London neighborhood question

Oct 8th, 2006, 02:00 PM
  #1  
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London neighborhood question

Hi all. On my vacation I am wanting to save a bit of money by renting a flat a little further from central London.
I am looking at a place very close to the Archway tube station. Does anyone know anything about this neighborhood?
Any other suggestions for an apartment rental a bit further a field ?

Thanks
Keith
klphoto is offline  
Oct 8th, 2006, 02:42 PM
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What street is is in? Archway is near Highgate - which is good. But it is also near some pretty icky neighborhoods - which is bad.

How much are you paying and where exactly is the flat -- then we can give you better advice.
janisj is offline  
Oct 8th, 2006, 03:48 PM
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The description at VRBO shows a picture looking out on Highgate.
The rate is 400.00 pounds per week for January travel.
Here is the link to VRBO.
http://www.vrbo.com/52647

Thanks
Keith

hmm?? not sure if the link is working.Try just typing it in
klphoto is offline  
Oct 9th, 2006, 01:55 AM
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Looks like a good deal to me for that price.
Carrybean is offline  
Oct 9th, 2006, 01:57 AM
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Also check out London Guest Suites. If you're from the US, the prices are in dollars & they have flats all over London:

http://www.londonguestsuites.com/
Carrybean is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 10:32 AM
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Are you still around, klphoto, and did you end up renting the apartment?

Can any London experts provide a little detail about the area? I just found this same apartment on vrbo and I think it looks interesting, and certainly affordable.

I think it looks like the apartment is either right on Junction or Holloway Rd, almost right at the tube station.

I would be staying there alone at least for some of my planned week-long visit. The apartment itself looks very nice, and to me its close proximity to the tube station on a main road sounds good. I'm not bothered by a bit of grime or a few sketchy characters as long as the area is okay in terms of physical safety- which I assume it is....and it's not far from Kentish Town, which I think would be fun to explore.

Also, are the travel times given by the tfl site about right? Looks like Archway is between 20-40 minutes by tube or bus from most places I'm interested in (at Highbury Islington, Liverpool Street, King's Cross, also the City and only 20 minutes by tube to Charing Cross) Does that sound right?

Thanks in advance
Apres_Londee is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 10:55 AM
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tfl times are always right - for the journey itself: they don't reckon in the time to get to and from the train.

If the flat were anywhere near Highgate, they'd say Highgate, which is an address with clout. Archway is - well Archway.

There's not much icky. But a lot IS scruffy. It's the kind of area most of us buy our first house, or share our first flat, if we work in town. The area round the station is horrid looking (modern brutalism) but perfectly OK: many people half fall in love with the general scruff and unpretentiousness of the area.

It's surprisingly unhandy for real Islington and the City, since tube trains from Archway station go to Euston via Camden Town, and the traffic along Holloway Rd to Islington and the City in the commuter direction is horrible so buses at peak hours take forever. But it's only a 20-30 minute walk to Highbury tube, and there's an interesting mix of Georgian restaurants (I mean restaurants serving food from the ex-USSR republic, not restaurants built in the Georgian era) and Libeskind buildings (well, building) to entertain you as you meander along London's least fashionable street.

I'd be fascinated at your trip report on exploring Kentish Town. I was once, during the Irish Troubles, given an scary interrogation by some regulars in an Irish pub at Archway as I was waiting for the repair people to turn up after my car conked out. But, as long as you don't mistakenly bumble into a Provo IRA meeting and have what sounds like a posh English accent to chip on the shoulder Irishmen, you shouldn't have a moment's safety concern.
flanneruk is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 11:19 AM
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The flat looks terrific - and the price is good for sure. Just one note - it is on the 5th floor (US 6th) and I don't see any mention of a lift. If that might be an issue for you . . . .
janisj is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 03:09 PM
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Thanks, janisj, the flat really does seem wonderful, but you're right, there is no lift. Thankfully I don't have any mobility issues, which is lucky for me because on my budget, rooms in Europe always involve lots and lots of stairs.

And thank you, too, flanneruk. I think it sounds like I'd make out okay in Archway. I live in Toronto, so "unfashionable" is practically my middle name. It also means I'm quite adept at walking past grim concrete block architecture and social clubs full of grim men smoking Turkish tobacco and playing backgammon.

But what's wrong with Kentish Town? I thought it was an artsy area, maybe even a bit wankerish, and gentrifying?

Apres_Londee is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 06:01 PM
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nothing wrong with Kentish Town, but I think you may be thinking about Camden Town???
W9London is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 07:33 PM
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No, definately Kentish Town. For pubs, cafes, nightlife. Or so I'm being told.
Apres_Londee is offline  
Oct 14th, 2007, 10:41 PM
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'Nightlife' and 'Kentish Town' rarely crop up in the same sentence.

Just about everywhere in London (except for Buckingham Palace, which was tacky and noovish when the Hanoverians first refurbed it, and has stayed that way ever since) has been in a perpetual process of gentrification since about 1960.

There's nothing wrong, right or particularly distinctive about Kentish Town. It's just one of those north London neighbourhoods, like its neighbour Gospel Oak, which has no particular point, atmosphere, definition or focus. But it's an address that doesn't raise too many hackles, so at the margin many people claim they live there when they really live in Archway.
flanneruk is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 02:56 AM
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Archway's Ok - and it has pretty good bus links (forget the other forms of transport - the bus wil be your friend). There's a couple of decent pubs, and it's handy for London's biggest loony bin.

kentish Town is proof that it's grim up north (london)
audere_est_facere is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 07:36 PM
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I think I'm sold on the flat. The owner has been very helpful and forthcoming, as well.

Can someone help me with another question? When is the worst of rushhour traffic, am and pm?

As for Kentish Town, now I'm really curious as to just what exactly my sister gets up to there.

What is London's biggiest loonie bin?
Apres_Londee is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 09:53 PM
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The biggest clue to this is your mention of your sister. Why not just stay in Kentish Town near her and let her give you the guided tour or is she only a partial reason (or even not one at all) for your London trip?

My advice would be to stop scrimping and just spend more on staying far more centrally. What people never realise is that when working out times on tube trains/buses they do not take into account waiting times, rush hour, accidents which can throw the whole public transport system into chaos etc.

Central London is pricier, and for good reason: you're paying for the location. Kentish Town is a dump, it's an area I even dislike when having to pass through it in the car. Archway has to be one of the most depressing places in London. The Holloway Road (the backbone of Archway if you like) has always, and will always be a grotty road full of cheap shops, cafes, etc. My gripes about the areas aside, you're still going to be wasting a lot of your time, and indeed money travelling when you could simply walk!

It doesn't matter how pleasant the property might be, it is still stuck in the middle of a really rather vile area. Please reconsider. A stay in the centre will be a much much more pleasant trip!
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 10:12 PM
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Rush hour traffic on the Archway/Holloway Rds is dreadful inbound am and outbound pm. It's not that bad (but not that good either) in the opposite direction - and the contraflow peaks are shorter-lived than the main flow. There are also tricky cross-flow peaks associated with Islington mummies making a hash of driving (and an even bigger hash of parking) their SUVs to and from schools in areas less terrifying than those they've recently colonised, but I can't claim any expertise on this.

Traffic starts to build up inbound at 0600, gets horrid by 0645 and stays that way till 1000. It starts outbound at 1530 (those bloody mummies), gets serious by 1615 and stays solidish till 1915.
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Oct 17th, 2007, 07:52 PM
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Rome is actually point of my trip, I was going to tack on a couple of days in London at most but since this apartment is so affordable but nice I thought I'd do an entire week.

I've only been to London once before, but I'm not planning on doing much intensive sightseeing. There are a couple of art collections I'm interested in seeing; I will definately go back to the British Library; I want to wander around the City some more, and poke around in some churches and cemetaries. My sister wants to take me out to some pubs in Kentish Town and bars around Brick Lane. There are a couple of restaurants I'm interested in trying. Maybe visit the Tate Modern. Maybe Spitalfields market.

Crowded trains and transit delays don't worry me much, as I deal with those every day, and I'm not going to be packing in lots of planned activites (and thank you flanneruk for the rush hour times- pm sounds much like Toronto, but the am starts much earlier!)

I did and do wonder about the transit cost factor of staying in Zone 2, but to be honest a nice apartment in a grotty area is far more appealing to me than a faintly depressing room in a more centrally located Priceline hotel or B&B.
Apres_Londee is offline  
Oct 17th, 2007, 09:52 PM
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transit -- no difference in costs between zone 1 or zones 1-2. They are lumped together in the cheapest weekly travel card - which you should load on an Oyester card.

a zone 1-2 travel card covers the tube in those zones and buses in every zone.
janisj is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 01:46 AM
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Outside of central London but with a train connection in have you considered staying somehwere like Richmond in surrey. It's beautiful. A little nearer to the centre is a small place called Barnes just by Hammersmith bridge. It is just like a quaint country village with duck pond etc but with good restaurants and links to London.
ferryann is offline  
May 28th, 2008, 03:30 AM
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keith - would be interested in knowing if you indeed rented this flat. how was your trip? was the flat as nice as it looks in the photos? do tell...
ChicagoDallasGirl is offline  

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