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Stay near Tower of London or Trafalgar Square/Hyde Park?

Hi! Myself and a few friends (all in our early 30s) are going to London for a few days in August and we are not sure if we should stay at a hotel close to Tower of London or over closer to Trafalgar square. The ones we are looking at are within walking distance of the mentioned landmarks. We want to be able to walk to sites, pubs, cafes/restaurants, and shops. We are not interested in clubbing or staying out extremely late, but we do want an area with a nightlife where we can grab a bite and drinks.

Any thoughts?

Thank you in advance! :)

Posted by
16862 posts

I think you would be much happier with the Trafalgar Square location—-right in the center of things, walkable to many tourist sites, and lots of cafes, restaurants, and pubs/bars around.

Posted by
19 posts

I wondered if you knew something I didn’t - staying near the Tower of London seems a bit random, but it has been many years since I studied abroad in London. Hyde Park/Kensington areas are much more central, but you’ve made me wonder if the South Bank has some cool hotels/atmosphere for overnight? I’ve only been to the touristy sights in that part of town. Just assuming you don’t mean The City, as that would truly be a random place to stay (I’ll let others more in-the-know correct me if I’m wrong!)

Posted by
33298 posts

I am a little confused by your question - Welcome to the Forums, Samantha - as Hyde Park is nowhere near Trafalgar Square.

I see you want walking distance, but are you aware that London is spread out, beyond reasonable walking or strolling distance. It would be like saying you want to stay near Lincoln Center in New York but walk to the Village or midtown.

Do you know of the comprehensive Tube network underground and the network of buses on the surface? Be like Londoners and use them. They are easy and go everywhere. Wherever you stay you will be far from other interesting things.

The Tower of London is 5 miles in a straight line from Kensington Palace in Hyde Park - a 2 hour walk each way.

Posted by
15661 posts

As Nigel mentioned, you are talking about three different areas...Tower of London, Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park. And Hyde Park is huge with many different neighborhoods surrounding it.

You will find what you are looking for in most of these areas. But if you want to be in the center, stay near Trafalgar Square.

Posted by
20 posts

Almost anywhere in London is readily accessible with the use of the tube/bus systems. They're easy, safe, and inexpensive. We prefered buses because you get a chance to see the city as you go. The Trafalgar and Tower of London areas will definitely get the job done with regard to "in the middle of it", but are also more touristy. It would be like staying near Times Square in NY or Navy Pier in Chicago. I'm sure you'd still enjoy it, but those areas do definitely have a higher volume of tourist trinket and Harry Potter merch stores. I'd recommend Covent Garden or Kensington. Both areas have a ton going on, but the stores/restaurants lean more toward local flavor and the areas felt vibrant and busy while still being "authenticly charming" if that makes sense. We just stayed in Pimlico - it was relaxing, has many good hotel options, and has easy access to public transit, but it was too quiet for our tastes. Not much nightlife going on within walking distance. Another area to visit for activity is Bermondsey, near Burrough Market on the south side of the river. There are dozens of breweries/wine shops/meaderies pretty much side by side along just a couple of streets.

Posted by
32 posts

Of the two areas you mentioned I would choose Trafalgar Square. Our favorite area to stay is South Kensington near the Gloucester Road tube. It is a lovely quieter area and you can get anywhere easily on the tube. We enjoy eating at the Hereford Arms there. You can also walk to Kensington Gardens.