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What neighborhood do you like to stay in London?

What neighborhood do you like to stay in and why when you visit London.?

We are just starting to plan and I have no idea where we should look...... Taking my 71 year old Mom but we want to love it too.

I will the thankful for any and all advice.

Posted by
3417 posts

I don't know all the neighborhoods well. I did stay near Hyde Park and really enjoyed it.

I think you may find it helpful to consider what are your top "must sees" or "must dos" and consider proximity and transportation options that will work well for those items.

I am not going to presume that just because someone is 71 that she isn't fully capable of flights of stairs in and out of the tube. Just in case this would be an issue, you would want to consider that as well.

Have a wonderful trip.

Posted by
1044 posts

Southwark for me :-)

But anywhere inside or with in walking distance of the Circle Line would work for me.

Posted by
911 posts

I am currently planning a trip for my sister and I so haven't picked a place yet, but am looking at anywhere along the Circle line as that is most convenient to the sites we want to see.

Posted by
754 posts

Why do you like each area.....is it quiet? Lots of shops? More upscale? Why ?

Posted by
626 posts

All the areas mentioned have areas within them with lots of shops, upscale bits (assume you mean posh bits) and quiet bits... it can easily vary from street to street with the same area.

Everywhere has lots of shops, bars, restaurants etc. and everywhere is close to transportation.

So you in essence are choosing between quiet and lively, which will vary a lot even within areas.

Why not pick an area as a start, say Bayswater, and pick 2-3 hotels in the area you like, tell us the names and things will expand from there as we tell you the good and bad points about each, including the local area.

London is so big, with so much variety, you could pick more or less anywhere in Zone 1 or the Circle Line and have a great time.

Everything is close to everything (or at least very easy to get from one place to another) and everywhere has lots to do.

All the areas mentioned are more or less within 15mins of each other on the Tube, so it's not really a big decision, you'll see them all anyway.

Posted by
5635 posts

Bayswater. Convenience to Paddington Station, 3underground stations to choose from, main bus route lines, the diversity, closeness to Hyde Park. In fact I like the whole area from Lancaster Gate to Holland Park.

Posted by
754 posts

I will give a little more info......we are me 45, my husband 48 and my 71 year old mom. We prefer buses to the tube. We like a quiet area at night for strolls. We like to be centered so we can take a taxi back at night from where we went during the day. ( figured this out in France. When Mom gets tired there is no waiting for a bus LOL).

We are thinking 7-9 nights renting a 2 bedroom apartment. We love pretty surroundings with easy access to main sites by bus. I had 5 years to plan France now I only have a few months. Looking like 24 days in England, Scotland and whales total. I hope that we will have a good trip. Looks like October. If not this fall then it will be the next. I just want to plan a trip everyone will enjoy.

Posted by
100 posts

If you can't afford being near the Hyde Park or Knightsbridge tube stops (and few can), check out the area to the west of there -- near the South Kensington, Gloucester Road and/or High St Kensington stations. Great walking in the area, and food! Enjoy.

Posted by
1853 posts

Maybe find somewhere you can afford first then we'll tell you about the location.

Posted by
823 posts

My favorite area of London is the South Kensington/Earl's Court area. The #7 bus has good connections and connects with the Earl's Court tube station and runs up/down Cromwell Road. The Earl's Court tube station has a lift in case one is mobility challenged and has difficulty with (lots of) stairs. This is a great starting point for museums and is even walkable to Hyde Park for the physically fit. The area is generally a £10 (or so) taxi ride to/from Paddington Station if you don't care to use the tube for whatever reason. In google maps, do a search on 'London SW7' to get a lay of the land.

Posted by
266 posts

7-9 days in London sounds like a great amount of time to stay in London. I would make a list of what I want to see, including day trips, and plot them on a map. Day trips for me have included Wimbledon, Hampton Court, Hampstead and taking the boat to Greenwich. We have stayed in the Kensington area, Fitzrovia (next to the British Museum), Covent Garden, and Westminster. I enjoyed all of the areas but it really depended on where we chose to book - price and needs (1 or 2 bedroom) of hotel or apartment. I would read comments of previous guests and wish I had taken them to heart, especially when one comments on noise.

Quiet but interesting areas to stroll to me, would include Westminster, Chelsea, Fitzrovia, Notting Hill, and Kensington. Being close to the Thames or Hyde Park is an added bonus. For apartments, I would check out London Connection as they have apartments in desirable locations or One Fine Stay/London. Around the Circle Line is an excellent idea and I would really find the apartment you want first, especially if you want a 2nd bath.

Posted by
754 posts

In Paris we stayed 10 nights in an apartment and spent $260 Canadian a night. I understand that London may be more expensive so we are budgeting $300 Canadian a night so about 160 pounds.....Now that I type that I think we may have to up our budget.

Posted by
6521 posts

I've stayed in Bayswater, around Earl's Court, around Marylebone, Hampstead, out at Shepherd's Bush and will be staying not too far from Victoria station next time I go. It's easy to find somewhere to love just about anywhere!

And yes the buses go EVERYWHERE -- it takes a little bit of studying to figure out, I get a printed bus map for the center and any other necessary sectors and hold on to them for dear life. But I really love finding a smart bus route, it's amazing everywhere they go and how they link from neighborhood to neighborhood, hardly ever in a straight line (except for certain portions).

I do agree that the Earl's Court area could be good for you all. Take a look around there!

Posted by
4602 posts

We also like Bayswater. Bayswater Road and Queensway are bustling with shops, restaurants, and people, but step off those two streets even one block, and you're in quiet neighborhoods with lots of houses, parks, and hotels. And as Claudia mentioned, there are three handy Tube stations. Also several bus stops, although we didn't use the bus this last trip.

How physically active is your mother? I feel funny even asking that, because my DH is 70 (and I'm close), and we have few, if any, problems. He did grumble a bit when we walked three miles from a museum to his preferred lunch spot, then up to the 3rd floor in our no-lift hotel, but we did just fine. YMMV.

Posted by
31294 posts

photo,

I like the Victoria Station / Belgravia area as there are a variety of hotels in the area, some great restaurants and it's so very convenient for transportation via the Tube. If you're looking at smaller hotels, be sure to note whether they have an elevator as that would probably be more comfortable for your Mom. I was back there again last September for almost a week, and it was pricey but there's nothing like London (I can't remember what the Cdn.$ exchange rate was at the time, but it probably hasn't changed much in the last few months).

Posted by
9809 posts

The closer you are to Central London, the more expensive the flats.

I have always stayed in the South Kensington/Earl's Court area as it is a mixture of residential and hotels. As stated, however, this is an expensive area to live in so flat rentals will be high. My regular hotel is on a residential street (It used to be a row of townhouses) that is very quiet at night yet a 3 minute walk to pubs, shops, markets and an underground station.

Don't be afraid of the tube. With traffic the way it is, buses can get caught and take forever. Most tube lines have lifts or escalators to get you up and down from street level to the trains.

If you're looking for a 2 bedroom flat, 160 GBP will be tough to find.

Posted by
136 posts

Have you looked on www.vrbo.com for places to stay? Or www.airbnb.com. I have used both and have found great accommodations in many places in the world at good prices. We have never had a bad experience using either of these.

Posted by
618 posts

Frankly, for me, its not even close, and I'm surprised Rick doesn't include hotels in this section. It's BLOOMSBURY:

  • tons of nice, inexpensive hotels like Ridgmount Hotel, Jesmond, Celtic, Arran House...
  • right next to British Museum
  • convenient to Russell Square, Holborn, Tottenham Court Road, Goodge Street, Euston Square, Kings Cross tube stations
  • a straight connection from Heathrow to Russell Square via tube
  • easy walk through Lincoln's Inn to the City, through Soho to the West End, or through University College London to Regent's Park
  • great pubs like the Museum or the Friend at Hand

PS: Hi Shediac! I'm from Moncton.

Posted by
39 posts

We love South Kensington. Not cheap but I love staying in a place that's an old mansion on a square with a park in the middle. Lot's of restaurants and even a post office and laundromat close by. Quiet, private and very close to a tube station on District and Circle lines.

Lot's of great suggestions from others if you like to be in a livelier area.

Posted by
754 posts

Derrenblois......Hi Moncton

It's going to be our first trip to England. I had several years to plan France....Now I feel under the gun for planning. I need to hit up the bookstore quick for England and London Rick Steves books.

Posted by
2634 posts

I have to say Bloomsbury, for good transportation links and proximity to the British Museum. I would investigate the hotels mentioned by darrenblois. With it being your first trip to London, you may want the added help that the owners of a small hotel or B&B can give you, about getting to all the attractions, riding the tube, etc. This is also an excellent location for an apartment rental; being neither the most expensive neighborhood in London, nor the least expensive.

I will also suggest Bayswater, because of the good transportation connections there; tube, bus, and nearby Paddington Station (your station for leaving on some day trips, or to get to Heathrow Airport via Heathrow Express or Heathrow Connect). It is also a relatively inexpensive area. Lots of good restaurant and grocery store options around there. The websites VRBO and AirBnB have tons of rentals listed in this area.

I recommend Aster House, an excellent B&B at 3 Sumner Place in South Kensington. It is walking distance to the V&A Museum, Museum of Natural History and the Science Museum. Walking distance to Hyde Park & Kensington Garden. The owner Leonie Tan and the employees are very helpful with advice about London, which you may need, with this being your first trip to London. You will also find it recommended in the Rick Steves London guidebook.
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g186338-d188480-Reviews-Aster_House-London_England.html

Posted by
4528 posts

If you need to look a bit further out there are places which add only a few minutes onto those within the 'Circle'. When it comes to West London for example some people on here have found Walham Green (area around Fulham Broadway underground station) good as it has local amenities but reasonable connections via the branches of the District Line plus two 'classic' bus routes (11 and 14) which can provide a sightseeing tour on their own. Fulham Broadway itself has step free access from platform to the street, with a shopping centre having been built over the top of the station.

There are also things in favour of some parts of Hammersmith and Putney. In all these cases though check location very carefully as you don't really want to be a long walk away from good transport.

Posted by
21 posts

I booked a nice little hotel - Belgravia - thru Hotels.com as a last minute and paid only about $60 US for 3 people. It is near the Victoria Station (both bus and train)!! Hope this helps.

I've also stayed in Kensington and a B&B near Kings Cross.

Posted by
9783 posts

WE have had three recent trips to London (December, early March, late April) and stayed a week each time in a different neighborhood.

December in Westminster where the abbey was our neighbor- easy access to two Tube stations and lots of buses. Very quiet at night, not a lot of restaurants but we had an apartment and ate in 5 out of 7 nights. Walkable to Trafalgar Square in 20 minutes. We (63 and 72) enjoyed it very much.

March in Covent Garden at the insistence of our son. It was our favorite location. Lots of activity, buses, Tube, shops, restaurants. Our apartment had sound proof windows. Would stay here again in an instant.

April near St. Paul's and a really different point-of-view. Had a terrible apartment, but like the area a lot. Transportation was easy, good walking in The City.

As someone else suggested, find an apartment you like and then, maybe seek out opinions. We rented twice from The London Connection and would do so again. Excellent service.

A trick I learned for trips 2 & 3 is to order groceries online from Waitrose. We set up a delivery for an hour or two after our check-in time at the apartment. It was wonderful not to have to haul water, wine, coffee, and other things we knew we needed for a week's stay.

Posted by
130 posts

Hi from Frrdericton!
We are just heading home from our UK trip and rented a 2 bedroom flat in Notting Hill which was lovely. Close to all transportation links but we're on a very quiet street. I had a tight budget and still had to spend $1450CAD for 4 nights in a well reviewed flat and I hunted around

Posted by
30 posts

I second the recommendation for London Connection. They have flats all over the London area, and their service to date has been excellent. I'm renting a one bedroom close to the Charing Cross station in December - close to Theatreland which was important to me, but also central to other attractions and close to the Strand, so there would be good bus service if you didn't want to use the tube.

Posted by
378 posts

Fulham.

The place we stayed at -- The Malt House B&B -- was right by a lot of great eateries, a Whole Foods, and the District Line which will take you places you never even knew you wanted to go. It's upscale, and yet has an amazing ethnic vibe right next door. There's plenty of gastropubs around and, as always, a plethora of lovely, lovely pints. My wife and I loved the place!

-- Mike Beebe

Posted by
29 posts

Just returned from there last week. :) Covent Garden is probably the most central and busiest location and is very walkable. I stayed there over the weekend to be closer to activities and restaurants. If you look at the London tube map, anywhere from there west along the red, blue, green/yellow lines is still very nice and centrally located. I wouldn't go any further out than Notting Hill, South Kensington, etc. (basically where the green/yellow lines turn northward), as you will be getting into more residential areas. As someone stated, don't be afraid of the tube. Most all have lifts/escalators, and it is the most convenient way to get around.

It will be very expensive in London. It is pricier than any other city in Europe (at least all the major cities I've visited) especially with the exchange rates, so plan accordingly. Renting via Airbnb or similar is a good bet. About a year ago, I got a very good deal in Belgravia on a 2 bedroom apartment. Good luck! :)

P.S. Also, definitely do day trips from London - Bath, Stonehenge, Dover, Oxford (not my fave, but worth a visit if you want to see the college town), The Cotswolds, Stratford-upon-Avon (Shakespeare land), various castles and Paris are all easy trips.

Posted by
3526 posts

I stayed at the Citadines Holborn/Covent Garden. It was a great location, but it doesn't have 2-bedroom apartments. I joined Ascott online, paid in advance and got a great price, but it wasn't cheap. I've linked the places in London owned by the same company that have 2-bedroom apartments. Some have 2 baths, some not. Some have more complete kitchens, some not. Read about and look at them carefully.

I've stayed at many apartments through VRBO, AirBNB, etc., but I preferred this place over all of them. I find it a little creepy to stay in a place where people sometimes live, so the more comfortably sterile the better for me.

BTW, I'm 70. Although the tube stations usually have escalators, there often still are stairs to climb. I got an Oyster card and I mostly rode buses the week I was in London. I had time, I wasn't rushing everywhere trying to cram a lot of stuff in and Ioved seeing the city out the window.

Trafalgar Square, definitely a great location. There's no floor plan here for the 2-bedroom, so you would need to contact them for that -- http://www.citadines.com/en/uk/london/trafalgarsquare/apartmenttypes/2-bedroom_premier.html.

St. Mark's Islington. This is a little far out. There are 2 plans, but I don't see many differences between them. 2-Bedroom Apartment -- http://www.citadines.com/en/uk/london/stmarks/apartmenttypes/2-bedroom.html. 2-Bedroom Executive -- http://www.citadines.com/en/uk/london/stmarks/apartmenttypes/2-bedroom_executive.html.

Ascott Mayfair. This appears to have a more complete kitchen, and a great location -- http://www2.the-ascott.com/en/uk/london/ascottmayfairlondon/floor_plan.html?fpid=555.

Posted by
1010 posts

My husband and I have stayed at the Crowne Plaza, South Kensington (on Cromwell). It is part of the IHG Hotel Group - Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental, etc. We have stayed there a number of times. We love the hotel and its location. The neighborhood is very pretty to walk around. We love the architecture when we stroll. The hotel is directly across the street from the Gloucester Tube station. It is an easy walk to Kensington Gardens and Palace. It is one Tube stop away from Harrod's. Harrod's is a nice place to have tea, upstairs in the Georgian Room restaurant. We also like eating fish and chips at the counter in the food court. The south Kensington area is a very safe area to stay in. The Crowne Plaza has a very inviting garden to sit in and maybe read a book. Our rooms have always been very clean, spacious and quiet.

Posted by
50 posts

I took my (then) 84 year old Mom to London back in 2004. We stayed near the Paddington Train Station mainly because we came into and left London from that station. We stayed in one of the many B&Bs in that neighborhood - nothing fancy but we basically were there only to sleep and have breakfast.

I am about to head to London before my England tour and have chosen to stay in the Paddington area. Again mainly because of a late afternoon arrival at Heathrow and a morning departure to Bath a couple of days later. I found a single room at the Days Inn for a reasonable (for London!) rate. This time I plan to make use of the buses. Oh and I'm close to your Mom's age.