Many of London’s millions of annual visitors will leave Heathrow airport and head straight for the city centre, believing that everything outside Zone 2 is a barren wasteland. They can’t be blamed for this attitude, since many Londoners think the same way. But if you’re looking for a London holiday with a difference, staying outside the city centre is a great way to discover fascinating new attractions.
If you’re arriving in London via Heathrow Airport, you know that getting into central London can be an absolute nightmare. You can take the Tube and haul heavy suitcases through train stations while you fight the mobs of peak-hour commuters, or pay through the nose for a taxi or the Heathrow Express train. If you’re only in London for a day or so, why go to all that trouble when a wealth of new attractions await you just a few miles from the airport?
Taking the Tube outside of the city can be quite a pleasant experience – the line no longer runs underground, so you can see out the windows and use the internet on your smartphone if you like. Most of the commuters and tourists are gone, and you might even have the whole carriage to yourself. Hounslow Central, just 3 stops from Heathrow Airport, is set in a leafy suburb that still offers all the benefits of the city.
Syon Park is 2.3 miles away and makes a perfect half-day trip for tired travellers. These 500-year-old gardens are planted with hundreds of plant species over thirty lush acres. The centre piece is the spectacular conservatory, where new showcases of plants and flowers are created throughout the year to take you on a journey through colour and scent. From April to October, you can tour the park on its miniature steam train, which is guaranteed to delight kids of all ages.
For a taste of history and culture, Osterley Park and House is a grand country house dating back to the 16th century. It was designed by famous architect Robert Adam and makes for a fascinating few hours of wandering, surrounded by a massive 140 acres of park and farmland. Its ornate 18th century gardens make for excellent photo opportunities and the kitchen is preserved just the way it was when the house was a holiday manor for rich English bankers.
No trip to England is complete without a visit to a proper English pub. The Turk’s Head, a couple of miles from Hounslow Central station, not only offers a selection of authentic English ales but also hosts one of the area’s best comedy nights every Saturday. Well-known comic Omid Djalliliis known to show up regularly to cheer on newer players in the comedy game.
Hotels near Hounslow Central Station are the easiest way to experience everything without spending time and effort on transport. The Park Grand London Heathrow offers 4-star accommodation with great package deals; whether you’re in London on business or stopping over on your holiday, you’ll find the perfect accommodation solution here. Each luxurious bedroom has an iPod docking station and an ensuite bathroom with a rain shower, as well as free wireless and wired high-speed Internet throughout the hotel. Enjoy a traditional full English breakfast or a light continental option, indulge at the buffet, and end your day with a glass of wine in the cosy hotel bar. Just 15 minutes from Heathrow Airport, this is the solution to all your London travel problems.