Whether you’re visiting London for the first time or it’s your tenth visit, there’ll always be new areas to explore. With many of the best areas of London spread out into the fringes, you could find yourself 15 miles from the city centre, and still, come across unique attractions.
With hotels like the Park Grand Hotel Hounslow, this is made even easier. With its proximity to Heathrow airport, many business travellers, holidaymakers and overnight tourists find that being close to one of the largest airports in Europe gives them quick access to both transport and city attractions, the best of both worlds then. It’s also true that staying outside of the city centre can make your visit cheaper, and with the added bonus of quieter neighbourhoods and leafier surroundings, this is made more alluring.
Whilst you’ll find plenty to do in the city centre, getting to know the broad variety of events and attractions in the area your staying could make for a fun and surprising day or night out. For the London visitor who fancies a day staying a little closer to their accommodation in Heathrow, here’s everything you need for a tourist outing in Hounslow and North West London.
History of Hounslow
Hounslow was not always a borough of London. With a history dating back to 1211, the area was once part of the Holy Trinity Priory, a large church that brought in a lot of locals and trade. Due to the priory’s presence, Hounslow, or in Anglo-Saxon, “Hundes Hlaw” meaning dogs mound, became a centre for market trade and travellers coming in and out of the city.
With the area becoming more and more popular in the 19th century, it was integrated into the Great Western Railway line, and with the introduction of the Hounslow Loop, further developments eventually led to Hounslow being integrated into London. The arrival of new companies and factories in the 1920s led to a surge in tourism, and Hounslow has since become the closest locale to Heathrow airport
Interesting facts about Hounslow
Hounslow is often overlooked on the London tourist map, so we’ve compiled just a few of the interesting facts about the area.
Feltham Farm is home to countless species of snakes
The nearby Feltham Farm, or Hounslow Urban Farm as its often known, has dedicated its beautiful grounds to cultivating and researching a variety of snake species. With cheap ticket prices, this is just one of the many reasons why you should visit Hounslow Farm.
Queen rocked Hounslow long before it was cool
Whilst the Queen may have her official residence in Buckingham Palace and Windsor, the band started their life in the area of Hounslow. From humble suburban beginnings to 80’s megastars, Freddie Mercury and the gang met at college in Ealing, Freddie having moved to Hounslow from Zanzibar when he was 17.
Attractions and sites in Hounslow
So, if you’re staying in Hounslow, what attractions should you watch out for? With some of the most interesting cultures of London, as well as beautiful historic parks and houses, Hounslow and North West London is an often-overlooked city attraction, providing a treat for all ages.
Whilst not an attraction you’d visit without a purpose, Heathrow airport is still a spectacle to behold. Taking up 12 square kilometres and with its 4 separate terminals, Heathrow is the busiest airport in Europe and the second busiest in the entire world. With countless shopping opportunities, the airport offers up duty-free allure and a whole host of restaurants and bars that you shouldn’t miss if staying at any of the hotels in Hounslow.
Twickenham Stadium is a rugby stadium in West London, and hosts test matches for the English national rugby team. Alongside this, the stadium hosts premiership rugby and Middlesex Sevens matches. With its 82,000 capacity, Twickenham is one of the best-known rugby pitches in the country and gives even a newcomer to the sport a welcoming spectacle of sporting skill and breathtaking atmosphere.
World Rugby Museum
Opened in 1996, the World Rugby Museum is based within Twickenham Stadium and promises an engaging introduction for newcomers to the sport. With 37,000 pieces of rugby history in its South Stand based building, the World Rugby Museum tells the history of the sport whilst presenting items from some of the most legendary players in the world.
Hounslow Urban Farm
Hounslow Urban Farm is a unique city farm that gives kids and adults alike a chance to engage with and explore a broad variety of wildlife. With children’s parties, feeding sessions, pig meet and greets and owl displays, the farm offers locals and tourists the chance to engage with animals you wouldn’t otherwise see in a city setting.
Built in the 1570s, Osterley Park and the Manor in its centre are known for being visited by Queen Elizabeth I. With the stately gardens surrounding the park, the public has the chance to enjoy cafes, forests and beautiful houses during their visit to one of Hounslow’s best gardens.
One of the most famous of the royal parks, Richmond Park is a beautiful gated off scrubland full to the brim with streams, woodland and deer herds. With the adjoining Isabella Plantation offering up a wide variety of flora and fauna, this is every wildlife lover and botanists dream.
Made of about 200 acres of land, this once expansive grassland covered 4000 acres in the past. This is all the more reason to enjoy what’s left, and with the beautiful nature trails and ancient history of Romans and Saxons, Hounslow Heath is one of the best spots in the city for escaping the hubbub.
Another great walk through the North West of London is the Capital Ring. Comprising of about 75 miles around the city, the North West stretch of the nature trail includes walks around Hounslow Heath, Osterley Lock, Greenford, Richmond and South Kenton. With beautiful scenery and history, this is the perfect way to get to know the scenery of North West London.