Month: April 2015
by Gill Chris
July 17 – September 12
This year sees the Proms celebrating its 120th year; its aim still to present the widest range of music, performed to the highest standards, to large audiences.
This year’s opening concert on July 17th will be conducted by Sakari Oramo, a programme that includes Walton’s choral masterpiece ‘Belshazzar’s Feast’ and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 with soloist Lars Vogt.
Pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, soprano Danielle de Niese and tenor Jonas Kaufmann are the stars at this year’s Last Night on September 12th. The programme includes Richard Strauss, Shostakovich, Grieg amongst others.
The line up of activities includes free events as well as events in which children can participate, giving everyone the opportunity to get involved.
You can find out more, and buy your tickets here (booking opens on16th May).
A stay in any of our London vacation rentals places you within easy reach of the events by public transport.
by Gill Chris
A visit to London wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Covent Garden; a fun and lively area with a great atmosphere, offering a wide selection of shops, theatre, eateries, bars, history and culture.
You will find many of London’s top attractions in and around Covent Garden, including The London Transport Museum, The Royal Opera House (home to the Royal Ballet), Somerset House, Covent Garden Market and St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church. Covent Garden is also known for its street theatre in the piazza area.
At the heart of Covent Garden is the market with its quirky craft stalls and emerging designer boutiques, but the wider area of The Opera Quarter, St. Martin’s Courtyard, Neal’s Yard and Seven Dials has become a destination for premium brands.
The theatres in and around Covent Garden offer musicals, plays and comedies, including The Lion King at The Lyceum, Stomp at The Ambassadors Theatre and War Horse at The New London Theatre. For pre or post theatre refreshments you will be spoilt for choice by the wide array of restaurants and bars to choose from which cater for every conceivable palate and pocket.
Covent Garden tube station is on the Piccadilly Line but Charing Cross, Leicester Square and Holborn stations are all just a short walk away and all are easily reached from any of our London vacation rentals.
You can find out more and plan a visit to Covent Garden here.
by Gill Chris
From mid July to early September (dates to be confirmed), and on most Saturdays throughout the year
Guided tours of the Houses of Parliament are available on Saturdays throughout the year and on selected weekdays during Parliamentary recesses (the long recess during August and September).
The tours take in the Chambers of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords and the highlights include: Queen’s Robing Room – Royal Gallery – Prince’s Chamber – House of Lords Chamber – Peers’ Lobby and Corridor – Central Lobby – Commons Corridor and “No” lobby – House of Commons Chamber – St Stephen’s Hall – Westminster Hall – New Palace Yard.
Tours take about 75 minutes and offer a unique combination of one thousand years of history, modern day politics and stunning art and architecture.
You can find out more and buy tickets here.
by Gill Chris
For many visitors to London, a major highlight of their trip is visiting the British Museum and seeing the Egyptian mummies. The problem with doing this is that every single other tourist is doing the same thing at the same time! So instead of being alone with a mummy, you’re standing behind a group of students pressing their faces along the glass panels. Not very educational…
What many visitors (and even locals) don’t know is that there’s a whole museum dedicated to Egyptian artefacts – and it’s only a fifteen minute walk from the British Museum! The Petrie Museum is located on the University College London campus and hosts over 80,000 archaeological objects. What is great about the museum is that it focuses on the smaller objects that many people might gloss over at the British Museum. Everyday objects like pottery, jewels and musical instruments can help give a clearer picture of what typical daily life was like for most Egyptians.
The visiting hours are limited to afternoons, so it makes a perfect companion stop to your British Museum wander. Why not start with a morning visit to see the Rosetta Stone at The British Museum, continue with a leisurely lunch nearby, and finish with an afternoon visit to the Petrie. You’ll have an Egypt-tastic day out!
The British Museum is easily reached from any of our London vacation rentals by tube (Central, Piccadilly or Northern lines) or by numerous buses.
This article was originally published on Spotted by Locals London
by Gill Chris
July 25 – September 27
From late July to late September 2015 visitors have the opportunity to see inside Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of the Queen. You can explore the lavishly furnished State Rooms which contain some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection. Some of the highlights include paintings by Rembrandt & Rubens, sculpture by Canova & Chantrey, fine examples of Sèvres porcelain, and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world.
Every year Buckingham Palace’s summer opening features a special exhibition. This year it is entitled ‘A Royal Welcome’ and it focuses on the magic and magnificence of an official visit to Buckingham Palace. You’ll be able to find out about the preparations for official royal events, state visits, and the Queen’s famous garden parties.
This is an incredible opportunity to visit one of the world’s few remaining working royal palaces – don’t miss the chance to see it.
You can find out more and book tickets here.
by Gill Chris
“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” Henry James
Why not treat yourselves and partake in the well-loved English tradition of Afternoon Tea during your next trip to London.
Afternoon tea was introduced in England by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, in the year 1840. At the time it was normal to eat only two meals a day with an early breakfast and the evening meal served around 8pm. The Duchess would become hungry and irritable so she asked for a tray of tea, bread and butter to be brought to her room each afternoon. Over a period of time this became a habit and she began to invite friends to join her and hence the tradition of afternoon tea began.
Nowadays tea rooms and hotels across the UK offer variations on this centuries old tradition. Some of the most popular in London include:
Our London vacation rentals are all well placed for public transport to get to any of these delightful venues.
by Gill Chris
A little outside London in Leavesden (under an hour from central London by public transport) you can experience the Warner Bros Harry Potter studio tour; an amazing opportunity to explore the magic of the Harry Potter™ films.
But you can also discover some familiar Harry Potter film locations without leaving central London. There are several guided tours which will take you around either by foot and boat, or by bus and if you don’t enjoy guided tours it is still possible to see the locations independently.
At Kings Cross Station you can see platforms 4 and 5 which were used in the film and take a photo pushing a trolley through to a magical world at the wall marked Platform 9 ¾. Plus pay a visit to the Harry Potter shop which is built to resemble Ollivander’s Wand Shop.
St Pancras International Station was the film location where Harry boarded the Hogwarts Express and where Harry and Ron parked the Weasley’s Ford Anglia during The Chamber of Secrets.
There are several other locations in London which were used during the filming, including Leadenhall Market, The Reptile House at ZSL London Zoo, Tower Bridge, Millennium Bridge, Lambeth Bridge, Piccadilly Circus and Westminster Tube station, enough to satisfy the curiosity of the most hardened Harry Potter fans.
You can find out more about the Warner Bros Harry Potter studio tour here.
There are several companies operating Harry Potter tours in London which you can find out more about with a quick google search.
If you are visiting London with the children this summer a stay at one of our London vacation rentals is great value for money and allows you to live like a local with space and freedom that you don’t get with a hotel room.
by Gill Chris
The Barbican, located in the heart of the City of London, is a performing arts centre which exists to encourage people to discover and love the arts. It encompasses theatre, art, dance, film, learning and music.
The Barbican Hall is home to the London Symphony Orchestra and together with the Barbican Theatre, home to the Royal Shakespeare Company, regularly presents fresh new work that marries dance, theatre and music in unexpected ways and in ways that make you smile.
Until 31st December 2015 you can visit the second biggest conservatory in London at The Barbican and explore a hidden tropical oasis. Home to exotic fish and over 2,000 species of tropical plants and trees, it’s a perfect way to enjoy a lazy day with friends and family.
The Barbican Art Gallery has an ongoing programme of exhibitions which focus mostly on architecture, design and fashion.
Barbican Film comprises 3 cinema screens offering the best new film releases along with a unique programme of special seasons and events.
The Barbican is also home to a selection of restaurants and bars in which to enjoy a meal before or after your visit.
You can find out more about The Barbican, including their calendar of events here.
The Barbican centre is easily reached by public transport from any of our London vacation rentals.
1. Exchange rate. At US$/£1.49 the current exchange rate is the most favourable it has been for 5 years; the Pound has not been so cheap since 2010.
2. Why use Coach House Rentals? Because we’ve been looking after our guests since 2001. Operating in London, New York and Rome (same great service), we have many thousands of satisfied customers – read the testimonials with each property listing. Many have agreed to act as a reference – you just have to ask and we’ll put you in touch.
3. Excellent value for money. We haven’t increased our prices for 3 years, so our London vacation rentals are great value for money, especially for a party of 3 or more.
4. “Live like a local” in a hand-picked real home. You get much more space and freedom to do what you want than in a single cramped hotel room.
5. Flexible renting. Any day to any day with a minimum stay of 5, not 7, nights.
6. Real people to help you choose. You don’t need to rely just on a web listing. If you can’t find the answer to your question here we’ll respond to your emailed queries or you can talk to us on the phone.
7. Safe and secure booking process. When you enter your card details on our secure https payments page, the information goes directly to our in-house servers before being manually processed. There is no risk of being scammed – as does sometimes happen when using the mass market listing sites.
8. Personal service. We can arrange a car to meet you at the airport. When you arrive at your rental we’ll be there to check you in, hand over the keys, show you how everything works and answer any questions you may have.
9. We have a 24/7 help line in case of any further questions or problems.
10. Useful “What’s On Guide” and suggested itineraries. Details here.
So don’t delay, book today – while we still have some availability.