In 2016 it seems that we are living in turbulent times and whilst the political climate is so unsettled, I’m sure some of us would prefer to holiday here in the UK. Despite the fact that UK Staycations have a reputation of being rather pricey, there are bargains to be had and here is a selection of great value days out and short breaks from Buyagift.com. Needless to say, they all make great gifts too.
Days out in London
1. The ArcelorMittel Orbit
|The ArcelorMittal Orbit|
London is home to some of the biggest and best tourist attractions in the world but this is something really different and not for the faint-hearted. The ArcelorMittal Orbit was a major icon of the 2012 Olympic Games and is now home to the world’s longest and highest tunnel slide. You can enjoy entry to the upper viewing platform and external balconies where you can take in the awesome 360 degree views of the city before plummeting 178m towards the ground! You will be able to see some of the world’s most iconic sights as you twist and turn 12 times around the structure before a final 50m straight run back down the earth!
2. The View From The Shard
Only recently built and already an integral part of London’s iconic skyline, The Shard points up to the clouds, reaching an incredible 308m which makes it Western Europe’s tallest building. Designed by Master Architect Renzo Piano, the Shard has redefined London’s skyline and it has become a dynamic symbol of the capital.
You can visit London’s highest viewing platform situated at the top on floors 68, 69 and 72. At almost twice the height of any other viewing platform in the city, you’ll get unparalleled 360 degree views for up to 40 miles.
Needless to say for photographers (and selfie-lovers!) this is a fantastic camera-ready opportunity which you can follow with a meal in the Michelin recommended restaurant, Latium.
3. The Houses of Parliament
Why not visit the Houses of Parliament where you can see both the House of Lords and the House of Commons.An audio tour will describe the incredible medieval structure of Westminster Hall, the Queen’s Robing Room and the Royal Gallery, featuring leading parliamentary figures such as The Speaker and Black Rod.
Buyagift.com’s package also includes a pass entitling your to 24 hours unlimited travel on Thames River Cruises and afternoon tea at the Park Plaza County Hall.
4. Blenheim Palace
|Blenheim Palace – Always Stunning No Matter What The Weather|
Blenheim Palace, just outside Oxford, contains one of Europe’s finest collections of antiques, inimitable 18th Century Baroque architecture an 2000 acres of beautiful landscaped grounds. With an ever-changing array of exhibitions at this UNESCO World Heritage site, and home of 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, there is plenty to see and enjoy. The birthplace of Churchill, the palace has an interactive experience that guides you through all 300 years of its history, as well as a special gallery paying homage to Churchill himself
5. Hampton Court Palace
|Hampton Court Palace|
The royal palace of Hampton Court is situated in Richmond upon Thames in Greater London. Its most famous resident was King Henry VIII. Redevelopment of the manor, as it then was began in 1515 for Cardinal Wolsey but when he fell out of favour with Henry, the King seized the palace for himself in 1529.
Visitors can take a free audio guide around the stunning palace, wander around at their own pace or even be accompanied by a costumed guide as they explore the many rooms and artefacts including the Tudor Kitchens, the crown of King Henry VIII and more.
The Palace continues to display a large number of works of art from the Royal Collection and, apart from the Palace itself and its gardens, other points of interest for visitors include the celebrated maze, the historic real tennis court and the huge grape vine, the largest in the world as of 2005.
Family Days Out
6. Harry Potter Studio Tour
|Harry Potter Studio Tour|
Probably top of many parents’ day-trip bucket lists (and certainly ours), is the Harry Potter tour where you can discover the magic behind the spellbinding special effects and explore the behind-the-scene secrets of the Harry Potter film series.
You can tread the original stone floor of the iconic Hogwarts Great Hall, encounter animatronic creatures and wander down Diagon Alley. Located at the Studios where all 8 films were produced, the Studio Tour showcases the incredible British talent, imagination and artistry that went into making the impossible a reality on screen.
7. Ripley’s Believe it or Not!
|Ripley’s Believe it or Not!|
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is one of London’s top attractions and features an astounding collection of over 700 artefacts over six floors. You can explore everything that the museum has to offer from a mirror maze and graffiti wall to a toilet paper wedding gown! Located in the heart of Central London at the infamous Piccadilly Circus, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! guarantees a day packed with interesting facts and some weird but wonderful displays that’ll you’ll remember for years to come.
8. Family Wimbledon Tennis Tour
Your tour will take you behind the scenes for a tour of the grounds. You will visit court number one and centre court, the site of some of the greatest matches in the history of the sport. Your guide will lead you through the beautiful picnic terraces and up to the water gardens with amazing views of London before heading to the marvellous interactive Wimbledon Tennis Museum. Here you can discover the history of tennis, viewing all the trophies and even meeting the “ghost” of John McEnroe!
9. Tour of Stamford Bridge
This unmissable tour of Stamford Bridge, home of FA Cup Winners and European Champions, Chelsea Football Club is a fun, informative and unforgettable experience, enjoyed by sports fans of all ages from all over the world. The fully guided tour takes you behind-the-scenes of one of the world’s greatest football teams, giving you access to areas normally reserved for players and officials. Chelsea FC pride themselves on having guides who are both knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the club and they believe it’s their passion that makes their tours a truly memorable experience!
10. Explore the UK’s National Parks
From lakes to moors, woodlands to mountain peaks, the UK’s National Parks encompass some truly breath-taking scenery and are a pleasure to explore, whether on foot, by car or bicycle or on horseback. Fish in the Lake District, see the wild ponies of Exmoor, explore the quaint villages of Cumbria or whatever takes your fancy, and know you’ve a warm welcome, comfortable room and delicious breakfast to come back to.
Which would be your first choice? I’ve already got a couple at the top of my list. I’ve put The Husband on notice. And if it rains, we’ve got our kagools.
Buyagift.com is the UK’s leading online provider of gifts and experiences, and offers over 4,000 unique and exciting gift ideas for all occasions. For more information, visit www.buyagift.com. Prices and product details correct at time of distribution.