People have different ideas when it comes to their ideal holiday; some try to cram in as much as they possibly can, which can result in needing another holiday to get over the last one, and others like to treat their holiday as a break from their usual environment and spend it relaxing. London is a vibrant fast-paced capital city, and home to the fabulous West End; an ideal location for an exciting theatre break with Show & Stay. Without a doubt, London has gone to great lengths to provide contrast for its inhabitants and visitors with a vast range of relaxing, interesting and fun things to escape to.
What constitutes relaxation for some may be different from others, but pampering is high on the lists of those escaping a stressful lifestyle. Spas offer great recreational indulgement and London has numerous high quality spas which can be found in the city’s top hotels and famous department stores. One of the best spas in London is the Thai Square Spa, Shelton Street Covent Garden.
Places to go in London to relax for free:
The Royal Parks achieve numerous green heritage and green flag awards. They are recognised as some of the best landscapes in the country and are popular places for visitors which are completely free.
Hyde Park covers 350 acres and is open all year round. You can enjoy swimming and boating, exhibitions and concerts. There are parking areas, with tubes and buses stopping at several places around the park.
Kensington Gardens are open from 6am and can be reached easily by public transport. It includes many picnic areas frequented by Londoners on their lunch breaks and tourists in the hot summer months. Visit the Arch by Henry Moore, Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk and Memorial Playground, and spend hours immersed in the beauty of the Italian Garden, which is a 150 year old ornamental water garden. Kensington Gardens are also home to London’s most ornate and prized monument, the Albert Memorial.
Richmond Park is a national nature reserve especially for those with interest in science and wildlife conservation; it includes ancient oak trees. Outdoor sports are popular here with fishing, cycling, horse riding, golf, fitness and personal training groups, rugby and power kiting.
Bushy Park is north of Hampton Court Palace and comprises of a canal, cascades, Baroque-style collection of pools and upper lodge water gardens; access is by train or bus, and the park is open 24 hours for pedestrians.
Brompton Cemetery, also part of the royal parks, is a crown cemetery located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It has 16.5 hectares with guided walks and is definitely a place you can come to if you seek peace and quiet.
Some people’s idea of relaxation can include motion, but at their own pace. The Thames path walk is one of the best ways to achieve this while taking in magical parts of London that stretch along both sides of the river for 40 miles (64 km). Along the way, pass the many bustling boatyards, working wharves, marinas and old riverside pubs. Leaflets and route maps with points of interest and historical places can be downloaded, and they identify walks in sections giving a large and varied choice.
An absolute sightseeing must on your London break is the awe-inspiring Westminster Abbey. It’s free to worshippers wishing to take in the relaxing and spiritual atmosphere. They even have Evensong, a service with the Abbey choir. Founded in AD960 as a Benedictine monastery, it is still a working church today.
One way to experience London life is to get a one-day bus pass, and travel the city, passing many world-famous tourist attractions; all this for the price of a drink in the many diverse café, bars and eateries that London has to offer. This is another great way to relax away from hectic crowds.