Jun 17th, 2006, 11:16 AM
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My sister just got accepted into Oxford for grad school. She wants to visit in a few weeks. We will be going together and won't have access to a car. I know there is a train to Oxford from London, so that solves that problem. But where in London should we stay so that it is easy to get around? Any help would be appreciated.
Dr_Andrea is offline  
Jun 17th, 2006, 11:41 AM
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It's a heck of a lot easier to get around London WITHOUT a car than with a car. I always use the tube (that's what we would call the subway) but many good posters prefer the bus. When I was there recently I bought the day pass for the tube, but I've heard the oyster card is better for longer stays.

We have a lot of great expertise on these issues, and I'm sure someone will chime in soon. In the meantime, here's the web page for London transport.

Regarding where to stay: I have stayed in the area around Victoria Station and also in Bloomsbury, both were quite satisfactory. If you want specific recommendations for hotels, be sure to include your budget. I got a great deal on priceline, but familiarize yourself with priceline's rules before making any bids. A good resource for priceline info is
P_M is offline  
Jun 17th, 2006, 11:45 AM
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There's also a bus to Oxford called the Oxford tube (confusing I know). I think it's cheaper than the train.

This should be helpful

Congrats to your sister!
mclaurie is offline  
Jun 17th, 2006, 04:27 PM
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Thanks....we are flexible with the budget (want at least a 4 star hotel). Is there one area in london that has a majority of the sights, so that we don't have to take that many cabs?
Dr_Andrea is offline  
Jun 17th, 2006, 04:43 PM
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Wow is that a loaded question. There is so much to see all over London.

The recommendation to stay near Victoria might be a good one. You can walk all over Westminster and the South Bank from there. The Tate and National Gallery are also nearby, and a lot more.

Do I take it that you want to stay off the Tube? If so, why? It is wonderful!
Jun 17th, 2006, 06:24 PM
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I agree that Victoria is good in terms of being within walking distance of several sites, but you really should consider the public transportation over taxis. The tube is a lot faster and less expensive than taxis.
P_M is offline  
Jun 17th, 2006, 06:46 PM
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I agree with what others have said. On my first trip to London, I stayed near Victoria Station and felt it was a good location. I was able to walk to so many great places.

The tube is great to use, and the buses too.
You can get a pass that allows you to go on both. I use the tube when I'm in a hurry and the buses at other times so I can see more of the city. I sit up top and enjoy the views...and also people watch.

I also drove in London on that very first trip. I rented a car and had to drive it out of the city. I still can't believe I did it!! (and I'd never do it again).
kodi is offline  
Jun 17th, 2006, 06:54 PM
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kodi, you drove in London?? You poor dear....sounds like my first trip to Paris. (well, my first trip to Paris as an adult) Rookie mistake, I will NEVER drive in Paris again!!
P_M is offline  
Jun 17th, 2006, 07:07 PM
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First you need to understand the lay of the land --

No single area is close to more than a handful of major sites. But just about every neighborhood in central London (except parts of Chelsea) are w/i a short walk of a tube station or bus stop. You can take public transport almost anywhere 24 hours a day.

You certainly don't need to take taxis everywhere - or anywhere for that matter. Though just about every visit I do take at least one cab ride just because (I love London taxis)

You say 4 star - but you don't give any sort of of budget. "Flexible" could mean anything. £100 a night, or £350, less, more??

Give us a hint and we can give lots of good suggestions.
janisj is online now  
Jun 17th, 2006, 07:18 PM
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P_M, rookie is exactly the right word!
The guy at the car rental place told me I'd have no problem.....and I believed him.. Mind you I really didn't have a problem... I was too young for a heart attack.
I was on my own too, and then proceeded to zig zag my way, via Bath, Chester, York, all the way to Scotland...first time on the 'other' side of the road too.
What was I thinking??? I was never so glad to turn a car back in.
Now I'm an old pro, but never again in London.
kodi is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 10:52 AM
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Oh, Kodi, thanks for the laugh. It wouldn't be me! I so enjoy trips to England because I don't have to drive! Dr._Andrea, take the tube! Or the bus! The locals do!
Merseyheart is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 11:53 AM
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Kodi I am still chuckling at your description of lurching around England. Oh yes, ignorance is bliss.
Fidel is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 12:20 PM
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How wonderful to be going to Oxford for grad school...for both your daughter and you! I took a weeklong course there a few summers ago and enjoyed it so much. There are buses practically on the hour from the Victoria Coach Station to Oxford (a block or 2 away from Victoria Station).I think the ride was 1 1/2 hours or less.
Andeesue is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 07:41 PM
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Thanks everyone! We just booked flights on Virgin and booked some hotel called the Westminster Inn. The trip advisor reviews were really good and the hotel was really cheap. I am a little nervous about that because I am a Four Seasons/Ritz/Oberoi kind of girl whereas my sister is used to hostels!! Hopefully, this will be a good compromise.
Dr_Andrea is offline  
Jun 18th, 2006, 07:55 PM
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Do you actually mean the City Inn Westminster? Or is it some other property called the "Westminster Inn"?

If it is the City Inn Westminster - it is near Tate Britain and St John's Smith Square. There really isn't a tube station right there. The closest is Pimlico which is about a 7 or 8 minute walk.
janisj is online now  
Jun 18th, 2006, 08:27 PM
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Yes it is. From what we read, it is close to big ben and some other sites/.
Dr_Andrea is offline  
Jun 19th, 2006, 02:53 AM
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Hi ...

I have stayed at the City Inn recently (a few months back - very good), DVD players in room, plasma screens - loads of DVDs available to rent for free.

But one thing - the rooms do not have baths - just showers - so if need a bath in the room - go else where.

isplumm is offline  

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