best area of London?

Old Apr 22nd, 2012, 03:20 PM
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best area of London?

Which area would you stay in if you were coming there for the first time? We want central location for great shopping, history and food? nI know there are many areas, but would love info on favorite areas. Thanks
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Old Apr 22nd, 2012, 03:29 PM
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Mayfair if budget is no concern, Bloomsbury if it is.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2012, 03:39 PM
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I'd stay somewhere near Oxford Street / Marble Arch
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Old Apr 22nd, 2012, 04:46 PM
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We usually stay either in Mayfair or Knightsbridge - but neighter is inexpensive.

London is a large, spread out city - and no one place is going to be close to more than a few sights or major shopping venues. The tube is yuor friend - get a good map of the city and the tube (paper - not GPS).
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Old Apr 22nd, 2012, 06:26 PM
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Agreed about a spread out city.

Here's some help
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3j2NYZ8FKs&ob=av3e
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Old Apr 22nd, 2012, 06:40 PM
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Bloomsbury.You can take the Picadilly Line straight from Heathrow airport to Russell Square-easy,45 minutes and inexpensive.
I love the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury which is a half block(really you can walk) from the tube station at Russell Square.There is the Brunswick Mall right across the street for shopping at Waitrose(wonderful grocery store) or Boots (drugs)plus an ATM and other little shops.
The area is a real neighborhood with great pubs,UCL university nearby and walking distance to the British Museum,British Library,etc. You can hop on the tube or take the bus from there to virtually anywhere in London without any hassles.
My son went to grad school at UCL and I work for the airlines so I layover alot in London and this area really is a great place for your exploring of London!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 01:01 AM
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I'd [pick South Kensington, Chelsea Knightsbidge area. Lots of museums nearby, great shopping and loads of 1st class and inexpensive restaurants, I always manage a good room rate at Londontown.com Been payiny around 80GBP for the Millenium Gloucester or Bailey;s and they havelarge rooms and great staffs and the tube is right across the street though I prefer the convenient bus routes. Tube shopping center with a Boots waitrose, hair stylist, nd restaurants,
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 01:04 AM
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I totally agree with Dutyfree, who described so well the Bloomsbury and its advantages.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 02:21 AM
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For shopping and experience its Oxford Circus station and Piccadilly! But its sooo tourism minded it almost gets boring. A really nice place in London is Knightsbridge and the surrounding places.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 04:03 AM
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If coming from or going to Heathrow then South Kensington - severla major attractions on the doorstep and good direct connections to virtually anything you may want to see in Central London.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 07:42 AM
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If coming from LHR- South Kernsington would be great. But so would several areas along the Piccadilly line. Some of the best - in no particular order are South Kens, Green Park, Covent Garden, Bloomsbury (either Holborn or Russell Sq stations). Partly it depends on your budget. Victoria/Belgravia is also convenient though not on the direct tube line from LHR.

Places I personally would NOT stay - especially on a first visit - are Oxford Street/Oxford Circus, Marble Arch (it may look convenient/central but is only on the Central Line so you have to change to get most anywhere), Paddington/Bayswater/Queensway, Docklands,
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 08:19 AM
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janisj
I have been to London more than 20 times, and i love staying near Oxford Street...
I love visiting all the shops, walking to Soho, Chinatown, Covent Garden or Leicester Square and everything can be done on foot.... ( if i am too tired to walk back to my hotel, i simply take a taxi... which is not expensive for that distance)

I don't mind changing if i want to use the tube, i do it in my homecity as well....
To me Oxford Street ( and correct me if that's only my impression) is the centre of London
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 08:42 AM
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"I have been to London more than 20 times"

Me too - maybe 45-50 -- but who's counting

" and i love staying near Oxford Street..." I don't think we are really disagreeing. "Near" is the operative word here.

When one says 'Oxford Street' folks tend to read it as "<blue>Stay ON Oxford St</blue>" - which I wouldn't. (though I have for various reasons over the years - doesn't mean I'd send a first timer there.)

Oxford Street is definitely central - but certainly no more so than Covent Garden or Trafalgar Square or other areas. The main problem w/ Oxford St IME/IMO is that it is a zoo. It gets sooooo crowded/hectic it is often difficult to even walk along parts. There are quieter areas N and S of it which are absolutely fine.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 09:03 AM
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Oxford street is a main shopping stteet for modest and moderate type shops and department stores but really isn't that convenient for many sights. IMHO too crowded and mallish. If you want to be in the center of shops etc I would head for Covent Garden area instead.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 10:12 AM
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Look: London is the largest city in Western Europe (I say this so often on this space, I should have a macro to insert it) and it's not close - essentially the difference between NYC and Chicago between London and the next tier (Paris, Madrid, Rome, Berlin) so there is no one single best place. The fact is the Tube is omnipresent in Central London and you will need it to get wherever you want to go.

All that said, the best choice if your budget isn't boundless is probably Bloomsbury because it is central, and a short hop on the Piccadilly Line or Northern Line to most major sites (not the Tower or St. Paul's, but the Central Line will take you to the latter and the Circle Line for the Tower is close enough).

Shopping is abundant throughout the city - Oxford Street and Regent Street have the chains and department stores and ton(ne)s of people. Jermyn Street and Saville Row are more individualized (not chains) and away from the bustle.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 11:00 AM
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But so would several areas along the Piccadilly line. Some of the best - in no particular order are South Kens, Green Park, Covent Garden, Bloomsbury (either Holborn or Russell Sq stations).

District Line from South Ken to Buckingham Palace, Westminster, Tate Modern, St Pauls, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Globe Theatre, Borough Market, London Eye....

Which of the others give you that choice?
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 12:06 PM
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If you are going soon be aware that the Oxford st. area is all torn up with road construction and buses are affected. Leicester Square likewise
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Old Apr 23rd, 2012, 06:03 PM
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You don't say when, how many, or for how long--or what sort of rooms--But
We LOVED the location of B&B accomodations in Belgravia we secured through At Home in London
http://www.athomeinlondon.co.uk/

We rode Tube from LHR.
Rooms 5-10 minute walk from Hyde Park, Hyde Park Corner Tube stop, Harrods
2 minute walk to two pubs
10 minute walk to grocery store (Waitrose)
So very easy to get everywhere in the city via Tube and to get to train stations for our day trips--yet it was quiet and private.
Many accomodations in Belgravia will be pricey beyond our budget, but this modest B&B was wonderful (and roomy and clean with sufficient if not abundant breakfast)

So to answer the OP's questions--Belgravia is my favorite area of 4 I've stayed in (but I know price might be too much in most accomodations there.)

(Bayswater was livelier, more affordable, not quite so easy to get around from but worked great for us. Other 2 places we've stayed are not where I'd suggest for first timer.)
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