Spring, London, Tips, Hotel

Melita Travel Tips: How To Pack For London In The Spring!

Spring, London, Tips, Hotel

London is beautiful place to visit at any time of the year, there’s always something new to see and do regardless of the weather.  However, there’s something quite refreshing about the city in spring.  One thing that makes London stand out as a city is that it does have plenty of green open spaces and in springtime these areas are bursting into life!

The Melita is ideally placed for you to capture all the wonders of spring in London.  A townhouse, situated in a quiet and leafy suburban street in Pimlico, you could be forgiven for forgetting just how close to the city sights you are when you see the blossoming trees outside your room window.

You are, in fact, walking distance away from some of London’s most iconic parks, St James’s, Green and Hyde Parks are minutes away from your comfy room.  These are the places to really appreciate spring kicking into action in the capital.

But what exactly is London like in the Springtime?  England is of course famous worldwide for its inclement weather, but what are the best things to bring along with you to survive?  What do you need to know to escape the likely monsoon and the freezing temperatures?  What is going to make your life easier on your trip?  Read on for some top tips.

 

Water Repellant Coats and Clothes (And Umbrellas!)

OK, let’s tackle the weather thing straight away.  In London it is unusual for it to be very hot which I’m sure you know?  But what you may not know is that it is also unusual for it to be very cold either.  You may disagree if you come from a particularly hot climate of course, but the truth is temperature wise on most days it is neither one thing or another.

On very rare occasions in springtime you may get a particularly hot day.  In these cases remember that air conditioning on public transport in England is still a rarity and that overdressing when travelling may make you very uncomfortable.  In fact, central London tubes are warm all year round.

It is unlikely you will get any extremely cold days in London in springtime, the only exception may be at the very beginning of March.  The coldest days are seen between December and February, with the latter being a particularly cold month.  It’s true to say that you won’t find many Londoners dressing for the cold during springtime.

What you will need however, is something to keep the rain off.  In England it rains, a lot.  Ever heard of the ‘April Showers’?  Well, you’ll definitely know them by the time you leave!  Every Londoner carries an umbrella and most will have a raincoat on or stashed about their person in springtime.

Bring plenty of waterproof clothing to London in the spring, like the fairground rides state, “You Will Get Wet!’.

 

Bring a Smartphone or Camera with Plenty of Memory

London is apparently the selfie capital of the world.  One survey found that 14% of all selfies across social media channels had London as a back drop.  That’s not surprising considering how much there is to see here.  Using the Melita Hotel as your base you are ideally placed for fantastic photo opportunities at all of the great London landmarks.

Buckingham Palace is just a walk away and Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London, Piccadilly Circus, Tower Bridge and many more are just minutes away on the tube.

With all of these fantastic things to take pictures of you’re going to need plenty of memory.  Springtime is a lovely time to take some amazing pictures of London, don’t leave anything to chance!

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UK Plug adaptors

If you’re coming from out of the country, here’s a tip for all year round.  The UK has different plug sockets to what you’d find in the US, Europe, Australia, South Africa and a great deal of Asia.  The solid three pin system is fairly unique, make sure you don’t get caught out.

 

Street and Tube Map

Gone are the days of having to lug around a cumbersome A-Z and trying to figure out where to go on the tube using a map on the back of a small ticket wallet.  This is great, as in London your A-Z could end up getting distinctly soggy in springtime.  Now you have no excuses getting lost as they are all available on your smartphone.

The tube map will be of fantastic use during your stay at the Melita.  You are minutes away from Victoria underground station and from there you can reach just about any sight you want to see in London.

 

Two Pairs of Shoes – Comfortable & Smart

I’m sure some ladies will ignore this advice and you are more than welcome to bring as many shoes as you desire of course.  Our advice would be to bring one pair of comfy shoes to walk about in and one pair of smart shoes for going out in.

Although the Melita Hotel is ideally placed for all public transport in London, you do have to be prepared to do a lot of walking around, as you would on any city adventure.  Make sure you have shoes that are not only comfortable to have on all day, but that are also waterproof. Did I mention that it sometimes rains in London?  Trainers may or may not be suitable, depending on the type.

London has some beautiful restaurants and clubs that your walking boots may look out of place in.  If you plan on going somewhere a bit posh, packing smart shoes may also be a good idea.

London is an appealing destination at any time of year.  Warm summers spent lying in the numerous parks, autumn evenings wondering around London’s plentiful pubs and bars, holiday time with it’s traditional Christmas celebrations and finally spring, where London comes to life after its long drawn out winter.

There is no better place to appreciate Springtime in London than in the surroundings of the comfortable, family run Melita Hotel.


Top Ten Selfie Spots near The Melita Hotel, London

London is often cited as one of the most picturesque tourist cities in the world.  With a history dating back hundreds of years intertwined seamlessly with the trappings of a modern metropolis it’s easy to see why.

London is also considered by some as the selfie capital of the world.  A recent survey found that an incredible 14 percent of selfies on social media platforms are taken in front of well known London monuments.

When you stay at The Melita you are not just residing in the middle of the UK’s capital, you are also ideally placed to capture some of the world’s most iconic selfies!  But where to start?  Start by taking a selfie in front of the beautiful townhouse hotel that is The Melita, of course.  Then perhaps move on to some off these.

Hotel London, Best

 

1.)Tower Bridge

London, Tower Bridge

The king of London selfies!  Now, just to be clear, Tower Bridge is the one with the towers at either end that occasionally lifts up in the middle.  It is NOT London Bridge which, although it’s nice enough, just doesn’t quite have the same selfie appeal.

London Bridge IS however, a decent place to take a selfie of Tower Bridge.  A better place is from numerous spots along the South Bank.

 

2.)The Tower of London

Now we’re talking proper history.  Shift along the South Bank a little further and you’ll get a good shot of the magnificent Tower of London.  Venture into it and you’ll find many more selfie opportunities, including one with the friendly Beefeaters.

Remember however, no selfies allowed with the Crown Jewels or you may just end up locked in the Tower with them!

 

3.)Buckingham Palace

Within walking distance of your comfortable room at the Melita Hotel is the Queen’s very own comfortable home.  A selfie in front of the gates is a firm favourite as is an action one in front of the changing of the guards ceremony.

This is one of the places where you can see the stern and unsmiling Queen’s Guard with their distinctive red uniforms and bearskin hats.  Don’t forget, these guys are no Beefeaters.  They are at work and armed, keep your distance!

 

4.)Red Telephone Box

There are numerous selfie opportunities here, although to be honest in this instance a selfie probably won’t give you the best shot.  See how many you can find and see what other London landmarks you can fit in the background.  In Westminster you can get Big Ben or Westminster Abbey in the shot, time it right and you could get a black cab in too!

See how many phone boxes you can get in one shot (tip – Board Court in Covent Garden has five in a row).  For those phone box geeks out there, there is actually more than one design for the iconic red phone box, how many can you find?

 

5.)Big Ben and The Houses of Parliament

We’ve already mentioned these but they are worth another mention as they’re literally just two tube stops away from The Melita Hotel.

After Tower Bridge, Big Ben is probably the second most popular true selfie shot in London.  Not quite as funny as pretending you are holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa with one finger, but positioning Big Ben between your thumb and forefinger is still going to be absolutely hilarious.

Find a pedantic Londoner and they will tell you it’s actually called Elizabeth Tower, Big Ben is just the name of the bell inside.

 

6.)Piccadilly Circus and Regent Street

Okay, so it’s no Times Square in terms of neon, but we love it and it’s still an iconic location.  Get a double decker bus going past the billboards and you’ve got yourself a postcard perfect selfie.  The statue of Eros is also a good shot to add to your collection.

If you navigate yourself to the beginning of Regent Street there is also a great shot you can take as the buildings curve round the corner on either side of the road.  The best selfie shot has you standing in the middle of the road.  You just have to not mind getting a bit run over.

 

7.)King’s Cross Platform 93/4

Kings Cross London

This does exist, sort of!  Eagle eyed and die hard Harry Potter fans might notice that the film’s exterior shots are actually of St Pancras station, rather than the far less attractive King’s Cross station.  But don’t worry, St Pancras is right across the street for that exterior selfie.

The platform is not actually a platform, more of a sign on the wall with a trolly embedded in it.  But somebody is on hand to dress you up in a cloak and a Gryffindor scarf and take a professional picture if you want one.

Both stations are accessed from the same tube station, just a tube ride away from the Melita, you don’t even have to change lines!

 

8.)The Shard

The tallest building in the United Kingdom and Western Europe, the Shard sits on the South Bank and towers over the rest of London.  OK, so visitors from the US and the Middle East may have taller buildings in their local villages but this is Europe and in Europe it’s massive!

It isn’t the tallest building on the planet but you can crouch down and get the whole thing in on one glorious selfie shot.  Yes, it may fit three times into the Burj Khalifa, but try getting the whole of the Burj Khalifa in a photo along with your head!

 

9.)The London Eye

Built to celebrate the millennium before turning into a modern London icon in its own right, the London Eye is a perfect location for multiple selfies.

We don’t mean position yourself in various locations around it and take pictures with it in the background, no, you actually have to get on it!

Once you do you can spot practically every famous landmark from a unique position, as well as seeing the contrast between London City, and the sprawling but flat South London.

 

10.)Madame Tussauds

London is full of celebrities, wander about long enough and you’re bound to see someone famous, but it goes without saying that they may not be overly keen in having a selfie with you!  If you want a guaranteed celebrity selfie then the most famous waxworks in the world may be a good choice of location.

Less than ten minutes on the tube from your base at The Melita Hotel, not only can you take a selfie with Kim Kardashian, but you could actually be in her selfie.  Are you one of the people who don’t know (or care) what a Kardashian is?  Don’t worry, there’s plenty more people to get up close and personal with.  A picture with the Queen or Darth Vader?  Perhaps a close up with James Bond or The Hulk?

It won’t take you long to realise why London is the selfie capital of the world, especially if you stay at The Melita Hotel.  All of the above are literally minutes away from your comfortable room!

 

 


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Best Spa Experiences Near The Melita Hotel In London

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The Melita Hotel is a beautiful townhouse hotel located in a leafy residential street in Pimlico.  It offers great hospitality and is fully committed to service as well as offering great value for money.  You’d think that staying in your comfy, crafted room would be relaxing enough?  But then you remember that London has some of the best spas in the UK, and The Melita is so well located that even getting to them will be a relaxing experience.

 

The Spa in Dolphin Square

This spa is located within a couple of minute’s walk of Pimlico underground station, Pimlico underground station is just one stop away from Victoria station and Victoria station is just a few minutes walk from the Melita Hotel.  How much more of a relaxing journey do you want to have?!

This spa offers the chance to unwind to Moroccan Hammam and Rhassoul rituals, specialising in the cleansing, exfoliation and detoxification of your skin; tailored spa treatments to help with relaxation & balance and prescriptive maintenance & repair.

The spa’s Moroccan persona blends seamlessly with the busy reality of London.  Plants and herbs that are indigenous to Morocco are actually harvested in the gardens of Dolphin Square for use in the various unique treatments and rituals the spa has to offer.  Even the mineral water is drawn from an Artesian well in the City of Westminster.

The Spa in Dolphin Square offers a number of packages and specific treatments which cover pre-natal requirements, baby shower party packages and they are even Hen Party friendly.

 

Antara Spa at The Chelsea Health Club & Spa

Best, Hotel, London, Spa

Antara Spa boasts everything you need for a complete spa day, but its website is at pains to say that there is “no overnight accommodation”.  No problem when your comfy room at the Melita Hotel is less than fifteen minutes away by underground!

The spa is located a few minutes walk from Fulham Broadway tube station, in the Chelsea Health Club.  The Chelsea Health Club is part of Stamford Bridge Stadium, another bonus if you’re a blues fan!

Antara Spa is a holistic spa which gathers together world renowned treatments which are both evocative and innovative.  The meaning of the word Antara is ‘balance from within’ and that is exactly the aim of this spa, bringing together your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

There are six treatment rooms at the spa, all decorated in their own particular style.  This includes a Couples Room where you can relax with your loved one in a big steel hot tub.

Antara Spa can put together bespoke treatment packages as well as a range of standard treatments for bodies, facials and a Finishing Touches package.  One of the most popular standard packages they offer are Couples Days.  These couple’s packages include one and two hour treatments right through to full days and an intriguing option called Cleopatra’s Signature Ritual.

Spending the weekend with a loved one in London at The Melita?  This sounds like a ‘must add’ into your plans.

 

Cowshed Spas

Here’s where you can choose your location because you can enjoy Cowshed Spas at five locations across London.  Don’t worry, all of them will be easy to get to from The Melita Hotel.  Choose from Central London, West London, North London or East London.  These include locations within famous locations, as you can find one in Selfridges and another in the world renowned ‘swinging sixties’ Carnaby Street.

These spas are on a smaller scale than some others but have far more affordable options than most.  They even let you whizz in, have your treatment, and whizz out again if you are on a tight schedule.

You won’t find whale music or anyone playing the harp and feeding you grapes here, but you will feel a homely atmosphere and an ideal place to meet friends and socialise.

They do offer a full range of treatments of course, including manicures, pedicures, facials and full body massages.  Try the famous Cowgroom which features two therapists working on you in tandem for the ultimate pampering experience.

If you’re not in a rush then it’s the ideal place to relax post treatment with some tea and a slice of cake.  Perhaps even sample and buy some of their produce, which includes hand washes, lotions, candles, room sprays and diffusers.

 

Banya No 1

London Hotel, Spa

If you’re looking for something (a lot) different to the norm and you don’t mind a little bit of extra travel (if half hour door to door from the Melita can be considered extra travel), then Banya No 1 should definitely be on your radar.

This is an authentic Russian Banya based in the heart of London.  A Banya, in case you were wondering, is a traditional Russian Steam Sauna.  It is a sauna which generate high levels of steam through putting water onto cast iron which has been heated to 700° inside a brick furnace.  This causes a lower temperature than you’d find inside a sauna but the increased steam lets the body sweat and detoxify.

After your visit to the sauna, to continue the authentic experience, you will have a bundle of birch, oak or eucalyptus twigs rubbed onto your body to boost your blood circulation and alleviate stress.  The experience is concluded by an invigorating dip into a cold plunge pool.  The adrenalin rush this causes will leave you both relaxed and invigorated.

The whole package includes authentic Russian food and drinks too and other treatments can be added, such as a honey and salt scrub or a Russian style deep tissue massage.

The Banya is mixed for most days, but does have times that are for men or women only, it’s worth checking the website before visiting to make sure you don’t get caught out!

London may be a busy city full of hustle and bustle with a thousand things to see and do all at once.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t take a little time out to relax.  You’re on holiday after all.  Leave it to the Melita to relax and de-stress you while you sleep, but why not try one of these amazing experiences during the day to leave you feeling really loosened up at the end of your break?


London Hotel, London Travel

6 Incredible Places Just 20 Minutes from The Melita

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London remains England’s most treasured city. Home to the Royal Family and some of Britain’s most historically relevant buildings and architectural marvels, the capital is also culturally rich and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Guests who make the sound choice to stay at The Melita have an especially wonderful arrangement of amenities and attractions available to them, most of which are just a stone’s throw away from the hotel. From Westminster Cathedral to Buckingham Palace, these six incredible places are located within 20 minutes from our historic hotel, perfect for adventurous wandering, exploration, and self-guided tours!

Victoria Station

Manchester_Victoria_station_19-10-2009_12-11-47kopie

First, and perhaps most importantly on this list, is Victoria Station just minutes from our hotel entrance, in the heart of London. Not only can you catch a train from the station to just about anywhere else in London; the building itself is intricately designed and quite beautiful. An Edwardian facade and dual mermaid statues with Pre-Raphaelite faces make this building, a stunning marvel of historical art in its own right.

If you’re visiting Victoria Station for transportation, it’s helpful to know that station link buses run twice per hour. Both the London Underground and the Airbus are accessible from this location. If you’re driving, you may park your automobile in the car park next door while traveling around the city.

For more information about Victoria Station, or to verify scheduled times, click here.

 

Westminster Cathedral

westminster_cathedral1

One of the London’s most famous locations, the Westminster Cathedral has remained steadfastly in place since the first foundation bricks were laid in 1875. Owned by the Catholic Church, it remains one of the world’s most opulent and artistic faith-based buildings in the world. Although most royal weddings take place at Westminster Abbey, rather than the cathedral itself, it has played host to a number of famous events.

Lovebirds who are visiting London to marry should know that the cathedral does offer wedding services, but you must belong to the congregation and book at least six months in advance.

For guests who are interested in attending services, both mass and confession are open to the public throughout the week. Because times can change, it’s best to confirm the cathedral’s weekly schedule before your visit; click here for more info.

Guests who simply want to marvel in the beauty of the building itself have plenty of discoveries to make, too. Westminster Cathedral is filled with ecclesiastical treasures. To maximise your experience, stop at the gift shop and purchase a copy of the Cathedral Guide Book for just £5.00. This informative and interesting pocket guide points out the building’s most beautiful areas and opulent treasures, giving visitors a unique glimpse into their historical and religious significance.

For more information on Westminster Cathedral, click here.

Apollo Victoria Theatre

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Yet another of London’s most historic and beautiful buildings, the Apollo Victoria Theatre was originally built by expert architects Ernest Wamsley Lewis and William Edward Trent in 1929. Dual entrances on both Vauxhall Bridge and Wilton Road lead the interior, where you can access the box office and purchase tickets for a variety of shows.

The Apollo Victoria features a year-round selection of masterfully enacted plays, concerts, musicals and performances. Scheduling is subject to change, and depending on the time of year you visit, the content performed may be seasonal, too. Visitors and potential guests can verify the current schedule on the Apollo’s website.

With over 2,000 seats in the auditorium, this rich cultural location has plenty of space for theatre lovers from all over the world. Despite its size, it’s wise to book or purchase tickets well in advance, as some performances, such as 2016’s incredibly popular rendition of “The Wizard of Oz”, “Wicked,” are immensely popular and fill up quickly. Booking with us, has it’s perks and the Apollo Victoria Theatre is just one of the many.

Shows can also be booked ahead of time by making reservations at 0844 826 8000, or by purchasing tickets online.

Tate Britain

photo1

Visiting the Tate Britain museum is like stepping back into art history. With pieces from as far back as the 1500’s, many of which are untouched, preserved originals, it remains important to British culture and history to this day. Famous pieces like “Ophelia” by Sir John Everett Millais, Bt, “Proserpine” by Dante Gabriel Ross, and “Newton” by William Blake make this location a must-see for any history or art buff. We love the arts, and being centrally located to so many art filled destinations makes The Melita Hotel, a travelers haven.

Tate Britain is open from Monday to Sunday 10.00 to 18.00, but scheduling for special events and exhibits may range beyond these hours. Admission to the regular museum is entirely free, though you may shop at the gift shop or make a donation if you wish to support their work.

Once you’re finished browsing the beautiful collection, stop by the Djanogly café. Or, come to experience London’s historical afternoon tea any time after 1.00.

For more information about Tate Britain, or to find out about the museum’s current tour schedule, dial +44 (0)20 7887 8888.

St. James’s Park

St James's Park, London, London Hotel

At a sprawling 23 hectares in size, St. James’s Park is the place to be if you want to experience the English countryside without ever leaving London. This beautiful green space is home to exquisite gardens, a beautiful pond, fountains, a small and cosy cafe, and a large number of waterfowl, including ducks, swans, geese, and even pelicans.

Despite being centrally located, close to Buckingham Palace, the park’s gardens are more influenced by French botany than by English gardening techniques. Today, their design draws influence from historical gardens in Versailles, France, and a smattering of modern, contemporary practices. Expect to enjoy an endless array of flora and fauna if you visit during the growing season.

St. James’s Park is also home to a small bridge that offers one of the most beautiful views of Buckingham Palace in all of London. This picturesque location is frequented by tourists seeking commemorative photos and snapshots, and it makes an excellent stop-over after weddings, too.

Depending on when you visit, you may also arrive on time to witness incredible events like the Horse Guard Parade or the yearly Trooping the Colour ceremony. Afternoon tea is served at Inn the Park, as is lunch, dinner, and supper. A variety of other refreshments, like cold drinks and ice cream, can be had by visiting any of the many refreshment points scattered throughout.

St. James’ Park is open to visitors from 05:00 – 00:00.

Buckingham Palace

London Hotel, London Travel

No visit to London would ever be complete without laying eyes on the incredible Buckingham Palace. Home to British royalty and high society members since George III first purchased it for his wife Charlotte in 1761, it officially became the British Monarch’s residence in 1837, during Queen Victoria’s reign. Visitors from afar will immediately recognise the balcony that sits on the front facade; this is the most common place at the palace for British royals to make public appearances on special occasions, including Queen Elizabeth II herself.

Buckingham Palace is truly palatial in every sense of the word. The interior holds an incredible 775 different rooms, including 52 individual bedrooms for both the Royal Family and other guests. Receptions and special events take place in one of the palace’s 19 state rooms. In true blue-blooded fashion, Buckingham Palace is also home to 78 individual bathrooms.

Although most of Buckingham Palace’s interior is locked away from visitors for privacy and security reasons, tours are available. Most tours focus on the state rooms and apartments, but this can still provide an intimate glimpse into daily life for the Royal Family within their treasured home.

City Wonders provides an excellent guided walk-through tour that arrives just in time to see the Changing of the Guard; more information is available here. Tickets can be difficult to secure and spots fill up quickly, so if you wish to go, book a spot well in advance.


London Hotel, London Blog, London Best

Off The Beaten Path: Hidden London Gem’s Just A Tube’s Ride Away

Off the Beaten Path: Hidden Gem’s Just A Tube’s Ride Away

 

At The Melita London, we understand first-hand the value in blending tradition with something truly special and entirely your own.  Being personable, approachable, and comfortable all at the same is important to us; it’s what brings our guests back time and time again over the years.

Creating an experience is important; it’s why we strive to go further than just the basics, blending historic tradition with modern appeal to create a warm, friendly hotel where you can truly relax and feel at home. Subtle touches, like the artwork found throughout our hotel, or our steadfast dedication to local artists, set The Melita apart from larger, more sprawling hotels, making it feel special, welcoming, and supportive of your adventurous heart.

It also happens to be what makes The Melita such an excellent “home base” for those who love to explore, foray, and identify what makes the London so special.

With a history of service spanning over half a century into London’s past, we’ve come to appreciate some of the other locations and services that make our city, truly special. If you’ve been craving a bit of time off the beaten path, getting away from busy tourist areas and locations is not only possible, but recommended. We’ve put together some information on three of the city’s most delightful hidden gems, so you can enjoy these treasured little experiences and places, too.
Ye Olde Mitre

London Blog, London Bars, To Do In London, London Hotel

Ye Olde Mitre is a quirky little historical pub tucked away at 1 Ely Place. It’s the type of place that’s easy to miss from the outside, but well worth visiting at least once during your stay if you want the true English pub experience.

What makes Ye Olde Mitre truly incredible is its age; the building itself was originally built over 500 years ago, in 1546. Even the ivy-covered wooden façade and entrance is something truly special; it feels whimsical, charming, and entirely welcoming, like us!

Inside is an endless array of historical furnishings, a delightful collection of beer mugs hangs with care from an old and well-kept ceiling, and a series of signs reveal the many delectable options available to whet your appetite or quell your thirst.

More than a few visitors immediately notice that the interior is somehow familiar to them, and with good reason: it’s just one of the many English locations used in the film Snatch.

A few things to note before you visit. Ye Olde Mitre is a historic location as well as a cosy pub, so be particularly respectful of your surroundings. Many of the furnishings are well-aged, and while not necessarily delicate, deserve to be handled with a bit more care than your average seating arrangement. The pub is open from 11:00 to 11:00, Monday to Friday, serving especially scrumptious snacks—perfect for whetting the appetite midway through your day.

Having trouble locating the pub? You’re not alone. View their 360-degree tour on their website to catch a quick glimpse of the tiny alleyway they call home. Or, ask our staff to help you find your way.

 

Temple Church

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Ask most Londoners where the best faith-based locations are, and they’ll probably tell you Westminster Abbey or the Westminster Cathedral. To be sure, both of these locations are stunningly beautiful in their own right. Temple Church may be a bit less complex, but it’s certainly no less historical or special. Anyone who’s watched “The Da Vinci Code” will recognise it as the temple used in the film.

One of the world’s oldest churches, this medieval location was originally built and consecrated by Heraclius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, in 1185. The church itself changed hands many times throughout history, first shifting to the Saracens, then to King Edward II, and then to the Order of St. John. Finally, in 1540, the church was again given back to the crown, where it has remained until this day.

Located at King’s Bench Walk, you’ll need to do a bit of trekking to reach Temple Church. There’s no vehicle access to this old and timeless place, so be prepared to wind your way through a series of alleys and paths until you arrive. Fortunately, the walk itself is lovely—many call it one of England’s best outdoor walks–and idyllic on a warm, balmy summer’s day.

Once you arrive, there’s plenty to see. The outer façade retains much of its historic charm, and for architecture buffs, is worth perusing all on its own. Step inside to wander through an endless array of historical information and displays highlighting the many feats undertaken by the Knights Templar throughout history. Several effigies of the Medieval Knights, some detailing their link to King John and Magna Carter, reveal the secrets behind England’s complex and interesting past.

The inner church itself hosts beautiful services throughout the week for those who wish to attend; be sure to check the website before you visit, as times can change without notice. Even the stained glass windows are a sight to be seen. Some tourists have reported that mid-morning seems to be the best time to hear the organist play, alongside the church’s regular services.

Guests can contact John Shearer at the church by dialling 020 7353 3470 for more information about access, tours, and events.

 

Kyoto at Holland Park

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Located at Holland Park, Kyoto is often referred to as one of England’s most serene spaces, and for good reason. Much as with the rest of London, this location is steeped in its own brand of history, too; it’s been around since the early 19th Century and managed to mostly survive World War II.

But set aside Kyoto for a moment; let’s delve into the rich history of Holland Park itself.

Holland Park is expansive, with plenty of open space for sunbathing, relaxing, playing, and picnicking. With a total of 22 hectares of space, it’s easy to get away from it all without ever leaving the city. If you’re coming from the country, and are finding the hub-bub of London a bit much, we greatly recommend a stroll through some of the many beautiful gardens on-side.

Holland Park its name from the Earl of Holland himself, a man also widely considered to be the first successful grower of Dahlias in England. It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that visitors are likely to find beautifully grown Dahlias sprinkled throughout the park during the growing season.

The elegantly manicured grounds sit against a somewhat stark backdrop: a partially destroyed Holland House mansion, brought to ruin during the bombings that took place in WWII. While this may seem like a strange pairing, the architecture is quite remarkable, and the building is a constant yet important reminder of Britain’s incredible tenacity in the face of challenge.

Kyoto, unlike the rest of the park and its gardens, features a unique Japanese aesthetic that you just won’t find anywhere else in London. This portion of the park was a gift from Kyoto in 1991, given to commemorate the long friendship enjoyed by both Britain and Japan.

Though it’s fairly small, encompassing just a small corner of the grounds, there’s just something incredibly tranquil and peaceful about this area of Holland Park. It’s the perfect place for a lazy afternoon spent idling in the sunshine with a lover, and the sweetest spot for catching up on your reading time.

Idyllic little ponds, tiered waterfalls, beautiful stonework, the occasional peacock, and a veritable plethora of beautiful koi fish speak to the soul, encouraging you to slow down, if for just a little while.

Science lovers will appreciate the ecology centre for its educational glimpse into the flora and fauna, while music lovers will appreciate the opera performances occasionally held in nearby Holland Park during the summer.

Holland Park opens each day at approximately 7:30, and remains open until dusk. Considering an excursion? We can help with tips for putting together a delightful picnic lunch for a long, relaxing day in the park; just speak with a member of the staff.

So what are you waiting for? Hop on the tube today and #DiscoverLondon.