Home exchanges are proving to be incredibly popular in London during the upcoming Olympics, particularly as many hotels are rapidly becoming fully booked or taking advantage of the increased demand and hiking prices. The good news is that many Londoners are actually looking to get out of the city, as being spoilt with living in the second most visited city in the world they are keen to escape the tourist masses, and therefore home exchanges are likely to be appealing to London residents.
A home swap for the Olympics also comes with many of the typical benefits of a home exchange, including cutting costs in one of the most expensive cities in the world as well as enabling a much more authentic and in-depth experience in a city that boasts an extremely complex, varied and sometimes hidden character. If you’re heading to the Olympics, you may find that you have spare time around the events you are planning on attending or would like to escape the thronging crowds of such a famous world sporting event. Fortunately, as one of the greenest capital cities in the world, London is awash with a plethora of historical and royal parks to enjoy some rare serenity and peace (Regents Park in photo below).
Even though ‘North of the river’ London steals much of the tourist limelight, South London boasts some of the best parks on offer. Greenwich Park is the oldest Royal Park in the capital, and is also home to the Royal Observatory and the Meridian Line, giving it the unique feeling of standing at Longitude 0, splitting East from West, and where time differences around the world are measured from. It also offers amazing hillside views of central London, hidden Roman remains, access to the National Maritime Museum and nearby Cutty Sark, as well as a Bandstand with summer performances.
Richmond Park is another South London gem and is the largest Royal Park in London. As it isn’t maintained and preened in the way other London parks are, there is a great wilderness scene here, with ancient woodland and 1000 year old English Oak trees as well as free roaming deer and rabbits. There are also golf courses and excellent cycling opportunities for the active.
Possibly one of the most famous parks in London, this is centrally located and adjacent to Kew Gardens. Hyde Park will also host the modern pentathlon and equestrian events during the Games. A popular place for quick respites from the city on a daily basis, many people come here to roller skate, play tennis, go horse riding or play bowls.
Hampstead Heath is a surprising area of wilderness within the capital, with ancient woodland and dense grass land it also provides a very challenging orienteering course for anyone keen to really explore off the path. There are also the famous ponds that people go swimming in in the summer, as well as the Lido swimming pool. Due to its sheer size, undulating hills and areas of dense foliage it is more than easy to find your own quiet space within the park.
Designed by the famous Royal architect John Nash in the early 1800s, Regents Park is one of the most famous royal parks known for its grandiose design and immaculate presentation. There is the well-manicured rose park, as well as a boating lake and many wild bird species and ducks roaming around. Furthermore, on the North Eastern corner is the world famous London Zoo.
St Jame’s Park
St James’s Park is the oldest Royal Park in London and is surrounded by three palaces. Situated in the very heart of London, St Jame’s Park includes a beautiful lake that is home to ducks, geese and pelicans. A lovely romantic setting that is only footsteps away from Buckingham Palace.
Author Bio: This is a guest post by Matt, a keen traveller and writer who has just returned from his Sorrento holidays and is awaiting the upcoming London Olympics.