May 2015 - CHS Rentals
Blog

Month: May 2015

28
May
Royal Greenwich Observatory
by Gill Chris

A visit to the Royal Greenwich Observatory allows you to stand astride two hemispheres by placing your feet either side of the Prime Meridian, the centre of world time and space. Flamstead House at The Royal Observatory is one of the most important historic scientific sites in the world. Founded by Charles II in 1675 it is the official starting point for each new day, year and millennium.

Whilst there take a visit to the Planetarium and experience an amazing journey to explore the wonders of the night sky. Real images from spacecraft and telescopes are combined with advanced computer generated images and projected onto a fully immersive dome. Be transported into the heart of the Sun, to distant galaxies or land on Mars.

The Greenwich Great Equatorial Telescope is the largest of its kind in the UK and the seventh largest in the world. Completed in 1893, it was designed to keep the Royal Observatory at the forefront of contemporary astronomy.

The Observatory is now part of the National Maritime Museum and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Greenwich is just 20 minutes from central London and can be reached from any of our London vacation rentals.

You can find out more and purchase tickets here.

25
May
Notting Hill Carnival
by Gill Chris

August 29-31 2015

The Notting Hill Carnival brings the streets of West London alive every August Bank Holiday weekend as London celebrates Europe’s biggest street party. With calypso music, steel bands and a huge array of tempting food stalls the Notting Hill Carnival is a huge party to which everyone is invited!

Sunday is Family Day at the Festival with the children’s day parade, followed by the main parade on Bank Holiday Monday with its amazing floats and costumed performers. It really is a spectacle not to be missed.

Second in size now only to Rio de Janeiro, the Notting Hill Carnival began in 1964 with only around 500 people attending. These days you can expect to see some 50,000 performers and hundreds of thousands spectators.

A number of local tube stations will be closed or subject to disruption during the carnival and we suggest you check which stations will be affected before you travel. However, guests staying in our London vacation rental properties: KNH, QSC2SSG are within walking distance of the fun.

You can find out more about visiting the carnival here.

21
May
Tower of London
by Gill Chris

The Tower of London has, in its past, been a royal palace, a prison, an armoury and even a zoo. Situated just a stone’s throw from the River Thames it is now one of the city’s most popular attractions.

The ancient building holds within its walls dark secrets but beside the grim reminders of its past is the opportunity to see the priceless Crown Jewels and meet the Beefeaters. You can even join one of the Beefeaters on a tour, learn the legend of the Tower’s ravens, storm the battlements and get to grips with the swords and armour.

With a rich history dating from the Norman Conquest a visit to the Tower is a very worthwhile addition to your ‘must see’ list during your next trip to London.

The nearest tube station is Tower Hill (on the District and Circle lines) and several buses stop nearby making the Tower easily accessible from any of our London vacation rentals.

You can find out more and buy your tickets in advance here.

 

18
May
Hyde Park
by Gill Chris

Hyde Park covers 350 acres in the centre of London and is one of the capital’s eight Royal Parks.

It is home to a number of famous landmarks including the Diana Memorial Fountain which was opened by Her Majesty The Queen on 6 July 2004. The design of the fountain aims to reflect Diana’s life; water flows from the highest point in two directions as it cascades, swirls and bubbles before meeting in a calm pool at the bottom. There are three bridges where you can cross the water and go right to the heart of the fountain.

Speakers’ Corner in the park is a historic site for public speaking and historic figures such as Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and George Orwell were known to often use the area to demonstrate free speech. Even today, on a Sunday morning, it’s not unusual to find crowds gathering at Speakers’ Corner to listen to enthusiasts expounding their views.

The park also offers various recreational activities including open water swimming, boating, cycling, tennis and horse riding.

You can find out much more about the park and plan your visit here.

Hyde Park is easily reached by tube or bus from any of our London vacation rentals and can be reached on foot from many of them, including properties ref: CDP, CVN, DNE, EMP, LAU, MPW & QSC2.

 

 

14
May
Great British Beer Festival
by Gill Chris

August 11-15

The Great British Beer Festival has celebrated 30 years of being Britain’s biggest and best beer festival. Also known as the Biggest Pub in the World, the festival plays host to some 900 beers, lagers, ciders and perries from the UK and around the world.

Held at London Olympia, the Festival, which is organised by CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale), features over 250 British breweries in 27 different bars where visitors can try both well-known brews and limited edition beers from some of the UK’s biggest and best real ale brewers.

There are also plenty of opportunities to enjoy fantastic entertainment, great food and traditional pub games.

You can find out more about visiting the Festival, and buy your tickets here.

Olympia has its own dedicated tube station – Kensington (Olympia) – but is also within walking distance of several other stations and is well served by buses.  Our london vacation rental property ref: CHN is within a 20 minute walk.
11
May
The London Eye
by Gill Chris

The London Eye, centrally located in the heart of the capital opposite the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, is the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel and showcases breathtaking 360 degree views of the city and its famous landmarks. The slow rotation in one of the 32 glass capsules takes around half an hour and gives you an ever-changing perspective of London with breathtaking views of Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, The Gherkin and Canary Wharf to name but a few. On a clear day you can see up to a 40 kilometre panoramic view.

Free with every ticket is entry to the London Eye 4D Experience which brings London to life through unique perspectives and multi-sensory special effects, including wind, bubbles and scent.

It is a good idea to book tickets in advance – you can do this and find out more about visiting the London Eye here.

The nearest stations are Waterloo, Embankment, Charing Cross and Westminster.  Our London vacation rental property ref: THD is within a 15 minute walk.

7
May
City of London Festival
by Gill Chris

June 22 – July 10

Every year the City of London Festival brings the unique buildings and outdoor spaces of the City to life with an extensive programme of music, performance arts, comedy, walks, tours and talks. The festival offers special events and world class artists, beautiful surroundings and opportunities for participation and learning.

Some of the highlights this year include concerts in St. Paul’s Cathedral, chamber recitals in the beautiful Livery Halls (rarely open to the public) and a variety of kid’s theatre, comedy, circus and cabaret in the Bowler Hat, a pop-up venue in Paternoster Square.

Founded in 1962 with the aim of revitalising the cultural life of the City, the Festival has become one of the UK’s leading arts events.

You can see the full list of events and book your tickets here.

We do still have availability over this period in some of our London vacation rentals but properties do book up fast so act quickly if you want to get your first choice!

4
May
St. Paul’s Cathedral
by Gill Chris

St. Paul’s cathedral, with its world-famous dome, is an iconic feature of the London skyline. For more than 1,400 years, a Cathedral dedicated to St Paul has stood at the highest point in the City. The present Cathedral is the masterpiece of Britain’s most famous architect Sir Christopher Wren.

Within the awe-inspiring cathedral there is plenty to explore. Venture down to the Crypt to discover the tombs and memorials of some of the nation’s greatest heroes such as Admiral Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. Visitors can also try out the acoustic quirks of the Whispering Gallery and continue their climb to the Golden Gallery.  If you can manage to climb the 500+ steps right to the top of the dome you will be rewarded with some of the best views in London.

Tickets can be purchased here.

St. Paul’s can be easily reached by public transport from any of our London vacation rentals.  The nearest tube stations are St. Pauls, Mansion House, Blackfriars and Bank.

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