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London neighborhood suggestions

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Apr 20th, 2014, 08:43 AM
  #1
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London neighborhood suggestions

We have decided on a London/Cotswolds trip,in late sept this year. 9 days with travel from the Midwest. Any suggestions for neighborhoods in London ? Budget would be mid $300's to low 400 preferably . Private flat or Hotel. We would like a neighborhood we can walk to pubs, coffee, a little shopping and not overly touristy. We can cab to the main tourist attraction areas. And how many days would be suggested for London vs. the Cotswolds?? We will be renting a car for the Cotswolds.
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Apr 20th, 2014, 08:57 AM
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Could you quote in GBP as $ could refer to the currencies of a couple dozen countries
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Apr 20th, 2014, 08:59 AM
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Bloomsbury would fit your criteria for pubs, cafes, stores, etc - a university district with plenty of locals and also walkable to many main sights. British Museum/University of London area.
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Apr 20th, 2014, 09:13 AM
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$400 would be approx 238 Gbp alanRow.
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Apr 20th, 2014, 10:36 AM
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In that price range, look at The Angus Hotel or The Blueprint Apartments.
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Apr 20th, 2014, 01:34 PM
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As for where to stay, Bloomsbury is good, so is South Kensington and the Sloane Square/Chelsea area. Next time I'm going to check out the Kensington High Street/Holland Park neighborhood.

Your 9 days includes travel you say. So you leave on day 1 and arrive on day 2, then leave on day 9. Say 6.5 days. Arriving after a long overnight flight, you will be jet-lagged and sleepy for a day or two, so some time will be lost for that. If this is correct, I'd consider staying in London the whole time and doing some day trips out of the city. London Walks (www.walks.com) does a day excursion to the Cotswolds. Probably other tour operators offer something similar. There are many daytrip options from London. (Search the forum for suggestions.) Which you would like depends on your interests.
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Apr 20th, 2014, 01:44 PM
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Thank you for all the tips! Very helpful. We are a bit short on time this trip. Would anyone suggest spending the whole time in the Cotswolds?? Or would there not be enough to do ? We really do not want a frenzied trip this time.
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Apr 20th, 2014, 01:45 PM
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As for Bloomsbury, it's looks perfect for us!
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Apr 20th, 2014, 02:42 PM
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We spent about 2 weeks in the Cotswold a year ago and I think if your 9 days includes all intl. travel then you might as well include at least a day in London in and out. I don't think you will want to start the drive to the Cotswold when you arrive directly from the US. If you don't want to go into London at all then you could pick up the car directly and just stay someplace close on the road like Maidenhead for the night to recover from jetlag a bit.

In terms of whether there is enough to see, that is a hard call to make for someone else since it depends on how you want to spend your time. If you are just going to drive from small village to small village then you may not feel like there is enough to do-but Bath is gorgeous and we went to many farm-to-fork restaurants for loooong lunches etc. so if you like slow travel, you can stretch it out-there is a wonderful spa in Bath, etc.

I personally might spend a few days in London on the first part of the trip, maybe 2 nights and then spend 5-6 nights in the Cotswold area and then 1 night near Heathrow or back in London depending on your flight time. Just be forewarned that we were surprised at how bad the drive can be-there seemed to be lots of accidents or other incidents on the major roadways and very little opportunity to "bail out" anywhere, so I wouldn't want to be doing my last day's drive on the day of my flight.

Also it sounds like you might have been to London before? If so, you might enjoy exploring some other neighborhoods to stay in. We had friends near Hampstead Heath and that was an area we had never explored before that was fun-but not central. We also had other friends living near Burrough Market and now that whole area along the south bank from London Bridge to Tower Bridge has become my new favorite place to stay. Since we stayed with friends, I don't have hotel suggestions, but others might if those areas interest you.
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Apr 20th, 2014, 03:42 PM
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Thank you jpie! We love long lunches and farm to table food! We are pretty content to plant ourselves in a great pub as well ! Some of the best times I have had are in local pubs, eating, drinking and conversing with locals in the various places I have been! I think we would spend a night or two in London and the last night before we leave back to the US.
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Apr 20th, 2014, 05:13 PM
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The Cotswolds consists of small towns and villages. It is scenic and rural, and you would really need a car, as transportation between the communities is not all that easy.

As you have limited time, I would stay in London and take a day trip if you want to see a bit of the countryside. There are a lot of options depending on your interests.

As noted above Bloomsbury is a good place to base yourself, lots of hotels, restaurants, transportation (bus subway and nearby railroad), the British Museum and British Library (you can see the Magna Carta and other historic documents there well worth a visit)

I would recommend London Walks for the walks in London, all sorts of areas of interests as well as for their day trips out of London
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Apr 20th, 2014, 08:34 PM
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I thought of this place, we stayed there for a long weekend a few years ago and loved it. We got a deal with breakfast and dinner included every day, which normally we wouldn't do but it was great. We were out exploring every day in our hire car and came back to relax with a wonderful meal each night.

It's in Great Rissington, an old inn with loads of character -
http://www.thelambinn.com/

I think we would find plenty to do in the area but it depends on the individual. We like poking around in the small towns, walking, sitting have coffee or tea and scones. You could always drive to the park and ride and visit one of the bigger cities in the area if you wanted for the day. You could have a day or two in London before flying home.

I'd also recommend not trying to drive to your destination the day you arrive as you'll likely be tired and a little disoriented. Stay somewhere close by and drive off refreshed the next morning.

Kay
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Apr 20th, 2014, 09:05 PM
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I think that you would like the Holiday Inn-Bloomsbury. It is in a great neighborhood and is a half block from the Russell Square tube station which has all the major tube lines running through it. You could also hop on the Picaddilly Line from it back to Heathrow at the end of your vacation.There is a great pub/restaurant directly across the street from the hotel called the Cornwallis along with the Brunswick Mall that has a Boots drugstore,some restaurants and a Waitrose grocery. As you walk through Bloomsbury in either way you will be in a real neighborhood that has lots of options.
Bloomsbury has you near the British Museum,UCL,near the British Library,etc.
Look on Booking.com for reviews and prices. Depending on the time of the year,a double room was usually less than 150 pounds.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 02:28 AM
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I used to always stay in Bloomsbury when I went to London. I agree that it's a very pleasant neighorhood, and I can never get enough of the British Museum. Lately, however, I've been staying near Victoria Station, in the general vicinity of Eccleston Square. There are excellent connections to the airports, and to other parts of London, either by Underground or bus. Lodging seems to me to be more reasonably priced in that neighborhood as well. Within walking distance are Buckinghmam Palace and Westminster Abbey.

Both neighborhoods have a noticeable tourist presence, with some streets lined with B&Bs. Both also have plenty of local residents, pubs, restaurants, and the like.

My budget is rather more on the "economy" side than that of Seasontravels, so I don't think I can offer much advice about hotels. The most recent time we were in London, we stayed at the Lidos Hotel, which was fine for our purposes: very helpful staff, clean and comfortable. We didn't have the breakfast.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 07:17 AM
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If you want to skip London -- which words I even hesitate to type -- but if you did, you could do what we did one trip: take the bus from the airport to Bath, spend a couple days, pick up a rental car there and drive into the Cotswolds. The bus goes through the edges of the Cotswold country, mostly not very scenic except for the last part of the trip. Another time we arrived at Heathrow and took a bus to Oxford for the first few days of our trip.

The reason for these buses is the only train from Heathrow goes into London. If you really want to take a train, you have to take a bus to a train station, then switch to the train: http://www.heathrowairport.com/trans...rail_air-buses.

Driving immediately after you get off a long flight is NOT recommended. Remember Britons drive right-hand-drive cars on the left. Then there's the roundabouts. It all takes a bit of getting used to; you need to be awake.

This would be a much more relaxing trip. We're finding London very busy and crowded these days.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 07:52 AM
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In Bloomsbury the more you go northeast the more real or ordinary IME the place gets - more of a residential feeling and not so much commercial development. Up towards the British Library and over towards Kings Cross (but not too close to this dicey - not dangerous - but dicey looking area.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 08:13 AM
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<>

Oh please. Considering this board, the symbol itself and the lack of any other descriptor, the meaning of $ is obvious.

$ means US dollars. Any other variety uses a descriptive of some sort. And given the near-parity between US dollars, loonies, and Aussie dollars, the differences are negligible.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 02:47 PM
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The Bloomsbury Hotel may be in your price range and gets great reviews. Also look at The Kingsley and maybe The Megaro.
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 07:11 AM
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Has anyone stayed at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel? It says it's Bloomsbury. It is actually in that local neighborhood?
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 07:23 AM
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It is right at St Pancras station and is an absolute marvel. It is at the very edge of the Bloomsbury neighborhood - when most folks talk about 'Bloomsbury' they usually mean sort of centered around the British Museum. The Renaissance is in an excellent location for transport and is almost a destination itself.

. . .Though it I've seldom seen it w/i your budget . . .
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