Gatwick Airport is situated 45km south of London and is the UK's second largest airport, the busiest being London Heathrow Airport. The bright lights of the city are within easy reach!
London is a shopper’s paradise and with a mixture of both designer and high street names you are sure to find something to fit your budget. Oxford Street is one of the main go-to locations for shopping and with one and a half miles of shops, cafés, department stores and restaurants there is a something for all.
Selfridges, which is towards Marble Arch, is one of the best known stores along the street. Take a look at the breathtaking window displays and have a look in the food hall where you can pick up quirky and unusual items such as the world’s largest gummy worm!
If you are looking for something to entertain the whole family why not take a trip to Madame Tussauds? With 14 interactive zones, there is plenty to see. Zone 1 is the Party Zone where you can rub shoulders next to celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Kate Winslet and George Clooney! If you are feeling brave why not take a visit to the Chamber of Horrors where you can see waxworks of infamous prisoners and murderers.
If you are more of an animal-lover, London Zoo, situated near to Regent’s Park, is the place for you. With over 760 different species there are plenty of animals to see. Rainforest Life is a must-see exhibition if you wish to see animals up-close and personal. You can watch the monkeys jumping above your head and the sloths slowing making their way across the tree branches. The Tiger Territory is one of the zoo’s new enclosures and is home to two critically endangered Sumatran tigers. If you are travelling with children, head to Animal Adventure where you will find meerkats and a petting zoo.
If you are a fan of the Royal family a trip to Buckingham Palace is a must. During the Queen’s annual visit to Balmoral from August to September, the State rooms are opened to visitors so be sure to go on the Palace Tour.
Exploring England's South Coast
With London predominantly being a suburban area it is hard to believe that the beach is close by. Use your rental car to drive to the seaside town of Brighton, which is just over an hour away. Why not take a walk on the pebble beach and wander down to Brighton Pier? If you’re feeling brave take a ride on the helter-skelter, one of the many fairground rides and attractions on the pier, where, once you have climbed to the top, you can see the Isle of Wight.
If food is more your thing, take a trip to the famous fish and chip restaurant Palm Court which Heston Blumenthal called the “Spiritual Home” of fish and chips.
Reading, situated in the picturesque county of Berkshire, is a vibrant town with plenty of places to explore. Just under an hour away from Heathrow Airport with a hire car, it is well-worth a visit.
The Forbury Gardens, situated close to the town centre, are a nationally renowned Victorian formal garden and a sanctuary for those who are looking for a green space to relax in. The gardens lead into the ruins of Reading Abbey, which was built for Henry I.
If retail therapy is more your thing, Reading is home to a vast number of shops, as well as two shopping centres; The Oracle and Broad Street Mall. There are a good mix of stores to suit everyone’s budget, as well as a number of quirky, independent shops. If food is your passion there are a number of restaurants and bars outside The Oracle shopping centre where you can unwind and watch the canal boats on the river.