pros and cons of staying outside of London

We are planning 5 days in London (2 of those days will be going to Greenwich and Windsor) What are the pros and cons of staying outside the city and taking the Tube in each day. Are there recommendations on towns/ B & Bs to stay outside of London?

Posted by Keith
United Kingdom
933 posts

Agree with the above, but just add that if you plan to "take the tube in each day" then you are not really staying outside London, unless you plan to stay in somewhere like Amersham for example; so best just to stick to London. After having tried a long distance tube journey once, you will be happy not to do it again.

Posted by Philip
London, United Kingdom
2560 posts

If you're thinking of staying outside London to save money, check the amount you'll be spending on travel. If you travel into London and leave the place you're staying before 0930, you will be charged extra for travel and the trains will be extremely crowded. Find out when the last convenient journey from central London to your location is every day. If you plan to go to restaurants/shows/clubs in the evening, will you be able to get home?

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
12311 posts

Advantages - Few. Maybe a slightly less expensive hotel or apartment? Depending on where your "outside the city" is maybe a nice park nearby or coutryside? - = - Disadvantages - Several.
Depending on where your "outside the city" is you will either be on the tube or the train every day. That will add up quickly and empty your wallet. There are "peak" and "off-peak" times on those on workdays - Monday to Friday. Peak is always much more expensive. On the Underground the morning off-peak starts at 9:30 am. On the trains it varies by line and train company but most don't start off-peak until after arrival in the London terminus of their lines of at least 10:30 am, often significantly later. In the afternoons peak tickets are often required from about 4:30pm to at least 7pm. You may find that any savings from staying out of town will be eaten up in transportation. On your journeys in and out of London you will be traveling in the direction of the rush with all the grumpy commuters. Even if you by some miracle find seats you may be surrounded by people who didn't. Or you can travel off peak to save money and crowdedness but then all your valuable touring time which you paid so much for to fly over from San Diego to enjoy will be used up waiting. I am a firm believer that time is money, and that the most valuable thing you have on vacation is time. If you are far enough out in the sticks you may be wanting to hire a car to get around. That has its own problems. On weekends there are not the commuters, and no Peak tickets, but transport from the sticks is often filled with football fans and families during the day and party and bar goers at night. I speak with the voice of experience. - = - Sorry not to be more upbeat.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
12311 posts

I was posting at the same time as Philip. I think we agree. Snap.

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

Hrumph. I guess nobody but me stays out in Barking. Not bad except it's hard to find a beer in the northern half.

Posted by Brian
San Diego
4 posts

Since 2 of the 5 days we will be going to Greenwich and Windsor, is there a town close to these 2 that could also serve for London?

Posted by Laurel
Arlington, WA
878 posts

Not so fast there Ed. We stayed in Barking in a little flat. By the time it was time for us to leave the people at the Wimpy Bar were asking us if we wanted our usual. Curry and a pint at the Barking Dog for £3.99 and life was good. Another trip we settled in Penge East at a B&B.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
12311 posts

Greenwich and Windsor are completely opposite directions from central London - you would have to travel through London to get between them.

Posted by Brian
San Diego
4 posts

Thanks for all the comments, looks like central London is the best bet for us.

Posted by Brian
Los Angeles, California
1986 posts

Another advantage of being in central London is being able to walk back to the hotel for an afternoon rest- or to change to dry socks and shoes- or, easier get to the theater after a long day sightseeing

Posted by JS
Bay Area
2253 posts

Look into Garden Court Hotel in Kensington Park Area, rate cannot be beat imo.
Share bath will save you alot too.

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
5386 posts

Depending on when you are going, you may be able to get pretty cheap lodging at university housing. The dorms are in several places in central London and rooms are let to all and sundry when school's not in session. Accommodations are fairly basic (no t.v. or A/C), but many have private baths and kitchen privileges.

Posted by gone
2081 posts

hi, i travel solo, so this is my take on it. After reading and trying RS tips, i think its better to go local. since i travel solo, i can stay in smaller places where chances are you and your companions wont like it. the only pro i can think of staying outside of the city is less expensive rates. however, you may chewup any savings on travel b/f into london. i like staying in the city since it allows me to travel w/o wasting time getting to/from the hotel. good luck in whatever you choose and happy trails.