested, although it’s a fact that there are well over 7,000 pubs to choose from in the capital. From themed bars to roof top terraces offering anything from craft beers to exotic cocktails, a visit to London isn’t complete without a great British pint! As an alternative to a traditional pub, you could sample the delights of ‘Attendant’, a quirky Victorian toilet which was given a makeover in 2013 and is now perfect for a daytime drink! No one but the British could think up something so novel and extreme, making it another reason why London is so uniquely great.
A Great Multi- Cultural Society
Another thing that makesLondon so special, and indeed puts the ‘Great’ into Great Britain, is that it’s one of the most multicultural cities/countries in the world. Our capital is now home to over 270 nationalities and 300 languages. For many hundreds of years London has researched, studied and collected items from all over the world, making these and the research about them available to everyone. Our great museum displays perfectly express how London has always retained a healthy openness to every society’s ideas, doctrines and discoveries. Similarly, the UK has also welcomed many different cultures and peoples of the world into our cities, making them truly multicultural. Visitors to London will evidence this in many ways, from the comprehensive, worldwide cuisine which is available, to the vibrant communities like China Town within the heart of the capital, making London such a great place to be. In visiting London, whatever your nationality, every tourist will find something familiar, as well as be able to explore the whole world in just one city. Of course there are other global cities, although it’s only in London that you’ll experience and meet people from all over the globe and with them enjoy their theatre, food and music and witness the incredible range of wonderful things that they’ve produced.
A trip to London is actually a walkers paradise, even though for those less energetic there is an excellent public transport network including the famous London bus and underground system. On foot though, you’ll be able to experience all the vibrancy, nostalgia and heritage that London can offer. There’s certainly nothing better than a stroll along the River Thames, which has been meandering through the city since Roman times. Its historic significance won’t be lost on you, and can be enhanced by taking a river boat along this iconic, ancient waterway, to find out more about London’s glorious past.
So why visit London?
Let’s face it tourists don’t generally visit for the weather! However what does attract them is our glorious culture. All the above things and more should tempt you to pay this special, deeply cosmopolitan capital city a visit. From free national museums, historic royal residences and vibrant markets, to the abundance of green spaces across the city, here you’ll be able to enjoy the fantastic range of cultural activities on offer and tailor your visit to your own personal inspiration and connection, desires and interests. You’ll be able to appreciate the ancient alongside the modern and witness London as the world’s number one city for its enormous variety of authentic historical sites and museums- far more than our rivals, as well as its culture and leisure activities and indeed its numerous hidden gems.
You certainly won’t cover all London has to offer in one hit, although once you’ve been hooked on your first visit by our capital’s cultural icons, which are a major part of London’s appeal, and discovered about the past and its legacy, you’ll definitely have a thirst for more and will want to return.
When you do, you can further explore why London’s art fairs, world famous carnivals like Notting Hill, Frieze London and Frieze Masters have attracted so much attention and attendance over the years. The influence of heritage and culture on how ‘attractive’ a city is certainly a key feature which accentuates why people regard London as a city of eclecticism and international appeal. From the old masters and antiquities to modern design and the art of today, there is always a plethora of new and exciting things to see and do in the city, and more importantly something for every pocket, which encourages visitors to revisit again and again. Return visitors to London are willing to go further to experience unique and unusual new attractions. London can offer these in abundance. Take, for example, the city’s range of ‘Late’ events, occurring many of London’s museums and galleries. Here you can immerse yourself in a shared, one-off, cultural experience with a difference.
So why not visit London for the best experience in the world? With 40 million visits to cultural institutions, 14.6 million theatre attendances, 4 world heritage sites, 857 art galleries and 349 live music venues last year alone, it’s definitely THE PLACE TO BE! 16.8 million overseas visitors, nearly 60% of which have made repeat visits, can’t be wrong! So go on….give London a try!
If you intend to extend your stay in London to take in more of our beautiful capital, then Euracom can offer amazing deals on serviced apartments. Not only do these compare more than favourably with a similar standard hotel stay, they also offer more luxury and security to make your stay more enjoyable. Here are just three examples of the many we offer.
Corporate serviced apartments South Kensington High Street W8
These serviced apartments offer luxury in the heart of London. Located off Kensington High Street and with easy access to the Science/Natural History Museums and Olympia, these apartments provide the perfect base for both holidaying families and business travellers alike.
Nightly fees start from just £229p/n, making these spacious, well-proportioned apartments exceptional value. With fully equipped kitchens and a private courtyard garden, the apartments are available with 1-4 bedrooms.
- Concierge / security / reception/ Lifts/Telephone/TV / Freeview/ Wi-fi
- Daily or weekly linen change/Daily cleaning service
- Desk / workspace/ Dining table & chairs
- Kitchen / kitchenette/Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
- If you are looking for looking for a spacious central London apartment, close to some of London’s finest stores, galleries and museums then these are for you.
More about our Corporate serviced apartments South Kensington High Street W8 ›
Central London serviced apartments St. Pauls Queen Street, London EC4
Our St Pauls Queen St serviced apartments are ideal for both business trips and sightseeing trips to London. Situated in London’s financial district, they’re within walking distance of the iconic St Paul's Cathedral, Millennium Bridge, Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. With prices starting from £145p/n, these newly refurbished, stylish flats are set in a beautifully designed building, finished to a high specification. Premium quality fittings and soft furnishings come as standard, whilst each apartment is equipped with broadband, wide-screen TV and a luxurious kitchen and bathroom.
- Air conditioning/ Concierge / security / reception/ Lifts/ Lobby / waiting area/ Wheelchair accessible
- Bathroom/ Hairdryer available/ Toiletries provided
- Daily or weekly linen change/ Daily cleaning service
- Dining table & chairs/ Balcony / Terrace (upon request)
- DVD player/ Satellite TV/ Freeview/ Wifi
- Kitchen / Iron / Ironing board/ Laundry / dry cleaning available/ Tea / coffee making facilities
More about our Central London serviced apartments St. Pauls Queen Street, London EC4 ›
Corporate serviced apartment rentals London, Stratford E15
These spectacular serviced apartments in Stratford provide easy access to Central London and Canary Wharf. With the O2 arena, the Olympic Park and Excel nearby, this accommodation offers exceptional value from only £93p/n. This splendid development consists of 111 apartments, providing top quality accommodation at an affordable price. The apartments give space and comfort and offer premium quality fittings, soft furnishings and high-spec kitchens and bathrooms throughout. Equipped with modern technology including broadband, wide-screen TV and DVD, the apartments provide a comfortable environment in which to enjoy your stay.
- Balcony / Terrace (upon request)/ Welcome pack available
- Bathroom/ Toiletries provided
- Concierge / security / reception/ Lifts/ Lobby / waiting area/ Wheelchair accessible
- Desk / workspace/ Dining table & chairs/ Baby cot / high chair (upon request)
- DVD player/ TV / Freeview/ Wifi
- Fully equipped kitchen/ Iron / Ironing board/ Tea / coffee making facilities
- Daily cleaning service/ Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
More about our Corporate serviced apartment rentals London, Stratford E15 ›
By © User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0
at 26 Jun 2018
Most people visiting our wonderful capital city will probably take in London’s most famous sights. The London Eye, Buckingham Palace and The Tower of London are just 3 of the superb attractions on offer to the discerning tourist, enabling them to experience the very best of London. People visiting London for the first time may find it difficult to stray off the beaten track and will understandably stick to all these famous haunts.
Yet aside from the glorious crown jewels within The Tower, there is a vast array of less well known, hidden gems throughout the capital that will interest you just as much. These often beautiful places are sometimes off the main tourist paths, so you may have to discard the guide book and start exploring! From underground tours of London’s disused tube stations, to ancient, well hidden ‘Roman’ Baths; from a labyrinth of man-made caverns at Chislehurst Caves to a former Victorian toilet, now lovingly transformed into a unique eatery. These are just a few of the places which will thrill and delight you by their quirkiness!
Below, you'll discover some of the secret corners of London, often hidden-away amongst the side streets. They probably aren’t part of the traditional tourist agenda for the most famous London attractions, but they won’t stay relatively unknown for much longer, so visiting them now is a must, before they become too touristy! So to discover more of the capital, why not check out these fun things to do in London, and experience a different side to the city with our guide to the secret and hidden spots in London?
West London Hidden Gems
Scale an ice cliff
The Vertical Chill ice climbing wall, WC2E 7HA will thrill both beginners and the more advanced climber. Here you can brush up on your mountaineering skills and become a master climber, all in the centre of London. There are lessons for beginners, or you can just turn up on the day and climb your personal Matterhorn. Not quite as good as Everest, but as near as.
See the last remaining ‘fart-powered’ lamp, WC2R 0EU
Hidden behind the Savoy Hotel in Carting Lane, you’ll discover the last remaining Webb Patent Sewer Gas Lamp. These lamps were, during the 19th C, widespread throughout London, and provided low-cost street lighting. Also used as a means of clearing the noxious, unpleasant smells coming from London’s sewers, this replica takes you back to a bygone age.
Have lunch in a toilet - Attendant Fitzrovia, W1W 6DY
This quirky coffee bar, where you can rest for coffee, breakfast or a light lunch, is (wait for it), situated in in a restored Victorian public convenience. Built in 1890, this unique space has been lovingly transformed and restored from a gent’s toilet into one of the most unexpected gems of London. With urinals (clean, obviously), providing some of the seating, this compact eatery, has everything…good food, great atmosphere and the quirkiness that only Britain can offer. I’d go on to make a joke about the Attendant’s previous functions, but I think you may get ‘peed off’! (Get the pun?) Whilst on the subject of toilets, why not try the London Loo Tour? According to the website, the route ‘explores the potty politics of public loos. From stories of intrigue to practical tips, this tour is an investment in your bladder future! Never be caught short again!’ Sounds interesting huh!
Discover Ancient 'Roman Baths' WC2
Head off towards The Strand, and you could be taken in, as Victorian Londoners were, by the Ancient 'Roman’ Baths. Hard to find, they’re situated halfway along Surrey St, so keep your eyes peeled for an old National Trust sign above a gated archway. This leads into Surrey Steps, from which you emerge into Strand Lane. Turn right and then look for number 5. Interestingly, the baths are probably not Roman. In fact they probably date back to the 16th/17th C, but the gullible Victorians believed they were much older when ‘discovered’ in the 18th C, especially when the owner of a little-known plunge pool promoted it as being Roman in origin. Nearly everyone was duped, including respected writers, who soon claimed that it was “without doubt a veritable Roman structure”.
Certainly, the brickwork bears resemblance to Roman architecture, and although we’re now certain that the bath dates from the early 17th C, there was little evidence at the time to contradict the story of its ancient beginnings. These 'Roman Baths' were used by the Victorians for their health benefits and remained operating throughout the 19th C. This is a great piece of hidden London history, and well worth exploring.
Visit Kyoto Garden, W11 4UA
For a lovely, tranquil setting, this 55 acre paradise boasts an array of beautiful trees, stone lanterns, winding paths, trickling waterfalls, peaceful ponds with koi carp and splendid statues. This garden, situated within Holland Park, was a gift from Kyoto in 1991 and is hidden within busy Kensington. So why not experience a little piece of Japan and visit one of the most beautiful places in London? With free entry it’s a paradise at any time of year, but particularly in the Autumn, when the garden’s foliage is stunning.
Visit Stafford Terrace - A house stuck in a time warp, W8 7BH
If you’d like to visit a house which has been frozen in a time warp, then this is it! From the outside it looks pretty unremarkable, yet as you enter the house it’s like travelling back in time to the late Victorian period. Going into this freeze frame of Victorian middle class elegance, you’ll realise the house has been largely untouched since Punch cartoonist Edward Linley Sambourne lived there from 1875 with his family, until he died in 1910. The entire original decoration still exists, along with many of the family’s personal possessions and furniture. Original diaries, bills and papers make up a huge archive of daily life during the period. The house is open on various afternoons for guests to visit.
Take a trip to Venice! W9 2PF
For a peaceful walk or boat trip, away from the hustle and bustle of the Thames, try Little Venice. Situated where the Grand Union and Regent’s canals meet, this lovely area is where you’ll discover quirky waterside cafes, charming pubs and eateries and even puppet shows! This is London’s answer to Italy’s famous city. The area comes alive in the Summer, when people meander along the riverside to nearby Camden or Regent's Park. If you want atmosphere in a very gentle setting, then this is for you.
Where to stay in West London?
To get the most out of all the above attractions, Euracom have a range of serviced apartments within this area of London. One example is our Luxury serviced apartments Green Park, London W1.
Luxuriously furnished and finished to a high standard, these superb serviced apartments are located near to Piccadilly. They form part of a five-star hotel, offering all the amenities of a luxury London hotel whilst also providing all the benefits of having your own self-contained, fully equipped luxury serviced apartment. For a nightly fee of £765p/n , you’ll get an opulent marble bathroom, spacious lounge/dining area, and fully fitted kitchen. These apartments also have access to a gym and spa and also have the option of a private garden or penthouse! They are a perfect base to explore all London’s hidden gems, as well as the more famous ones.
- Bathroom/ central heating Concierge / security / reception/ Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available/ safe
- Daily or weekly linen change/ daily cleaning service/ room service available
- Dining table & chairs/ tea / coffee making facilities
- Fully equipped kitchen/ breakfast available/ dishwasher in some apartments
- Lifts / lobby / waiting area / telephone / satellite TV / Wi-fi / radio / alarm clock
- Onsite restaurants / bars/ spa / health club in building or nearby
More about our Green Park Luxury serviced apartments London ›
North London Hidden Gems
The Parkland Walk Finsbury Park N4 3EY
Stroll along the course of the old railway that once ran between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace. If you want a decent walk, in a serene setting and the chance to experience some greenery at the very centre of London, then this local nature reserve is for you. The walk boasts a huge variety of habitats and wildlife, with 200+ species of wild flowers. Here you’ll see orchids alongside dandelions, hedgehogs, foxes, butterflies and a plethora of bird species, along with muntjac deer, which can occasionally be seen.
Head to Chin Chin Labs’ Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream parlour, Cambden, NW1 8AF,
This ice cream parlour is a must for connoisseurs who like something more unusual than the Mr Whippy! Here you can indulge in original ice cream mixtures, thanks to the use of liquid nitrogen! You’ll watch the process unfold while waiting for service, savouring the mystical chemical clouds in the shop’s laboratory. Served in many different flavours, such as red velvet and water melon, Chin Chin Labs’ delicious creations are not to be missed.
Visit Camden Passage, Islington, N1 8EA
If antiques are your passion then a novel place to browse is hidden away from the bustling streets of Islington. Camden Passage hosts regular street antiques markets, selling curios and bric a brac, along with superb antique shops where you could bag a bargain. Unusual cafes abound, along with a range of other quaint shops.
Relax at London’s only bookshop barge, N1C 4LW
If you enjoy a relaxing read, whilst gently idling on the canal bank, then head to London’s only second-hand bookshop barge, Word on the Water. The barge moors at several sites and has a range of excellent novels to peruse. This welcoming venue boasts a wood-burning stove to toast those toes, live music and you may even get to cuddle the resident cat!
Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross, N1 9AP
Harry Potter fans will be overjoyed at this little gem. Situated at Kings Cross Station, you may not think this next feature could be included as a hidden gem. Yes, this station is a busy, bustling area, although many travellers aren’t aware of Platform 9¾. Thanks to the recently revamped railway station, it now boasts a new platform, nestled snugly between platforms 9 and 10. It’s easy to find, as there are always queues of muggles waiting for photo opportunities. Luckily, if you want to replenish your wizard supplies and wands, then there is also a wonderful souvenir shop!
Central London Hidden Gems
Churchill’s Secret Station and other Most of our Hidden London tours
If you’re uninspired by a visit to the London Eye or Buckingham Palace, there’s a new experience below the London streets that could appeal. The London Transport Museum has devised the very popular Hidden London tours, including a ‘secret station’ used by Churchill during the war, a World War II shelter, a disused underground station at Aldwych and a tour taking you along the disused rail lines. Tours are in great demand so often sell out quickly, but these are a rare opportunity to take an intimate peep into London’s hidden historical past, where the warren of tunnels were often used to save the lives of many during the Blitz.
East London Hidden Gems
Chislehurst Caves, BR7 5NL
Slightly further afield, but worth the effort, are Chislehurst Caves, a maze of man-made caverns, dating from the Druids, Romans and Saxons. They have had varied uses over the years, including serving as an air raid shelter during WW2, when people travelled daily from the bomb ravaged East End of London, to a safer place to sleep. For a brief time, they have also been a successful music venue, hosting artists like David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix.
Encounter a Soviet tank, Old Kent Road, SE1
Bringing Russia into London, a rather novel piece of social history can be seen. This materialised due to an argument between a prospective developer, Russel Gray, and Southwark Council. Denied planning permission for his house, the resident waged war on the council by buying a decommissioned T34 Soviet tank for his child and plonked it on the disputed plot! Prior to this act, this canny local had the forethought to apply for new planning permission, not for a building but for a 'tank'. The council granted this request, mistakenly thinking that it was for a storage container of some kind. The council’s error is to our benefit, as the tank is now a popular attraction for graffiti artists, who regularly change its facia. Legend has it that the tank’s turret is aimed towards the council offices! So should you fancy climbing over a part of cold war history, you can make a visit to this symbol of two great struggles, the first between communism and capitalism, and another between a local man and a council planning department.
St Dunstan in the East, EC3R 5DD
An excellent picnic spot, this area boasts a church dating from 1100. It has seen significant damage in past times, the first being inflicted during Great Fire of London in 1666, whilst more recently during the heavy bombing during the Blitz. Some parts survived though, in particular the steeple built by Christopher Wren. This is certainly an atmospheric place to have lunch.
Wilton’s Music Hall
If culture is what you crave, then look no further! Taking a trip to the oldest surviving music hall in the world, tucked within London’s East End is an experience you won’t forget. Wilton’s Music Hall hosts a wide range of theatrical and musical events is being gradually restored from its dilapidated state, whilst retaining its classic, original features.
Originally a traditional Victorian music hall, parts still lie crumbling, which add to its appeal. The ‘shabby chic’ effect also contributes to its character and intimacy, enabling you to either enjoy a drink in the Mahogany Bar, or take a tour around this great historic venue.
Enjoy lunch in a power station, E1W 3SG
For something which may give you a buzz, (another pun), you may fancy lunching in the unique and eccentric setting of Wapping Hydraulic Power Station. Situated in the old hydraulic power station and surrounded by original disused machinery, pumps and turbines, you can experience the quirkiness of this laid-back restaurant. After lunch remember to visit the impressive art gallery.
Where to stay in East London?
After a hard day’s sightseeing, you’ll want to rest your weary heads. We have a range of delightful serviced apartments within this area of London. One example is our superb, beautifully furnished apartments at Bishopsgate Liverpool Street, Corporate Serviced Apartments London, EC2
These corporate serviced apartments offer both studios and 1 or 2 bedroom apartments. Starting from £138p/n, these apartments feature modern furnishings and lovely solid oak flooring. They are equipped with the latest technology, including individual internet access, ISDN and digital telephones, making your stay more ‘home from home.’ They’ll provide the perfect spot for some peace and quiet from hectic city life.
- Baby cot / high chair (upon request)/ welcome pack available//daily cleaning service/
- Concierge / security / reception/ air conditioning/ door entry phone/lifts/lobby/waiting area/safe
- Fully equipped kitchen/breakfast available/laundry/dry cleaning facilities available
- Satellite TV/ telephone/ wi-fi
More about our Bishopsgate Liverpool Street corporate serviced apartments London ›
South London Hidden Gems
Fulham Palace, SW6 6EA
For a range of art, architecture and history, this beautiful palace is an unsung gem within London. With free entry, Fulham Palace has and a varied programme of events throughout the year. Paintings, archaeology and an array of artefacts trace the history of the Palace site from prehistoric times.
Mercato Metropolitano and Maltby Street
Two markets off the tourist trail that tend to appeal more to locals, yet are close to the bustling Borough Market, are those of the Mercato Metropolitano and Maltby Street. With their tantalising food selection, the Mercato Metropolitano food court specialises in dishes from Venezuela to Italian favourites. Within the 2 courtyards there are also regular cinema screenings. Alternatively Maltby Street lies under the railway arches in Bermondsey and is close to Tower Bridge. Here, street food is enjoyed by Londoners and visitors alike. With its ‘low-key’ atmosphere great food producers combine with craft brewers. So pick up a beer from The Southwark Brewing Co whilst dining. It’s a real treat.
Discover the House of Dreams, SE22 8RG
If you love discovering forgotten and previously unloved objects, then The House of Dreams is the place to go. This museum has been dedicated to those objects that would usually be thrown away. As you step over the threshold you’ll be treated to a home transformed into an extraordinary environment that is a shrine to….junk! Each surface, wall and ceiling is covered with every object imaginable, from such things as old Christmas crackers, china, broken toys and other odds and ends. There are intricate mosaics and life-sized sculptures of incredible characters which add to the amazing atmosphere of this wonderful place.
The King of Ladies Man, London, SW11 1HG
You’ll find this ‘speakeasy-style’ bar The King of Ladies Man, hidden at the back of a café behind a false wall in a launderette, believe it or not! Based on a 1970s bachelor pad, it is filled with golden light, pink flamingo wallpaper, gold lamé curtains and specialises in “beer, cheese and disco drinks”. The laundrette is a nod to the iconic 80’s advert for Levi Jeans and was transformed into a dining and drinking area. The proprietors will even allow you to perch on the washing machines! Then on sliding back the false wall, you’ll discover the hidden bar with its cocktail shaking staff in Hawaiian shirts!
Old Operating Theatre Museum, SE1 9RY
To see how our ancestors coped with 19th C surgery, and to recognise just how lucky we are to have today’s NHS, for all its faults, the 32 steps up an ancient, spiralling staircase are the stairway to an unmissable spectacle. This museum boasts a frightening array of implements for amputating body parts, reflecting the rather ruthless way that surgery was practiced during the 19th C. Each Saturday they even have a special demo of Victorian speed surgery at its best, a sight definitely to behold!
Where to stay in South London?
Should you decide to visit any of these great venues in South London then Euracom have a range of very affordable serviced apartments for both long and shorter stays.
The Luxury serviced apartments South Kensington Collingham London SW5 for example, have recently been stylishly refurbished as self-catering apartments for rent. Here there is space to relax, unwind and even entertain in luxurious accommodation. At £186p/n for a studio apartment, this Edwardian styled house will make you feel truly at home. They are perfect for families who are seeking all the comforts of home.
- Cot / high chair (upon request)
- Central heating/ concierge / security / reception/ lifts/ safe
- Daily or weekly linen change/ daily cleaning service
- Desk / workspace/ dining table & chairs
- DVD player/ telephone/ tv / freeview/wi-fi
- Fully equipped kitchen/ dishwasher in some/ iron / ironing board/ laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
More about our South Kensington Collingham luxury serviced apartments London ›
So there’s our pick of venues of secret London – a treasure trove of places that currently fly under the radar despite being really amazing. So why not try a few of these hidden gems for that ultimate day out? You won’t regret it.
For information on when & where to stay in London and which serviced apartment is right for you & your stay contact us today.
Kbthompson at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Nigel Chadwick [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Wiltonsfan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
at 16 Oct 2017
Amongst the growing trend of latest technologies and ideas, there is certainly one that has escaped my attention, (and possibly yours)… that of the appropriately named, ‘listicle!’ ‘What on earth’, I hear you ask, ‘is that?’ Well, for the uninitiated, and those who haven't been on the internet for some time, ‘listicles’ have recently become popular with people who enjoy reading lists instead of a good novel! A "listicle," is generally defined as a phrase for any article which is presented in the form of a list. So this month we present the top ten things to do in London as a listicle…
Let’s look at what many people would consider to be the top 10 things to do in London our wonderful capital city, also discovering a few which are free.
Unusual facts that may surprise you about the top ten things to do in London as featured in this article!
- The London Eye
- The Tower of London
- The Shard
- Buckingham Palace
- The London Dungeon
- Madam Tussauds
- Take a walk
- Science or Natural History Museums
- Explore the Parks
- Stroll the Markets
1. The London Eye
This iconic, giant Ferris wheel is a masterpiece of engineering, located along the Thames. Officially known as the Coca-Cola London Eye, it is over 200 times larger than the average cycle wheel and is Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel, rising to 135 meters tall. There are 32 capsules, one for each of the London boroughs, each weighing 10 tonnes. Capsules are numbered 1 to 33, with interestingly no capsule 13, for superstitious reasons! The Eye can carry 800 passengers, (equivalent to 11 London double-decker buses), and welcomes over 3 ¾ million visitors annually.
Did you know?
It was once turned into a rotating nightclub, along with becoming a ‘pop up’ restaurant during the London Restaurant Festival! An unmissable venue!
2. The Tower of London
Despite once renowned as a place of torture and death, this 1000 year old, working monument has been a royal palace, jewel house, royal mint, fortress and armoury. Legend says that the ghost of Anne Boleyn walks the Tower accompanied by her head, placed, appropriately, under her arm. With over 2½ million visitors each year, this is an attraction not to be overlooked.
Did you know?
For 600 years it accommodated a range of wild creatures, making it the first London Zoo. Exotic animals, ranging from kangaroos to a polar bear, hunting for fish in the River Thames on a lead! All long gone now, although legend has it that if the Tower’s ravens leave, then this spells doom for Great Britain. So let’s hope they stay!
3. The Shard
This superb vantage point is twice as high as any other in the city. As Western Europe's tallest building, (309m), The Shard allows visitors to see up to 40 miles away. The impressive 95 storey
structure was designed as a vertical city, enabling people to work, relax and live. Its ‘Neo-futuristic’ design was based on the shape of a shard of glass, derived from the architect’s description during planning. Incredibly, 95% of the construction materials are recycled, and the 11,000 glass panels have a total area of 8 football pitches, around 56,000m2. It’s wiring amounts to 320km and would stretch from London to Paris, whilst the swimming pool on the 52nd floor is Europe’s highest swimming pool. An apartment in this fabulous space would set you back around £40 million, so best just to visit!
Did you know?
Near the end of construction, a fox, nicknamed Romeo, was found on the 72nd floor. Later released into the wild, it is thought it survived on food left by construction workers.
4. Buckingham Palace
This unmissable, working royal palace, gives you a glimpse into royal life. The superb state rooms boast palace treasures and masterpieces from fine artists like Rembrandt and Rubens. Originally named Buckingham House, and the Queen’s official London residence, the house comprises of 775 rooms, including 19 state rooms, 52 main suites, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices, and 78 bathrooms! There are also 760 windows and 1,514 doors, 350 clocks and watches, along with a post office, police station, doctor’s surgery, ATM, cinema and pool.
Did you know?
There is an exciting set of passageways running beneath the palace, connecting it to the outside world. Many royals, including HM Queen Mother and King George VI, enjoyed exploring these. On one occasion, they encountered ‘a very polite man from Newcastle,’ who was living down there.
5. The London Dungeon
This thrilling attraction transports you back to Britain’s gory past. The macabre setting lets your senses explore all the sights, smells and sounds of London’s horrifying crimes. Not for the faint hearted and with a surprise round every corner, you’ll encounter an array of frightening characters, from torturers, judges and infamous rogues and villains, played by fine actors. So stay alert for the shocks, special effects and rides and become entwined in the world of horror. Embark on this thrill-filled journey at your peril, through 1,000 years of London's dark past.
Did you know?
Figures like Sweeney Todd and his sidekick Mrs Lovett, are only fictional, as no public records exist which substantiate the existence of a barber named Todd. Yet stories of shocking criminal deeds were often embellished as they were told and were therefore asserted to be true.
6. Madam Tussauds
This fine museum, founded in 1835 by wax sculptor Anna Maria Tussaud, has been enthralling visitors for almost 200 years. Typical figures included in today’s displays range from historical to royalty, film stars to sporting legends and famous murderers. Originally holding around 400 exhibits, some of these were damaged irreparably during the war, although many have been remade using the original casts. Each sculpture takes four months to produce, costing £227,000. Accuracy is paramount, so 250 precise measurements, along with 180 photographs are taken to ensure this.
Did you know?
The singer Ozzy Osbourne once posed in the museum as himself and scared unsuspecting visitors. Mother Teresa decreed that her ‘work was more important than her physical being.’ She was therefore one of the only people to refuse to be sculpted.
Free Activities in the Top Ten
7. Take a walk
Head off to admire the lions in Trafalgar Square and take in the famous Nelson’s Column. Cast in bronze, the lions were designed by Edwin Landseer, who worked from real corpses and the cast of a lion statue. After this, head inside the nearby National Portrait Gallery to view some fabulous artwork and drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt.
Did you know?
Although he strove for great accuracy, Landseer made a big error. In reality, lion’s backs are convex when laying down, not concave as he depicted them. Many thought they looked more like a sphinx!
8. Science or Natural History Museums
The NH museum boasts a huge collection relating to life and earth science specimens. It holds over 80 million items within five main collections, including; botany, entomology, mineralogy, palaeontology and zoology. It has excellent research facilities, specialising in identification, conservation and taxonomy. Many specimens have significant historical value as well as scientific, like those collected by Charles Darwin. The museum is particularly popular amongst younger children for its exhibition of dinosaur skeletons.
Alternatively, the incredible Science Museum is another of the city's major tourist attractions, attracting 3 million visitors annually. Major interactive exhibitions, such as ‘Exploring Space’, are always excitingly displayed and of great interest to young and old alike. The museum now holds a collection of over 300,000 items, including such famous items as Stephenson's Rocket and Puffing Billy (the oldest surviving steam locomotive)
9. Explore the Parks
Hyde Park is just one of eight Royal Parks and is well worth a visit to see such sights as the Serpentine, Speakers Corner and the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. Start from Marble Arch tube and stroll around.
Did you know?
Each Christmas Day, a few mad bathers dive into the Serpentine, competing for the Peter Pan Cup. It’s aptly named, by the Peter Pan author, JM Barrie, who donated the cup. Worth noting though, that participation is for Serpentine Swimming Club members only, so maybe just focus on cooking the turkey!
10. Stroll the Markets
Why not feast on delicious food at the Borough Market, or watch the street performers whilst dining in Covent Garden? These are some of the oldest and most charming London areas, with superb cheese and bread stalls, along with a memento or two to take home.
Did you know?
The name of ‘Covent Garden’ was a spelling mistake. It was supposed to be CONVENT GARDEN, the market garden of the convent of Westminster Abbey!
So there you have it…a ‘listicle’ showing some strange facts about the top ten attractions in London. Whilst weighing up your choices why not consider staying a while longer to tick some others off your ‘bucket listicle!’ You’ll be glad you did!
Euracom has a range of serviced apartments to suit your every need, from budget studio flats to luxurious sprawling apartment suites.
Take, for example, the Luxury corporate serviced apartments in London E1, Bishopsgate, these stunningly spacious, recently converted, luxury serviced apartments are bright and well furnished. Perfect for business travellers and tourists alike, they give easy access to the City and its main attractions like Covent Garden, Spitalfields Market and the Museum of London. From £1034 pw, these apartments offer a range of luxurious services & facilities that cater for everyone.
Services & facilities include
- Baby cot / high chair (upon request)
- Bathroom/ toiletries provided
- Concierge / security / reception/ door entry phone/ lifts/ telephone/TV / freeview/wi-fi
- Daily or weekly linen change/ daily cleaning service/starter packs of groceries/ toiletries available
- DVD player/ radio / alarm clock
- Fully equipped kitchen/ laundry / dry cleaning facilities available/ tea / coffee making facilities
- Gym in building or nearby
More about our luxury corporate serviced apartments in London E1, Bishopsgate ›
Slightly more expensive, at £1071pw, are the short stay apartments London, Earls Court Road, SW5. These lovely, Edwardian styled apartments, feature high imposing ceilings and comfortable, well- proportioned rooms. Close to Kensington Palace and the Natural History Museum, the four bedroom apartments can sleep up to 8 people, making them the perfect apartments to rent for a short stay in London.
Services & facilities include
- Baby cot / high chair (upon request)/ daily cleaning service
- Breakfast available/ dishwasher in some apartments/ welcome pack available
- Concierge / security / reception/ door entry phone/ Lifts
- En-suite bathroom in some apartments
- Desk / workspace/ dining table & chairs
- Ensuite bathroom in some apartments
- Fully equipped kitchen/ laundry / dry cleaning facilities available/ tea / coffee making facilities
- Telephone/ TV / Freeview/ DVD player/Wifi
More about our short stay apartments London, Earls Court Road, SW5 ›
Alternatively, you could opt for our corporate serviced apartments, Holborn Lambs Conduit Street WC1, which are set in a quiet street in the heart of London's Holborn district. Close to Covent Garden, The British Museum and the City, these apartments make an ideal base for both holidaying and business. Each apartment has been individually designed and furnished to a high standard, featuring Italian furniture, king-sized beds and comfortable living and dining areas.
Services & facilities include;
- Baby cot / high chair (upon request)/ daily cleaning service/ welcome pack available
- Balcony / Terrace (upon request)
- Central heating/concierge / security / reception/ door entry phone/ lifts/ safe
- Dining table & chairs/ fully equipped kitchen/ dishwasher in some apartments
- DVD player/ hairdryer available
- Grocery store onsite / nearby
- Kitchen / kitchenette/ iron / ironing board/ laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
- Radio / Alarm clock/satellite TV/ telephone/TV / Freeview/ Wi-fi
More about our corporate serviced apartments London, Holborn Lambs Conduit Street WC1 ›
By Bob Collowân (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
at 4 Aug 2017