I am planning a trip for late June to London with my husband and 20-something-year-old kids. We're looking for a lively neighborhood to stay in that is walkable to sights yet not overly touristy. Thinking we'll avoid Leicester Square and the Theatre District for accommodations, yet I understand many historical sights are near that area.
*I have heard South Kensington is pretty, and near Kings Road and Sloanes Square could be nice. But I've also heard the area is "pretty sedate", and that we will most likely head back toward Westminster and beyond in the evening (dinner, show, pub) so it seems like a lot of back and forth.
*I found a small but nice place in Mayfair - a touch small but maybe worth the location close between Hyde Park and Grosvenor Square.
*I can't seem to find anything in Marylebone or Bloomsbury (although both of those areas seem "spotty" to me.) One street is pretty, the next one is modern high rises.
*I haven't explored Soho or Covent Garden much as a few friends have said they are overly touristy in the summer. I don't mind tourists (I'm one) or crowds; just don't want to stay in the middle of the neon.
I would love names of reputable rental agencies. I did get one from Rick Steve's London book (LondonConnection) but I find very few verified reviews on it. I would also love your thoughts on specific neighborhoods to enjoy for pubs and wallking around, and as a home base.