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July 2011 London : County Hall or Tower Hill?

July 2011 London : County Hall or Tower Hill?

Feb 7th, 2011, 08:54 AM
  #1  
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July 2011 London : County Hall or Tower Hill?

Or somewhere else, looking for family friendly place, clean and not too noisy. traveliing alone with 2 kids aged 8 and 10. Arriving from Dallas and spending 3 full days 4 nights. I am a Brit and we will go on to my parents in Devon after. The Tower Hill Premier Inn is significantly cheaper -- like $300 less over 4 nights --- what exactly is the dwonside of this location -- how long to the tube and sights etc. i have visited London but not for a long time.
dendleju is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 09:16 AM
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see my response on the other thread . . .
janisj is online now  
Feb 7th, 2011, 09:18 AM
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oh --so others don't have to hunt for it here is what I posted on the other thread:

>>janisj on Feb 7, 11 at 10:12am Delete Delete

Hi dendleju, That is a hard one. But here is my take . . .

The Tower Hill location is about a 5-6 minute walk from the Tower Hill tube station and another couple of minutes around to the entrance of the Tower of London. It is in a mainly commercial/business area but other than the Tower it is also an easy walk to the river, Tower Bridge and to St Katharine's marina w/ several indoor and outdoor cafes. There are also boat docks for trips up and down river.

It will take longer to get to many of the other main sites in London -- it is 8 tube stops from Big Ben for instance. 6 stops w/ a change of lines to the British Museum. 11 stops from the V&A.

County Hall is right on the river (though you can't see it from the hotel since it is on the back of the building). It is at the London Eye, and directly across the river from Big Ben. It would be walking distance to more things -- though most are across the river so you are talking 10 to 20 minute walks.

The actual rooms are almost identical -- and $300 is a lot. If that difference means you'll be able to afford some splurges you'd otherwise have to miss, I'd probably choose Tower Hill.

But if it isn't a budget buster, I'd choose County Hall.<<
janisj is online now  
Feb 7th, 2011, 10:03 AM
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We stayed at the Marriott County Hall - which shares a building. Marriott looks out over the Thames, the Premier Inn over the back street.

We loved this location and would stay there again. Some people feel it is too touristy or prefer an area that feels more like a neighborhood, but this worked for our family. (we were a family of 5 so had 2 rooms).

1) Easy walking distance to tube stations:
- Westminister is across the Thames, Embankment is a short walk along the Thames and then across another bridge, Waterloo isn't far walking the other direction.

2) Fun area for kids:
We enjoyed walking along the area next to the Thames - there was a lot to do and see - lots of people out at night.

Also, you are next to the Eye, so you can get a sunset time and still be back at the hotel easily.

3) Convenient for eating:
No, not gourmet food, but when you are with kids, having a Wagamama and a Giraffe within walking distance is a bonus. There are also the 'fast food' type places in Waterloo Station and some nicer restaurants next to Royal Festival Hall and Southbank Centre.

4) My kids loved seeing Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament lit up at night!

However, janisj is correct about St. Katharine's marina right there - we actually had dinner one night at the Dickens Inn before we did the Ceremony of the Keys. That area is very enjoyable to walk around at night, also.

good luck! (look for my trip report soon - I'll try and work on it - we had a great time!)
surfmom is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 10:21 AM
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This was my wee trip report for the Premier Inn from March last year...

"Just a wee trip report-let...

Stayed a night at the above last Friday. Double room was £101 booked online in advance. Checked in early, at 1230; it's like a self service airport check-in, with staff to help, and was easy and the staff very pleasant. There is a reception desk that's staffed until 2300, and a bar and restaurant, although we didn't get the chance to use those.
Our room, was nice, clean and comfy, with a desk and easy to adjust temperature. Our room was at the side on the 6th floor, so view was mostly backs of building EXCEPT for the London Eye rising up above;quite a site!
It's a great location; we were at a wedding in Soho and walked back through Trafalgar Square, down Whitehall and back over Westminster Bridge, sometime after midnight; everything illuminated and lovely.

They have a guarantee that if you don't get a good night's sleep, they will give you your money back.....we had a good night's sleep do didn't need to follow that up!

Just a great spot, walking distance to so many places & a very reasonable price; I definitely recommend it. "
alihutch is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 11:17 AM
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I have stayed at both of these locations, several times at County Hall and once at Tower Hill. I chose Tower Hill last time as I was in London for only one day and selected the Tower as my primary sight-seeing destination.

I must say, I did not see much of the Tower Hill area other than the Tower itself because of jet lag and limited time. The view from my room was a train yard with frequent traffic. The windows were thick enough to block sound, though. The room was very similar to those at County Hall.

The County Hall location offers diverse things to do: river boats, just walking on the Southbank, restaurants, centrality to all kinds of transportation, the Globe, etc. The Westminster Bridge area is very crowded, however. Despite all the activity outside, my rooms have always been quiet. I have gotten food from the bar or from little restaurants across the street, including take-out. There is a grocery in the Waterloo station and one across Westminster Bridge.

I would pick County Hall for its location, if you can. Have you given a look to the Premier Inn in the Victoria area? I have not stayed there, but it is central as well and good for arriving from Heathrow (by bus). How you enter and exit London may help you decide. Good Luck.
pixiedeb is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 11:23 AM
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I had wondered about Victoria since one option now girls are older for inward journey to Devon is National Express bus all the way to Instow! Coming in we use the LHR Express and cab, after an overnight from Dallas! Any recommendations for that area? (Though for this first visit I am now sold on the County Hall location!)
Thanks everyone! Let me know about Victoria Hotels
dendleju is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 11:47 AM
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" Coming in we use the LHR Express and cab, after an overnight from Dallas!"

NO! Sorry - don't mean to scare you Don't use the Heathrow Express + a cab. Very expensive and there will be a lot of luggage schlepping at both the LHR and Paddington ends. A cab from Paddington to County Hall during the morning commute will be very pricey.

Much nicer and cheaper would be to pre-book a car service like justairports.com. It will cost less and is door-to-door. The driver will meet you as you exit the arrivals hall at LHR and take you luggage to the door of the hotel.

The girls would probably think it is a kick to have a 'chauffeur' greet them at the airport w/ a sign w/ their name on it.
janisj is online now  
Feb 7th, 2011, 01:00 PM
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"journey to Devon is National Express bus all the way to Instow!"

6 hours by coach. I'd get the train to Barnstaple via Exeter which is 3h30m and take a taxi from there.
alanRow is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 03:12 PM
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What janisj said!!
(from a fellow Texan)
texasbookworm is offline  
Feb 8th, 2011, 08:29 AM
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Just checked the car service -- only GBP 35 -- should have done that from LHR to Paddington in previous years! great info, thanks SO much!!
dendleju is offline  

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