London is such a vast city and even though there are so many ways to get around and explore, such as the tube, double decker buses and taxis, they can take a hefty amount of your budget.
Wouldn’t it be easier to have a hotel within walking distance to many of the sights? To be able to spend less travelling and more time exploring?
This guide aims to give you an insight into staying in a hotel, such as the Shaftesbury Hyde Park International Hotel, that is minutes away from Bayswater Tube Station, bars and restaurants, such as the Hyde International Restaurant and Bar which is on site and the E&O Restaurant, and is within walking distance from some of London’s tourist attractions. Portobello Road Market is only 1.1 miles walk away and is the largest antiques market in the world with over 1,000 dealers with an array of collectibles and antique furniture and trinkets for you to haggle your way through and Paddington train station is 0.6 miles away from the hotel and inside it has an attraction which many people like to tick off their list.
Paddington Bear has become a world famous bear and his story begins in Paddington station, hence his name. In honour of him and his creator Michael Bond, there is a bronze statue situated near platform 1 for all fans young and old to go and take a picture with him in his first stop from Peru.
Designed by King William III and Queen Mary II in 1689, Kensington Palace is only 0.5 miles from the hotel and has been a residence for many royal figures since, such as Queen Victoria, the late Princess Diana and, currently, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their children.
It became a focal point for mourners after Princess Diana’s death with over 1 million flowers being laid in remembrance to her and, even today, people still continue to lay flowers on the anniversary of her death. The palace houses many exhibitions that allows guests to see what the palace would have looked like at different periods in history; from William and Mary’s State rooms to an exhibition of clothing owned by Princess Margaret, Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth II.
Afterwards, take a stroll around the exquisite gardens and see if you can spot the memorials as well as the beautiful Peter Pan bronze statue.
The Albert Memorial is one of the many memorials that can be found in Kensington Gardens. It was designed by George Gilbert in the late 19th century in memory of Prince Albert, husband to Queen Victoria, who died of illness in 1861. It has been branded one of the most ornate, Victorian gothic style memorials in the city and it shows Prince Albert proudly holding a brochure from the Great Exhibition of 1851, an event that he helped to bring to London.
It is a stunning example of Victorian art and it is a dedication from a grieving wife to her beloved husband.
Just across the Serpentine lies Hyde Park which is a mere 0.9 miles from the hotel in Hyde Park and is 350 acred of splendor and beauty. Created in 1536 when Henry VIII turned the land into a hunting park filled with deer and stag, it has a vast and interesting history, ranging from Elizabeth I reviewing her armies there to holding the Crystal Palace exhibition in the 19th century.
Now, it holds a range of notable landmarks such as Speakers’ Corner and the Serpentine Lake. It is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of London life and offers activities such as horse riding and boat rides.
Just 1.4 miles away and tucked on the edge of Hyde Park is the iconic Marble Arch. It may seem odd that this extravagant gate is situated on the outskirts of a park but in the 1800’s it was the ceremonial entrance to none other than Buckingham Palace itself.
Unfortunately, with refurbishments and expansions the gate had to be moved where it was used as a grand entrance to the Great Exhibition that was held in Hyde Park in 1851. It is definitely one to see to tick off your tourist list.
Not only are The Natural History Museum, Science Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum all located 1.3 miles away from the hotel on Cromwell Road but they are also have free admission for all. Not only can you spend hours exploring artefacts from the depths of history, space, time and fashion but you also don’t have to dip into your budget to do it.
The Natural History museum is amazing as it contains species from the beginning of time to present day, even ones such as the Dodo. Their dinosaur displays are incredible; on entry to the museum, which is free, you are greeted by a colossal dinosaur in the welcome hall. From here there are a mixture of bones and reconstructions including a motorised Tyrannosaurus Rex, a bug department and even gems and minerals that have been collected from all over the world.
The Science Museum is a stone’s throw from the Natural History Museum and it covers everything that has become important in our lives such as mobile phones, computers, cars and even rockets. There is also an in-depth exhibition on the beginnings of medicine and it shows some of the gruesome tools that were used during operations in the age of the Victorians.
The Victoria & Albert Museum, or V&A for short, shows the treasures from the last 200 years collected from all over the British Empire. Some of the pieces were showcased in the Crystal Palace Exhibition in the 19th century, while others are much more recent such as Queen Elizabeth II’s gowns.