As we all know, Greater London is full of amazing sights that attract crowds of tourists throughout the year.
However, most of the iconic attractions are located near the historical town centre. While you might think these are inconvenient to visit for guests of hotels near Osterley Tube station or the Heathrow Airport, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The Hounslow area is perfectly positioned for visitors to check out less-heralded – but still amazing! – places that are located close by.
Trust us, when you look at this impressive list of cool activities that you can enjoy from a base near the airport like Park Grand Heathrow, you might actually be tempted to skip downtown London and its traffic altogether!
Here are some of the most gorgeous attractions and fun activities, all easily accessible from Heathrow. In no particular order…
1. Witness history at Windsor Castle
As the residence of the British Royal family that’s been occupied since the 11th century, Windsor Castle is a unique place that most definitely deserves to be seen up close.
The castle is incredibly large and the entire complex stretches over 13 acres, with the main buildings in a combination of Victorian and Georgian styles. The magnificent architecture of the Windsor Castle will give you a glimpse into the medieval era and provide for some amazing photo opportunities. You can easily spend all day wandering round the property and its various facilities, many of which are open for public access and completely representative of their historical era.
2. Enjoy nature at the Kew Gardens
If nature excites you more than history or architecture, you would be well advised to schedule a visit to Kew Gardens.
Established in 1840, this venue houses the largest collection of living plants in the world, which was recognised as a UNESCO heritage site in 2003. There are more than 1 million species of flowers and plants here, many of which are quite rare and exotic meaning you’ll see dozens of things you’ve likely never seen before.
Kew Gardens also offers a chance to study the behaviour of bees at the unique building known as The Hive, located at the heart of this charming garden. Some of the other attractions at Kew Gardens include an art gallery dedicated to nature and a historical cottage that was formerly used as a royal retreat.
3. Watch rugby at the Twickenham stadium
Along with football and cricket, rugby is the national sport of the British Isles and any visitor can learn a lot about local traditions and mentality by watching a high-level match.
Twickenham stadium is certainly a fantastic place to attend your first rugby match since this is the fourth largest stadium in Europe and can comfortably accommodate 82,000 visitors. It has hosted three Rugby World Cups (most recently in 2015), in addition to England’s Test matches in rugby, American football matches, large concerts, and other major public events.
Its location is South London makes it easily accessible for those staying at Park Grand Hotel Hounslow and other locations near the Heathrow airport.
4. Have an adrenaline rush at the Ascot Racecourse
Horse racing is another sport that’s immensely popular in the United Kingdom, and Ascot Racecourse is probably the most iconic venue in the nation.
It’s situated very close to Windsor and has traditionally been the place where monarchs with equestrian passions could come to enjoy the spectacle. The first races at Ascot took place in 1711, with uninterrupted tradition carrying into modern times – it still organises 13 of Britain’s most prestigious Group 1 races every year.
The atmosphere at Ascot during a big race is impossible to put into words, meaning you’ll have to experience it for yourself from the stands! Being a part of a crowd so large and engaged will certainly make for a great story for the folks back home.
5. Take your kids to Legoland Windsor
Visitors to London with kids (or kids at heart) in tow have quite a few options on hand as well, and none are more appealing than Legoland Windsor.
This theme park was built in 1996 and is one of the most popular in the United Kingdom, with more than 2 million visitors per year. The resort features numerous fun rides that kids simply adore, but there are also some educational opportunities as well, including Miniland – a miniature but very elaborate simulation of towns and cities from many different countries. Parents with younger children will find plenty of appropriate areas as well, with Pirate Shore and its ship ride being one of the most commonly chosen options.
6. Go back in time at the Ham House
A picture-perfect country house surrounded by lush gardens, Ham House is one of the most impressive examples of 17th-century architecture you can find anywhere in Europe.
It’s located near the river Thames in the southern part of London and can be easily accessed by public transportation. In fact, a tour of the Ham House makes for a great day out after afternoon tea at the Park Grand Heathrow!
Built in 1611, this protected Grade I property has a powerful historical feel that transports visitors back in time to a place when aesthetics were more formal and more extravagant. Its gardens are a marvel to behold in their own right, with the oldest orange groove in Britain, a traditional dairy house and a charming tea room being among the most important places to see.
7. Riding rollercoasters at the Thorpe Park
Thorpe Park is another great venue for family entertainment, especially if you are looking for a smidge of adventure.
This rollercoaster park is located in Surrey County and has been in continuous operation for 40 years, serving around 1.5 million guests annually. It features seven breath-taking rollercoaster rides, (most of which are more than 100 ft. tall…) along with several flat rides suitable for youngsters.
Each ride has a fun theme, adding an element of fantasy to an otherwise physically exhilarating experience. Thorpe Park might not be for the faint of heart, but it’s absolutely something that will make your London visit a little bit more wild and exciting.