Three days in London

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Mar 18th, 2014, 11:18 AM
  #1
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Three days in London

Our family of 4 (2 adults and 2 teenage children) will be spending 3 days 4 nights in London in June. We will be arriving by train from Paris on Saturday and then leaving for home (US) on Tuesday. Our plan is to just hang out around London and to go to the Harry Porter park for one day. Should we book a hotel near downtown London or near the airport? We are hoping to spend not more than $150 per night. Is it better to book our train tickets from the US or wait to book it once we get to Paris?
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Mar 18th, 2014, 11:29 AM
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Book a hotel in central London, not near Heathrow.

$150 is £90 - expect to increase your budget.

To take advantage of the cheapest train fares book them online now at www.eurostar.com
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Mar 18th, 2014, 11:36 AM
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You obviously don't know London.

London does not have a "downtown." It is the largest city in Western Europe and twice the size of Paris.

The airport (there are five) is no closer than 12 miles from Central London and that closest airport (London City Airport) will not be the one from which you'll fly to the US. There is no possible reason to book a hotel at "the airport" for visiting London.

And you need to increase that hotel budget. You couldn't stay in NYC, Chicago, LA, Washington DC or Philadelphia for that price in anything better than a semi-clean dump; you certainly won't find good accommodations in London at that price.
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Mar 18th, 2014, 11:36 AM
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How far is the train station from Central London? Should we take a taxi from the train station to Central London or take the subway? How about getting from Central London to the airport?
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Mar 18th, 2014, 11:46 AM
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The train station (St Pancras) is in central London.

If your hotel is within walking distance of St Pancras, then walk. Otherwise you would take the Tube, a taxi, or even a bus.

You can reach the airport by public transport or a private car service.
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Mar 18th, 2014, 12:16 PM
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London has numerous train stations. The one you will arrive at from Paris is in the center of London - which is large. Your budget won;t do for 4 people in a decent place - just as it wouldn't in New York.

Buy your train tickets as soon as you can finalize your dates or you will end up paying twice as much for them.
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Mar 18th, 2014, 01:13 PM
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https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/2372607?...uests=4&s=bV7S

Anytime I visit London I check out rentals on Airbnb.com or vrbo.com They are excellent sites to help you find accommodation for properties throughout the world. Simply visit the site, put in your city (London, UK) and enter appropriate dates.... You may find yourself in luck. This way you can prepare foods (lower costs) and have all the necessities a family could want. I have quickly looked at one and provided you an option above. Just west of King's Cross and close to all the wonderful sites you can enjoy in London. I have had incredible success with these sites.

Also, go online and order a Visitors Oyster Card.
http://visitorshop.tfl.gov.uk/
You have lots of time to order them and have them delivered to you with money already on them. You can then use these for any of the underground tubes or bus transportation while you're in London. You will save money & time this way. For your 3 days you may only need approximately 10 GBP on each card. Select the correct card when you order and you can always increase it while you are traveling in London.

The others are right, book your accommodations in London not near the airport.
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Mar 18th, 2014, 01:24 PM
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You really need to do some research.

There are no fewer than 11 national rail stations in London. Your train from Paris will arrive at St. Pancras, which is on the northern edge of Central London.

The "subway" in London is a subterranean passage for crossing major intersections (Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus). The Underground, aka The Tube, is London's local passenger rail.

As I said before there are five airports in London therefore the best way to get to the airport from Central London is dependent upon which one your plane will depart.

There is no Harry Porter Park. There is no Harry Potter Park. If you mean the studio tour, that's a short train ride from London. Google it.
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Mar 18th, 2014, 01:27 PM
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http://www.travelodge.co.uk/hotels/book/london-hotels

check TravelLodge and Premier Inns - they may well have modern rooms with modern facilities in your price range or lower - check for specials - all over central London, which as BigRuss says covers a wide wide area.

Definite no to remote airport hotels.
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Mar 18th, 2014, 01:32 PM
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Clearly you need to go read some guidebooks....
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Mar 18th, 2014, 05:00 PM
  #11
 
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As others have told you, you don't seem to have the right idea about London. London is one of the world's biggest cities, so there is no single centre, but many different areas you may like to visit (and of course some you would not like to visit). Also as others have said there are several main line railway stations and several airports, most of which are many miles outside of London.

I too have never heard of a Harry Potter Park, but anyway why would you want to spend your time in a theme Park commemorating a fictional character when there is so much real life, history and culture to be seen in London. Get a good guide book and work out what you want to see. This will help in deciding where to stay. Unfortunately London Hotels are notoriously expensive.

The best way to travel from one part of London to another is by underground (The Tube). The London underground consists of several separate lines, so its essential to get a copy of the underground map. (I'm sure you can find that online.)

You can walk around in London quite safely, provided you are aware of the precautions you would take in any large city. For example, we do have pickpockets, same as anywhere.
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Mar 18th, 2014, 05:29 PM
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Make sure you write the address of the hotel on a card for your kids to keep in their wallets. Just in case you become separated, they can give it to a taxi driver to bring them back to the hotel.
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Mar 18th, 2014, 06:37 PM
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Before you check travelodge or premier Inn as PQ suggests . . . What are the exact ages of the children? Neither chain allows families to share a room if the child(ren) is older than 15.

So - if you have say, a 13 yo and a 16 yo . . . You'd need to book two rooms. And even one room may be over your budget depending on the dates.

The Harry Potter studio tour MUST be booked well in advance. So you need to do that ASAP.

You really need to get a guide book - hopefully one with some maps so you can get a 'feel' for the enormity of London. . . . And check Londontown.com to see what is available room-wise. Unfortunately you will probably need to double your budget to get a quad room or two doubles. It isn't like in most of the US where a family of 4 can share most rooms. Quads are pretty rare in London and tend to book up far ahead.

May I ask what you booked in Paris within your budget?

And you MUST prebook the Eurostar tickets. Not only will the cost much more at the last minute . . . There is a good chance there would be no seats available at all!!
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Mar 19th, 2014, 09:55 AM
  #14
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Thank you for all your input. I do need to get a London Guide book and do more homework.

My children are 13 and 16. I was under the assumption that we could all stay in one room! Thank you Janisj for pointing out that this might not be possible. Both my kids are serious HP fans and that is the main reason why we are extending our Europe tour to include London.

We will be flying out of Heathrow.
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Mar 19th, 2014, 10:04 AM
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I too have never heard of a Harry Potter Park, but anyway why would you want to spend your time in a theme Park commemorating a fictional character when there is so much real life, history and culture to be seen in London.>

Guess you have to put yourself into the minds of two teens who probably read every book and love it and associate it with England - do something the kids want to do that they may find more interesting than say another day of museums.
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Mar 19th, 2014, 10:12 AM
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Hoai: There are quad rooms - harder to find but they do exist. It is just the two budget chains mentioned have 'family rooms' sleeping 4 but the two children must be under 16 (and yes they do ask)

Go to londontown.com and plug in your dates and 4 in one room and see what you can get.

Another option is to rent an apartment. There are many one bedroom and even some large studios that sleep 4 and usually for less than a hotel.
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Mar 19th, 2014, 10:34 AM
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bookmarking
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Mar 19th, 2014, 10:43 AM
  #18
 
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Link to the Harry Potter Experience.

http://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk

Note tickets MUST be purchased online in advance...you cannot buy them onsite.
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Mar 19th, 2014, 11:21 AM
  #19
 
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Another alternative if you don't go out to the Harry Potter Experience is the London Walks walking tour (or taxi safari) with that theme:
http://www.walks.com/London_Walks_Ho...r/default.aspx
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Mar 19th, 2014, 12:54 PM
  #20
 
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try using Priceline in London
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