Amazing London History Near to The Devonshire London

london history

In London, you don’t have to go far to find some history. The capital is awash with buildings from every period of London’s past, with some going as far back as the 13th century. There are monuments, museums, galleries and memorials, all making up a part of London’s history. In short, there’s more history than most people know what to do with.

And the area around the Paddington hotel is no different. Within a short distance of your room at The Devonshire Hotel, you can find a varied selection of interesting things to see and visit. So, with that in mind, let’s dive in.

The State Rooms

A visit to Buckingham Palace often involves seeing the amazing façade of the palace and taking in the age-old Changing of the Guard, but you can also get a closer look at royal life by visiting The State Rooms.

The State Rooms are opened up during the summer months and offer you an up-close and personal view of the glorious innards of Buckingham Palace. This means access to the Throne Room, famous ‘White Room’, the palace ballroom and a detailed look at all the various treasures Buckingham Palace is home to.

It’s a unique and engrossing way to see what life inside the palace is really like, and a brief taste of life as a royal. It won’t take you more than 20-minutes via Tube from any of our hotels Paddington Station London, and it’s definitely worth the short journey.

Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum

Fleming, best known for discovering the world’s very first antibiotic – found when a fungus somehow got into one of his petri dishes – is memorialised at the Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum, and a fascinating place it is too.

The museum features an exact replica of Fleming’s laboratory, the place where he would make his most famous discovery, and that would one day see him win the Nobel Prize for Medicine. It’s an amazing overview of one of the most important men in 20th century medicine, and the museum does a great job telling Fleming’s story.

A fascinating place – and one that not many people know about – it’s only a short hop from your room at The Devonshire London.

Apsley House

Apsley House

Once famously known as ‘Number I London’, Apsley house is a glittering, beautiful Georgian structure and is still home to aristocracy today. It’s a jaw-dropping place to visit and one that is also steeped in history. Apsley House is close to our many hotels Paddington Station London, so there’s no reason not to check it out.

But it’s not just any aristocracy that calls Apsley House home – they are the descendants of The Duke of Wellington. Taking up residence at the mansion, Wellington made sure that his home was one of the plushest in all of London. The interiors of Apsley House are just as grand as the exterior, with beautiful sitting rooms, galleries and more shimmering chandeliers than seems reasonable.

It’s a beguiling place, and one to definitely put on your ‘to-do’ list.

Paddington by Night: Where to See the Best Local Music

Music

Live music is always a treat, and there’s nothing better than seeing a musician or band you’ve not heard of before and having your socks blown off. London is full of venues – great and small – catering to every kind of musical taste imaginable.

Paddington and its surrounding areas are no slouch in this regard, either. There are a number of venues within a short distance of The Devonshire London, and so you won’t have far to travel before or after a gig. So, let’s jump in and see the best local music venues around Paddington.

Wigmore Hall

Often affectionally known as a smaller version of The Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall has more than enough going on to stake out its own reputation.

First off, the venue itself is an absolute treasure. It features red velvet seating and plush décor, with beautiful reliefs all around. It simply feels like a classic Victorian venue and you half expect gentlemen with monocles and topcoats to join you at any moment.

The type of music Wigmore Hall provides tends to err on the classical side, with performers coming from all around the world to display their skills in the amazing acoustics of the main hall. It’s a great night out, and close to the Westbourne Terrace London Hotel, so you don’t have much of a journey home afterwards.

Troubadour

Open since 1954 and still going strong, Troubadour is as much a historical site as it is a venue, but it does still excel at the latter. Happily, it’s only a short hop from your room at The Devonshire London so if your dancing feet are tired after the gig it’s only a 15-minute journey.

Some of the major names who have graced the stage in times past include Paul Simon, Sammy Davis Jr. and Jimi Hendrix, with The Smashing Pumpkins lining up some gigs for the near future. It’s a great venue in its own right, with the perfect balance of rough-and-ready appeal and some good food on offer to boot. It’s as much about soaking up the history as it is about the live music, but this is one venue that manages to perfectly balance both of these elements.

The Tabernacle

Situated in Notting Hill, The Tabernacle is easy and quick to get to from The Westbourne Terrace London Hotel and provides a vast range of different styles of music.

The idea behind The Tabernacle is that it functions as a space for all kinds of art, with galleries and dance studio on-site. This multi-disciplinary approach also reveals itself through the musical acts The Tabernacle puts on show.

The Tabernacle regularly features calypso, reggae, African and other diverse kinds of music, with both local artists and international names coming to the venue for its wonderful sound and amazing main stage. It’s a venue that takes a different approach, offering up some great food as well and you’ll fall in love with the place in no time.

Family Days Out Near The Devonshire London

family day out

Visiting London isn’t just about the bustle of the city, the amazing retail therapy on offer or the various Michelin starred eateries, it’s also about forming lasting family memories. And the capital has much to offer when it comes to getting the family together and enjoying some new, shared experiences.

Happily, because London is packed with things to do, you won’t have far to travel from The Devonshire London to sample a range of activities. So, without further ado, let’s jump in!

harrypotter-studio

 

Harry Potter London Walk

If your kids are obsessed – or indeed, if you yourself are obsessed – with the world of Harry Potter, then the Harry Potter London Walk guarantees a great time.

Your very knowledgeable guide will lead you through all the sights of London that were touched by the Harry Potter movies, putting you right in the middle of the imagined universe. The tour includes the site of Harry and Co’s infiltration into the Ministry of Magic, The Leaky Cauldron and the bridge that ran afoul of the Death Eaters in the Half-Blood Prince. The tour also proceeds past many London landmarks like St Pauls’ and Parliament, so you’ll get your regular sightseeing fill as well.

Afterwards, you might be a little peckish, and you’ll be in a perfect position to enjoy some lunch or dinner at The Devonshire Restaurant.

Victoria and Albert Museum

Victoria and Albert Museum

Right in the heart of Kensington and not far from the best restaurants near Paddington Station, the Victoria and Albert Museum is a great day out for parents and children alike.

Featuring a range of exhibitions and activities, it has more than enough going on to keep the kids entertained whilst you indulge in a nice spot of culture. The museum is all about art and design, with current exhibitions covering everything from videogame design to Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

There’s more than enough to see and do to keep you busy for the day, and you won’t have far to get back to your room at The Devonshire London – which is always a nice bonus.

london boating

GoBoat London

KidZania is, in a nut shell, a child’s dream place. It covers more than 75,000 square feet and takes the form of a diminutive city where your kids can play, learn and get creative.

Your children can choose to be anything, from a firefighter to a news reporter, with the story of their play built and developed by them. The idea is to give children insight into different jobs and facets of adulthood, whilst also making the experience all about fun and play. Once they’re all tuckered out, you’re well placed to grab some dinner at The Devonshire Restaurant, so that’s taken care of ahead of time.

If your children like to dress up and run amok, then they will be in their absolute element at KidZania, with the on-site staff well-trained, attentive and always up for being part of the fun.

Thames Water Tours: The Best Options for Couples

Thames Water

Seeing London from the Thames is a truly special experience. It gives you a view and insight into the capital that no other vantage point can match. It’s even better when you’re spending it together as a couple and building some lasting memories of your time in London.

Happily, there are many options for couples who want to explore the Thames, with choices covering everything from live entertainment to afternoon tea. So let’s dive in!

The London Showboat Cruise

If you like the idea of listening to live music, sipping wine and dining whilst you cruise along the Thames, then The London Showboat Cruise is for you.

Setting off from Westminster Pier – only a short hop from The Devonshire Hotel London – you’ll spend three hours moving past all the most famous landmarks in London. Whilst you do this, you won’t go hungry because the cruise includes a four-course meal of wonderful food. As the evening moves into night time, you’ll be treated to quality live music, perhaps retiring to the upper deck to watch the city lights come to life.

Returning to shore at 10.45pm, the city is still your oyster, or you might prefer to just retire to your comfy bed. Whatever you choose, the London Showboat Cruise is something you won’t soon forget.

afternoon tea

Thames Afternoon Tea Cruise

There’s no better way to get away from the bustle of the city than with an afternoon cruise along the Thames and if there’s a wonderful afternoon tea as well, all the better. Moreover, the departure point of Embankment Pier is close to our accommodation near Paddington Station, so you don’t have a long journey to make.

And this is exactly what Bateaux’s Afternoon Tea Cruise provides. The cruise picks a leisurely course along the Thames, with life passing by as you indulge in an assortment of sandwiches, scones and pastries, as well as a bevy of teas. If you want, you could also plump for a nice glass of bubbly. You’ll pass by the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London on your journey, plus many other landmarks of the capital.

Cruises depart at 3.30pm sharp and return at 4.45pm, giving you the right amount of time to sit back, relax and enjoy an unforgettable afternoon.

thames river

Thames Rockets

If you fancy something a little more turbo-charged, Thames Rockets offer a speedboat sightseeing tour that is sure to get your adrenaline racing.

Moving along the Thames at terrific speeds in your RNIB speedboat, you’ll get to see a clutch of the most famous London landmarks moving by at top speed. Thames Rockets actually offers a range of different tour options – with an emphasis always on speed, of course – so you can choose the trip that you most fancy. It’s not far from your room at The Devonshire Hotel London, and it’s well worth making the journey.

It’s a fantastic experience and has quickly become one of the most popular outdoor activities in all of London. You won’t regret it, and just make sure you’ve got your waterproof coat on.

What to Do at Hyde Park

hydepark

Hyde Park, with all of it’s beautiful green spaces and varied looks, is more than just a park. It adjoins Kensington Gardens, together covering 1.25 miles, and is the largest open space in all of London.

It has many historical monuments and things to see right on-site, making it the ideal place to explore from your base at The Devonshire London Paddington. If you want to enjoy one of the most famous parks in the world and need to know just how to make the most of your day, read on.

The Park

Before we get into any of the other attractions and sights in the area, it’s best to start with the park itself. Hyde Park covers a full 350 acres, with a full-sized boating lake – The Serpentine – cutting through the middle.

The park encompasses everything from wide, green spaces perfect for a picnic to wooded areas that are ideal for relaxing in the shade. Bring along some food and simply watch the world go by. Staying at our boutique hotels near Paddington Station London, you’re perfectly placed to make the most of Hyde Park and everything it has to offer.

london boating

Go Boating

As we mentioned above, the Serpentine is open for boating and there are different options, depending on what you want to do.

If you want to stick in your couple or family group, there are pedal and row boats available for hire, holding up to six people. This is always great fun and a way to form some lasting memories of your time at Hyde Park. If you feel like going with something bigger, the ‘Solarshuttle’ carries 40 passengers and is entirely solar powered – as you may have guessed from the name. And, if you tire yourself out, you don’t have far to go back to The Devonshire London Paddington.

During the summer, the lake is open for boating from 10am to 8pm and it’s an awesome way to enjoy the lake as the Victorians did – minus the solar-powered boat, of course!

Rose Garden london

The Rose Garden

One of the most popular parts of Hyde Park, The Rose Garden is an explosion of colours and smells and simply one of the most gorgeous parts of the whole park.

The seasonal beds that surround the multitude of roses are especially popular with tourists, who come in very large numbers during the summer months to see the out-of-this-world attention to detail and beauty on display. At our many boutique hotels near Paddington Station London, you’ll be close enough to see just what makes this part of Hyde Park so special.

With a big pergola and two fountains also featured, it’s a great place to relax and just take in some truly stunning surroundings.

kensington garden

Kensington Palace

If that isn’t enough, you might also consider making the walk to the west end of Hyde Park and checking out Kensington Palace.

The formative home of Queen Victoria – and also where she first met Prince Albert – is a stunning building with its own amazing gardens. You will also catch site of the Prince Albert Memorial as it towers above, which Victoria built after the premature death of her husband.

Your Guide to Famous Sights Near Paddington

Little Venice

Paddington is a great area of London for many reasons. One of these is that it is so well-placed when it comes to exploring the capital. Paddington occupies the perfect position to make it easy for you to get out and explore every famous sight out there.

Happily, Paddington has a wealth of its own sights, so you don’t have to go too far to find some beautiful and famous landmarks. Most are easily reachable from the Devonshire Hotel Paddington, so let’s take a look.

Little Venice

So-called because of the houses, bars and restaurants that stand right on the edge of Paddington’s canal, Little Venice is a beautiful place that feels a world away from the city.

It’s a leafy, gorgeous spot and rightly famous, known for its laid-back, slow feel and lush environs. It’s the perfect place to explore during the day or the evening, with people coming from all over London to sample a slower pace of life. After walking the waterways, there’s a very healthy selection of restaurants, cafes and bars where you can take a rest and watch the barges pass by. Very close to our hotels near Paddington Station London, there’s no reason not to check it out.

hyde park

Speakers’ Corner

Since the 19th century, people with something to say have been making their point at Speakers’ Corner, and today the space in Hyde Park is famous for giving a platform to a huge range of views and opinions.

Rather than being a prescribed area, you will likely see different orators spread around the area, and it is a very interesting – and historically important- site. It’s a place where anyone can state their beliefs, as long as they do it in a lawful manner, and large crowds will often gather to hear what the various speakers have to say. Hyde Park is only a quick walk away from The Devonshire Hotel Paddington, so you can always enjoy the park after hearing some unfiltered free speech.

Tyburn Convent

In place since 1903, Tyburn Convent is a still-functioning convent, with nuns living and worshipping on-site.

It’s a small, innocuous-looking building, but one that carries a great deal of history, with worshippers from all around the world coming to visit the Shrine of the Martyrs housed inside the convent.

As you might expect, Tyburn Convent is a very serene place, and guided tours from the nuns are available if you want a little more insight into this special part of London’s history.

The Wallace Collection

Featuring a range of stunning artwork, sculptures and historical artefacts, The Wallace Collection is a compact, townhouse museum that has been in place since 1897. The Wallace Collection is only a ten-minute trip from your room at The Devonshire Hotel Paddington, so it’s easy to get to.

The collection was started by the 4th Marquess of Hertford – Richard Seymour-Conway – who then left it all to his illegitimate son, Sir Richard Wallace. Housed in the beautiful Hertford House, the collection covers a wide range of styles and periods, feeling just like the eccentric Victorian aristocrat’s collection that it is. It’s a place of wonders and surprises and you won’t be disappointed.

5 Fun Things to Do on a Rainy Day in London

Rain in london

Whatever time of year it is, the British weather always has some surprises up its sleeve. Rain is no stranger to these isles – it’s what makes British people so obsessed with the weather! – So it pays to have some options lined up for those wet days when you can’t partake in any outdoor activities.

So, if you need some inspiration for how to make the most of your rainy day in London, read on.

aquaqrium

Sea Life London

What better way is there to get away from the rain than to go to a place with even more water? You’ll forget the weather once you’re inside Sea Life London, with the vast array of displays, attractions and sea life on offer. The centre covers a huge area, with positively massive enclosures and environments offering you an up-close view of creatures like penguins, sharks and jellyfish.

There’s so much to see and do that you can easily pass multiple hours checking out everything on offer, and it’s only a short hop on the Tube from The Devonshire Paddington, so you’re perfectly placed to take it all in.

harrypotter-studio

Warner Bros. Studio Tour

If your kids – or you yourself, really- are lovers of the Harry Potter universe, then the Warner Bros. Studio Tour is for you.

The tour walks you right through all of the most famous parts of the Harry Potter films, from Diagon Alley to Hogwarts, with tour guides enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. The tour does a good job of showing you everything you ever wanted to see, preserving some mystery for younger visitors and keeping the magic very much alive. It’s a short journey from our many hotels close to Paddington Station, so getting there is no hassle.

natural history museum

The Natural History Museum

If it’s a rainy day in London, there are few better places to be than The Natural History Museum. And it’s not far to go from The Devonshire Paddington, so brave the rain and be ready to visit one of the best museums in the world.

Packed with exhibits, dinosaur bones, interactive exhibitions and much, much more, it’s a great place for kids and adults alike.

Science Museum IMAX

With this option, you get out of the rain, get to experience the Science Museum’s 3D IMAX screen and the kids learn something along the way – what’s not to like?

There are various offerings to choose from, with one film taking you into outer space, and another taking you down to the ocean depths. It’s the perfect place to get out of the rain and settle in for a movie like you’ve never experienced before. Only a quick jump from our hotels close to Paddington Station, it’s a great family experience.

Discover

Discover is basically a child’s dream come to life. It’s a place full of unique areas to explore, things to do and the means for your child to craft their own experience.

The UK’s first ‘Story Centre’, the idea is to encourage your child to be active and creative, making choices based on the things they want to see and do. For a rainy day when the kids are full of energy, it’s a great place to just let their imaginations run wild.

Heathrow Airport Convenience at Paddington

Heal your stress, discomfort and imbalance. Our complete package is created in a way that is bespoke to you.

Step off a train at Paddington – Brunel’s masterpiece, and you’re in “the most important historical railway station in the world”. A short stroll westwards and you’re in a classic London city-scape of white stucco townhouses, imposing porticos, cobbled mews. This is the London we love, and the one we hope to embody in The Chilworth. We’ve restored our own white stucco townhouse, infusing its airy rooms with a new elegance befitting our age, but evocative of a more romantic era.

Step inside the lobby, where warm, dark wood, polished marble and crushed velvet envelope you in laid-back luxury, and you’ve arrived. With the feel of a private members club, but the warmth of a neighbourhood cafe, it’ll make you feel at home, but very definitely away – cosseted by quietly attentive service in surroundings as stimulating as they are relaxing. It’s a place to call your own, to achieve your goals and to enjoy London your way. We’re here to help you do just that.