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When time is precious arrive in the heart of London.
Flying away for a long weekend means every minute is precious. So if you decide to head over to London, instead of flying into London Gatwick and having to deal with its crowds and the train journey into the city itself, why not just fly into its beating heart at London City Airport, jump on the DLR and find yourself in the centre of the action in moments.
Knock down some pins at the Hollywood Bowl, walk over the roof with Up at the 02 – a unique way to this see this iconic building. Plus there’s bars and restaurants galore, not to mention the cinema, one screen of which has D-Box seats which move and vibrate in sync with the movie. In short actually you could spend your entire weekend here and not get bored. Also highly recommended are the cable cars over the Thames (and beneath the London City flightpath) giving an unforgettable view of the city. Best to go at night, to see everything lit up.
In seven minutes you could be at the ExCeL centre doing – and admittedly this sounds a bit scary but read on – “locked in a room”. Up to 78 players can compete simultaneously across 13 themed escape rooms, which you get out of by solving a series of puzzles. Fans of the Crystal Maze will be in their element, as will anyone who enjoys Sherlock-esq levels of clues. It is a completely immersive experience and all set against a 60 minute countdown timer. Give it a go – if you dare.
For those who prefer something a little more open air, in around 30 minutes you can be jumping behind the wheel and getting all Fast and Furious with Teamsport Indoor Karting – which is karting, indoors, obviously. An 800 metre track with karts which can hit 40 mph this experience will dump serious levels of dopamine into your body as you put your foot to the floor and see who can get the best lap time. Specialised karts allow children as young as eight to take part, there are special packages for stag and hen dos, plus a bar and pool tables for some post-race bragging.
You're flying from an island that's full of stuninng beaches, but what about going to a beach in London? Options are limited in London for this, but happily some sun lovers out there decided that living in the middle of one of the greatest cities on earth should be no barrier to feeling the sane between your toes. So, they organised having 1,000 tonnes of the stuff dumped (read: careful arranged) in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, creating the largest urban beach the UK has in the process. But it’s not just sunbathing on offer, oh no, as there are fairground rides galore, a huge pool, a screen showing everything from movies to sporting events and then there’s the Tropicana Beach Bar, which serves tasty cocktails all day long.
This next one you don’t even have to leave the Olympic Park, just go over to Tumbling Bay Playground. Built so sure had the chance to play in real, natural environment, there are wobbly bridges, swings, slides and a great deal of space to just run about in to burn off some energy. A big climbing wall for those with a head for heights and a gigantic water fountain, where 195 individual computer controlled jets of water fire as you try to wind your way through the central pathway. Warning: you won’t make it out dry.
For a little bonus, use these last two as a shameless reason to go on the world’s fastest, tallest tunnel slide - at 178 metres long, it takes 40 seconds to descend and was named as the capital’s number one thing to do in 2016. It won’t have lost any of its charm this year.
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