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My Favourite Free London Parks

My Favourite Free London Parks

Every time I go to London, I make sure to visit all my favourite free parks in the city.

There are so many excellent places to go to in London and it’s such a hectic city alive with possibilities. But there are times when you just feel like chilling out. Especially when you’re on a budget and everything you do seems to involve spending more money!

So if you want to experience some of the most incredible and peaceful areas of London, then check out the following list of my five favourite parks:

Victoria Park

Victoria Park was apparently London’s first public park and is located in the East End. This park was made to be a replica of Regents Park and is beautiful for taking a relaxing walk around the lakes, visiting the gorgeous Old English Garden or simply for hanging out with family or friends.

Southwark Park

Southwark Park was opened in 1869 and hosts a boating lake, a superb garden and an original bandstand. In recent times, the park has opened up a lovely caf?� and art gallery to further enrich the experience of its visitors. This is also an excellent place to visit for free festivals and sporting events which you can research before you travel.

Finsbury Park

If you happen to be in north London, you might want to pass through Finsbury Park for a leisurely stroll. Its historic grounds housed tea rooms in the 1700s and even then the surroundings were much admired for their natural beauty. Nowadays, various music festivals are held here and it is also a wonderful place to retreat to in your free time after you’ve been trundling around London’s many tourist attractions.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park is one of the most famous London parks which features in various famous books and movies. Henry VIII used it as a private hunting ground from 1536 and it is a Royal Park which was first opened to the general public in 1637. Hyde Park’s many attractions include Speakers’ Corner, the Diana Fountain and the Serpentine Lake.

Kensington Gardens

Kensington Gardens is another free Royal Park which was once the private garden of Kensington Palace but which is now open to the public. This park is right next to Hyde Park (so you can move easily between the two) but has always been considered the “smart neighbour” due to its association with Kensington Palace.…

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Celebrate Spring With the Family at UK Holiday Parks

Celebrate Spring With the Family at UK Holiday Parks

As quickly as winter comes it also goes and with it the arrival of spring which gets everyone feeling good and happy as it is normally when the weather starts to pick up. This makes spending some time out the house a great idea and something that all families should think about doing.

Visiting one of the holiday parks that exist in the UK offers an unbelievable choice of activities, sports and entertainment for all the family. These holiday parks offer something for the whole family so even if you have younger children there is plenty on offer for them to keep them entertained and keep you relaxed. Booking your holiday early is definitely advised and with some great deals on offer there could not be a better time to book.

You certainly will not have to worry about a lack of activities at the holiday park as there are a wide range of things to do. There is a funfair that has something for everyone including a carousel and rifle target shooting. If you are feeling adventurous then there are some fantastic white-knuckle rides that will get the blood pumping and the famous dodgems which are great fun. There are a range of outdoor pursuits to and as the weather in Spring is generally more bearable this makes these activities great fun.

If the kids are interested in cartoons then they are in luck as there are a range of shows that include favourites such as Barney the Dinosaur and Bob the Builder. Added to this there is a live Looney Tunes show that will the kids can get involved in and really feel apart of the whole experience, it may even be for the young at heart as well!

The spring normally brings better weather and you may fancy a swim. If so then Splash Waterworld is perfect for you as there are some great slides that lead into the pool as well as a wave machine which offers endless fun. The water park is definitely one for all the family as there are shallower areas where the children can play safely.

In the evening you will be treated with a first class meal followed by some amazing shows. These include performances from Eurovision Song Contest winners in 1981 Bucks Fizz. There are shows that bring street dance to the stage where superb dancers try out their moves.…

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Moving to Los Angeles? Be Sure to Explore Your Prospective Neighborhood

Moving to Los Angeles? Be Sure to Explore Your Prospective Neighborhood

If you are planning a move to Los Angeles make sure you spend some time checking out different neighborhoods. Be sure the one you choose fits your needs. Before you move your family of four into that neighborhood of predominately childless families, stop and take a look around you. Where are the children’s parks and playgrounds, hands on children’s museums and indoor play areas? How close is the nearest daycare? If you have young children you will find that neighborhoods with families that have kids tend to cater to them. If you do some searching you should be able to find a house that is within walking distance to a children’s park or playground. Speak to the people who will be your neighbors. You’ll find they are full of information on the latest free fun places to take your kids to after school and on the weekends.

Probably the biggest consideration for families with kids is choosing the right school. When you buy a house in a particular district you are usually required to send your kids to the schools within that district. Sometimes school districts will allow you to send your kids to an out of district school, but it usually comes with a high price tag for the privilege.

If you’re not happy with the schools that are available in your district you might consider sending your kids to a private school. That will give you the flexibility to choose the best house for your family without being restricted by the local public schools. Private schools allow you more flexibility when it comes to choosing the right school for your kids but sometimes that flexibility comes at a very high price. Many private schools can run you upwards of two thousand dollars a month per child. You may find that in the end the price of a private education is too restrictive when it comes to choosing the right house. Sometimes you can find a school affiliated with a church and those can be a lot less expensive. Contrary to popular belief, not all church schools have a religious agenda.

When you are checking out a particular neighborhood you need to explore it during different times and on different days. What seems like an idyllic place to live during the day can sometimes turn into a nightmare when the sun goes down. There may be a convenient store on the corner but would you dare walk there by yourself? Are there any other kids in your prospective neighborhood? If there are kids but you never see them out of doors or at the local park you may want to reconsider. Residents may not feel safe going out of doors with their kids come nightfall.

How easy is it to get around in your prospective neighborhood? Is everything you need within walking distance or do you have to get into your car? How is the drive to work going to be? Can you get to your job using public transportation or do you have to sit in rush hour traffic every day? You might want to take a test drive. Find out if you will be driving to work with the commute. Is it going to be a three hour marathon or will you be going opposite direction?

If you’re a person that likes to be able to walk everywhere, you might look at the 2.7 square miles that is Westlake. It ranks 9 on a walkability scale for all of Los Angeles. Wherever you live in this predominately Latino neighborhood you can reach most amenities on foot. If you work downtown LA Westlake, sometimes called MacAurthor Park, is a fairly easy commute.

Before you make your move take advantage of the internet. With websites like you can find detailed information on any neighborhood in Los Angeles. You can find information on a neighborhood’s general overview, crime index, schools, appreciation rates and much more. There is a lot of information you can get for free, or for a small yearly fee you can get a lot of detailed information about every aspect of your prospective neighborhood.

Good luck and happy house hunting.…

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How to Run an Indoor Car Boot Sale Within A High-Rise Car Park

How to Run an Indoor Car Boot Sale Within A High-Rise Car Park

This is a short guide on how to run an indoor car boot sale within a high-rise car park.

Car boot sales have been a successful and prominent component of alternative trading in the UK for a number of years and have become a popular permanent fixture on sites throughout the country.

The public will get up surprisingly early on a weekend in response to the lure of yet another bargain hunt, the chance of getting rid of longstanding ‘junk’ in the house and making some money or finding that ‘unremarkable object’ that turns out to be an extremely profitable ‘earner’ when sold on.

The attraction of an indoor site for the seller is two-fold. Firstly, the shelter provides a much more comfortable environment for both buyer and seller and secondly, individual buyers are more likely to spend more time at the sale since they are under cover and will turn up in consistently higher numbers. As you can imagine, time spent by individuals at outdoor car boot sales is noticeably shorter in poor weather conditions.

High-rise car parks are an excellent option if you can get permission for use as they are normally right in the centre of towns and cities and therefore attract more passing public. Permission to run the indoor car boot sale should be sought from the owner of the car park and health and safety, insurances and licence issues discussed as well. You will also have to get permission plus a licence from the relevant council to run an indoor car boot sale on the premises.

The owners or management of the indoor car park space you are proposing to use must be persuaded that there are measurable benefits and profits to be gained from their participation. Profit will derive from one or both of two income sources. The buyers attending each sale will pay the normal parking fees for using the car park and this will go directly to the management company. This will be supplemented, if necessary, by a payment of a percentage of the seller’s pitch fees subject to negotiation.

Be sure that, whatever the apportioning of monies under discussion with the owner of the premises, you come out making a profit that you are happy with. If it is less than you are happy with to start out, you can review your profits over time and leave the door open for further discussions with the management of the premises at a future date. Instigate a ‘trial period’ so that nothing is set in stone until you see how a few boot sales perform. Remember they have to take you on trust at the start and see if you perform successfully so initially they may just permit one weekend out of every month. Thus, when they see that this is turning out to be a well-run, profitable, attractive event in their calendar they will give you more weekend dates to fulfil and more leeway with profit percentages.

On the day of the indoor car boot sale you must clearly delineate and separate the levels off between sellers and the public. The best scenario is to allow the public to enter into the high-rise car park as normal wherein an attendant will give them a token and they leave and pay as normal for the time they have parked there on their way out after inserting the token in the slot. Generally, the layout must ensure that there will be no moving traffic in the area designated to the sale while the buyers are present.

For the organiser, the indoor car boot sale conventionally provides income from the sellers only. Sometimes an admission fee can be charged to the public in smaller communities, like village halls for instance, although this can be offset by declaring that a percentage of the entrance fee will go towards a charity of choice. Sellers will usually pay a set fee for a ‘pitch’ in the same manner as a market stall holder. In many cases sellers are regular traders who will attend the same sale every week and the remaining sellers will comprise individuals who are taking an opportunity to clear out an accumulation of unused or unwanted household goods.

A most important issue for discussion to add towards the ‘feel good factor’ of indoor car boot sales, is to ensure that, besides well-signed, organized parking for both sellers and buyers alike, that there are good toilet facilities and mobile catering units on offer to the public. This will keep the public in the building for longer if these facilities are provided. Need it also be pointed out that you leave the car park premises in as clean a condition as you started out, …

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How to Make Huge Returns on Mobile Home Parks

How to Make Huge Returns on Mobile Home Parks

When you write about mobile home park returns you always run the risk of being branded a liar, as nobody believes that you can make 20% plus returns on anything anymore. With a stock market that makes 2% a year, and CDs that make 1%, and single family homes that lose money, investors are just conditioned to expect a low single-digit return – and if you suggest more, they just discard that thinking as a bunch of hype that they’ve heard before in the days of the dot com and housing bubbles.

But the truth is that you can make high double-digit yields in MHP, if you know what you are doing. Here’s how.

You can still buy mobile home parks at a 10% cap rate or better.

Mobile home parks still have one of the highest yields of any type of real estate. A quick glance of the listings online will support this. Why are MHP so much higher yielding than the other forms of real estate? One of the key reasons is simple supply and demand – most buyers are scared of them and avoid them, event though their fears are unfounded. While many investors think of Jeff Foxworthy-type “trailer trash” as the customer base of most parks, the truth is that 1 in 10 Americans live in a mobile homes, and there are parks in which everyone drives a car like a Honda Accord and went to college.

You can still obtain seller financing at low interest rates to push your yield even higher.

While a 10% cap rate is impressive, if you pay all cash that’s all you get. But the availability of seller financing makes the yields even higher. For example, if you buy a mobile home park at a 10% cap rate, and the seller carries back 80% of that amount in a note at 6% interest, then your cash-on-cash return is around 26%. That’s an incredible rate of return. But how come park owners can seller finance? It’s because most owners are “moms and pops” who own their parks free and clear, and who are more interested in the monthly income that a seller-financed note can provide.

You can still find a bunch of ways to increase the yield on mobile home parks.

It costs $3,000 to move a mobile home from one park to another. As a result, tenants cannot leave when you raise their rents. Besides the ability to raise rents – even in a recession – you also have the ability to cut costs such as sub-metering water and sewer usage. There are probably 10 major ways to boost the income on every park, and every dollar saved or revenue created results in an even higher yield. I’ve had parks that have had – I know this sounds impossible – in excess of 100% cash-on-cash returns per year, after years of grooming the operations and maximizing rent levels.

Conclusion

If you want to hit high yields on your investments, then you need to be investing in mobile home parks. If you want to earn low single-digits – and have no capital accumulation to pay for your retirement or your kid’s college education – then stick with traditional investments such as stocks and bonds.…

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Hiking the National Parks

Hiking the National Parks

Hiking the National Parks

If you’re planning your first backpacking trip to a National Park there are a few things to keep in mind before you head out:

1. No two parks are alike. Every National Park has its own rules and regulations for the backcountry. Some parks require bear canisters; some allow you to hang food. Some require designated campsites, some allow off-trail camping.

2. Be prepared. Make a checklist before you go. A few essentials include food, hat, sleeping bag, sunglasses, water purification system and matches.

3. If you are unfamiliar with a park, walking into a ranger station or office can help you figure out where you would be best suited to camp, instead of trying to plan a trip ahead of time. Some parks like Glacier National Park have bear closings and even planned trips may be re-routed.

4. Don’t overextend yourself. Once you enter the backcountry, you are on your own. Don’t push yourself too hard until you are used to the terrain.

5. Don’t depend on GPS units, Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) or anything else that depends on batteries or weather conditions to work. You should be equipped to handle changes in weather and minor emergencies. If you have a PLB only use it in cases of extreme emergency.

6. Know the terrain and the wildlife you may encounter. Talk to rangers and do research as to how to react in the event of a wildlife encounter. Remember, black bears can climb trees, running marks you as prey, and moose can outrun you.

7. The most common cause of death in the National Parks has to do with water, not wildlife. Beware of river crossings, getting too close to waterfalls, slippery rocks, avalanches and more. Exposure to freezing water temperatures can cause hypothermia in minutes.

8. Hydrate. Drink water no matter what the weather. Even in freezing temperatures your body needs water to stay hydrated.

9. Respect the wilderness. Pack out everything you pack in. Leave your campsite as if no one had been there.

10. Unfortunately dogs are not allowed on trails in National Parks. If you want to camp with your dog, head to a National Forest instead of a National Park. Dogs can harass wildlife and parks are set up to protect the wildlife not pets.

National Parks showcase the natural treasures of our country. Visiting a park may renew your spirit, your enthusiasm for nature and cultivate a love of life and a respect for the connections that ties us together with our surroundings and the animals we share the planet with.…

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Vacation Fun For Everyone in Wildwood, New Jersey

Vacation Fun For Everyone in Wildwood, New Jersey

Nearly every vacation spot has one major attraction, one major reason to go there as opposed to someplace else. Wildwood, New Jersey is one of those places that has something for everyone. Cerebral and sedate, playful and silly, or all out crazy fun can be found in the Eastern seaboard community that has attracted visitors for decades.

The first thing that visitors notice about this charming community are the colorful and unique hotels from the 1950’s. There are over one hundred vintage Doo Wop hotels in the area that boast everything you would expect from a modern 1950’s icon. There is also a Wild West Town and an interactive Pirate Adventure that can capture the hearts and minds of everyone this summer vacation.

Step Back In Time

Depending on how far back in time the family wants to go, begin by reserving rooms at one of the dozens of hotels held in trust by the Doo Wop Preservation League and featured in their museum. Colorful and funky, hotels such as the Lollipop, the Gold Crest, and the Viking all feature unique motifs, decors, and architecture that are sure to make your stay more enjoyable. Of course, all the modern amenities are available to make your stay comfortable, as well!

Walking through the Doo Wop Historic District, the family can end each day with a truly 1950’s form of entertainment with one of the 1950’s activities organized by the community each year, including the Sunset Cinema’s Movies on the Beach, live music, concerts, dances, and other events.

Pirates And Cowboys

Vacations are all about seeing and doing things that are different from the daily routine. What could be more different than spending the day pretending to be a pirate, complete with sailing vessel, map reading lessons, and searching for treasure? There is no other vacation spot that offers this much fun! The Jersey Shore Pirates Attraction allows young and old to dress up and play the part of pirates, complete with treasure to take home and a celebration at sea.

For the cowboys and cowgirls in the family, Netcong’s Wild West City is the answer. This theme park takes visitors back in time to the days of horses, trains, and stagecoach rides. Live shows provide entertainment as the family learns how to pan for gold, enjoys lunch in a saloon, and explores the local mercantile for unique gifts for family and friends back home.

The Best Water Parks In NJ

The biggest attraction in this beach community simply must be the Boardwalk. Families also enjoy summer fun at the Raging Waters Waterpark. The 1,100 foot long Endless River can sooth your mood or you can experience some adrenalin riding the Rocket Raft tube slides. Play areas and pools are available for the kiddies and rocking’ water opportunities for the teens and adults who prefer more adventure.

The water park in Wildwood NJ is one of the best water parks NJ has to offer. Clean, attractive, and tons of fun, this year’s family vacation will be talked about for years to come after having a wonderful time at the water park in Wildwood NJ.…