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London in the spring

We are finally getting together a trip to London in May. We are going to spend about 5-6 days in London so I would like to be central to the important things. What part of London would you suggest to be the best for that. Also would like to head out of London for another 5 days on the train. Any suggestions of a more rural part of England that, that could be accomplished on the train in 5 days. And also has anyone ended their trip by staying at the airport the last night? Any hotel suggestions?

Posted by
2081 posts

@ judy,

I consider May, summer, not spring but i guess that would depend on what side of the fence one grazes on.

Getting around london is sooooooooo easy, i dont see a reason to stay in just one place. I guess if you like to have the British Museum in your front yard, that could be a reason.

As far as where else to go, you are your own limitation. I would look at Scotland, but thats just me.

as far as staying at the airport i guess it would be based on when my flight left. If its o-dark early, then i would probably do that, but so far ive been able to get to the airport early enough via express.

happy trails

Posted by
31 posts

Within London, it's hard to say one single location is "best". The big attractions are spread out enough that many areas are good. They will all have attractions within walking distance. They will be well located to tube lines. Etc. etc. Some place within the bounds of the Circle Line would be a pretty general rule of thumb. though there are some good places just outside it. (the County Hall area comes to mind).

I was just there in London for a week. Stayed in Mayfair near Marble Arch. Before I went, I plotted out tons of sites. The big attractions. Mueums. Theaters. Stores. Restaurants and pubs. When I looked at it, virtually everything was in an area alongside or to the east of Hyde Park. During my stay, I really never got west of Park Lane in any real meaningful way. I have a very detailed review of my trip in the trip reports section.

As far as staying near the airport, which one? Heathrow (LHR)? You mention heading out to other places in England after your London stay. If you are flying back out of LHR to the States, it may make some sense to travel from the rural countryside area back to near Heathrow the day/night before your flight leaves, but I don't know how far yo will really be from there on your last day. Sounds like you may not either at this point. But don't worry. You can always figure that out later once you get a more firm itinerary and idea of where you'll be at the tail end of the trip.

Posted by
521 posts

Any suggestions of a more rural part of England that, that could be accomplished on the train in 5 days

With what in mind Judy? Walking in the hills, sailing, historic towns and villages, castles, old churches, horse riding, sitting on the beach, all of the above?

England is defined by its coast and the rural hinterland, which is extremely diverse, as you would expect in a landscape that has been created by thousands of years of human occupation and agriculture. A lot of overseas visitors head west from London, either to Devon and Cornwall or to the Cotswolds, or north to the Lake District or to Yorkshire. Trains go to a surprising number of places and buses go virtually everywhere else, although perhaps not as regularly as one might like. While those areas are popular for good reasons, they aren't the only places I could recommend, if you can tell us a bit about what you want to do.

Posted by
521 posts

By the way, May is definitely Spring...

Posted by
9376 posts

You bet May is in the Spring. Just as August is in the Summer, November is in the Fall and February is in the Winter.

Posted by
516 posts

Stayed in the Covent Garden area and loved it summer of 2013. Really enjoyed York and Cambridge. Liked Bath but we stayed 3 days and one day/night would have been perfect.

Posted by
714 posts

If you are leaving from Heathrow can recommend the Premiere Inn on The Bath Road. The Hoppa bus from the airport drops you and picks you up right at the door (there is a charge for the bus). Just be sure to be at the bus stop (which is right outside the hotel) in plenty of time - they don't wait!

I think I would probably head up to York and then maybe through the Yorkshire Dales - its a part of England I've not seen - if time permitted, I would go up to Edinburgh. If you haven't booked flights yet, consider an open jaw from somewhere other than Heathrow, saves backtracking unnecessarily. For instance if you decide on Scotland you can get flights from Edinburgh or Glasgow.

Posted by
3380 posts

For rural England try the Lake District...easily reachable by public transport (train/bus). Spectacular place with beautiful walking and countryside. Quinessential England! Get of the tourist track there and you'll have a tremendous time!

Posted by
70 posts

If you're around in early/mid May you might get lucky and catch the tail end of Bluebell season; this year the season started quite late and there were still loads in bloom then. I live up in the Chiltern hills and make a point of going to either Ash Ridge or Wendover Woods each spring; it's a sight you won't get elsewhere in the world. Google "Chilterns AONB" and "Chilterns bluebells" then select Images and you'll see what I mean. The Cotswolds gets plenty of attention but I'd stack the Chilterns against anywhere for seeing in the spring...