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Best areas in central London/most convenient tube stations/3 bedroom apartments

Best areas in central London/most convenient tube stations/3 bedroom apartments

Old Nov 17th, 2002, 07:26 PM
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Best areas in central London/most convenient tube stations/3 bedroom apartments

We will be spending a week in London, June 2003, travelling with 2 small children. (Yes, we know - motherinlaw says we are crazy too!)

Spending alot of time researching over the net for 3xbedroom apartments in London. I have a shortlist of about 10 (yep, you should see the looong list!

We can budget up to 1500 pounds for the week.

Now I need some specific recommendations/practical advice to narrow down the list.

*Best area?
We will be relying on feet and the tube for our transport.

*Most convenient area,
eg, walk to shops/restaurants/park.

*Best tube station to be closest to?
eg, is there one where you dont have to change to a different line so often to get to most places?

*Have you stayed somewhere (with children)you would recommend/not recommend?

The apartments I have found are in...
Lancaster Gate
Marble Arch
Gloucester Road
Eccleston Square (Victoria)
Notting Hill
also Scala House, near Goodge St station, which I have seen mentioned favourably in an earlier post.

Any help would be appreciated.
Old Nov 17th, 2002, 09:58 PM
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I think Scala House only has 2 bedroom flats - but double check to be sure.

As for which tube station - there are MANY convenient tube stations. For most travelers the most convenient tube lines are the Picadilly, Circle or Central since they cross London E/W, pass through most of the major tourist areas, and cross all of the other lines. But really - most any line is workable.

of the areas you listed the most convenient / desireable areas are: Marble Arch, Belgravia, Pimlico (which is near Victoria), Knightsbridge, Gloucester Road, and Eccleston Square.

But all of them are OK. You should be able to find something really nice substantially less than £1500 per week. £1000 or maybe £1200 would be more than enough for a good flat.
Old Nov 17th, 2002, 11:48 PM
George Steed
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Try the Eccleston House, Eccleston Square 64. There may not be three bedroom units..but you could arrange two apartments. Victoria Station is nearby..busses, underground, rail..
Old Nov 18th, 2002, 07:37 AM
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Scala House only has 2 bedroom flats, but you might check out their penthouse apartments. They are within your price range and are very large, there are only two of them. You can also request a couple of extra cots/daybeds if needed. We've stayed there so I know the bldg. well and the people that own it are very very nice. It's not luxury, but it is Super convenient to grocery stores and the Tube stop. You can go much more upscale I suppose, but we really enjoyed the convenience. A standard 2 bedroom apt. would have one large bedroom with either a king of twins (on request) and a small 2nd bedroom that had a regular double bed in it. Again,you can request extra beds or cots. If you are looking for real luxury living (i.e., antique furniture, 4" carpets, etc. it may not be for you, but for tourist-level (3***) accommodations we found it good.
Old Nov 18th, 2002, 08:35 AM
Ben Haines
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From the tenth century London was a stretch of buildings along the Thames from Westminster to the Tower, and most sites for visitors lie on that stretch. You will see that that is the District and Circle Line. Happily, both lines continue from Westminster to South Kensington, where are several major museums. The central Line runs east-west, along the north side of the parks, but a mile or so north of most tourist sights. The Piccadilly Line is good for South Kensington, the British Museum and the British Library, but few other tourist attractions.

Bermondsey. Far out. No parks, few shops and restaurants
Lancaster Gate. A bit far out, as it is on the dull north side of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. You want to be south of them. Few shops, plenty of restaurants
Marble Arch. Excellent shopping, but a bus tide from most tourist attractions
Belgravia. A bit of a walk to shops and restaurants, but Victoria station is good or tube lines, and is on the Tower to South Kensington line
Pimlico. Rather far out: poor tube and bus connections
Knightsbridge. Excellent shops, not far from Hyde Park, but not on the Tower to S Ken line
Gloucester Road. A little way out, a walk to Kensington Gardens, and a dull main road, full of traffic
Eccleston Square (Victoria). Best for you. On the Tower to S Ken line, a bus or walk to Kensington Gardens, plenty of small and friendly shops, restaurants (and pubs)
Notting Hill. Wrong side of the park, and wrong end, too. Twenty minute tube runs to most places, whereas Victoria has ten minute runs. Good shops and restaurants (as the film said)
Scala House, near Goodge St station. Good for shops and restaurants, and for the British Museum, but usually you need a change of tube line to reach a tourist attraction. Far from any park.

To the mail copy of this message I am attaching a note I keep on disc on things in London that Fodors parents say their children enjoyed. Please write if I can help further. Welcome to London.

Ben Haines
Old Nov 18th, 2002, 11:25 AM
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Ben describes the areas pretty well. My only dispute with his assessments is Pimlico is "Rather far out: poor tube and bus connections".

Pimlico is very central - it is walking distance from Victoria, Tate Britain, B'ham Palace, the river, Westminster Abbey / Parliament, and Chelsea. True the Victoria line is not the most convenient - but Pimlico is only one stop from Victoria which is a major hub for all transport, and 2 stops from Green Park for both the Jubilee and Picadilly lines. I find journey times from Pimlico to places like the Tower or British Museum to be shorter than from many other central locations.

Pimlico is a relatively quiet residential area but with several good pubs and restaurants. And it is great to take a morning walk along the Thames which is less than 5 minutes from your flat.
Old Nov 18th, 2002, 05:40 PM
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Gloucester Road has the distinct advantage of being close to two supermarkets -- Sainsbury's and Waitrose. Sainsbury's is open 24 hours a day. Also nearby on Cromwell Road is Bobo's Bubbles, which will wash, dry, fold and return your laundry for about $10 bucks. There's a good drycleaner, Sketchley's, on Gloucester Road. (There's also a Burger King if you get desparate.) The Gloucester Road tube stop is served by the Picadilly, Circle and District lines, which give you access to most of the principal sights without a train change. Friends told me there's a Scout Hostel on the corner of Cromwell Road and Queens Gate which serves a great English breakfast to the public and the Scouts are great hosts.

Have a great trip.

Old Nov 18th, 2002, 06:35 PM
Ben Haines
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I accept Janis point -- I had forgotten the Thames.

On Gloucester Road I do not budge. Boring, man.

Ben Haines
Old Nov 18th, 2002, 07:50 PM
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My brother & I stayed at a place called
the mansions in s. Kensington,
Large 3 Bed 3 Bath apartment,
we paid £ 1785 a week with that woping vat included,
We loved the place as well as the agent we used to book,
we used londonforrent.com
the closest tube station was earls court station just a few min. walk from the apartment, with supermarket close by.

Old Nov 18th, 2002, 10:04 PM
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Ben - you are totally right about Gloucester Rd. Lots of accomodations but no "There" there.

And convenience to a laundromat (launderette) is no big deal since most flats have washer/dryers in the kitchen. I have never had to use a launderette when staying in self-catering apartments in London.
Old Nov 19th, 2002, 06:26 AM
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While we are talking apartments. Anybody have knowledge of Arlington Apartments near the Green Park Tube on Arlington St. in Mayfair/St.James?
Am looking into staying there?
Old Nov 19th, 2002, 08:02 AM
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Normally I think Ben Haines is right on with his info, but having visited London many times (and stayed in many different locations) there is no one place that is ideal to get to all the sights without changing tube lines we've found. Incidentally, while Scala House is not right on top of any major parks we did stoll over to Regent's Park a couple of times. One can't have everything and if you are renting an apartment I think being around the corner from a Tesco or a short walk from Sainsbury's a real plus! Personally I find Pimlico, Sloan Sq. and Gloucester Rd areas inconvenient .. everyone is different.

We did rent an apt. in the St. Katherine's Marina area two yrs ago -- super great area (around corner from a Safeway), great views of Tower Bridge, etc. but it was a long walk to the Tube Stop -- you can't have everything it seems.
Old Nov 19th, 2002, 12:36 PM
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I've one other point to bring up: the children will need a place to stretch their legs, or their parents will go mad. Just for orientation, *the* playground you'll want to visit is the Princess of Wales'Memorial Playground at the northwest corner of Kensington Gardens; the closest tube station to it is Queensway. Unfortunately, it is quite some distance across the park from there to the Peter Pan statue, another "must-do" with small children.
A small park near the flat will be very helpful for running off some energy before trying to do museums and such.

I'm thinking that you really should consider 2 bdr. flats as well, the small ones will probably be happy to share in a strange place, and that widens your choice quite a lot.
Old Nov 19th, 2002, 03:36 PM
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Just want to say thanks to all who replied - your information was great!

Lori was spot-on, in that you just cant have everything! But I appreciate the advice from everyone as you all gave me something to think about.

Ben, I appreciate the details of the characters of the various places I mentioned - you obviously know what you are talking about, and Ryn , I take your point about the boys needing space to run around , and will absolutely take them to Princess Diana's park, and the Peter Pan statue in Hyde Park. And I will also take your advice and consider more central 2 bedroom accommodation!

You can do all the research you like, but there is just nothing like personal recommendations from people who have actually been there!

Thanks again.
Old Nov 19th, 2002, 07:12 PM
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Last but not least, try Dolphin Square Hotel/Apts in Pimlico. Is a lovely residential building with hotel facilites and large apts with full kitchens to rent by single day or longer. Short walk to tube stop, one stop to Victoria Station. www.dolphinsquare.com I recently booked my brother there (I am not a travel agent, I just research as a hobby) and he and his group were quite pleased.
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 07:58 AM
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We're also taking kids to London and I have done lots of research on flats. I've settled on a 2br for 975 pounds from Home From Home (or is it Home to Home? - either way, the website is easy to find). They don't charge VAT, they say they'll let us into the flat early in the morning without charging for the night before, and when I gave my space and price specifications, they emailed me photos and info on all the flats that fit my needs. I'm about to book the place (in Knightsbridge), so if anyone has any bad things to say about this rental service, please let me know!
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 08:29 AM
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We're considering renting an apt at the St. Katherine's Dock . . . you mentioned it's a long walk to the tube . . . how long?

Anything else you can add? You can write me directly if you wish, just leave out the "nospam" part of the address above.

Thank you!
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 09:45 AM
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The Hamlet UK flats in St Katherine's Dock are great - and the walk isn't too bad. About 10 minutes. But that is a lot longer walk from a tube station than most other properties in central London.

Being close to the Tower and the river and the really good prices are pluses, the longer transport times is a minus. Getting to the tube station is just part of it, then you have pretty long tube ride to get anywhere. And some are put off by the walk from Tower Hill tube late at night. It is a safe area, and wouldn't bother me - but if you are leery of walking that far at night that is something to think about.
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