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Affordable London Hotel

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Jun 2nd, 2013, 04:52 PM
  #1
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Affordable London Hotel

Three family members (two adults and a teen) are planning to travel to London and Paris next May--approx four days in London, four in Paris. I'm doing research for a historical series set in Tudor/Puritan times and want to get a feel for what Tudor London would have been like. I also need to visit central Dartford for a day. Would also like to visit the Tower and and any museum/sites that would represent the time period between about 1520 and 1630. I would love to see anything that would help me formulate a picture of life in those times, while still having it be fun for my family.

SO, the question is, what area is best around London to stay in for these purposes? We don't want to rent a car so it needs to be close to transportation that will get us there from Heathrow, get us to Dartford, to the Tower, and to Paris on the Eurostar. We also need something somewhat budget-friendly ($100 a night or so) in a safe, clean part of town. Any help any one can provide would be most appreciated, as none of us has ever been to London. I don't know where to start.

I did live in France for 16 months in the '80s, with several months in the Paris area. I'll need a memory refresher for there as well, but one thing at a time.
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 05:03 PM
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Check out b and b Belgravia
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 05:07 PM
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You may need to up the budget a bit for London
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 05:13 PM
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What do you think would be a minimum $$ per night?
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 06:21 PM
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$100 per night in London for 4 people (I assume that's what you mean) is extremely low (I don;t know if it's doable at all)

And unfortunately the Great Fire of London (1666) burned down most things you would want to see. (If you go to the Museum of London looked like - you can see some replicas of what parts of the city - and I believe a replica of the fire. And do remember that in those years London was a collection of villages - and many places that are now part of the city were then completely separate villages and towns in the countryside.

Naturally there are major sights remaining (Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Hampton Court Palace, Windsor Castle) but there is very little left of the the way the average person lived in those times.

I would think you should be going to other towns that have some remains of buildings from that era in a historic center that could substitute for London.
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 06:24 PM
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Sorry -

And if you're doing research on that time wouldn't you have heard of this gigantic fire?

I distinctly remember learning about it in high school social studies - it's not a mystery or an obscure event .
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 07:27 PM
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You can stay anywhere - and no one visiting London needs a car. The public transport will get you anywhere - even Dartford.

However for three of you $100 won't touch a place in London. That is pretty low even for a single. B&B Belgravia mentioned above is great - but you'd need to double your budget to get in there.

Not much Tudor stuff remains. The Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace of course.

http://www.timeout.com/london/things...-london-sights

A visit to the National Portrait Gallery - lots of portraits from the Tudor era.

A few old pubs.

Maybe Eltham Palace. http://www.elthampalace.org.uk

But not that much really. You don't have ver much time in London anyway - and w/ a day spent out at Dartford - even less.

But first of all - you really need to up your budget for a triple.
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 07:36 PM
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"you really need to up your budget for a triple"

Right. The place I stay - http://www.ridgemounthotel.co.uk - has a triple, shared bathroom, for around 100 but GBP, not USD. However, if you're there in the summer you could look at the LSE student residencies - http://www.lsevacations.co.uk/ - their triples start at 85 GBP.

Agree that where you stay in London, provided it's zone 1 or 2, doesn't make a lot of difference, although if you're flying into Heathrow I'd look for somewhere near the Piccadilly line.
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 07:40 PM
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They are going in May - some of the schools offer holiday accommodations year round - but the cheap ones aren't usually available til summer.
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Jun 2nd, 2013, 07:50 PM
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janisj - oops, missed that. Might be worth checking this: http://www.universityrooms.co.uk/ - they have places outside vacation times, I used them for Oxford.
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Jun 3rd, 2013, 09:04 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I realize four days is not much--nothing really. And yes, I'm aware of the fire. If I were to come a week earlier without my family, I might be able to do more. However, after several years of research and reading about the time period, I have come across a few things like janisj referred to--pubs, etc. Just thought someone with intimate knowledge of London might know about some gems I haven't encountered through online research, maybe even a small area of the city that preserves a Tudor feel. In Dartford I need to visit Holy Trinity Church, the Martyr's Memorial, and the central town area which still has a few buildings to remind a person of the 1500s such as the Wat Tyler Inn. My greatest fear is getting to the London area and not being able to come away with anything remotely related to what I'm hoping to find. I'm mostly looking for a "feel" or "sense" of London and the area, the countryside, and so on. I agree that visiting another area with a more intact Tudor heritage would be a good idea. I know there are living history farms, etc., in other areas of England that offer such tours. If only...

What is a triple? Anything that says "shared bathroom" would be a deal breaker for the husband.
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Jun 3rd, 2013, 09:13 AM
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A triple is a room for three people. If you don't want to all stay in the same room you'd need a double and a single - which would cost more than a triple. It isn't like in the states where many hotels will sleep up to four in two queen sized beds.

Or you could rent a 1 berm flat that sleeps 3. That would be cheaper than two hotel rooms. But many only rent by the week and the ones that rent for shorter periods tend to cost a bit more per night .
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Jun 3rd, 2013, 09:17 AM
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By the way, for more background on my intent, my forbears were high-profile Puritans who helped organize the migration from England in 1630 and founded Boston, Mass. I'm trying to reconstruct the England part of the story from the tumultuous 1500s to the 1630s when they left--hence my desire to walk where they walked and see what they saw in any way possible. So things related to religious events--the Smithfield fires, churches where Protestant meetings were held, etc.--are very relevant. I realize this will take more than one trip--just want to get a "quick taste" this time.
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Jun 3rd, 2013, 10:01 AM
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To find churches where specific events happened I think you would have to have the name and some idea of the location. Who knows which are still there (non in area of the great fire) but perhaps something on the south bank? (Keeping in mind that those were separate towns and not really part of London - although they are now.)

It seems to me you need to do a lot more detailed research from the US before you leave - since you have so little time in the UK you will need that just to locate and look at things.
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Jun 3rd, 2013, 10:06 AM
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Oh well then, you should be looking for some posh cousins to stay with, the "high-profile" relatives who didn't leave. They'd have the scoop on everything you should see besides. The problem, though, is families tend to drop socially rather than rise or even stay put as the money goes. Still, it's worth a shot.
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Jun 3rd, 2013, 11:26 AM
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"Anything that says "shared bathroom" would be a deal breaker for the husband."

Then you need a bigger budget. If you find a triple, never mind a double and a single, en-suite, in central London, for $100 I sure want to know where it is! You could get a double on Priceline for that, I would think, but that's not what you're asking for. Same for apartments - I was looking at Homeaway, Flipkey and Airbnb last night, and the prices were all high just for studios.
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Jun 3rd, 2013, 11:35 AM
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If I were looking for a place with a Tudor "feel", I'd stay in Chester. Lots of Tudor (and ersatz Tudor)and Stuart buildings makes it much easier to visualize what London was like before the Fire. Less expensive too, although I still don't know whether $100/nite for four is realistic anywhere in the UK.
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Jun 3rd, 2013, 11:47 AM
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Chester is a good idea. I was also thinking about York, and maybe Oxford, at least for the Martyrs' Memorial and some of the college buildings. But the OP really needs to know where her ancestors came from. They may never have been to London.
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Jun 3rd, 2013, 01:07 PM
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When I lived in London I enjoyed these two books focused on seeing what you can in and around London from the time periods.

The Amateur Historian's Guide to Medieval and Tudor London (publisher Capital Travels) (author Sarah Valente Kettler and Carole Trimble)

The Amateur Historians' Guide to Medieval and Tudor England: Day Trips South of London - Dover, Canterbury, Rochester (the same publisher and authors)

They have a newer third one I didn't have too for more trips outside of London.

I just checked and they are all available on Amazon.

They are a good combination of history and travel books. If you don't want to buy them and can't get them at your local library you might ask if they are available from a bigger library through inter library loan.

They are little out of date now (I had them in 2007) so you will want to confirm anything specific like sites opening hours or travel details with more current research.
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Jun 3rd, 2013, 02:10 PM
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The YHA St. Pancras hostel has a three-bed ensuite room for 115 GBP in March 2014, which was about the latest date I could look at. There is a small non-member fee added to that.

Their Earls Court hostel is less expensive, but you'd have to use a shared bathroom down the hall.

Lee Ann
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