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Top Five Places to Visit in London Off the Beaten Path

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Hello friends, I am here again with another article in the series of London and United Kingdom. In my last article I talked about the top five weekend getaway places in my opinion which are away from London, but easy to reach [Read: Top Five Places to Visit Away From London]. These are those places where one can enjoy being away from the work tension and hustle bustle of London. Getting a good response from you readers and travel enthusiasts, and getting hundred shares on Facebook by you all really encouraged me. Some of my followers on Facebook and via email suggested us to also write about the places within London where one can plan an evening or weekend. And I have quickly considered this suggestion as it will be a good addition to support our travel series on London and United Kingdom.

If you want to find a great place in London where you can plan or organize an event like a meeting, party, a formal or informal function then you may try finding a suitable venue for it here

www.venuefinder.com/venues-in-london/. This is the same website which helped me hire a meeting room as I discussed in my previous article. If you just want to plan an evening or a weekend where you can hangout with your friends or with your special one then I am going to help you ūüėČ

London is a great city and there are many things to do for all kind of people. Recently I also wrote an article on best bars in London. I visited many bars and pubs and restaurants and listed one of the best bars in my opinion. As I said London is for everyone, if you are not the one who enjoys spending time with friends in bars, there are a number of art galleries, theatres, museums, gardens, etc. whatever finds your taste.

When we think of London a lot places come to our mind, like Big Ben, London Bridge, and London Eye, etc. These are no doubt one of the most popular attractions in London, but if you are in London for a long time and you need a change then you must chose the unbeaten path. There are many places in London which deserves your tourist eyes equally.

1. St. James Park

London Eye across the St. James Park
London Eye across the St. James Park, photo by TrevorLowe

If you are in central London, this is one of the best place to stroll. This place is really close to Buckingham Palace, St. James’s Place, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, and Westminster. It is a good place to come with your family friends or your better half. Plenty of benches to relax and talk or you may sit on the grass and admire the nature. I could count 28 different species of flowers in the park, in the season¬†daffodils cover a good part of the park adding the charm in its beauty. If you have been to Hyde park, this one you will find comparatively smaller but equally good. While in the nature surrounded by grass, flowers, birds and squirrels, you can still admire the view of the palace and London eye. You will find some brave squirrels there, if you love them do not forget to take some nuts with you and you will be able to make some new furry friends. You can arrive here from Green Park tube or St. James Park tube. Green park is another beautiful park just adjacent to it.

If you are with kids, they will love this place as there is a lot of open space to run about and there are ducks, swans and many other different birds and pigeons in the park and in the lake. If you have plans of eating there then beware of squirrels, but if you have come to feed them, then enjoy feeding them. If you have come to visit the palace, or London Eye, you should spend some time here to rest and relax before continuing your rest of the London trip.

2. Up at the O2

Up at the O2
Up at the O2, Photo by Jason

Up at the O2 is quite a new attraction which London has to offer to the tourists and Londoners. It was officially open ¬†to the public on 21st June, 2012. This place deserves your time to give you an unforgettable experience which will take¬†you on an uplifting expedition across the roof of the world’s most popular entertainment venue along a 190m long tensile fabric walkway and then back to the base with a thrill completing your ninety minutes of adventure. In the centre of the roof, from the viewing platform you can experience the stunning 360 degree view of the London including the Olympic Park, Thames Barrier, The Shard, Historic Royal Greenwich and Canary Wharf.

Try to go there in the evening when the sun is setting while going up you will be able to enjoy the sun setting and on the top as the sun goes down you will see the city lighting up which is a great feeling. At first the climbing could be very steep and it could be really windy up there. They will provide you shoes with better grip and wind proof suit that would help you even better to enjoy the view.

The staff is really friendly and can guide you along the expedition telling you interesting things about London and Up at the O2. People move in batches so you will have plenty of room when you will be enjoying the 360 degree view at the top.

Tickets start at £22 for adults and children. Try booking in advance to avoid disappointment. If you are an O2 customer you are eligible for nearly 15% of discount if you book tickets online.

3. Somerset House Ice Rink

Somerset House Skating Rink
Somerset House Skating Rink, photo by oatsy40

This is one of the greatest Ice Rink, not in the size but in the sense of its location, in the Somerset House! Excellent location and cheaper than expected, the atmosphere at this Ice Rink has more to offer than just skating. With music, with a small “light show”, and a tent where you can warm up with hot chocolate or mulled wine, skating here is more than just fun. Since the rink is comparatively smaller you may expect it to get crowded, but still getting here and getting the tickets is easier. Even then I would advice you to book in¬†advance to avoid any disappointment. During Christmas and new year it is even better with all the festival decoration and new year fireworks.

There is a separate area for learning dedicated to small children with push along penguins to help them take support as well as give them the understanding of other people in the rink. There is a cafe too and cloak room which can take care of your bags.

4. Regent’s Park

Regent's Park
Regent’s Park, photo by¬†Rictor Norton & David Allen

This park is one of my favourite place, I think this is one of the place in Europe where you can see people playing cricket freely. Being a part of TWR I learnt a lot about cricket while in India, people are more crazy about cricket there than they are in England, given it is a British game.

The park is a large and well kept popular recreation area where you can enjoy tennis courts, cricket ground, children’s playgrounds and the London Zoo. There is also one artificial lake, boating pool and an open air theatre. The park is busiest on its south side where access from public transport is easier. On the north side of the park is London zoo.

The park acts as a true oasis in the middle of all the hustle bustle of the city. If you wander further in the park, you will be completely isolated from the noise of the city. You can walk and explore or you may rent a bike, you may even rent a deckchair and stay amidst the blooming roses. The place is also good to go with family kids or pets. In the evening you will find kids playing cricket or soccer, which is a great sight specially seeing them playing cricket as I have not seen people in Europe playing cricket, although it is a European game.

5. Covent Garden

Covent Garden
Covent Garden, photo by Jaume Meneses

This is a happening place for both guys and girls; men and women; basically for everyone and for every age, and for all kinds of tastes. This place offers some of the nicest restaurants, bars, markets, boutiques, shopping centres, and theatres making it London’s premier tourist centre. It is a real tourist trap, but fun to almost spend the whole day. If you want to eat or get a drink then it could be slightly costly. Fast food in the market can be better choice if you need budget food of good quality.

There are shops selling from clothes to jewellery to cupcakes and macaroons. On the weekend you wil lfind handicrafts and stalls for other cool handmade gift items too. It is always interesting to walk here and you will find way too talented street artists and performers who never fail to amuse you with their performance. The food, drinks, transport museum, Disney store and Apple store, everything is good and you will feel really safe. The atmosphere and the ambiance will pull you from anywhere. In history and story books I have read about this place a lot of times, but being here was a different experience and I was able to relate how it was narrated in the books in the real life.

Don’t think that if you are in London that too in a shopping place then you will have to spend a lot. There is everything for any range and it is not¬†compulsory¬†to buy something. Even if you do not buy anything there is a lot of free entertainment at this place that can keep you entertained for the whole day. You can enjoy looking at the street performers, people, and having snacks and meals with drinks.

This place can sometime be very crowded so time your visit accordingly and I am sure you will enjoy this place.

I hope you agree with the places I listed here as one of the best places in London where you can relieve your work and city tensions. As I wrote in my previous article, it is not necessary to move out of London to find peace, you can do that well being in London. So here I am concluding this another article in the London and UK travel series. You may subscribe to my updates and follow me where I am travelling via RSS. You can write your opinion in the comment section below and send me suggestion on which places should I cover next.

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Europe

Barcelona and Athens: cities that will leave an everlasting impression

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Barcelona house real estate

Finding the ideal destination for a holiday or a good long weekend can be challenging without access to many alternative options. Luckily, there are cities that need no introduction to know that they hold the solution; such is the case with Barcelona, in Spain, and Athens, in Greece, which you should always have at the top of your list of potential places to visit. 

Barcelona, a city you’ll never forget

Barcelona is where you can find everything to make the most of your time and live unique experiences. Just go online and search for a city guide of Barcelona to review everything and start planning your trip.

The help of a good website

Tourism blogs and websites are an excellent alternative to virtually explore Barcelona and learn more about places to visit, public transport schedules, dining options, hotels and accommodations, and other useful information to make your visit more enjoyable.

The key lies in planning

With good planning, you’ll not only find splendid places to spend wonderful moments but also save money and get great recommendations to make your trip and stay enjoyable.

Park G√ľell: a must-visit

Barcelona stands out for its incredible attractions, among which Park G√ľell shines. Just read more about this interesting place to fall in love with it and make this visit mandatory.

What is Park G√ľell?

It’s one of Barcelona’s most emblematic places, designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaud√≠. Originally conceived as a housing development and later converted into a public park.

Architectural and natural elements

The main entrance is flanked by two modernist pavilions, with a staircase leading to the famous hypostyle hall and a central square with a panoramic view of Barcelona. Additionally, it features over 17 hectares of gardens, viaducts, and winding paths, integrating architecture with the natural landscape.

Cultural Heritage

Park G√ľell is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage and is classified as a Cultural Interest Site of Spain.

Athens: a journey to the past

Another city that will surely surprise you with its cultural and historical legacy is Athens, Greece, where you can enjoy impressive Hellenic ruins. It’s advisable to visit an Athens travel guide on the internet before you go to learn about everything and better organise your visit.

Historical richness

With over 3,000 years of history, Athens is the cradle of Western civilization and is home to ancient monuments such as the Parthenon, the Agora, the Acropolis, and many Greek temples.

Mediterranean cuisine

One of the main attractions of this city is its cuisine, which offers a delicious culinary experience of the Mediterranean diet.

Hospitality

Athens is known for its friendliness, and it is well-equipped to cater to tourists from all over the world.

The Acropolis of Athens

While in Athens, you have to visit the Acropolis, where masterpieces of Hellenic architecture are concentrated for you to marvel at their grandeur. Keep in mind that it is a highly visited site, so you should book now to secure access for your visit.

Beautiful architecture

Acropolis means “high city,” as it is located on a rocky outcrop in the city centre. Here you’ll find several iconic buildings from Athens’ golden age (479 ‚Äď 431 BC), such as the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena.

Central location

Reaching the Acropolis is easy from any point in the city, so you won’t get lost. From there, you’ll have panoramic views of the city spreading out at your feet.

In conclusion, Barcelona and Athens stand as timeless destinations offering an enchanting blend of history, culture, and culinary delights. Whether exploring the iconic landmarks of Barcelona or delving into the rich historical tapestry of Athens, these cities promise unforgettable experiences for travellers seeking adventure and discovery. With careful planning and the aid of modern resources, embarking on a journey to these vibrant metropolises ensures a truly memorable escape.

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Immerse Yourself in Nature: Explore Forest Bathing with a New Guidebook

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Forest bathing, a practice with roots in Japan, has surged in popularity in recent years. But what exactly is it, and how can you experience its potential health benefits? This article dives into the world of forest bathing and unveils a new resource ‚Äď a guidebook by foresttherapyhub, to help you embark on your own immersive nature experience.

Forest Bathing: A Path to Well-being

Forest bathing isn’t simply a walk in the woods. It’s a guided practice of connecting with nature through our senses. By slowing down, quieting our minds, and focusing on the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes of the forest environment, we can unlock a range of health benefits. Studies have shown that forest bathing can reduce stress, improve mood, boost the immune system, and even lower blood pressure. This makes it a valuable tool within the realm of nature-based interventions.

Forest Therapy Hub: Your Gateway to Nature

Forest Therapy Hub (FTHub) is a leading organization dedicated to promoting and educating people about forest bathing. They offer workshops, retreats, and certifications for those who want to deepen their understanding and practice of this nature-based intervention.

At the heart of forest bathing lies the idea of mindfulness and presence. As individuals wander through the forest, they are encouraged to engage with their surroundings fully. This includes observing the intricate patterns of leaves, listening to the rustle of trees, feeling the texture of bark, and even tasting the freshness of the air.

A Unique Guidebook for Forest Bathing Adventures

FTHub’s latest offering, feeling nature: a Forest Bathing Book with 50 trails https://foresttherapyhub.com/news/feeling-nature-a-book-with-50-trails-for-forest-bathing/, is a one-of-a-kind resource for anyone interested in forest bathing. This book isn’t your typical trail guide. It’s a collaboration between forest bathing professionals and forestry experts, offering a unique perspective on 50 different trails across Spain.

More Than Just Directions

Each trail description goes beyond basic directions. The authors, who are experienced forest bathing guides, provide sensory cues to heighten your awareness of the natural world. They share details you might otherwise miss, transforming your walk into a multisensory experience.

Respectful Exploration

The book also emphasizes respectful exploration of natural landscapes. The authors, well-versed in forestry, weave scientific information about the specific ecosystems into the trail descriptions. This fosters a deeper appreciation for the delicate balance of nature and encourages responsible forest bathing practices, aligning perfectly with the core principles of nature-based interventions.

A Personal Connection

Feeling nature goes beyond providing factual information. Each guide infuses their trail description with their personal connection to the forest, sharing insights gained from countless hours spent immersed in nature. This adds a layer of warmth and authenticity to the book, making it a valuable companion for anyone seeking a deeper connection with the natural world.

Take a Step Towards Well-being with Forest Bathing

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or simply looking for a way to reconnect with nature, feeling nature offers a unique and enriching forest bathing experience. With its detailed descriptions, scientific insights, and personal anecdotes, this book by Forest Therapy Hub is your perfect companion for a transformative journey into the healing embrace of the forest.

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Discover the finest tours across Morocco: an adventure oasis

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travel morocco market

Morocco is a North African country renowned for its contrasts and many wonders. Its territory stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the golden dunes of the Sahara. Moreover, it boasts a rich history spanning thousands of years and a culture that intertwines Berber people, Arab heritage, and French influence. 

If you’re in search of Morocco desert tours that allow you to explore and experience unforgettable adventures in the country, the options are as diverse as its landscapes. You can immerse yourself in the impressive urban landscape of Fez, savour the exquisite cuisine of Marrakech, relax on the coasts of Essaouira, and, of course, journey through the Sahara Desert via various tours, which will also invite you to explore numerous cities and towns of Morocco, and indulge in unique activities. If you’re keen to discover more about the desert tours that Morocco has to offer, this article will introduce you to some of the finest.

Tours from Marrakech to the desert

From the vibrant city of Marrakech, you can find numerous tours departing towards the desert, promising to offer you a unique and unforgettable experience. One of the most popular Marrakech desert tours is the trip to the Zagora desert, which over two days allows you to explore the High Atlas. 

Here, you can admire landscapes of breathtaking beauty and visit Berber villages that reflect their culture and origins to the teeth. Upon arriving in Zagora, you’ll have the opportunity to ride camels at sunset, followed by a cosy night under the stars in a traditional camp. 

If you’re seeking an even deeper and comprehensive experience, you can also undertake three-day tours from Marrakech to the Merzouga desert, which give you the chance to explore the popular Erg Chebbi dunes, as well as including visits to historic kasbahs, fertile valleys, and allowing you to observe the interesting local life in the oases.

Camel Trekking in Merzouga

Merzouga is also the perfect starting point for a Camel trekking Morocco, thanks to its spectacular sand dunes. Through this activity, you can experience nomadic life, trekking through the Erg Chebbi dunes, known to be the highest in Morocco. 

At the same time, you can opt for a one-night camel excursion, where you’ll enjoy the sunset in the desert, a traditional dinner around a campfire, and a night in a Berber tent. Then, upon awakening, you’ll witness the tranquillity and beauty that can only be offered by the sunrise in the desert. 

For those more adventurous individuals, there are also options for multi-day trekking, where you’ll have the opportunity to visit numerous nomadic communities and explore the unique geography of the desert. Ultimately, camel trekking tours are an ideal way to immerse yourself in the beauty and simplicity of the Sahara Desert.

Tours from Fez to the Sahara Desert

Fez, the impressive imperial city steeped in history and culture, is another starting point for embarking on a Sahara desert tour. It’s a typical two-day tour that takes you from the antiquity of Fez through the Middle Atlas mountains to the entrance of the desert

Along the way, you can see cedar forests with wild monkeys and the dazzling Ziz Valley. Then, once you’ve reached Merzouga, you’ll have the opportunity to embark on a camel ride to the desert camp, where you’ll spend the night. 

On the other hand, tours from Fez to the Sahara Desert also often offer the possibility of visiting local villages and markets, providing you with an authentic insight into desert life. Finally, you’ll have the unforgettable experience of sleeping surrounded by the immensity of the dunes and under the stars of the desert sky.

Whether it’s exploring ancient Berber villages, trekking across towering sand dunes, or experiencing the tranquillity of a desert night under the stars, these tours promise an adventure like no other. Book your Moroccan adventure today and create memories to last a lifetime.

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