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two month stay

Initially posted on the England forum before realizing this may be a better place to request help. Silly me.

Seeking input upon finding a two month rental "Londonish".
Are schedule is open from April to October to insert a two month stay.
Couple in our early 60's and mobile. Love public transport.
Budget is important and our accommodation expectations align with small, safe, w kitchen, quiet and 10/15 minute walk to public transport.
If you have a non "londonish" recommendation then please provide input as our expectations focus upon a journey filled with local experiences and not museums.
So please share your expertise and experiences so we may commence planning a wonderful 2021 journey.

Over the decades we have traveled quite a bit, but it has always been a desire to select one location for two months to really settle into an area. Our travel style is to "absorb" and not dash. We have been to London one time for 14 days, stayed in Brentford and enjoyed getting out and about via bus and Tube. While being in proximity to London is a plus we want to learn of places folks tremendously enjoyed and would contemplate a longer stay. Don't worry about our likes/dislikes as we have found accepting the unlimited counsel of RS forum members to greatly benefit our journeys. So please examine England as a blank canvas to fill with your recommendations.

Posted by
8839 posts

You were right the 1st time

this forum is for people to write reviews of places that they have been to

Posted by
1292 posts

I did notice a number of reviews but also found posts requesting recommendations.

Posted by
28107 posts

you can post anywhere you like, and people do. It is true that the design expected people to write reviews of places and put them in the review forums, and ask questions about places in the Q&A sections which just have the name of the country in the Forum name.

It has been true for a long time that posters, especially new posters, are not precise in where they put a question.

There are two ways of reading posts here in Rick Steves Land. You can go direct to a particular Forum and read everything or some things that are posted there and if you have knowledge post an answer. If the people with answers to your question go to the Forum you asked in they will find your question. If it has been mis-posted they won't.

The other way is to use the "All-Topics" view where all the recent posts throughout the Forums are shown chronologically. If people use that method they will likely see a recent question regardless which Forum it has been posted in. If you have posted the same question more than once they will see that too and often not respond because they know that running multiple copies of a question can be difficult to follow for both the questioner and the answerers so they hope that one copy either gets no answers or disappears so all the answers get into one thread.

So you really have the freedom to post how you wish... you may just get help from some to find the best Forum to ask your question so that it is seen - and hopefully answered - by the most people who might have that answer.

Posted by
1292 posts

Your post is appreciated!
Now for the big question................... "Where do you believe we should stay for two months in England?"

Posted by
71 posts

Now that's very open-ended and therefore slightly tricky, particularly given that I love virtually the entire country and will find it hard to pin down one particular place. But I'll give it a shot nonetheless.

I gather from your post that you'd want to try somewhere outside of London, but would prefer somewhere that is still within a reasonable distance of London. If that's the case, let me suggest St Albans. It is a short mainline train ride to London, but is a city (strictly speaking) in its own right, with the beautiful Abbey, the Roman ruins of Verulamium, the high street with some lovely Tudor buildings, a great market etc. It's a good spot to immerse yourself in the day-to-day, and feel a little less like a tourist. And it's about 25 mins into central London by train.

Downsides: you're better off with a car if you want to explore the surrounds beyond St Albans itself. It's a comfortable daytrip to Oxford, and you can also do Bletchley Park without too much difficulty, ditto Blenheim Palace. There are two great stately homes nearby - Hatfield House (residence of the Marquis of Salisbury) and Woburn Abbey (seat of the Duke of Bedford, who has an amazing art collection, not to mention a safari park).

If you're looking for somewhere much further, my money goes on York or Durham. Both amazing, Durham being my favourite. Both easily reachable from London by train, but renting a car would be the way to go to explore outside the cities themselves. County Durham in particular is picture postcard lovely.

Posted by
28107 posts

how much "ish" do you want to be Londonish?

Do you want another Brentfordish stay where you are out a bit but going into town each day, or do you want a countryish stay where you will go into the Big Smoke a couple of times but mostly see the countryside and rural stuff?

I know you say blank canvas but that so covers a multitude.

Do you expect to get back on the buses/trains/trams from the commuter belt or will you expect a car wherever you wind up?

Have you considered somewhere like Berkhamsted or High Wycombe/Marlow or elsewhere in the Home Counties? If so are you willing to deal with the heavy commuter loads on the trains even past the nominal rush hours (spoken by somebody who worked on trains in and out of London for many years)?

Posted by
1292 posts

Ah, now we are writing! Love the input and questions to be considered. Yes, deliberately left the canvas being wide and blank cuz we seek to be pushed out of our boundaries. Seriously, the number of times we have read other folks posts and responses to learn stuff we never would have known to ask and then we incorporated into our trips have made for wonderful journeys.

We are amenable to settling into one place but then doing overnight trips and staying in BNB's. We consider paying for the accommodations twice as part of the cost of doing business (something we have done before).

Brentford worked great and provided a good taste of London, but we accept staying outside (or well away) of Londonish could provide a totally different and wonderful experience. So we are wide open to those suggestions. Just make it the recommendation your heart really swells at thinking of visiting.

Would prefer the ease of seamless and timely transport, but we have learned how to deal with "finding the transport" (in fact is one way to really absorb the help people offer in trying to get us to our destinations). More than ever car rental, bus routes, finding bikes, trains is easier and easier. Our first car rental was in downtown Rome circa 1990 and we still thank God for the random act of kindness provided by a stranger who helped us navigate out of downtown.

We can always find ways to be a "tourist", but learning from your experiences on where to stay and become part of the daily life........Ah, now that is a wonderful challenge.

Keep writing folks, so grateful for your input.

Be well!

Posted by
6463 posts

Ealing, Richmond, Chiswick, Whitsable, Levanham, Rye, Brokenhurst, to name a few.

Posted by
7988 posts

Having both a London and a countryside location would probably be easier for you.

Posted by
5648 posts

Based on my time in England last fall, look at Thames Ditton. It’s a wonderful, charming village, and for times you’re not using you kitchen, there’s an exceptional Bangladeshi curry restaurant, and several other cafes, a wonderful pub, with others close by. For Londonishness, catch the train, and you’re at Waterloo Station in almost no time. Oh, Hampton Court Palace or the Thames Path - a very short walk to reach them.

Posted by
45 posts

I'd say go to a town/small city like Winchester, Salisbury, Colchester or something of the like. Then, if you want to go to London you can use public transport which you seem very enthusiastic about! You can then return to your smaller area and still enjoy the scenery and things to do, all the while taking public transport back and forth from London.

Posted by
665 posts

I have looked into something similar in England — staying for six weeks or so to really settle in. Some areas that resonated with us include Hampstead and
Richmond to have easy access to London. We also considered Bath and Henley Upon Thames.

Posted by
13 posts

[Sweeping generalisation alert]. England is a country of two halves. The home counties tend to be very much a huge dormitory for London, and the people are in too much of a hurry, and not particularly friendly. Outside that area people are quite different - north of the Trent, or west of the Cotswold, people have time, and warmth. Remember that England has a fantastic (if expensive) train system and places like Sheffield, Bristol and York are only two hours from the centre of London.

Posted by
3245 posts

I think that Salisbury and Durham would be lovely places to stay. In 2000, we stayed in Hampsted for 3 weeks-it was expensive-our flat looked lovely on the outside and had a good location but was a dump inside.