London is a city that defies expectations. With 32 boroughs, dozens of districts and with each holding its own unique identity, London can often be mistaken for a collection of towns and villages. Guests of London hotel offers will know this well, the accommodation of England’s capital city serves a wealth of needs, tastes and styles, each encapsulating the area in which they are based.
Cue the Park Grand Heathrow Hotel, a sleek and modern 4 star boutique hotel that offers the best of London with less of the travelling distance from the city’s largest airport. The area of Heathrow then, serves a range of needs, providing easy access into the city centre as well as ample options for escapes from it. The latter are not only represented by one of Europe’s busiest airports, but by the area’s many attractions.
There are many reasons to visit London, but a sightseeing tour of the Heathrow area is not usually top of the agenda. This blog will explore how Heathrow, and more specifically its surrounding Hillingdon, Hounslow and Surrey areas have more to offer than guests of hotels in Hounslow West might first think.
Royal Airforce Museum
From Boeing passenger jets to British made fighter planes, the Royal Airforce Museum is aptly placed in its Hendon locale just 16 miles northeast of Heathrow Airport. This fantastic museum is located in the Hendon Aerodrome, where visitors can learn about the role of the Royal Airforce in developing aviation from the 19th century onwards. With 6 hangars full of vintage and antique aircrafts from throughout the lifespan of the RAF, this museum is one of the UK’s best paeans to the British role in developing air travel.
Ideally placed for international tourists, the Thorpe Park resort is just 7 miles from Heathrow Airport and constitutes 74 acres of theme park fun. Including several hotels and a waterpark, Thorpe Park is best known for its collection of record breaking roller coasters such as Colossus and Stealth.
Just under 8 miles from Heathrow Airport is Windsor Castle, possibly the most iconic still-running castle in England. This huge complex and surrounding parkland encompass what is essentially an entire village and reaches 13 acres in size. Having been used since the 11th century, Windsor Castle has been built upon for centuries, all the way up until the Georgian era. This means that it has Gothic, Norman, Georgian and Victorian features. Visitors can enjoy tours of its state rooms and museum galleries, all of which chart the history of the castle in great detail and recreate some of its most famous rooms.
Runnymede And The Magna Carta
With what is quite possibly one of the largest collections of memorials outside of central London, Runnymede is a large water meadow and grassland that was the site of the first Magna Carta, a document and treaty created in the 13th century that is still held in great reverence today. The Magna Carta was originally a document signed between King John of England and a group of land barons that attempted to bring peace, albeit unsuccessfully between the 17 year reigning king and landowners in England. The Magna Carta outgrew its failings and became a shrine to democracy and the separation of private and feudal rights.
The area is home to a beautiful memorial to the Magna Carta, as well as to John F Kennedy, the Royal Airforce and many ceremonial tree plantings. Incorporating a small eco reserve and beautiful countryside, this serene edgeland of the English Capital is just 10 miles from the Park Grand Heathrow stay packages in London.
Hounslow Heath is a lesser known alternative to Richmond Park, which lies just a few miles from the 200 acre heathland. Once 4000 acres large this Heathland has served many purposes over the years including being an encampment for soldiers of the English Civil War, James II, Romans and even Bronze Age settlers. The beautiful Heath is now a protected reserve and is easily reachable from the Heathrow area.
Bushy Park is one of the largest Royal Parks in London and neighbours Richmond Park, with which it shares a range of the same features. These include deers, woodlands and beautiful Heathlands, all of which border the Kingston and Hampton Court areas. The park has a long history, having been built by Henry VIII as a hunting ground during his reign at Hampton Court Palace. However, the area of the park spans far further back, with archaeological sites having discovered relics there from the Bronze Age.
There are many more modern features at Bushy Park, including memorials to various World War II events including the D Day landings, due to the park being where they were organised from. The park also incorporates grounds for cricket and rugby events.
One of the most family friendly theme parks in the country, Legoland Windsor is a Lego themed amusement park that includes family friendly rides with accessible roller coasters. One of the main attractions at Legoland is its collection of Lego built cities, including Paris, London, New York and many more. For families staying in the Heathrow area, this park is sure to delight all ages, whether you enjoy playing with Lego or not!
Hounslow Urban Farm
Hounslow Urban Farm is a beautiful grassland in Feltham that includes cows, sheep, goats and pigs, providing educational talks and workshops for children. A popular destination for local school trips, tourists will also find this attraction scenic and endearing. Thanks to its location in the spacious northwest London, Hounslow Urban Farm is the largest of its kind in the city.
A mecca for rugby lovers, Twickenham Stadium was the ground at which the 2015 Rugby World Cup was played and is a regular staple of the Six Nations Tournament. With its museum – the World Rugby Museum – holding prized antiques and memorabilia from throughout the sports history, this high watermark of the Rugby Union game is a must for visitors with an interest in sport. If you’re lucky, you could even catch a match from the England team themselves, it being the home ground for all of their matches.