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London - lodging, car hire and train

Our schedule is to fly into LHR on 9.04.22 around 7am. I am searching for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom lodging accommodation with a kitchen so we can prepare our own breakfast daily before heading out for the day. Hoping to find something for $450 or under per night, not sure if that’s feasible. QUESTION 1I would appreciate any recommendations or sections of town to consider. Important to us to stay in fairly central location, Bermonsey or similar is fine and what I was looking at. From London our plan is to hire a car to drive out to northwest Wales. I’ve been told don’t bother to try to drive in London and to get the vehicle outside the city. Seems like a good idea (and less expensive) to take the train to Manchester and it’s only 3.5 hrs, then pick up our car there. QUESTION 2Is that a good plan or foolish and instead should I just rent in London and drive to Chester (which is where we are lodging, but car hire there does not offer an automatic transmission, which is a must for us, so we looked at Manchester to pick up the car). We will end up in Edinburgh and we plan to turn in our car in Edinburgh and use public transport during our stay there, and take the train back to London with a 2 day stop in York. The Forum seems to state I should buy my tickets now for the Edinburgh, York, London trip, am I understanding that correctly? I went on the LNER.co.uk site and tried to figure out how to do that but need to spend some more time figuring that out. QUESTION 3 Should I purchase tickets via the LNER website now for the return trip from Edinburgh to London? And do I purchase one ticket that stops in York? It seemed like this was possible from the forum comments. QUESTION 4 I am from the U.S. and driving through England_Scotland don’t want to spend too much time getting lost. I will have an iPhone, but not sure if I should rely on that for Google Maps to direct me around and if I will always have cell service? Should I plan on navigating in another way? I don’t mind a paper map if they are available. Any and all advise is appreciated!

Posted by
16938 posts

You can search for “serviced apartments” or “aparthotels” on booking.com to get prices and availability, then go to the property’s own website to book. I see 139 choices available for your dates, but many of them are one bedroom, one bath so you would need two in the same building. Names of the companies that offer these are Native, Staycity, Wilde, Citadines, Marlin, and others.

The Native Bankside is very nice; they have an apartment style with 2 bathrooms, but only one bedroom, so someone would end up on a sofa bed in the living room.

Posted by
209 posts

QUESTION 4:
For offline car navigation my favorite app is "Here WeGo". You can download the maps you require and use ist without cell service.
For offline navigation for walking or cycling I prefer "OsmAnd".

Posted by
2765 posts

Personally I would not pick up a car in London just because of the various Fees if you violate the congestion zone

I also hate to be the voice of doom and gloom, but I’ve rented cars a lot in Europe and it seems like every time I’m picking up a car there’s some American they’re having a fit because the automatic transmission they requested isn’t available and may not be for a while. I hope your luck is better but pack your patience. (And every time I rent a car I thank my parents for making me learn to drive a manual transmission even though I hated it at the time)

We had a two bedroom several years ago at the Harrington in South Kensington - their prices may be over your budget I’m not sure but if you can get in there it was nice, very close to tube station. I would go back

Posted by
6824 posts

I use both a Garmin and Google maps (downloaded for offline use) for navigation. Google maps works fine. For a rental car, we always pick it up at Heathrow. Once, on a business trip back in 2009, the rental company didn’t have an automatic and because we reserved one, got an automatic from another company. Every other time our automatic has been waiting for us. The smaller the location where you pick up the rental car, the less likely it will have an automatic.

Posted by
29 posts

Thank you all. I have booked a car for pick up at Heathrow for when we leave London to drive to Wales & Scotland and lodging while in London at Premier Inn Kings Cross. All of your advise helped me finalize these decisions. If anyone has advice about booking my train tickets from Edinburgh to York to London that’s a final piece I feel a bit uncertain about such as when to book (now or wait, as something I read said that train fare is priced lowest 6 weeks from departure date), and also whether to purchase one ticket that includes a 2 day stop in York, or whether to book 2 separate tickets Edinburgh to York then York to London.

Posted by
33339 posts

fairly central location, Bermonsey

I'm glad you've sorted the hotel, and KX is a great location now (far different from 20 years ago) and there is plenty of excellent food nearby... try the Coal Drops just north of the station for my fav Indian, Dishoom.

Bermondsey (spelling) is not what I would call central even though my great great grandfather was a tram driver there (after walking from Birmingham with all his belongings on his back after the work dried up) and then his son was a Bermondsey market gardener....