Learning London Districts

Feb 5th, 2013, 05:30 PM
  #1  
pdx
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Learning London Districts

Any helpful hints on learning London districts? Paris by numbered arrondissement makes a bit more impression in my little brain but trying to learn by name is difficult.

Another request is favorite theater-ticket-buying websites.

If it's of any relevance, we're going at the end of October, early November for 4 days and I'm trying to go cheap-cheap but have a not-so-cheap urge to stay in one of those lovely pub hotels. I think my husband would just love that and it would be a nice treat. We'll be going to London after an 8-10 day stay in southern France roaming the roman ruins which is my dream trip.
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Feb 5th, 2013, 08:00 PM
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Not quite sure what you mean by 'learning London districts'. Do you mean where they are located?

cheap-cheap and not-so-cheap don't really help.What is your actual budget? Not many 'pub hotels' in London -- that is more a countryside thing where one finds 'pubs with rooms'.

Londontheatre.co.uk
http://www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/

But honestly - for any shows except the few blockbusters/star turns one doesn't need to pre-book. Even buying at the TKTS 1/2 price booth on the day of performance will get you good seats for most shows.
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Feb 5th, 2013, 08:52 PM
  #3  
pdx
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Under $200/night.
I'd like to book a place like this:
http://www.foxandanchor.com/rooms.html

but I'm looking at a price like this:http://www.tunehotels.com/our-hotels/paddington-london

and here's a map with the districts labeled. it's difficult to know where people are referring to when they say Knightsbridge or South Kensington in their posts. I know it's just a matter of time before I learn but I thought maybe someone had some trick they use to remember what's where.
http://www.streetsensation.co.uk/lon...tricts_map.gif

Thank you for the info re the 1/2 price booth. I'm not planning on seeing Billy Elliott or other blockbusters.
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Feb 5th, 2013, 09:39 PM
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$200 a night is approx. £125 - that would not be considered 'cheap-cheap', more moderately inexpensive

I would not stay in Paddington. It is not all that convenient and is pretty far from any sites.

When you mentioned a pub hotel I had a hunch you meant the Fox & Anchor. It is one of the few like it in London but would be over your budget. The website says 'from £125' --but most of the rooms are higher there is 20% VAT on top of the rates. So a £150 room there would cost £180/$280. It also is not in a very convenient location.

Convenient areas w/ a good selection of semi-budget hotels would include Victoria, Bloomsbury/Russell Square, South Kensington, London Bridge/Southwark, among others.

That map file labels most of the central London areas so I'm still not clear re your question. Maybe this one will help you more http://www.inetours.com/England/Lond...ondon_Map.html
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Feb 5th, 2013, 10:53 PM
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>>I thought maybe someone had some trick they use to remember what's where.<<

I don't think there is one. I think most Londoners probably base their mental map on the tube and rail network and refer to the nearest station for a general idea, but for booking holiday accommodation, I wouldn't rely on an advertiser's idea of a neighbourhood name (the poshest neighbourhoods turn out to have the most surprisingly elastic reach on that standard).

I would ask for a precise postcode and relate that on the map to the public transport network. The postcode is based on postal districts, that are named in relation to compass points (N, W, E, NE, NW, SE, SW, and EC and WC for the city centre) but these cover some fairly wide ranges, so you would need the second bit - not just, say, SW1, but the full SW1A 1AA.
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Feb 5th, 2013, 10:58 PM
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I agree with Patrick, most of us refer to the tube map, so south ken is the area around south ken station, padding ton is around the padding ton station...

There are a few pub hotels owned by youngs, but the are in areas that are out a bit farther...here are a couple in zone two

Wandsworth Town http://www.almawandsworth.com/ this is on a train line from Waterloo

Clapham Common: http://www.windmillclapham.co.uk/ on the Northern Line on the tube
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Feb 6th, 2013, 03:05 AM
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Wow, PDX, those add-ons at the Tune Hotel would really add up if you look closely.

Even paying for a hair dryer?
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Feb 6th, 2013, 07:28 AM
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>>Even paying for a hair dryer?<< . . . even paying for a towel (!) - and just one at that.

I originally didn't look at the details - just the address was enough to put me off.
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Feb 6th, 2013, 07:45 AM
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I've found that since I've started to ride buses instead of, or in addition to, the tube the city and districts make much more sense to me. I discovered some areas were much closer to each other than I had imagined when I was going into a hole in the ground and popping up somewhere else with no landmarks to orient myself. And a number of times I've found bus lines that go to my destinations directly, no changes as I might have needed on the tube. And the big plus is seeing the city as I go. It also seems to be a different crowd on the bus, fewer business people and more older people, shoppers, mothers with children. Maybe more localized transport and probably slower in most cases but I love it.
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Feb 6th, 2013, 04:51 PM
  #10  
pdx
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Hmmm....very interesting info, thank you all.
Ok, time to start over. Tube stations, compass points, post codes, and a few bus routes for pleasant sight seeing and people watching. Thank you for helping me out and preventing a couple of time consuming, uninformed decisions.
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Feb 6th, 2013, 05:22 PM
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Not sure if anyone recommended bidding on Priceline for London, but that is most often the best choice for price/quality ratio. Stick to the several central districts (someone can advise if you choose to do this). Check www.betterbidding.com .
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Feb 6th, 2013, 05:49 PM
  #12  
pdx
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Thanks, WillTravel. I've seen it on the boards but I've been too chicken because I'm afraid i'll end up in BFE. Is it of benefit several months out or is it more effective as a last minute option? I'll go hang around better bidding for a while, too.
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Feb 6th, 2013, 05:58 PM
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Both bidding methods can work. A lot of people like to get a cancellable backup, and bid shortly before their trip (and remember to cancel the backup!). I've bid far in advance with good results too.

Right now (zones can change), the Mayfair-Soho zone on Priceline will give you a very convenient hotel, but may be quite pricey. Bloomsbury-Marble Arch is fine by my standards, but you can study the Priceline zone map and see what you think. Some of the other zones are fine if you don't mind a 15-minute tube ride or so. Figure out how far out you are willing to be, and don't bid in any zone that includes an area that extends beyond that.
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Feb 6th, 2013, 09:34 PM
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For working out public transport in any given area:
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/1106.aspx

But you'll have to cross-reference that information with Google Maps or the like.
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Feb 7th, 2013, 04:30 PM
  #15  
pdx
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Thank you, PatrickLondon, I printed out some of the maps on the website.


I found this little studio:
http://www.vrbo.com/734840hawnerprofile £109 ($171) studio, murphy bed
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Feb 7th, 2013, 04:32 PM
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That's reasonably convenient, but unless things have changed in the past few years, the City of London is dead as a doornail and more or less empty in the evenings and on weekends.
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Feb 7th, 2013, 05:45 PM
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That flat is a short walk from the Tower of London - less than 1/2 a mile. Also from St Katharine's Marina (lots of places to eat). It is very close to Brick Lane. London Walks does a very interesting walk right through your neighborhood.

Is it central - no. Is it OK - yes. It is small, but is much bigger than any £109 hotel room.
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Feb 7th, 2013, 09:27 PM
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>>I found this little studio:<<

Do a Google Streetview on it. This isn't the most "charming" area. It's on the edge between the City (the ancient city, but now the business and financial district) and the East End, which in this area is dominated by downmarket wholesale clothing businesses, and close to several busy traffic interchanges. An area in transition, with various anonymous workshop-type buildings being converted into wouldbe upmarket housing and some big office building projects nearby. Reasonable transport links, and not devoid of shops, services and restaurants in the area, especially up and down Leman Street, but limited at the weekends, since most of the business in the area is commuting office workers.
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Feb 7th, 2013, 09:29 PM
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Meant to add, you'd most likely be crossing the main road and walking up to Spitalfields/Brick Lane for entertainment - about 5-10 minutes.
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Feb 8th, 2013, 02:20 AM
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Agree with other posters. I used to work on Commercial Street long ago and it's changed a lot. There is a lot of building going on around Commercial Road and Aldgate. The area has plenty of history, Spitalfields, Brick Lane, Whitechapel (did you know the Liberty Bell was made at the Whitechapel Foundry which is still making bells? They designed the Olympic Bell for the opening ceremony - biggest harmonically tuned bell in the world - although it was cast elsewhere). Not central but it's not on the edge of the earth (that's Hainault).
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