We are traveling to London and Edinburgh last two weeks in September (few other stops in between) and would like to know best area to look for hotels in both. First visit to both so we will be doing the major tourist stuff. Looks like stayng close to Paddington or Victoria in London would be best but is that necessary? Ditto for Royal Mile area in edinburgh? Plan to use public transport in both. Thanks
You will really love your trip, I'm sure. We enjoy staying in the Victoria area (but we arrive and leave from Gatwick, so that is a factor). We have stayed in the Victoria Thistle (now called the Victoria Grosvenor). The Luna Simone and the Lime Tree are in that area and many people on this board recommend them. But with London's great public transport system, you don't have to limit yourself to Victoria and Paddington. Anywhere that falls along or inside the "Circle Line" route on the Tube will usually be a reasonable location as far as reaching the sites. In Edinburgh we have stayed at the Royal British Hotel. It is across the street from Waverly train Station and just a short walk to the Royal Mile. They serve a good breakfast, too. Knowing your budget and the type of lodging you'd prefer (hostels, b&bs, college/university, 2,3,4 or 5 star hotels) might help us make more pertinent suggesstions. For example, the London School of Economics rents dorm rooms and apartments to tourists all year long- and they have multiple locations, all near good transportation.
Thanks Toni. I'm so excited about this trip. It has been first on my wish list for 25 years!! I appreciate any advice. We are looking for someplace in the 200-300 us dollars per night range for both cities. We wouldn't object to less of course :-) but know prices in both cities can be high. We care less about in hotel stuff like pools spas etc.and more about the location for seeing sites and experiencing what is unique about London and Edinburgh. Hotels, B&BS are great. Not as interested in hostels as I see many do not gave en suite rooms. As for staying near stations we are flying into Heathrow, staying in London for 4 days or so. Then we are renting a car and traveling to Bath, the Cotswolds, and some Scottish border towns (Dumfries-Melrose?) taking 4 days to meander to Edinburgh. We will spend last 3- 4 days there and then fly home from Edinburgh airport. Kelly
My husband and I are making the same trip (for the third time), and we also use public transport for both cities and stops in-between. When we were in Edinburgh in 2005, we stayed at Stuart House, 12 East Claremont Street. It's about a 15 – 20 minute walk to the Royal Mile, and just like I always tell people about Edinburgh, it's uphill both ways! In 2008, we stayed at Broughton Guest House, 37 Broughton Place (www.broughton-hotel.com). It's a couple of minutes closer to the Royal Mile, there is a nice neighborhood pub one block away, and across the street from the pub is an excellent restaurant called the Olive Branch. You actually pass this B&B on the way to Stuart House. Both places were nice, the breakfasts were very tasty, and the owners were accommodating. This time we wanted a place nearer the Royal Mile so after a full day of sightseeing, dinner, pubbing, etc., we wouldn't have to worry about catching a bus or cab, and would have a short walk to our hotel. We are booked at the Fraser Suites, one block off the Royal Mile. It has good reviews on tripadvisor, lots of pubs and restaurants nearby or on site, each room has a kitchenette, there is an elevator, and also a laundry suite for guest use! Keeping my fingers crossed the reviews are correct, but that many people can't be wrong. In London, we like to stay around the Kensington area. It's usually pretty quiet in the evening, and nice for an evening stroll. The Circle and District tube lines are very convenient and quickly get you most places. So even if you decide to go back to your hotel and freshen up before heading out for dinner, you can just hop back on the tube if need be. In 2008 we stayed near Paddington Station, and were not as pleased with the B&Bs or nearby restaurant choices. Have a wonderful trip - and I bet it won't take you long to plan a return visit!!
In London, I always prefer staying close to the west End- Trafalgar Square, leicester square, mayfair. You can walk to most of the major sights around westminster, also convenient for theater, restaurants, shopping. I appreciate being able to go back to my hotel for a few hours before dinner without having to take the tube. Victoria or Padddington areas should be less expensive, but you need a long walk or a tube at the end of your touring day. You will find you do a lot of walking in London It is generally recommended that you stay within the Circle of the Circle Line Tube (Yellow on the Tube map), and be reasonably convenient to a Tube station to make it easier to get around.
Being able to walk back to your hotel is a plus, especially if you're doing it in the evening rush, when the Tube and Tube stations are packed. But, of course, that depends on what part of the city you're in when it's time to go back. I think you'll be able to find some nice hotels in that price range. Last October, I stayed at the City Inn Westminster, which is about a 15-minute walk south of Parliament and Westminster Tube station. It's a modern hotel. I paid about 130 pounds per night. Downsides: hotel restaurant is over-priced and under-performing; not much in the immediate neighborhood by way of cafes, shops, etc. A lot of people would consider it out-of-the way. But, the short walk at the beginning and end of the day didn't bother me. On the same trip, I also stayed at the Hotel George in Edinburgh, which was in the same price range. It's on George Street, in New Town, and an easy walk from Waverly Station and almost as easy a walk over to Old Town and the Royal Mile. I'd stay there again. If you go, ask for for a room in the new/renovated section. Both hotels had little in the way of traffic noise, which can be an issue if you're on a lower floor of a hotel on a busy street.
I don't know about Edinburgh hotels but I really enjoyed Premier Inn Victoria on my first trip and will be returning in the Spring. See my four-star review at TripAdvisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g186338-d1539346-r48649995-Premier_Inn_London_Victoria-London_England.html#REVIEWS#CHECK_RATES_CONT I'm sure you've already heard but in London be super, super careful when you're within 3 feet or when crossing the streets. The buses and trucks have mirrors that extend out over the sidewalk so if you're not expecting them you might get bonked like I almost did! Cheers!
Have stayed several times at the Rembrandt in South Kensington and love it. Will stay there again in early June. It is in your price range. You can save substantially if you fly British Air and book the hotel through them at the same time you make your air reservations. They have a marvelous breakfast buffet which is included with the BA reservations. It says "continental", but there is only one option which includes eggs, bacon, sausage, everything.
Thanks so much for all the great suggestions!!
Kelly, Edinburgh is sooo much smaller than London. You can stay in the heart of things on The Royal Mile or in New Town or you can stay a 10-15 minute walk (shorter bus ride) and be in a bit quieter area depending on what you want. Your budget is good, so I would second the recommendation for The George. You might also look at The Scotsman which is very near The Royal Mile. I've had friends stay in both and like them. My budget has been a little smaller, but if you decide to look at small family run hotels you might check out the Inverleith near the Royal Botanic Gardens. They have some larger rooms which you might enjoy. Also, they have apartments which might be an interesting option. If you find another hotel in Edinburgh and you want info on the location pm Toni or me and we can probably tell you about the area. Pam