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Lodging and tours in and near London

My daughter and I have just planned a 2 week trip, flying in and out of London, or flying into London and out of Paris or Milan, from mid June till July 1. We are wondering if it is too much to take the chunnel to Paris after spending a few days in London. Then take the train or fly to Milan to fly home - after a short visit to Lake Como. Is this too much to take on? Also, I am looking for lodging in London and Paris and would like to keep it under 200 a night USD. I have used Rick Steve's guidebooks extensively in Italy and always with great results so I am off too buy some more of those, but any help would be appreciated. Also, what is the most efficient way to get from London to Stonehenge? Is a tour bus the best - or perhaps a train? We have from June 17 til July 1 and must confirm destinations by May 10 on frequent flyer tickets. What European airline offers the best value out of London to Paris or Milan? Thanks. Anne

Posted by
445 posts

This is do-able depending on how much time you want in London and Paris.. I think each needs a minimum of 4 days and remember your Eurostar trip will eat up part of a day..depending on what time your departure is...recommend early morning. And then you could go to Milan for Lake Como. I am not an expert on trains/flights to Milan from Paris so perhaps someone else could chime in on this. Just remember when you are returning from Como to the airport, it is a little bit complicated and please don't book a flight home for a early morning departure.

You can take a bus tour from London to STonehenge..I don't think there are any public transportation choices. Other people will disagree but I think Stonehenge is a bit disappointing and not worth giving up a whole day in London. I think there may be a tour that covers both Stonehenge and Bath which would be interesting. Google London sightseeing tours and you should come up with the companies that do sightseeing tours out of London.

Posted by
1804 posts

I have also heard from many people that Stonehenge is a disappointment. It's right next to a highway. I guess if it is part of another tour package, sure. But after hearing so many negative experiences, I decided not to go out of my way to get there.

There is no shortage of things to do in London and Paris and if it is your first time in these cities, I would say spend a week in each and you can use the cities as a base to take some day trips to surrounding areas.

Save Italy for a separate trip. Everytime you switch countries or cities, you use up time from your trip (generally, anywhere from a half day to a full day spent checking into/out of hotels, getting to/from train stations or airports and the commute itself).

Try the Accor hotel chain for lodging under $200 USD per night (they run Ibis, Mercure, etc.) if you want a standard hotel.

University lodging can also be very cost effective - often includes breakfast in the price of your room.

Posted by
809 posts

Anne, my daughter and I spent a week in London last spring, and 2 weeks in Paris a few years ago; I'd suggest sticking to those two cities [as others have also suggested] to maximize your visiting and minimize long travels. This will also give you time for day trips outside the city [Versailles, Chartres, Hampton Court Palace, etc]. We did a day tour to Stonehenge [daughter's no. 1 request], Salisbury cathedral, Old Sarum, and Avebury; it was a fun day and restful to let someone else navigate. I think London Walks does an Explorer trip to Stonehenge as well as many other interesting spots. In London I would try London Home to Home or At Home in London for nice B&B rooms; we stayed in Chiswick which was cheap but a bit farther out than I realized, especially as we went to the theater every night. But in central London they are showing double or twin rooms at under 90 GBP. Have a wonderful time!

Posted by
15 posts

Thank you all for such good advice. We are so excited!

Posted by
977 posts

Hi Anne, we have just returned from overseas having spent our last 6 nights in London. Great vlaue for money. We were very happy with the Ibis Hotel, Euston. Almost next door to Euston Station and 10 minutes walk to St.Pancras (Eurostar) and Kings Cross Station.

Posted by
45 posts

Anne- Did a bus tour with Evan Evans tours, it was a combination Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Salisbury Castle. Stonehenge somewhat of a disappointment, but not entirely a day wasted. All in all a good day sightseeing, and nice for some one else to navigate for me. London Walks I'm sure also does day trips for Stonehenge, but not 100% sure. Did a day trip to Bath as well as Tours in London with London Walks and was very inpressed with guides as well as tours themselves.

Posted by
6230 posts

Agree with other posters. Stick with London and Paris for this trip. Italy your next. Don't agree at all with others about Stonehenge. Always wonder what they were expecting? Given it's purpose is still a mystery and academics aren't really certain how they stood the rocks up I found it fascinating. Then again it's all a matter of perspective. My opinion of Vegas. Boring. Many sites to see in London & Paris. London Walks is great. Nice way to absorb various historical aspects of the city and beyond. London is a very walkable city. Be sure to see some theatre. 1/2 tix booth is great. Check out the Sir John C. Ritblatt room in the British Library. Stroll through Hyde Park and the Hampstead Heath just to see the people. In Paris, the Orsay stuns. The Rodin and Picasso Museums are wonderful. The first night in Paris, walk to the Eiffel Tower. Sit on a park bench and wait for the sun to start to set. The Tower will start to light up...tres bon!

Posted by
15 posts

We are getting so excited. Thank you for such great advice and your enthusiasm! Anne