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Living in London made easier

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Living in London can be hard. It’s expensive, people can be rude, and the tube system is a labyrinth that not even the most seasoned Londoner can understand. But, it is also a multicultural metropolis, overflowing with amazing things to see and adventures to have. There are an abundance of ways that can make living in London less stressful, less costly, and, overall, easier. 

  • Oyster cards
  • Railcard
  • Maps
  • Savings websites
  • Banking
  • Weather 
  • Theatre 
  • Food
  • The Residence
  • Laundryheap 

Oyster cards

Whether you prefer taking the bus, tube, or train, there is no escaping public transport in London. You can pay for public transport via contactless or card payment, however, the best way is via an Oyster card. An Oyster card is a reusable card that can be used on all forms of public transport across London. You can top up your card at most London tube stations or online whenever you are running low on funds, and use it the very same day. What is more, Oyster cards have a cap on how much you can spend in one day, meaning that you will never be charged more than £13.50.

Image by Rachel Lovinger

Railcard 

A Railcard is incredibly handy to have for travelling both within and outside of London. There are several different types of Railcard that you can purchase, however they are all priced between £20 and £30. With a Railcard, you can get one third off of your train fares and, if you link it to your Oyster card, one third off of off-peak rail fares, including the tube and DLR. 

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Maps

London is a big city. So big, in fact, that it would be preposterous to even imagine navigating it without using a map. Luckily, there are several useful apps that can help you to not only navigate the city, but also plan public transport journeys. These apps mean that you will never get lost in London again, and that you will always be able to find public transport to aid you on your journey. 

Photo by Ingo Joseph from Pexels

Savings websites

Living in London can be incredibly expensive. Bills, food shopping, transport, the cost of living, it all adds up. Luckily, there are several savings websites that offer discounts on all manner of items, including everyday essentials and nights out. Simply head to these discount websites and search for items you are looking for discounts on. If you find a website in particular that offers good deals, subscribing to their newsletter will often give you a first-look at what discounts are available and/or coming up. 

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Banking 

With so much to do, see, and experience in London, it can be very easy to let your money get away from you. The majority of banks now have apps that can help you access your bank account faster. They will often send notifications directly to your phone when money is coming out of your account or when you are running out of funds. If you are looking for an alternative way to manage your money, Monzo is an online bank whose app helps to break down exactly where your money is being spent. This helps to identify what areas you are spending the most money on, and perhaps where you could save. 

Photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels

Weather

UK weather is unpredictable. The sun could be shining brightly in the morning but by the evening you could be stuck in torrential rain. Most phones now come with a weather app pre-downloaded, however, if you don’t have one, it’s best to download one ASAP. It will help you to plan your day around changes in the weather, meaning you will never be caught in the rain without an umbrella again. 

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Theatre 

One of the many joys of living in London is the glorious West End, where there is no end to the wonderful musicals and plays that are performed every day. If you enjoy a trip to the theatre, then you will want to download Stagedoor. It can be hard to narrow down what to see on the West End, but Stagedoor can make your choice easier with reviews from both theatre critics and previous audience members. On the app you can also book tickets and access offers for discounted meals and even discounted tickets. The wonders of the West End awaits. 

Photo by Monica Silvestre from Pexels

Food

London is a multicultural hub and, as such, there are an abundance of restaurants to try. Eating at different restaurants guarantees that you will always be treated to amazing food, however can be incredibly expensive. Luckily, apps, such as OpenTable, offer huge discounts on some of the top restaurants in London. Simply see what reservations they have open, and book as soon as possible. Be quick though, because there will be other eagle eyed people waiting for a top reservation at a low price, so you have to act fast. 

Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography from Pexels

The Residence 

One of the most difficult parts of living in London is finding the perfect home. You want to find somewhere that is within your budget, with good transport links, and plenty of local amenities- which is easier said than done. Luckily, The Residence offers the perfect solution. Whilst you find your dream home, you can stay in one of The Residence luxury apartments, located specifically for ease of commute, accessibility of services, and transport links. The contemporary design of each apartment offers a relaxing oasis from the hustle and bustle of city living, whilst also creating the perfect environment for finding your dream home. What is more, all guests of The Residence can enjoy 20% off of their first Laundryheap order using the code RD20. 

Image courtesy of The Residence website

Laundryheap 

We all detest doing laundry, and when you live in the city it seems like there are never enough hours in the day to get it done. Luckily, Laundryheap is here to help. We pick up your dirty laundry, wash it, and re-deliver it to you, all in as little as 24 hours. All you have to do is head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app to make your booking today. At least that’s one thing ticked off of your to-do list.


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Top Coventry tourism spots

Coventry is a West Midlands city that was founded in the Middle Ages. It is the 9th largest city in England, and brimming with must-see tourism spots.

  • Coventry music museum 
  • Allesley park 
  • Bagot’s castle 
  • Brandon Marsh nature reserve
  • St Michael’s tower climb

Coventry music museum

The Coventry music museum is an independent museum celebrating the unique music stylings in Coventry and its surrounding areas. It is the life-long vision of music historian and journalist Pete Chambers and his wife Julie. As you travel through the museum you are transported through the decades, exploring the vast music scene that is at the heart of Coventry. Admission is £4 for adults and £1 for children, with concessions only paying £2. These admission fees, and any other generous donations given by the public, are used to maintain the museum and its incredible exhibits. 

Allesley park 

Allesley park is a picturesque and historic nature experience. In the 13th century, it was used as a deer park, but now visitors can enjoy the rolling hills and unspoiled green space at their leisure. Nestled within Allesley park is a wide variety of fun activities to keep the whole family entertained, including an 18-hole golf course, a 9-hole crazy golf course, and a children’s play area. If you are visiting Coventry on a warm summer’s day, Allesley park is a great location for family fun. 

Bagot’s castle

For those who enjoy history, Bagot’s castle will prove to be an interesting experience. The castle itself lies in ruins, however, the original building is believed to have been constructed in the 11th century at the time of King Henry the first. In the late 1300s, the castle was rebuilt by Sir William Bagot who entertained many distinguished guests, including Henry IV. Bagot’s castle has remained derelict since the 16th Century, however, in recent years, has had a renewed interest. When you visit the castle today, you can explore the ruins, as well as enjoy a woodland walk, and visit the Bagot goats, a rare breed of goat known to have been around since the late 1300s. 

Image by Amanda Slater

Brandon Marsh nature reserve

If you love being surrounded by nature, then the Brandon Marsh nature reserve is a Coventry spot you don’t want to miss. Spanning 92 hectares, Brandon Marsh is well known for the quality of its reedbeds, pools, and woodlands. As such, it attracts a huge variety of birds and wildlife for guests to observe. Once you have trekked the reserve, you can head to The Badger’s Kitchen to unwind and relax with tea and cake, whilst watching the birds fly on live nestcams. 

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St Michael’s tower climb

For the best views in Coventry, put on your comfiest shoes and take on the St Michael’s tower climb. Open seven days a week, excluding bell ringing sessions, you can take the 180 step climb at any point on your Coventry trip, and admire the stunning view of Coventry and its surrounding countryside. After you’ve taken on the tower, you can wander around the rest of Coventry cathedral, including the ruins of the medieval parish church and surrounding grounds.

 

Whilst you are exploring the top Coventry tourism spots, we will be getting your laundry ready for your return. Book your Laundryheap service by heading to the Laundryheap website or downloading the free Laundryheap app. 


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Relaxing things to do in Manchester

After a hard day, it can sometimes be difficult to unwind and relax, especially if you live in a city. If you are residing in the Manchester area, these are some of the best ways to relax. 

  • Wander around St John’s garden
  • Enjoy a coffee in the trees
  • Stroll around Sale Water Park
  • Admire art at Manchester Art Gallery
  • Indulge in cat therapy 
  • Find tranquility at Rena Spa 
  • Create a work of art at Seven Limes Pottery 
  • Travel back in time at Heaton Park
  • Reach new heights at Manchester Climbing Center

Wander around St John’s garden

Where the St John church formerly stood in central Manchester, there is now a beautiful garden.  Developed in 1932, the small but beautiful St John’s garden is home to an urban orchard, beautiful flower beds, and plenty of benches to sit and relax on. In the center of the garden, you can find a memorial to the church, and those that were buried in its adjoining graveyard, placed exactly where the entrance to the church once was. St John’s garden is the perfect place to unwind with a book, or simply sit with your own thoughts. 

Image by  Gerald England

Enjoy a coffee in the trees 

The Whitworth café has been beautifully designed with floor-to-ceiling windows so that guests can enjoy a coffee in the trees of Whitworth Park. As you sip on your coffee and nibble on an incredible seasonal menu, that is both ethically and locally sourced, you can enjoy the nature of Whitworth Park and the urban sanctuary of the Art Garden. The Whitworth cafe is the ideal place to enjoy all that nature has to offer, no matter the weather. 

Image by  David Hawgood 

Stroll around Sale Water Park

Sale Water Park is a social hub, making it the perfect place to relax, especially with friends and family. Located in the south of Manchester, you can find beautiful woodland, meadows and, in the center of it all, the lake at Sale Water Park. During the summer months, locals and tourists alike flock to the lake to sail boats or ride jet skis. Nestled within the park is The Boathouse Restaurant, which offers panoramic views of the park. 

Admire art at Manchester Art Gallery 

Sometimes the best way to relax is to go somewhere quiet, where you can focus on something other than your stresses. Manchester Art Gallery is perfect for that. There is no admission fee to access the gallery, so you can wander around at your own leisure, admiring and getting lost in the art on display. Whether you are interested in fine art, sculptures, or even textiles, Manchester Art Gallery has a wide variety of beautiful pieces, that are guaranteed to satisfy even the toughest critic. 

Indulge in cat therapy

It has been proven that petting and being around animals has a calming effect on humans. In fact, stroking a cat can lower your blood pressure and increase positive thoughts. If you are a cat lover but do not own one, then you can visit Manchester’s Cat Cafe and enjoy unlimited access to a group of furry friends. For £12 an hour, you can enjoy bottomless hot and cold beverages, whilst stoking your new feline friends. 

Find tranquillity at Rena Spa

The ultimate relaxation experience is visiting a spa. The Rena Spa, located in the The Midland Manchester hotel, is an award-winning retreat away from every single stress you may be experiencing. Whether you are looking to massage the stress away, enjoy a dip in the relaxation pool, or release your pent-up frustrations in the steam room, there is a treatment for everyone to enjoy. You can find an escape at The Rena for a few short hours, or book a spa retreat, either way, you will leave feeling refreshed, revitalised, and, most importantly, completely relaxed. 

Photo by John Tekeridis from Pexels

Create a work of art at Seven Limes Pottery 

When you’re feeling stressed it can be useful to throw yourself into a creative project. Seven Limes Pottery offers small and friendly classes to potters of all levels. You can dictate what you would like to make, and the tutors at Seven Limes will help guide you through the process until you are left with a beautiful piece of pottery at the end. If you aren’t completely sold on the idea of making pottery, you can try a taster class.

Photo by Natallia Rak from Pexels

Travel back in time at Heaton Park 

At first glance, you may mistake Heaton Park as just another serine park, but you would be wrong. Not only is the park itself listed as a historical site, but there are also several buildings and landmarks nestled within its grounds that have been classed as historic sites. As you walk around the park you can observe these beautiful, historic, structures, before heading to the animal center, where you can see several farm animals roaming alongside alpacas and peacocks. With there being so much to do and see, Heaton Park is a great place to stroll around, at your leisure, and feel yourself relax into a calmer way of life. 

Reach new heights at Manchester Climbing Centre

Any form of exercise releases endorphins which help to relax and make you feel happy. What’s even better, is when you can exercise in a fun and adventurous way. At Manchester Climbing Center you can reach new heights by climbing the walls of the reformed church that the center is housed in. If you’ve never tried rock climbing before, you can do an intro class for £15 where you will be shown the ropes (pun intended) and given a full health and safety briefing. After completing the introductory class, you can pay £9 per session, or buy a membership for £45 a month. 

Photo by Allan Mas from Pexels

Laundry is never a relaxing task to complete, so let us do it for you. Book your Laundryheap service by heading to the Laundryheap website or downloading the free Laundryheap app.


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How to get laundry done in a quarantine hotel

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You’ve arrived back in the UK, lugging your suitcase, and you’re immediately told that you must isolate for 10 days in a quarantine hotel. You will be provided with 3 meals a day, WIFI, and regular COVID tests. What won’t be provided, is a way for you to wash your clothes. How are you going to get your laundry done? 

  • In the sink 
  • Through the hotel 
  • Laundryheap

In the sink 

To wash your smaller items of clothing, such as t-shirts and underwear, you can use your quarantine hotel room bathroom sink. Before doing so, check with your hotel that you can have access to some form of laundry detergent. 

To hand-wash your clothes, fill your bathroom sink with warm water, and add the laundry detergent.

Place your items in the water, you may have to do this one item at a time depending on how big your sink is, and use a plunging motion to wash them. 

Once you are satisfied with the cleanliness of your items, rinse them with warm water. Make sure that you thoroughly rinse your clothing or you could be left with laundry detergent lingering in your garments. 

After rinsing your clothing, hang it over the shower and leave it to air dry. This could take some time depending on the warmth of your room and how many items you are trying to dry at once. 

Photo by ato de from Pexels

Through the hotel 

Some quarantine hotels may offer an in-house laundry service, at an additional cost. It is likely that a laundry service will only be available at certain times, so you will have to adjust your schedule accordingly. There is no guarantee that your quarantine hotel will offer a laundry service, so it is best to check before hand. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Laundryheap

Laundryheap is an on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning service. We will pick-up your laundry from your quarantine hotel, launder it, and have it re-delivered to you within 24 hours. We are fast, flexible, and efficient.

Our number one priority throughout the COVID 19 pandemic continues to be keeping our customers and partner drivers safe. That is why we offer a hot wash service, at no additional cost, and all of our deliveries are contactless. 

At Laundryheap, we understand that this is a scary time, and that having to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days is not easy. That is why we are here to help you get through it, with fresh clothes. 

Booking your Laundryheap order could not be simpler. You can head to our website, or download the free Laundryheap app from the App Store or Google Play Store. 


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Top days out in Birmingham

As the second biggest city in the UK, there is an abundance of incredible days out to experience in Birmingham. These are our top 10.

  • Thinktank, Birmingham science museum 
  • Barber Institute of Fine Arts
  • Cadbury World 
  • Black Country Living museum 
  • Botanical gardens 
  • Peaky Blinders tour
  • The Birmingham Bullring 
  • Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park
  • Sea Life Centre
  • Cannon Hill Park

Thinktank, Birmingham science museum

Whether you enter the Thinktank science museum with an interest in science or not, you will certainly leave it astounded by what you’ve seen. Thinktank is an award-winning museum that is home to an eclectic collection of science-related exhibits.

For centuries, Birmingham has been an important industrial centre, and Thinktank showcases many of the machines that helped Birmingham’s industrial growth. Some of the key exhibits include the Spitfire Gallery, the Science Garden, and the Thinktank Planetarium. 

Barber Institute of Fine Arts

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts is home to an exciting collection of Renaissance and 20th-century art. It is located a stone’s throw away from Birmingham University, and includes art from the likes of Botticelli, Bellini, and Monet. You can explore the wonderful collection of artwork at your own pace, or book a guided tour. If you have time, make sure to visit the café and gift shop. 

Cadbury World 

Who wouldn’t want to visit a chocolate factory? Bournville, a short drive from Birmingham, is home to the original Cadbury’s chocolate factory, where the Dairy Milk was formed.

Begin by taking a tour of the factory and learning about the history behind Cadbury’s chocolate. Then, explore Bull Street, a replica street that is reminiscent of the 1820s. Finally, let your inner child come out and enjoy the theme-park-like attractions the park has to offer. 

After fully touring the factory and its grounds, spend some time exploring the picture-perfect village of Bourneville, which was built by the Cadbury family in 1860.

Black Country Living Museum 

As mentioned, Birmingham is an industrial city. Nine-miles west, in the town of Dudley, is the Back Country Living Museum. Set across a 26-acre site, visitors can delve into the history of mining through an old mine shaft and reconstructed, turn-of-the-century, industrial community, consisting of 50 authentic buildings. You can completely immerse yourself in this experience as you take costumed guided tours, travel on a vintage tram, and even enjoy a 19th-century fun fair

Botanical gardens 

You will find Birmingham’s Botanical gardens in the suburb of Edgbaston. Founded in 1829, the Botanical gardens were used to showcase new and exotic plants that had been found around the world. Apart from the greenhouses, which house a number of exotic flora, the layout of Birmingham’s Botanical gardens remains largely the same. The Botanical gardens are beautiful during all seasons, although specifically in the spring/summer months, and are a fantastic way to see an array of exotic flora. 

Peaky Blinders tour 

If you are a fan of the hit BBC drama Peaky Blinders, why not discover the true story of the gang?

You will begin your tour at The Old Crown on Deritend High Street, where you will be met with a welcome drink. There, you will also meet your tour guide, Professor Carl Chinn MBE. Next, you will be taken through the streets of Birmingham, and told the gruesome truth behind Birmingham’s most notorious gang. After your tour, you will feast on a traditional Victorian dinner, which will end with the telling of the Peaky Blinders ultimate demise.

The Birmingham Bullring  

The Birmingham Bullring is the go-to location for all your shopping needs. Connected via a link bridge to Birmingham Grand Central train station, the Bullring is the largest city centre shopping centre in the UK. Established in 1154, the Bullring has historically been the go-to place to shop. What was once a series of market stalls, is now an indoor shopping centre, home to a multitude of shops and restaurants, including one of only four Selfridge’s department stores in the UK. 

Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park 

Birmingham’s Wildlife Conservation Park is home to a unique collection of animals from across the world. Just some of the wildlife you can see include red pandas, lemurs, meerkats, otters, and wallabies. Some of the animals homed at Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park are endangered in the wild, so the park work to breed those animals in an attempt to conserve the species. If you are an avid zoologist or just love animals, Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park is a must-visit. 

Sea Life Centre 

Keeping with the animal theme, if you are a fan of aquatic animals then the Sea Life Centre is the perfect day out. Home to over 60 marine exhibits,  a million-litre ocean tank, and an underwater tunnel, the Sea Life Centre is guaranteed fun for all ages. There are over 2,000 sea creatures that call the centre home, including sea horses, reef sharks, giant turtles, and giant octopi. Birmingham’s Sea Life Centre is a fun, and educational, day out. 

Cannon Hill Park  

If you have visited Birmingham’s Wildlife Conservation Park, you can spend the rest of your day exploring Cannon Hill Park. From fun parks to the land train, Cannon Hill Park is packed with fun family activities. Included in the park are mini-golf, swan boats, the garden tea room, and tennis courts. Whether you’re sporty, competitive, or just want to admire the greenery, Cannon Hill Park has something for everyone to enjoy. 

Whilst you’re enjoying a day-out in Birmingham, let us take care of your laundry. Head to the Laundryheap website, or download the free Laundryheap app, to book your laundry and dry cleaning service.


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London: Fun Facts About The Capital

London is the capital of the United Kingdom and home to us here at Laundryheap. Above all, it is a city filled with history, culture, social diversity and unbelievable stories that go back as far as the Romans. 

The cities rich and enchanting past plays a pivotal role in drawing foreign tourists, students and prospective residents every year. As a result, London is now one of the most diverse cities on Earth and has evolved into a modern metropolis. 

  • 8.7 million people call the city home.
  • Over 300 languages spoken inside the city every day.
  • Most Billionaires in the world. 
  • The tallest building in the EU is in London. 
  • There were fewer deaths in the Great Fire of London than you might think. 
  • We’ve been calling Big Ben the wrong name all along.
  • London’s black cab drivers are some of the most knowledgeable in the world. 
  • London’s transport system is a story in itself.
  • There are over 170 museums in the city.
  • Some of the worlds most famous figures lived in London.

London has over 8.9 million people.

According to the latest reports, Greater London now hosts 8.9 million people that call the city home. Consequently, the city is now the 26th largest city in the world by population.

 The British capital has a higher population than any city in the US, with New York being its nearest competitor with 8.6 million people. The second-largest city in the UK is Birmingham, which has a population of 1.1 million.

Over 300 languages spoken inside the city every day.

You would be stuck to find a city more diverse than London. Expats from every corner of the world move to the city each year and make up a significant proportion of the 8.9 million population. Due to this, the city boasts that a jaw-dropping 300 different languages are spoken inside it every day.

Besides English, Polish is the most common language spoken in the capital. Other languages like Bengali, Gujarati, French, Urdu and Arabic follow closely behind on the list. 

Most Billionaires in the world. 

London is home to at least 80 billionaires, making it the city with the highest number of billionaires living in it. Furthermore, London billionaires make up 80% of all billionaires living in the UK. 

As a result, the city can claim to have more billionaires than cities like New York, Moscow, Paris, Milan and Berlin. Most of these billionaires reside in the borough of Kensington in West London. 

The tallest building in the EU 

The Shard, located in the London borough of Southwark, is the tallest building in the European Union (for now). Once Britain leaves the European Union, it will be the fifth tallest building in the entire European continent. 

Erected in 2012, The Shard stands 1,016 feet high and has 72 floors. If you get a chance to visit London, you can visit the building and go to the top level where a restaurant and bar await you. As you can imagine, the views are stunning. 

There were fewer deaths in the Great Fire of London than you might think

If you have any interest in the history of London, then you surely have heard about the devasting Great Fire of London. The fire swept through London in 1666 and reduced most of the city to ash. 

Despite the mass destruction caused by the fire, the verified death toll was only six people. However, the real number is unknown, as it is impossible to know now how many people died from causes brought on from the fire. The Monument building was built in 1677 to commemorate the tragedy and still stands today. At the time it was the highest building in the city.  

We’ve been calling Big Ben the wrong name all this time.

Arguably London’s most recognisable landmark, Big Ben was completed in 1859. Most importantly though, it was initially named the Clock Tower and was later renamed Elizabeth Tower. 

So, how did the British cultural landmark come to be known as Big Ben, you ask? Well, the name Big Ben actually refers to the Great Bell of the striking clock at the North end of the Palace of Westminster. The Ben part of the nickname came from Sir Benjamin Hall, who oversaw the construction of the great bell. Now, next time you hear someone refer to the tower as Big Ben, you can correct them with your new-found London knowledge.

London’s black cab drivers are some of the most knowledgable in the world.

Black Cab drivers are recognised the world over thanks to countless depictions in film and TV. But, most people don’t know how hard it is to become a black cab driver in the capital. 

To become a black cab driver, you must first complete ‘The Knowledge’, a rigorous test where you have to memorise every single street in the city. Black cab drivers can spend years learning the roads before they can pass the test. Many of them use scooters or walk around the city to remember all the intricate back alleys and side streets. 

London’s transport system is a story in itself

There as so many fun facts about the London Underground that we could make a whole post dedicated solely to Tube facts. With eleven different lines and 270 stations, it should come as no surprise that there are some stories embedded underground. 

One example of a bonkers tube fact is that Aldgate Station has over 100 bodies buried underneath it. After the Great Plague the bodies were buried on mass. In the same vein, another London underground fact we found especially interesting is that American talk show host Jerry Springer is one of only three known people to be born on the London Underground. He was born at Highgate Underground Station.

There are over 170 museums in the city.

London’s reputation for being a city of culture isn’t just a result of its multiculturalism. The vast number of museums also add to the cultural identity of the capital. The city is home to over 170 different museums. 

Some of the most famous of these museums are The Natural History Museum, The Science Museum, The Victoria & Albert, TATE Modern and The Imperial War Museum. What is the best part of all these great museums? They are all 100% free to enter with just a few exhibitions requiring a fee.

Some of the worlds most famous figures lived in London.

London has been a hub for the worlds most famous intellectuals, writers, musicians and cultural icons for centuries. Some of the capitals most famous residents over the years include Oscar Wilde, William Shakespeare, Ho Chi Minh, Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie and 100’s more. 

If you live in London or you are just visiting the famous capital, why not get Laundryheap to take care of all your laundry needs? We can help free up your time so you get to take in all the culture the city has to offer.


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Birmingham: Fun Facts About The UK’s Second City

The UK’s second city isn’t always first on everybody’s must-visit list, but we are here to change that. Birmingham is best known for its industrial background, hardworking people and famous waterways, the ‘City of a Thousand Trades’ also has a rich history of arts, music and culture. 

  • The First Game of Lawn Tennis Was Played in Birmingham
  • Birmingham has More Canals Than Venice
  • The Busiest Theatre in the UK in in Birmingham
  • Cadbury Chocolate and HP Sauce are both from Birmingham
  • Inspiration for the Lord of the Rings
  • Home to some of the UK’s most famous metal bands
  • Bullring Shopping Centre has been going since the Middle Ages
  • Home to the real-life Peaky Blinders

First Game of Lawn Tennis Was Played in Birmingham

Modern-day tennis as we know it can be traced back to Harry Gem and his friend Augurio Pereraw who are credited with playing the first game of modern lawn tennis in their house in Edgbaston, Birmingham. Edgbaston Lawn Tennis Club remains the oldest in the world. Take that Wimbledon! 

Birmingham Has More Canals Than Venice 

Birmingham’s famous waterways stretch for a whopping 35 miles, meaning it has more than the famous Italian city. These canals are enjoyed by walkers, cyclists and narrowboat owners alike and serve as a reminder of the cities industrial past.

The Busiest Theatre in the UK is in Birmingham

With a whopping 520,000 visitors per year, the Birmingham Hippodrome is officially the UK’s busiest theatre. Here you can catch year-round performances varying from dance, pantomime, musicals and theatre. 

Cadbury Chocolate and HP Sauce are from Birmingham

That’s right, two of Britains most iconic food brands call Birmingham home. Cadbury’s chocolate started opened for production in 1905. Cadbury made its first Dairy Milk bar in 1914, with a higher percentage of Milk than previous bars, it soon became the company’s best selling product. 

Another titan of the British cupboard is the famous HP Sauce. The ‘HP’ stands for Houses of Parliament, although this sauce’s roots don’t trace back to Westminister, but to its factory in Aston.  

Birmingham was the inspiration for the Lord of the Rings

Not many people know that Lord of the Rings author J.R.Tolkien spent his formative years in and around the city. It was the landscape of the city and surrounding countryside that provided part of the inspiration for his books.

Locations like ‘The Shire’, home to his famous Hobbit characters, was inspired by a village called Sarehole, which has now been absorbed into Birmingham’s suburbs. 

Home to some of the UK’s most famous metal bands

Another lesser-known slice of Birmingham’s history is the cities connection to Heavy Metal music. Bands like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Judas Priest all played their first gigs in the city, with many of their members having grown up in Birmingham. The city still hosts a strong metal scene today in venues like the Tunnel Club and Scruffy Murphy’s. 

Bullring Shopping Centre in Birmingham has been going since the Middle Ages

Bullring Shopping Centre is situated in an area that has been a shopping hotspot in Birmingham since the middle ages. Long before enormous shopping malls and department stores, this area was host to a bustling corn market. The market legally began trading in 1154 and lives on today in the form of the Bullring Shopping Centre. 

Home to the real-life Peaky Blinders

If you haven’t heard of the BBC’s hit period drama Peaky Blinders yet then where have you been? Set in post World War One Birmingham, the show has done more in recent years to put Birmingham on the map than anything else.

Tommy Shelby and his gang brothers have become the new heroes of the city. Championing the Brummy accent not just across the UK, but now taking America by storm since the hit streaming service Netflix has started airing the series. Based loosely on a real gang from the city with the same name, this show is a gateway to Birmingham life in the 1920s.

Thinking about visiting Birmingham to experience some of this amazing history first hand? You can also get your laundry done while you visit. Laundryheap operates throughout the city, all you have to do is book a same-day laundry and dry cleaning collection with free next day delivery.