From Bristol to London: 48 fun-filled hours in the Capital

From This Is Bristol:

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JUST a few hours from Bristol, the capital makes for an easy escape on a Friday evening. My boyfriend and I took the train from Bristol Temple Meads at 5pm and arrived in Paddington before 6.45pm – roughly the time Londoners are starting to finish work for the day.

The streets were busy with people coming from all directions and there was an air of excitement as everyone was winding down for the weekend.

At Paddington we took our only tube journey of the weekend – to Leicester Square. Despite its reputation, the centre is surprisingly compact and from here on we walked everywhere we needed to go.


Stay walking distance from Madonna’s Hyde Park gig

Madonna will be making ber British live comeback with a gig at Hyde Park on the 17th July 2012.

The concert will be the only English date on a seven-month world tour across Europe, North and South America and Australia. The Madonna 2012 tour is her first for four years, and the only other UK date will be at Murrayfield in Edinburgh on July 21. It is expected up to 80,000 tickets will be available for the Hyde Park show, costing £125 and £70.

Why not cut the costs with a budget stay at the Rose Park Hotel in Paddington? The entrance to the gig venue is only a 15 minute walk away.

Pancake Day in London

Tuesday 21st February is Shrove Tuesday.  A significant date for those observing Lent, but also an important secular event in the UK.

Shrove Tuesday is also known as pancake day.  Crepes, scotch cakes, and American pancakes alike will be celebrated across London with events such as pancake-flipping races.  Everyone in London joins in, from MPs to builders and journalists.

Time Out has this excellent run-down of the best places in London to get a pancake. Bet you never thought you’d come to town for this!

Stand Up Comedy in London This Week

With the Rose Park Hotel so well connected to London’s comedy hotspots, it would be potty not to take advantage of this part of the city’s live scene.

Monday sees Stand Up Tragedy: part cabaret, part variety, all tragedy hit Leicester Square.  The show starts at 7pm and tickets are £10

New TV favourite Celia Pacquola is on at the IRL at Duke’s Headliners in Putney (8pm, £6 / £7) this Wednesday, along with a respectable cast of supporting comedians.

Looking ahead, there are still a few tickets left for Simon Amstell‘s new show at Richmond on 20 May (£21) and Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 8 and 9 June (£23 + fees).

Cheap Things To Do In London This Week

There’s always plenty to do in London on any given week, and with a huge number of free things to do, even those visiting the Rose Park Hotel on a budget can get the most out of the city.

  • Wednesday is Burns Night, and what better way to celebrate than at the Rob Roy pub  with a proper piper from 6pm (food and drink to be paid for).
  • On Thursday you can visit Fortean London featuring Mark Pilkington, Geraldine Beskin & John Rimmer 7.30-10pm upstairs at The Bell pub, 50 Middlesex Street E1 7EX (£3/£2 concessions).
  • The Imprint Festival kicks off on Friday at The Serpentine Gallery’s Centre for Possible Studies.  There will be contemporary art, storytelling, paper dolls, music and much more from noon, evening event from 6pm (free but donation appreciated)
  • Saturday sees the Big Garden Birdwatch – spend an hour gazing at the avian life in nearby Hyde Park.
  • Round off the weekend by joining in the Chinese New Year celebrations in Trafalgar Square and Chinatown on Sunday (free).


Walk London Weekend

Over the last weekend in January, 50 free guided walks will take place across London.

This Transport for London initiative was set up to promote walking in London as part of the Mayor’s vision to make London one of the most walk-friendly cities in Europe by 2015.

Follow in the footsteps of Oscar Wilde, preempt the Olympic games, and explore 1000 years of history.

For more information, visit the Walk London website.


Food & Drink Vouchers to use in London this Weekend

Staying at the Rose Park Hotel this weekend?  Why not take advantage of these great restaurant offers while you’re in London.

Most of the deals below can be used in multiple locations, so if you’re just popping out to the area around Earl’s Court or exploring the city at large, there’s bound to be a place to use them.



Why the theatre is the place to be in 2012

From the Radio Times:

As all good Roman emperors knew, what keeps us happy day to day is “bread and circuses”. We may all be feeling a bit nervous about putting bread in our mouths in times of dramatic economic uncertainty, but for the moment 2012 does at least show a good, feisty, defiant spirit when it comes to entertainment.

Summer in the West End may yet be all right: the Society of London Theatres has a cheeky lure for sports-mad visitors in the slogan “Don’t miss the REAL show!”. Many, after all, will have long gaps between their ticket windows and need amusing.

As for the rest of the year, even apart from old chestnuts like Phantom and Les Mis, apart also from ongoing delights of hilarity like One Man, Two Guvnors and The Ladykillers, big new capital city openings are promised.

Travel over Christmas and New Year

Visitors to London around the Festive period can get caught up in the temporary timetable and fare changes that take over Transport for London, so we thought it would be a good idea to post the information here for anyone coming to say at the Rose Park Hotel.

To plan your quickest way around London over Christmas and New Year, use Journey Planner.

On New Year’s Eve you can travel between 11.45pm and 4.30am on the bus, tube, tram, and DLR for free.  The same will apply to any London overground services running after 11.45pm.

There will be a reduced service on all modes of transport on Bank Holidays during the festive period.  Bear this in mind when buying weekly or season tickets.

Always use a licensed minicab or a taxi (black cab) to ensure your journey is legal and safe. Text CAB to 60835* to get three local cab numbers.

There will be an extra charge of £4 for black cab journeys between 20:00 on 24 December and 06:00 on 27 December, and between 20:00 on 31 December and 06:00 on 2 January.

Cycle Hire
Not all docks will be in use during this period.  Vew the docking station status page for more information

Download a full TFL festive travel leaflet here.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Still not in the festive spirit? Perhaps the colonial treats, ice skating, and mulled wine at Winter Wonderland will change your mood.

Since its launch in 2007, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland has attracted a staggering 8 million visitors, firmly becoming the Capital’s most popular and dazzling winter event, offering the best Christmas day out. With beautifully decorated attractions set out across 20 acres of historic parkland, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland provides festive fun over seven whole weeks in the heart of London.

At night the fair’s ice rink will be transformed, as suspended above the rink will be 108,000 pea-lights illuminating the ice, creating a magical atmosphere for skaters. With 1000 skates available for hire, PWR Events are expecting 120,000 skaters to take to the new ice rink over the seven week run.

Other favourite attractions making a welcome return include the iconic Giant Observation Wheel and the beautiful Angels Christmas Market. The Market will feature over one hundred wooden chalets offering unusual and handmade gifts, including ceramics, candles, glass-work, jewellery, clothing and beauty products. A number of stalls will also feature traditional Christmas items such as wooden toys, nativity scenes and decorations. Last year Father Christmas handed out over 50,000 presents to well behaved children in Santa Land, and he will make a welcome return this year as an ever popular free attraction.

The UK’s favourite circus, Zippos Circus also returns to Winter Wonderland for a third season, with two completely new shows – a daytime show for all the family, Zippos Christmas Circus and an evening show for older thrill seekers, Zippos Cirque Extreme.