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Mom and 14 year old boy- 4 nights in London- London City vs other neighborhoods?

A friend recommended staying near the Thames in London city, but I am concerned that we won't be close enough to the action for my son. I love the location for the views of the river and the Tower Bridge, but we are definitely planning to be tourists in London as we have never been there before. Looking forward to the changing of the guard, evensong at Westminster, taking in a London show, a ride in a London taxi, a cruise on the river and so forth. We will be relying on public transport and will be heading to Paris as our next stop via Eurostar.

Any feedback on my friend's suggestion? We are visiting late June/early July and staying mid week, and I am thinking that fact may raise the prices of hotels in London City. My friend seemed to believe that the Covent Gardens area would be more costly, but it has been a while since he traveled home. From searching on line it seems that he may be incorrect. I am open to any neighborhood that is more moderately priced and safe, but am feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Any advice on neighborhood, then accommodations would be appreciated. I am looking for safe, clean and moderately priced (by London standards) lodging. Thank you!

Posted by
25724 posts

You don't much actual info about where it is that you have concern for. If by London city you mean what is called The City of London, the square mile roughly bounded by the old Roman wall and where so much finance takes place, then it is tough for me to imagine where in The City you can see Tower Bridge as it is right at the very east end of the City and actually in Tower Hamlets north of the river.

There are some places which have been carved out of the old Billingsgate Fish Market, and other flats along the river.

Is this a flat or a hotel? There's the Crown Plaza at Blackfriars near the river but you'd be hard pressed to see Tower Bridge from there.

Transportation is great all along there. It has to be so that the millions of people descending on the City to work have efficient ways to get around. No one place anywhere in London is the best place for everywhere because everything is so spread out.

You will certainly pay a pretty penny to stay in the Covent Garden area, but I believe transport is not as good there and restaurants by and large are pretty dear in the area.

Posted by
33 posts

Thank you for your reply and the correction, Nigel. Specifically my friend mentioned The Tower Hotel. As I mentioned I have never visited London and am trying to understand the layout of London neighborhoods. When I searched hotels it seemed that I was finding better prices in Covent Gardens.

Posted by
158 posts

If you want central and are not so interested in charming, the Premier Inn either County Hall (slightly better location) or Waterloo at Westminster Bridge could suit. Hard to tell without dates but the rooms seem to be between 122 GBP and always under 200 GBP. The reviews on Trip Advisor and Booking.com are excellent. The one at County Hall (where we have stayed for 2 nights) was clean, safe and right in the center of the action on the southside of the Thames, as in literally around the corner from the Eye, across the river is Big Ben and parliament so the views are amazing....easy tube access and also easy access to the Thames river cruises. You could do a lot worse.

Posted by
4666 posts

The Tower area is scenic but a mixture of business and very tourist-oriented shops and catering - you won't have much in the way of useful shops or decent places to eat nearby.

Covent Garden (no s on the end) has some hotels but is very busy and can be noisy. The Covent Garden piazza itself is very, very tourist oriented, but there are some interesting (if expensive) independent shops in the streets around it. As far as transport goes, there are no buses running through the area, and the tube station is currently mostly closed for renovation, but there are plenty of other bus routes and several tube stations 5-15 minutes' walk away.

Posted by
5628 posts

See if there's room at the Vancouver Studio apartments in the vibrant Bayswater neighborhood, or a Premiere Inn or the Cherry Court Hotel. Check Tripadvisor reviews for each. Given the stellar public transport in London you'll not be far from anything really.

Posted by
33 posts

Thank you all. You have given me a place to start and I really appreciate it. I will look into all of your suggestions and decide from there. Thank you again.

Posted by
3580 posts

Walking and other transportation are good from the Victoria Station area, and some housing there is reasonably priced. If you want to be handy to the Eurostar train to Paris you could stay in the Kings Cross/St Pancras area. Underground and bus service are good from there and it's not a long way to Covent Garden and the theatre district.

Posted by
4666 posts

I wouldn't stay near Kings Cross with a 14 year old boy, as there are still spots quite close to there where he could get into some serious trouble wandering alone.

Posted by
135 posts

Hello Canashaw

Premier Inn opened a new hotel in St.Mary at Hill (actually, the name of a street these days!) about 18 months ago - 5 mins walk from Tower of London, 3 mins walk from Monument Station and well situated for all points in the old City. Getting to the West End from there is easy too via the tube, or the No.15 bus (heritage double decker) which passes the street the hotel is in. It's also 2 mins walk to the Thames. Perhaps not the cheapest if not booked well in advance, but worth a look??