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London Base for travel

I was wondering what a good base on the outskirts of London near a tube station would be good for day trips. We are four seniors traveling together and would prefer not to stay in the center of London. Would like to find reasonable B&Bs or Hotels that are decent for the price. We would all like to have our own rooms.

Thanks, Bruce

Posted by
21243 posts

Little clarity ---- Day trip to where??? Would you consider staying in smaller city outside of London? London is huge so if you don't stay near the city center you could spend a lot of time on transportation. Are you willing to travel an hour or so each way each day on the tube? It would make sense to stay within zone 1 & 2 for the tube but the still is within the city.

Posted by
190 posts

Hi Bruce,

In general, the most useful stations for making day trips out of the city are quite central (examples: Paddington, Waterloo, Victoria, King’s Cross). It is a little counterintuitive I suppose, but the further into town you stay, the quicker you can get out of town.

If you can give us an idea of the specific day trip(s) you’d like to make, we might be able to suggest a good neighbourhood for cost-efficient lodgings with easy connections to whichever train station you’ll need.

Posted by
26053 posts

Is this in conjunction with your trip to Scotland? Before or after?

If you will have Railcards for your Scottish part of the journey they will still be valid for the area around London - although in the London area some have different times of validity.

Depending on how far out of London you are happy with, you may find that trains are easier for day trips than Tubes.

Once the Covid is past I expect that both tube trains and railway trains will be very crowded at rush hours, like in pre days. Generally in the London area trains will be crowded or very crowded between around 6:30 or 7 until 10:00 ish in the mornings and around 4:15 or so in the afternoon until between 7:30 or 8pm. Tubes are often crowded all day, and very crowded at rush hours, and late at night.

If you will be using the train between London and Scotland the London station will be Kings Cross.

Posted by
6704 posts

You can find nice places to stay in London that aren’t so “urban,” for example, Hampstead. Staying outside of London if you want to see London is a pain since the city is enormous.

Posted by
4944 posts

If you want to see London, recommend staying within walking distance of the key site like Parliament, the Tower, etc.

If you want to visit places outside London, but stay there, there are a few places like Cambridge, Canterbury, Windsor Castle, Oxford, etc. where you could take the train or a bus to those places and still stay in London.

Going farther afield, like Bath, the Cotswolds, Salisbury, Westminster, Stratford Upon Avon, Warwick, etc. I recommend away from the city. We used Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds as our base to visit Stratford Upon Avon, Oxford and Blenheim Palace, as well as the Cotswolds. Recommend the Volunteer Inn. It has the best pub in town and a great Indian restaurant.

Bath is another place you might visit and stay. We visited Wells and Glastonbury from there. The Brooks Guesthouse is nice and provides parking. Don't miss the fish and chips at The Scallop Shell. Best fish and chips in England.

Posted by
188 posts

I would recommend Hotel Indigo London Paddington. It is a quiet lovely boutique hotel only a couple of blocks from Paddington Station where the Heathrow Express leaves frequently, and it is also easy to take the train from Paddington Station to Bath or Windsor Castle. It is easy to reach the main sights of London from Paddington Station as well. We enjoyed the breakfast at Hotel Indigo and had tea and scones there in the afternoon. Our room overlooked a park. This location worked well for us.

Posted by
49 posts

We rented apartments through vrbo the last two times that we stayed in London. We stayed in Hammersmith near the Earl's Court tube station the first time and stayed in Fulham near the Fulham Broadway tube stop the second time. We like to be able to make some of our own meals and have a washing machine so apartments work better for us. Both areas were lovely-I would vote for Fulham over Hammersmith but just because there was a nice street market near our apartment and also a Michelin-starred pub within walking distance. Even though the areas were busy, the apartments that we rented were quiet. Enjoy your trip no matter where you stay!

Posted by
1664 posts

hey hey casaro70
when are you planning to take this trip and how long will you stay in "london"? as others have stated, the further out is time and cost of trains/buses. where are these day trips to?

what is your "reasonable" budget in pounds, any mobility issues, 4 seniors: is that 4 single beds or 2 double beds, have you been to london before and have seen the sites/attractions that you want to stay outside of city center?

Posted by
5694 posts

Is this a first trip to London for all of you?

Any mobility issues?

Why the desire to stay outside London?

I’ve been going to London since Nixon was in office.

It’s always the same yet always changing and thus my appreciation for it.

Personally I’d opt for the Premiere Inn chain and if you truly wish to stay outside London then try the newer Premiere Inn on Mortlake Rd in Richmond. It’s a 15-20 minute stroll from Richmond Station. Google it.

Stayed there in 2019. Loved it. Quiet. Pleasant staff. Good breakfasts.

15 minute walk to Kew Gardens. Same to the huge Richmond Park. Adjacent to it is the venerable Crown pub. There’s a huge Sainsbury grocers 10 minutes away but the small nearby ( across the road) J’s Food and Wine was where I got snacks and bottled water. Was open on Christmas Day which was great as everything else was closed.

As noted been to London many times so the 2019 trip was about staying outside the city. Did tube into London proper more than once to meet up with friends and once to see the excellent Witness for the Prosecution production at County Hall.

I would take the tube via the District Line ( dark green color on the map ) to Ealing Broadway. Maybe a 5-10 minute ride. Then I’d hop on another District Line tube train to Westminster. About 30 minute ride. Sometimes I’d go to Paddington station because a favorite Malaysian restaurant is nearby. Was never in a hurry. Was pleasantly surprised to discover it was only a 15 minute ride on a South Western Railway train from Waterloo Station to Richmond Station after I saw the play.

One can hope you’ll be able to make this trip next year but with pandemic first.