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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 😉

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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Yacht charter in Barcelona, the comfort and privacy you can’t get on land

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Traveling the coast of Barcelona in a luxury yacht is an unforgettable experience that everyone should experience sometime in their lives. It is the perfect trip for those who want to get away from the city and its noises, to relax in a peaceful atmosphere that can only be reached at sea.

Barcelona, located on the northeast coast of the Mediterranean Sea, is one of the most visited cities in Spain, even in Europe. It is the perfect place to enjoy the architectural, artistic, cultural and gastronomic diversity of the country, making it one of the favorite tourist destinations for millions of people around the world.

Among all the many attributes that the city of Barcelona has, one of the most outstanding is its beaches. Years ago the American magazine National Geographic named Barcelona as the best coastal city in the world.

There are 4 kilometers of sand in the Catalan capital available for the fans of maritime landscapes, finding beaches for any activity you could wish for during your holidays, either to relax, practice water sports and more. 

Among all the activities that have been on the rise in this paradise is the rental of luxury yachts. And nothing can compare to sailing along the beautiful coasts of Barcelona in one of these majestic vessels, which are at your disposal to discover the most beautiful landscapes.

Undoubtedly, touring these paradisiacal landscapes aboard Barcelona charters is the best way to get away from the noise of the city and just enjoy the feeling of freedom and calm that can only be achieved on the high seas.

Imagine living the pleasure of riding on a modern motor yacht with capacity for a dozen people traveling at speeds up to 25 knots; it would be, without a doubt, a unique experience! 

In the city of Barcelona there are prestigious agencies that rent these fast and elegant luxury boats for periods ranging from one hour to the whole day and even the weekend. 

These services are aimed at VIP clients and can be used for all kinds of events, such as corporate events, meetings and romantic dinners, including unforgettable tours along the coast of Barcelona and the Maresme. There is also the option of buying drinks on the boat and catering service. There are a lot of possibilities, and companies will always provide alternatives to suit the client’s needs.

Learn a little more about these boats

Luxury yachts fascinate those who seek privacy and comfort in its maximum expression, which is sometimes difficult to achieve on land. It is a pleasant way to get away from the world.

These boats can be quite amazing in terms of all the luxury features they offer. Specialized blogs have even made rankings of the 10 most expensive yachts in the world, which are a privilege that is only reserved for a very exclusive elite.

These yachts are considered by many as titans of floating vehicles. They are jewels of engineering equipped with the latest technology and elements for maximum comfort. 

The top 10 most expensive yachts are as follows: 

1.- History Supreme ($4.8 billion).

2.- Eclipse ($1.5 billion).

3.- Streets of Monaco (1.1 billion dollars).

4.- Topaz (527 million dollars).

5.- Motor Yacht A ($440 million).

6.- Dubai (350 million dollars).

Sailing Yacht A (US$323 million).

8.- Al Said (300 million dollars).

9.- Dilbar (256 million dollars).

10.- Lady Moura (210 million dollars).

We encourage you to review the features of these amazing vessels in specialized portals, among which we can mention, heated swimming pools, heliports, basketball courts, concert halls and more. The wealthy owners of these “mega yachts” spare no expenses to make these vehicles with all the comforts that anyone could imagine.

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Planning to Travel? Here Are the Do’s to Observe

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Air travel

Traveling abroad isn’t just a matter of packing and leaving; there several significant aspects of your journey that you need to be on top of before you embark on your journey. For a safe, peaceful, and enjoyable stay at your travel destination, your health should top the list from your travel plans.

It would be best to consider a thorough health checkup for vital health concerns like vaccination, blood test, malaria, urine test, and dental checkup.

Why Is a Dental Checkup Important?

If you plan to have an extended stay, you should tend to broken fillings, decayed teeth, or any dental issues to minimize dental emergencies. It’s prudent to also have the necessary treatment before leaving.

The standards of dental care worldwide vary widely and the certainty of getting dental supplies from a trusted and certified dental supplier isn’t assured. The cost may also become cumbersome given that your destination of choice may not have dental care coverage for kids.

Depending on where you’re traveling, either in developing, developed, or remote areas, leaving your dental health to chance can be uncomfortable if not dangerous. Your chosen destination may lack the resources, dental supplies, and equipment to cater to your dental needs.

Air travel causes specific pressure changes, affecting your root canal, causing pain and potential infections. Therefore, it’s advisable to ensure that you complete all your treatment before traveling or consider paste filling to minimize the risks.

Pericoronitis is an infection caused by food trapped through the flesh covering your teeth. The condition can spread to parts of your neck and head; to avoid this outcome, consider removing lower wisdom teeth that are partially exposed.

The other thing you should look out for is if you have gum (periodontal) disease, it’s essential to have your teeth cleaned by a hygienist or a dentist.

Checklist Before Travel

As stated earlier, the most vital thing is you and your health, so here are some things you should consider.

Travel Insurance

Probably, the health care insurance coverage that you have at the moment will not cover the scope of international travel. After you’ve assessed the situation keenly, consider opting for emergency medical insurance and medical evacuation.

The majority of options and plans offered by travel insurance providers occasionally cover trip cancellation, lost luggage, plus medical emergency and evacuation.

Get the Right Visa

Do thorough research on the kind of visa you need. This is a critical but overlooked aspect by many travelers. Any mixup can turn your trip into a disaster, as this little mistake could mean you’ll get turned away from the said country.

To make matters worse, you won’t even be allowed to leave the airport, which should serve as a motivation to be extra keen. Find out the visa you qualify for and apply early in advance.

Pre-Book Accommodations

You wouldn’t want to deal with the stressors involved in getting an instant spot without prior arrangements. Start on the right foot by booking a one-night accommodation in advance, ensuring you aren’t anxious through your journey.

You can have a fun-filled day exploring the area after a comfortable night’s sleep. To prepare for any eventualities, ensure that you also have a hard copy of your accommodation reservation besides having a soft copy.

Travel Advisory

Before you decide your destination, it’s vital to cross-reference through the government state department website to see if the country you wish to travel to poses a threat (short or long term) to travelers. You’ll find a list of countries with a travel warning. This is critical because travel insurance does not cover countries under a travel warning.

Vaccination

Scour through to find the health information of the country you’ll be traveling to and whether you’ll need to be vaccinated. Finding out nations that pose a risk to your health are highlighted on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

This mainly applies if you’re traveling to third-world countries and the vaccination may vary, including yellow fever, Zika virus, malaria, cholera, etc. Also, get enough supplements to last you the entire trip if you aren’t sure you’ll be able to supplement your fill abroad.

To avoid security hiccups, find out which drug prescriptions are not illegal in your destination or countries you’ll pass through. It’s essential to bring along photocopies of your prescription and always carry the medicine in its prescribed bottle.

Suppose your medical condition requires you to have syringes, relay the information before security checks. Take your vaccination six weeks before departure, as vaccines take a couple of weeks before they can kick in.

Enjoy Your Stay

We didn’t delve deeper into aspects including culture shock, travel deals, packaging, payment methods, etc., adhering to those mentioned above essential will keep your mind at ease. What remains is to enjoy your exploration.

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Staying Safe While You’re Abroad

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Travelling family memories

Going on holiday is a thrilling experience, there’s so much to see, discover, and feel, but you need to make sure that you’re safe while you’re away. Being so far from home can leave you vulnerable to a lot of different dangers, and you’re not going to be able to resolve them in the way that you usually would. You need to know how to look after yourself in the event that something should happen, and that way you can ensure that your time away ends as a positive experience. There’s a lot to explore, but new experiences can sometimes bring about a risk to your health and safety.

Keep your important belongings close to you

No matter where you’re going, if it’s somewhere that requires you to have important documents and money with you at all times, you should make sure you have a way to prevent that from getting lost or stolen. There are many ways you can do it, but finding a way to keep those important belongings close to you, without the chance of them going missing is very important. Some people even go the extra distance to bring extras of those documents, and it can ensure that it doesn’t hinder their ability to have a good time while they’re away. The last thing you want is to lose your passport when you need to get home.

Make sure to take medication

If you’re going somewhere where you’re at risk of getting a disease, you must find out about it before you get there. Being able to prepare the proper medication and prevent those diseases can be a real life-saver. Going to another country means exposing yourself to new elements, making you much more vulnerable to health risks. Knowing how to do things like preventing Malaria, or warding off bugs is important! You never know what might happen while you’re out there, but if you’re prepared you at least know that you’re safe.

Know how to avoid getting lost

If you’re going somewhere far from home, it’s only expected that you’re not going to know where you are at all times, especially if you’re not going with a group. If you are out and about exploring, you’re going to want to know how you can make sure finding your way home is possible. Being able to communicate with the locals can be very helpful when you need to ask for directions. Now, learning a whole other language for a vacation isn’t realistic, but there are words and phrases you can learn to take you that little bit further.

You should also consider buying a map of the area that you go to before you set out. It’s great to explore, but a map can mean that you avoid getting lost. You’re likely going to have to rely on yourself whenever you get into trouble, so knowing how to read a map and navigate is going to make all the difference. It’s an adventure, but your safety should be your top priority.

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