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Is it possible to stay in

My husband and I will be in London for 4 nights in January. I noticed that in Rick Steve's Best of Europe book (as well as on other web sites), he recommended hotels in neighborhoods such as Belgravia, South Kensington, and Notting Hill, etc. I was curious if there are any options actually in the area Rick designates as "the city?" It just seems to be very centrally located to a lot of the sites (St. Paul's, Tower of London, Are the other neighborhoods recommended because of Museum of London, etc.). Is there a reason that no hotels are recommended in that area? Perhaps its more expensive? Too noisy? Less safe? Or hotels don't really exist in that area? My husband was hoping to be able to walk to a lot of our destinations from our hotel room (in lieu of taking transit) to make it easy to come back to our hotel during the day to rest when we wanted (he doesn't seem to be too concerned about walking in the January cold). If staying in "the city" is generally less desirable for any reason, what neighborhoods do you feel are the most centrally located? Thanks!!

Posted by
1353 posts

The reason he casually recommends places in these neighborhoods is that getting around london is extremely fast and easy. Public transportation there is really amazing between the underground (subway) busses and taxis. You can get anywhere in London from any of these neighborhoods in a matter of a few minutes.

Posted by
3580 posts

For walk-ability to many of the central London sights, I vote for the Victoria Station area. Buckingham Palace, the Mall, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, the National Gallery and National Portrain Gallery, houses of Parliament, etc. can all be reached within 15-45 min (for a good walker). For St. Paul's and the South of the Thames visits, it would probably work better to stay in the area of City Hall. For the British Museum, there are many places to stay between there and King's Cross. I found that double-decker bus transit was even better than the Tube for some trips. Sit on top and enjoy the view as you ride through London. From my hotel on Ebury St (Morgan House), I found that the bus was more convenient for a trip to Waterloo Station.

Posted by
390 posts

There are a few hotels in the area, but most are expensive. The City is very alive during the working hours, but in the evening and weekends, it tends to die down. I'd rather stay near the West End, and have a bit of excitement in the evenings! True, the Tower and St. Pauls, and Museum of London are near the city, but to get to any of the other big sites (Buck House, British Museum, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar, etc.) you'll have quite a walk!

I vote for the Victoria area to stay in - and don't rule out using the Tube. London transport is one of the best in the world. Get a travelcard and hop-on/hop-off as much as you want. It'll be MUCH easier to get back to your hotel room for a rest than walking all the way from the West End!!

Posted by
98 posts

As others have said The City is alive during the day with businesses. At night everything closes. Also, the few hotels that are located there cater to business travelers. I stay in the Victoria Station area as well (Belgrave Rd & Warwick Way). Victoria is a transportation hub housing train, bus and tube. I use the bus when not walking as many lines begin/end at Victoria and you can get to all the main attractions in under 45 minutes most of the time.

I just returned yesterday in fact and it was really cold. I did do a lot of walking once I reached each area of the city I was spending my day in but chose to go/come by bus except for the day I walked to the Horse Guards Parade (about a mile). Don't forget it will be dark very early (about 4 pm while I was there). It is not unsafe but if you are unfamiliar with the city you may not want to get lost in the dark.

Posted by
12 posts

These are all great points!! I didn't think about the fact that the busines district would shut down in the evening--it does make sense to stay where there will be resteraunts, etc. open in the evenings. If anyone has any additional advice or comments--please let me know!