I am thinking of booking a trip for a week (beginning of April) to London. I was wondering if anyone had advice as where to stay ( 4 - 5 star) and what location is best to stay in. We are fine to take the tube/ train anywhere we need to go. Also any advice on day trips? I love hearing advice from other travelers. Thanks!! Ellen
Most tourist sites are in Zone 1. Almost anywhere in Zone 1 will be near a tube stop. What is your budget for hotels (per night)? Do you like large hotels or smaller B&Bs? As I am sure you know, even a 3-star hotel in London can be $200/night. I like staying in the Trafalgar Square area because it is walking distance to so many sights: River Thames, Covent Garden, Westminster Abbey, West End theatres, London Eye, the Southbank, just to name a few. My favorite high-end hotel in that area is the Royal Horseguards. http://goo.gl/AZZPOi My favorite mid-range hotel in that area is the Strand Palace: http://goo.gl/Fwzevu You can check reviews and see traveler pictures of these and other hotels on tripadvisor. Bloomsbury, Pimlico, and South Kensington are convenient areas to stay in also. A lot of people like Bayswater and Earl's Court, but they are further out and are not walking distance to any major tourist sites. They are convenient to the tube though,as is most of central London. If you can afford to stay more central,though, then I would do so.
We enjoyed staying at what was then called the Victoria Thistle Hotel, inside Victoria Station. I think it is now called the Grosvenor. Lovely hotel. Here is a link to an article about my favorite day trips by train.
Do you have a copy of a London guide book yet? RS has one that includes lots of recommendations for places to stay that we used when traveling there. Day trips are also included. If you do not have a guide book yet, you can order one of RS's elsewhere on this web site.
I recommend you consider the Park Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge and the Stafford and Dukes hotels in the gaslight district off Green Park. The Park Tower is steps away from Harvey Nichols and a block and a half from Harrods and the Knightsbridge tube station. The Dukes and Stafford hotels are very close to each other. The charming gaslight district is near Buckingham Palace, St. James Palace and a short walk from Green Park tube station. Both tube stations are on the Piccadilly line. Of the three I have a slight preference for the Park Tower for its location near shopping and Hyde Park but the others are great, too. You wouldn't go wrong with any of them.
Thank you so much for all your input!!
I have done a few daytrips from London, some on my own by train,one on public bus, some with friends with a rental car, and some on bus tours. I have been to Brighton, Bath, Salsibury , Hampton Court , Warwick Castle, Stonehenge, and Stratford on Avon.
So far, my favorite daytrips so far were Bath, Hampton Court and Warwick . I thought the worst was visiting Stratford on Avon( touristy and kitchy ) .. and I was totally under whelmed by Stonehenge. Warwick was fun because I had my 13 yr old son with me, so he enjoyed the jousting shows etc., Bath was far more then I thought, I loved visiting the Baths, ( seeing the ruins of Roman occupation of Britian was fasicinating) the Costume Museum, and the church ( sorry cannot remember the name ) near the Baths. Hampton Court is a must if you know or enjoy any Tudor History.. its well kept up and so interesting.
As Charlie wisely noted, grabbing a copy of the RS London Guidebook would be most helpful to you. As far as neighborhoods to stay in I'd opt for Bloomsbury, Kensington, Earl's Court or Westminster. Possible day trips: Hampton Court, Oxford, Bath. If you have any interest in Archeology definitely visit Stonehenge. Pat, if you have figured out how those large rocks were placed back then, please let us know. Lastly, if you like something a bit surreal; a working farm in an urban setting, visit Mudchute Farm. Not a day trip but a gem of a unique place to enjoy when in London. Baa Ram U!
We always stay in a Travelodge motel, scattered about London. They have remarkably inexpensive rooms. We just returned from a stay at Heathrow at Travelodge Terminal 5. We've stayed at various places across London and the tube stations will whisk you to anywhere you need to go. Check them out and become a member. We once stayed at a really comfy Travelodge for a mere NINE pounds per night. They have specials all the time if you sign up. We too are coming in April and I will start watching the emails about cheap rooms in early 2014. You should do likewise.
If you are interested in Winston Churchill, you can take the train and visit Chartwell, his home in Kent. Get tickets to Seven Oaks because although it's a bit farther than 2 other towns listed on the Chartwell website, it's large enough that there is a taxi queque. We had a great taxi driver and we arranged for him to return and get us back to the station.
Thank you so much for your input!!
I highly recommend staying at Le Meridien Piccadilly while in London. It is the perfect location, a beautiful hotel, and the people who work there are most helpful. It is near the Piccadilly tube station, walking distance to Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, The London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Regent Street; and right across the street from Fortum and Mason, a wonderful place for breakfast, lunch, or tea. And a great place to get fine goodies to bring back to the states! We happened to spend a week there over Christmas two years ago! While in London be sure to see The Tower of London,Tower Bridge, and then have lunch or dinner at St Katherines Dock, which is across the street, a quaint little area with good places to have a drink, coffee, or a meal. Hampton Court Palace is simply amazing, I was just there in August and wondered why I hadn't been there on previous trips. Bourough Market is a fun place to walk through and explore, from there walk along the Thames to St Paul's Cathedral. Harrods Food Hall is fun to see and Kensington Gardens, I would skip going inside Kensington Palace. But be sure to have breakfast or lunch, or tea at The Orangery, next to Kensington Gardens. Day trips, I highly recommend Greenwhich, which is a good half day and can be reached by tube, but better yet take the boat up the Thames there and the tube back.Lots of great sights. . . Bath is another great day trip, as is Oxford. In Bath be sure to see Bath Abbey, The Roman Baths, Royal Crescent, and Parade Gardens. We have done the Double Decker Sightseeing Bus in each of these cities, great way to get your bearings! My daughter has lived in London for the past 3 years, and I have been lucky enough to be a frequent visitor! It is a wonderful area, enjoy every minute!
When I was in London, I stayed in the Bloomsbury area which I found very convenient. The British Museum is right there and the tube stations are very easy to access. Last time, we stayed at the Arofsa Hotel (B&B) and found it to be perfectly lovely. The breakfast that was included was also a great value. http://www.arosfalondon.com/ This year, we're going back in December and we're staying at another hotel in the Bloomsbury area.
The Goring Hotel in Belgravia is 5-star with an excellent reputation. It's located in Belgravia, a very nice area of London that is close to many major sights, tube stations, etc.
We just returned from London (3rd trip there) and stayed in a great location for tourists, the Marriott St. Ermin by St. James tube stop. Really great location. We also have stayed at a Hilton brand on the Strand, very expensive but very nice and nice location, but not as good a location as the St. Ermin's. Enjoyed the Churchill War Rooms much more than his family home, Blenheim Castle/Manor??. The British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum could have kept us all day long. Went to Brighton, Bath, York, Stonehenge, Cotswolds,Stratford on Avon, Cornwall (Minack Theatre is amazing as well as Mount St. Michael), Oxford, Leeds Castle, Canterbury, Dover and Greenwich were all wonderful. Taking the train in the UK is easy and pleasant.
I've stayed at Vancouver Studios in Bayswater for a week. Excellent location and near two tube stations. Kensington Gardens just up the road and an easy 10min walk to Notting Hill Markets. The bonus about this place is that the rooms have a kitchenette which is handy if you want to make breakfast etc. Also there is a Marks and Spencer foodhall at the end of the road. Being a woman travelling by myself, this is a place which was safe and I would not hesitate to go back.
Hi, I stayed at the Radisson Blu Vanderbilt. It's a 2 min walk to the Gloucster Road tube station. The area is very nice. There is a Boots and a Waitrose near the tube station. There are a lot of cafes, pubs and restauraunts in the area. I enjoyed going to Windsor Castle for a day trip.
This past June I stayed at the Crowne Plaza the City. It is across from the Blackfriar Pub and the Blackfriar tube station. They provide free bottles of water and the location is fabulous to see the sites within the old walls of London. Room was larger than most and the staff very helpful. It was a 10 minute walk to St Paul's, Inns of Court, Fleet Street and so many historical sites. Do take advantage of the London Walks group (walks.com) for walking tours, their guides are fabulous. Hope this helps and have a great trip. I love London.