There’s a magnetism to London that’s unfound anywhere else. From the city’s vast history to its shopping and nightlife, London is one of those places that you fall in love with instantly and then spend a lifetime visiting again and again, discovering something new each time. Whether you’re planning your first solo trip or your 20th, you have a week to spend exploring or simply 24-hours, here are six things you should do in the often overlooked areas near West London.
Visit Windsor Castle
For everyone that’s ever dreamed of living in a castle, Windsor Castle in Berkshire is a must-visit. Plan to spend two to three hours exploring the castle. Situated on 13-acres the castle is simply stunning with Gothic, Georgian and Victorian architecture influences and inside is a living museum. Windsor Castle is the oldest live-in palace in all of Europe. It’s also rumored to be the Queen’s favorite. Make sure to catch a glimpse of Queen Mary’s Doll House.
Wander Around a Quaint English Town
After a morning spent oohing and awing at Windsor Castle head to the nearby town of Windsor. Pop into one of the many pubs for a leisurely afternoon lunch before wandering around the quaint town. Some must-visit stops are: The Fudge Kitchen, where you can watch delicious fudge being made, Ye Olde King’s Head where Shakespeare wrote “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” and the Crooked House of Windsor.
Spend Some Time in the Garden
There is something magical about being surrounded by nature in the middle of a bustling city. Kew Gardens is London’s largest UNESCO Heritage site. You could easily spend several days exploring the 300 acres of garden but only if you have an hour or two you’ll leave feeling refreshed.
Pro Tip: If you’re short on time make sure to walk the Treetop Walkway, situated 18 metres above the gardens it’ll give you an incredible view of the gardens.
Catch a Game
Calling all sports enthusiasts. The largest rugby arena in the world is located in south west London. Catch a game at Twickenham Stadium or simply learn all about one of England’s favorite sports by taking a tour of the stadium and visiting the Museum of Rugby. When the NFL comes to the U.K. they often play a game at the stadium, so don’t forget to pick up some souvenirs for all your athletically minded friends back home.
Tour Hampton Court Palace
It’s impossible to take in all of London’s amazing history in a single visit, but Hampton Court Palace has something every type of London visitor will love. Depending on the season you can lose yourself in the more than 60 acres of gardens, wandering along the haunted hallways or stare in awe at the breathtaking state rooms. The palace also puts on a number of seasonal events such as Christmas at Court featuring caroling, ice skating and a food festival. Check out the online calendar to see what’s happening during your London adventure and get tickets in advance here.
Glimpse a Royal
OK, as much as I wish I could promise you’ll see a member of the royal family during your London visit it’s never a sure thing. But if you want to up your odds, plan a trip around the Royal Ascot. The Ascot is one of the United Kingdom’s favorite racecourses in every year in June it holds a week of races called the Royal Ascot. The Queen almost always attends. But even if you don’t spot her, it’s still an excuse to dress up, don a fancy hat and spend a fun afternoon.
Pro Tip: All of these spots are conveniently located near the cozy St Giles Heathrow Hotel. Solo travellers to London can enjoy 20% OFF plus more when they book 4 Jan – 30 April, 2018 using promo code: GOSOLO.