London Neighborhoods

Jan 18th, 2005, 06:10 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2005
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London Neighborhoods

My husband and I are traveling to London later this year. We're wondering what hotels can be recommended in safe neighborhoods that are close to the city center.

As a sidebar, my husband studies WWII and is interested in any WWII sites that can be seen in London as we're not driving anywhere.

Thank you in advance.
amers is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 06:17 AM
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Any tourist neighborhood in London is safe. What are your hotel parameters - budget, any special amenities you will need? And when will you be traveling?

There are tons of places in London with links to WWII - suggest your husband start with the Museum of London - which has a whole section on WWII (including recreation of underground bunkers) and Churchill's underground war rooms - which can be toured (you can even see one of his "flying suits" and leftover cigars.)
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 06:20 AM
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We usually stay in South Kensington. We like the neighborhood and it is convenient to the S. Kensington tube stop.
There are lots of places in the city to enjoy WWII sights. The Cabinet War Rooms and the Imperial War Museum are two of the most interesting.
While we were there two years ago, my brother in law, who also studies WWII, went to the Duxford Air Field. We did not have a car in London and he easily got there by train. Duxford is an airbase from which U.S. aircraft flew during the war and he was thrilled to see a Spitfire take off and land while he was there.
mamc is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 06:29 AM
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Also watch for opening of Churchill museum, an expansion of the underground war rooms museum which by itself is excellent, heard new museum was to open in February.
laurie_ann is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 06:31 AM
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Thank you so much for the information in regards to both queries.
We're traveling in October.
amers is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 07:15 AM
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Imperial War Museum, Kennington
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
National Codes Centre, Bletchley Park
R.A.F. Hendon
Battle of Britain, Hawkinge

Most of these are accessible by train or tube.
Robespierre is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 07:53 AM
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Before making your hotel reservations, spend some time deciding on what tourist sites you plan on visiting which will require train and/or tube links. Then select an accommodation that is located nearby one the stations that you will use most frequently. We have had good success staying near Paddington Station when traveling out of the city by train and there are reasonable tourist accommodations located north of Keningston Gardens near the Bayswater tube and along Bayswater Road between the Queensway and Lancaster tube stops.

You can easily spend a half day touring the Cabinet War Rooms and the Imperial War Museum would require a full day for a WWII enthusiast (I'm married to one too!).
Retired_teacher is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 10:06 AM
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There's a high concentration of WWII stuff around Westminster, but a lot more is pretty spread out.

I look for value (not strictly price) in a hotel. Chances are nearly 100% that there will be a tube station or bus stop within a few minutes' walk of no matter what accommodation you choose, putting everything within an easy ride. To give you an idea of distances: it only takes about 35 minutes to get all the way across London from Kensington to the Tower, and it's a 20-minute ride from Paddington to Waterloo. So wherever you are won't be far from where you want to go.

Greenwich is 30 minutes from Bank on the DLR, and some of the other attractions are further still.

You can get to Duxford by taking the train to Cambridge and bus from there; Bletchley Park is an easy walk from the train station in Milton Keynes.
Robespierre is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 10:22 AM
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Thank you again.
My husband is very excited about seeing the new Churchill Museum and the Cabinet Room as well as other sites mentioned here.
amers is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 12:07 PM
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The Original London Walks ( also has a WWII walk you might be interested in:

THE BLITZ - London at War

2:15 pm Thursdays from St. Paul's Tube Stop, exit 2

The dome of St. Paul's seemed to ride the sea of fire like a great ship. Ludgate Hill was carpeted in hosepipes. Two hundred people died that night. On the north side of the cathedral 63 acres became a waste of smoking ash and rubble. Another 100 acres were completely devastated in other raids that autumn. At the finish, out of the City's tight-packed 461 acres, 164 were reduced to ruin. And this was just 1940. And now, over to Helena, who's going to take us through a great city in its finest and most desperate hour. Some of what you see and hear may be disturbing. N.B., we're going to end this walk with a very special "inside visit" "inside visit" to another London in extremis. Guided by Helena

The Blitz - London at War takes place
every Thursday at 2:15 pm
from just outside exit 2 of St. Paul's Tube Stop.


There is also a museum call Winston Churchill's Britain at War Experience ( It's a bit low-budget, but there is a lot of interesting WWII paraphenalia to look at. I would recommend the Cabinet War Rooms and the Imperial War Museum before this one, but it can be interesting.

The HMS Belfast is also docked across the river from the Tower of London and is open for tours.

Kayb95 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 12:16 PM
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All "neighborhoods" are safe, you want somewhere central - try anywhere in W1, or perhaps SW1 too, even W2 at a pinch.

As for "WWII sites", believe it or not, London has had to move on and cannot afford to let valuable space lay simply as ruins, so everything that was bombed has been rebuilt.
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 12:25 PM
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I got this book for Christmas - London's War: A Traveler's Guide to WWII.

I haven't had time to read it all yet, but it's got lots of interesting info and pictures in it.
Kayb95 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 03:39 PM
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i just returned from london today..yes, and im writing in fodors...everybody in the fodors forum has helped incredibly in the past w all my trips so its my turn to help out...i stayed in bloomsbury, at the holiday inn, near the russel square station..i got it thru priceline for $70 a nite.i was told to use priceline from many people and when u see the prices in london youll see is a modern looking hotel, not what i was looking for, but the price and location was is a 1 min walk from the tube and 4 stops from picadilly, and 3 from leicester square..there is a nice pub in the hotel and still more in the warned though....most pubs stop serving food at 9pm and 7pm on sundays..we found this out the hard way..couldnt find food the nite we got in...found beer, but not food...!!! the taxi back to airport was 40 pounds..whereas the tube was only 6 pounds i believe..our flight out was too early to take the tube back to heathrow..daily tube pass is also worth it...anything i could help with let me far as the wwII info, we didnt make it to churchills bunker..just ran out of time.....
billyb68 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 10:44 PM
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Your husband will really like the Imperial War Museum and the Cabinet War Rooms. I wasn't that excited about going to either of them and much to my surprise found them both to be incredibly interesting and well worth the visit. At the War Museum we took the lift to the upper floor and as we were chatting away on the way up I was suddenly aware of a voice coming through a speaker in the lift. It took a few seconds for it to register with us..kind of like God talking to Noah (Bill Cosby) "Say what"? Then I hear, "are you caught in the lift"? I'm like "huh"? Then I realized I'd been leaning against the wall of the lift and had pushed the alarm button and the gentleman thought we needed assistance. I was really embarassed but assured him we were fine, thanked him for his concern, and was awfully glad we were on our way out!!!! Too funny.
crefloors is offline  

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