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48 hours in London in August

My group of 8 is taking a train from Edinburgh to London on August 1 and flying home on August 3. This our first trip. Can you make a recommendation of good area to stay in? I haven't purchased rail tickets yet but want to be close to the right London station and easy travel to Heathrow. We think we want to see British National Museum but it will be a Saturday afternoon when we arrive and a Monday afternoon when we leave - it may be too big of crowds for a museum visit!

Posted by
11450 posts

Every day is crowded at the British Museum - you take your patience and see what you want - or don’t bother going . Helps if you pre plan the sections you are most interested in seeing - and allow at least 3 hours .

Which airport are you flying home from ? There are several choices .

Posted by
2611 posts

You would leave from Paddington Station to get to Heathrow on the Heathrow Express which gets you to Heathrow in 15 minutes, if you get on the Heathrow Express website 90 days or more before your travel date you can get a ticket for £5.50 each. I purchased my a couple weeks ago for May. There are several nice hotels within a few minutes walk to Paddington Station (rail and tube) and Lancaster Gate Tube Station.

Posted by
5512 posts

If you train from Edinburgh to Kings Cross Station or Euston look to book now ( you are traveling during the summer months things fill up quickly) the Premiere Inn St Pancras, Premiere Inn Kings Cross or Kings Cross Euston. All 3 within easy walking distance ( even with luggage) of one another.

Area around Kings Cross St Pancras all built up now; Granary Square, Coal Drop Yards. If your 8 like walking could follow the Regents Canal Path to Camden Lock Market.

If, however, you main focal point is the easiest and quickest way to get Heathrow for your flight home then 90 days out book Heathrow Express tickets
(15 minute ride from Paddington Station to Heathrow but make certain you know what terminal your flight will depart from) You don’t mention a budget. There is a Hilton that’s attached to Paddington Station. I’ve never stayed there.

Otherwise consider 63 Bayswater which is an easy 10-15 stroll from Paddington Station. Investigate availability NOW at 63. Safe, clean, good price for London. Breakfast included in the price. 1/2 block from Lancaster Tube State and the Central Line. Across the road from the Italian Gardens in Hyde Park. Over a 20 year span have stayed at 63 countless times.

If you stay at the Hilton Paddington use the underground Bakerloo Line ( Brown ) to Baker Street, exit, Mind The Gap, and then a Jubilee train (Grey) to Westminster Station. Exit out into Parliament Square. 10-20 minute sojourn.
Parliament Square is: Parliament with Elizabeth’s Tower (often called Big Ben which is actually the bell in the Tower) which is in scaffolding till 2021, Westminster Abbey, Churchill War Rooms.

If you were to stay at 63 use the Underground from Lancaster Gate Station. Central Line ( Red) to Bond Street. Change to a Jubilee Line train ( Grey) to Parliament Square. Basically a same amount of travel time.

I’m mentioning colors for the tube lines down abuse if you look at the London Underground Tube Map you will see their Tube lines are denoted by colors.

To get around London use this website:

To obtain Pounds currency there are HSBC, Nat West and Barclay bank ATMS on Spring Street which is a block from Paddington. HSBC May no longer be there though. Entire building was under scaffolding in Dec. 2029 and I don’t know if it was reopening as a bank. I get my pounds at the Barclays Bank ATM’s.

Use the Pride of Paddington pub which is on the corner of Spring and Praed Street as your guide. The Barclays ATM’s are just past it. Nat West ATMs across the street.

After your arrival and Before departing Paddington Station for your accommodations each of your party will need an Oyster Card. There are easy to use kiosks at Paddington Station. Use a debit to credit card. Oyster cards can be used on the Underground, Overground trains and on busses.

Uncertain the ages of your 8 or if there are early risers in the group.

I was born when Truman was in office, get up early and love walking so I head into Hyde Park at Lancaster Gate before sunrise. Love watching all the water fowl, dog walkers and joggers who are beginning their days. The Lido Cafe at the Serpentine past the Diana Memorial Fountain was under renovation in December but if back operating in August there are outside tables and benches where you can sit with a coffee and a nosh. There’s also a small cafe right at the Lancaster Gate entrance. It’s to your left when you enter into the park.

Yes the British Museum would be a zoo but as noted above it’s doable if you have a plan of attack and the patience of a saint.

Great city. Lots to enjoy in 48 hours.