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Which London neighborhood to stay in?

Our family of 4 (two kids, ages 8 and 11) will be staying in London for about 2 weeks this July. It will be our first family trip to London, and it's been way too long since I've visited.

We'd like a nice home base that is close to a tube station, and has lots of restaurants and shops within walking distance. Since we'll be staying for a while, we'd like to feel like we're living local/urban. We would like to stick to a budget of about $250/night and stay in a flat. I've read Rick's London book and searched lots of websites, but am feeling overwhelmed with choices in such a large city. We aren't interested in a more suburban location, but don't want to stay in the London equivalent of Times' Square, either.

What are thoughts on great neighborhoods, and/or great places to stay? Thanks in advance!

Posted by
8061 posts

Because of your $250 a night budget and the size of your group in addition to the responses you get on this forum please search Airbnb where you are more likely to find lodging in London not far from the center at your price range;

Posted by
6113 posts

The average Londoner lives in the suburbs, as we can't afford the high property prices of central London!

Have a look at Airbnb. I was considering a few nights in London in November/December and most of the Airbnbs are already booked. This is likely to be even more of an issue in the summer. Europeans tend to book holidays much further in advance than Americans (assuming that's where you are from).

I like Highbury, Islington, Chiswick, Turnham Green and Shoreditch. Wherever you stay, the chances are that you will need to get on the tube to go anywhere.

Posted by
232 posts

With the kids you might like to be near Kensington Gardens. If you stay near the South Kensington tube stop, you're very near the museums (Natural History/Science/V&A.)

If you stay near Bayswater or Notting Hill, you're not too far from the Princess Diana Memorial Playground, which would be super for your kids to enjoy running around. My niece and nephew love it, and especially like the fact no adults are allowed in without a child!

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks, I've already done extensive checks on airbnb, vrbo & homeaway, and was hoping for some "color commentary" on neighborhoods, so I can choose from the approximately 70+ apartments that are available during our stay. I haven't found this in the recent archives, so I will look further. But would love if people could say why they like some neighborhoods (which a couple of you have - thanks!).

Posted by
533 posts

I think the Bayswater/Notting Hill area would have a lot of what you're looking for. It's fairly residential, but there are a lot of interesting local shops and restaurants on Queensway, Westbourne Grove, and Portobello Road (including the Portobello Road market). There are a lot of tube stations in the area on several different lines.

I know nothing about this place, but it came up while looking at the area in Google Maps: http://www.grand-plaza.co.uk/ It looks like their best rates for a 4-person apartment in July are just a little above your budget, so maybe there is something similar nearby that works for you.

Posted by
9 posts

Thank you so much! I was just looking at an apartment right in Notting Hill, but wasn't sure if that would be better than another in Pimlico or Shoreditch. I think I'll book it today just to be safe. :)

Posted by
533 posts

I think that's a good choice, although I'm admittedly partial to West London, and I'm sure Pimlico and Shoreditch have their champions too. But at some point you need to overcome the paralysis of too many options and just pick one. Have a great trip!

Posted by
69 posts

Agree with Notting Hill or South Kensington, especially for first-time or family visits. They're both very convenient areas, with lots to do nearby, and fairly easy commutes to tourist areas.