London Areas Totally Confused

Old Mar 26th, 2000, 08:41 AM
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London Areas Totally Confused

etc..etc..on and many areas to choose from. I am so confused trying to determine which area of London to stay in for a vacation. Can someone please answer the following questions to help me choose:

Of all the ares close or within the "hub" of London's center what does each area offer? Or what is their Characteristics?
(ie. trendy,quiet, lots of shops/restaurants/residential or not etc.tubes. sites, etc)

How do the areas differ?

Which areas should I stay away from?

Which are the best areas to look at for a first trip & accommodations that are no more than $100 USA per room/per night...maybe even a flat?

Foderites..please help sort out my confusion in understanding areas/districts so I can choose an area to book a room in.

Old Mar 26th, 2000, 07:30 PM
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jenny, a couple of suggestions and a bit of help.

1. Since you are an AOL subscriber, you should ask the question on the AOL England travel board.

2. A good London guide book with map would be very helpful to you in understanding London geography.

Bloomsbury is the only area, with budget accomodations, that is walkable by a reasonably active person, from the Covent Gardens, West End, Theatre district. Its a nice areas, lots of students around, a number of squares, a mixture of large tourist hotels and medium-priced B&B hotels. Also handy to the train stations to the north (Euston, St Pancras and King's Cross), if one is planning any day trips. I think something decent with en-suite bath would be about 80, somewhat above your budget.

The other areas are all tube distance from the West End. South Kensington has the advantage of being close to the Museums, Knightsbridge shopping, Kensington and Hyde Park. 60 won't get you much here, either, but a few blocks west around Earls Court might.

Chelsea is south of South Kensington, wealthy residential area and trendy, expensive shopping along the Kings Road - not much in the way of budget accomodation.

Bayswater is north of Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens; lots of budget hotels around there, particularly in Sussex Gardens and Talbot Square. Near Paddington Station, so handy to and from Heathrow and day trips to the West. Somewhat shabby area, but you could probably find something in your price range.
Old Mar 27th, 2000, 12:11 AM
Ben Haines
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Fodors London Areas

This is quite a challenge, but here goes.

In my view, Earls Court, Paddington and Kings Cross are too far out to be close to the "hub". That leaves the following, going round in a clockwise direction.

South Kensington. Quiet, main hotels rather far from the few shops, plenty of restaurants at the tube station, contains four great museums

Bayswater. Trendy, plenty of rich Arabs and thus a big range of restaurants and in fact pubs too, many shops, mixed hotel and residential area, tube stations at Bayswater and Lancaster Gate, near to Hyde Park and Kensington Palace, but far from most tourist attrractions.

West End. Trendy, noisy, full of shops, restaurants and pubs, crowded at weekends, tube statioins all over, near Royal Academy, the theatres, National Gallery, National Portrait Galery, Transport Musreum, Theatre Museum, and Westminster.

Bloomsbury. Mostly hotels and colleges of the University of London, fairly quiet but well used far into the night by tourists and students, many restaurants, but better value restaurnts 300 yards east on Lambs Conduit Street, plenty of tube stations, area includes the British Museum, the Brunei Gallery, and the British Library

The Strand. Contiguous with the West End, and has much in common. But the handful of hotels on the Strand, Aldwych, and Villiers Street seem to me in the best position of all, with many tourist attractions within a quarter mile, and nearly all the others a few stations away on the Circle Line.

Waterloo. Coming up, but still pretty dull. Quiet, few shops but a number of restaurants, residential, poor tubes but good busses north over the river to most tourist attractions (notably Westminster), and has its own attractions: the three South Bank concert halls, the National Theatre and National Film Theatre, the big wheel (the Eye), and a riverbank walk of half a mile to the Tate Britain and the Globe.

Victoria. South of Victoria station is an area almost wholly given to cheap hotels, with pubs, shops and restaurans to match. Like Bloomsbury in that it is well peopled until late at night, but has plenty of quiet treets. Victoria station is good for tubes and busses, and for trains to the sturdy towns, the gardens, and the fine countryside of Kent. Nearby attractions include Tate Europe, the Queen's Carriages and the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace, St James Palace (much nicer than boring Buckingham Palace) and St James Patrk, one of the best.

You mention Chelsea. But are there hotels there ? Anyway: trendy, expensive, active, many expensive shops and restaurants with an international and yuppie clientele, no tube stations, so you take busses to Sloane Square and then carry on by Coircle ine. Attractions are the Museum of Army History and the Physic Garden.

Nowhere in any of these places is unsafe: you should stay away from none of them. Some three miles out of town in several drections are large estates of apartment blocks, social housing, where the police walk in pairs. But they are ugly, and no tourist is ever there.

I'm not good at Loindon hotels, since I have a huse here. As you see, the cheapest area is Victoria, as near as possible to the station, for trips either way along the Circle Line or on the tops of busses to many attractions. You might look, too at the web sites of the Royal Adelphi Hotel in Villiers Street and f the Travellers Inn in County Hall, Waterloo, as they are just within your price and are at and near the heart of the hub. A street atlas will, indeed, be useful, but manwhile you can find London street maps on

An interesting exercise. Please write if I can help further. Welcome to London

Ben Haines

Old Mar 27th, 2000, 09:41 AM
David White
Posts: n/a

Your posting resulted in a reply from Ben Haines, so you now have a good (and reliable) description of neighborhoods. For a first tourist trip to London, you need to stay in as central a location as you can afford.

Adding my "two pence" I would also direct you to the Travel Inn County Hall, just across the river from Parliament and next door to the new London Eye millennium ferris wheel. If your budget is really $100 per night, your selection of central hotels is very limited (and there will be some real turkeys in this price range). The Travel Inn is modern, clean, central and cheap. The rooms look like an American budget chain motel. The only thing they lack is air-conditioning, something I recommend because of traffic noise in warm weather, but something you will not find in the $100 range.

The Travel Inn website is:

There is also a Travel Inn located somewhat near the Tower of London--it would be closer to sights like the Tower, Tower Bridge, Globe Theatre, etc.

Holiday Inn Express has several London properties that you might consider. They may be over your price limit, though.

Other than these, you'll have to sort through multiple guidebooks and web sites to decide which of the hundreds of other tourist-class budget hotels you should stay in. Many tend to be clustered in the Victoria and Paddington rail station areas. There is one advantage of these locations: good connections to the airports. Arriving from Heathrow, you should take the Heathrow Express train to Paddington Station; arriving from Gatwick you'll want to use the Gatwick Express.

Enjoy your trip!

David White
Old Mar 28th, 2000, 08:54 PM
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If you are on a tight budget, why don't you consider staying at a hostel? There is one on Oxford St. I'd say that is pretty central.
Old Apr 2nd, 2000, 04:24 AM
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you may want to check out
they have a section which gives you a map with London;e postal codes. You can click on the areathat has the address you are considering and it also shows what tourist sites are there.


Old Apr 4th, 2000, 10:28 AM
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We were placed in a hotel near Regents Park by the package we won, and even being that far away from the "hub" didn't detract from our pleasure. The tube is incredibly easy and efficient (for the most part) so I would guess any hotel w/in a 5-10 minute walk from a tube stop would do. We actually used the St.John's Wood stop on the Jubilee Line (the Baker Stree stop was a bit further)and enjoyed the break from all of the action in the city. At night, when the traffic was better, we took taxis to our restaurants, a great way to see the city too! A good street map will also clearly show all the tube stops-I found this incredibly helpful. Have fun!

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