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Things to do in London

Brave London's wild side with a secret adventure

Whether you kayak under Tower Bridge or join in at an underground concert, Secret Adventures (tel: +44 203 287 7986; http://secretadventures.org) shows visitors a side of London they haven't seen before and, in the case of the secret skinny dip, perhaps don't want to see again. Activities vary but are always wild. Book early.

Climb over a London landmark

Daredevils with a head for heights can scale the dizzying summit of the O2 dome (tel: +44 208 463 2000; www.theo2.co.uk), one of the city's iconic landmarks. Attached by a harness, adventurers who brave the 190m-high (623ft) rooftop walkway are rewarded with panoramic views, which are particularly stunning at dusk.

Pull on your plus fours for a unique round of golf

It may not be a sprawling green course, but Alexandra Palace’s pitch and putt (tel: +44 20 8365 2121; www.alexandrapalace.com) affords fantastic views over London. Elsewhere, Urban Golf (tel: +44 207 248 8600; www.urbangolf.co.uk) is technological in its approach play with state-of-the-art simulators instead of tees; and crazy golf fans should try Plonk Golf’s four courses (http://plonkgolf.co.uk).

Race down the Olympic white water rapids

Around 30 minutes' north of London, hurtle along fast-flowing waters at the exhilarating Lee Valley White Water Centre (tel: +44 3000 030 616; www.gowhitewater.co.uk). Built for the 2012 London Olympics, visitors can learn basic rafting techniques before tackling the rapids and stomach churning drops along the choppy 300m-long (984ft) route.

Swim inside an art installation

For an exhilarating spring and summertime plunge, head to one of London's outdoor pools. The water-filled clay pits on Hampstead Heath and the heated London Fields Lido (tel: +44 20 7254 9038; www.better.org.uk/leisure/london-fields-lido) are both favoured alfresco swimming spots by trendy Londoners, whilst King's Cross Pond Club (tel: +44 203 818 6500; www.kingscrosspond.club) is a natural art installation you can swim in.

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Featured Hotels

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Point A Hotel Westminster

This no-frills Asian hotel chain in the heart of Westminster is a fantastic option for those seeking value for money in the capital. The concept is simple: by stripping out costly extras, such as room service or windows, you can enjoy staying in a clean room with an ensuite bathroom for very little money. If you want extras, such as towels, toiletries, an in-room safe or a window, you simply pay for them. There are four hotels in the capital but this one in the centre is excellent if you want to be close to heart of the action.

The Soho Hotel

Rooms at this trendy hotel are sumptuously appointed in a modern, eclectic style, not forgetting flatscreen TVs, huge, ultra-comfortable beds, and sleek bathrooms kitted out in grey granite, glass and oak. Befitting a hotel nestled in the heart of London’s entertainment district, there is a swish private event space and two private screening rooms. Onsite restaurant Refuel has an attractive dinner menu, as well as serving afternoon tea and an extensive selection of breakfast dishes. 

The Dorchester

Sat beside Hyde Park, the glamorous Dorchester is a stately cavern of old-school British class. Dining includes high-end Asian restaurant China Tang and purveyors of modern British cuisine The Grill at The Dorchester, while the extensive spa in the basement is an exceptional pampering space. For all-out luxury, there’s the baroque and rococo Oliver Messel Suite, perched a-top the hotel, with a terrace offering prime views across the London rooftops. 

Rosewood London

 Rosewood London is a five-star hotel which blends English heritage with contemporary sophistication. The Edwardian Grade II-listed building has been renovated to create a luxury hotel with the ambiance of a stylish London residence. The hotel’s amenities include; a gym, a spa and a bar/lounge. The hotel also offers airport transportation and conference facilities.

Park Grand - London Lancaster Gate

The Park Grand is a boutique hotel located between Paddington and Lancaster Gate underground stations. Featuring modern guest rooms, a club lounge for executive visitors and a well-stocked bar. The hotel also offers links to Heathrow airport and major train stations.

 

Hoxton Hotel

In the heart of Hoxton, in the same premises as the popular Hoxton Grill, is this wallet savvy establishment. The Hoxton Hotel forgoes the money-making mini bar and instead has free milk and bottled water in the fridge, and sells the like of sweets and wine at reasonable prices in the lobby. Wi-Fi is also free, and guests receive a simple but tasty breakfast from coffee house chain Pret A Manger delivered to their room.