'Fantastic Five' places to visit near London
Syon House and Conservatory
Syon House and Conservatory was originally a 15th-century monastery and was redesigned in the 18th century by architect Robert Adam. It is best known for its many columns and statues, paintings and silk wall coverings. Syon House is also known for its 54-acre park and gardens, which include the famous Great Conservatory built-in back the 1920s. Also, Syon Park has over 600 years of history, dating all the way back to the time of the great medieval Abbey and there are even earlier stories, stretching as far back as the Roman era, and into prehistory. There are two museums in Brentford, the 'Kew Bridge Steam Museum' with working steam engines and the 'Musical Museum' at Kew Bridge with a wide variety of musical instruments. Syon House is only around a 30 min drive from London and you can also take a train in under 1 hr from 'Waterloo Station' in Central London.
Address: Syon Park, Brentford TW8 8JF
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is southwest of London on the north bank of the River Thames. The Great Hall and other parts of the palace date back to Henry VIII's time and five of his six wives also lived there. Points of interest include the Clock Court, the State Apartments, the Chapel, the King's Apartments and the Tudor tennis court, Privy Garden, the Pond Garden, the Elizabethan Knot Garden, the Broad Walk and taking a walk through the palace's famous maze is very popular for visitors of all ages. We would recommend 2-3 hrs to see all the highlights of this palace. It is around a 40 min drive from London and around 45 mins via train from 'Waterloo Station' in central London.
Address: Hampton Ct Way, Molesey, East Molesey KT8 9AU
Birmingham (ThinkTank Science Museum)
Birmingham has so much variety and so much to do it could keep you busy for weeks, so it is hard to see all of Birmingham in just a day, but the West Midlands city is so close to London it’s well worth making the journey to see as much as you can in that time. You could try one of the many British Indian restaurants and there are lots of museums and attractions you can see like, ThinkTank Science Museum, Cadbury World is a visitor attraction, featuring a self-guided exhibition tour and is run by the world-famous confectionery brand if you would like to learn about the history of British chocolate (and sample some of course). The Bullring Shopping Centre has many retail options and you can even unwind on a boat trip down one of the city’s canals. Birmingham is just over a 2 hr drive from London. You can also get the train there in 1.5 hours from ‘Euston Station’ in central London.
Highclere Castle was recently made most famous by the hit British TV series Downton Abbey, very few people had heard of the stunning English manor house before the TV show first aired. Today the red stairs, the music room, the saloon, and the bedrooms are known all over the world. The castle is open to visitors, for public viewings, special tours for smaller groups, themed around food or the filming of Downton Abbey. You can walk through the castle with an expert local guide that will let you know insider tales from the filming whilst on the tour. You will also have time to explore its wonderful gardens and you'll continue on to visit several other filming locations as well. It is around a 1.5-hour drive from London
Address: Highclere Park, Newbury RG20 9RN