Two days in London

Old Apr 21st, 2011, 02:26 PM
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Two days in London

My sister and I will be visiting London for two days in early May. I just found out we can make the trip and need to find a B&B in London for those two nights. We will be visiting the Tower, Harrods, not sure yet what else. I don't know anything at all about neighborhoods or which tube stations will get us to the Tower. Also, we will be taking the train to Edinburgh and I think I read here that King's Cross station is the one to catch the train for Edinburgh, or do I have it wrong? So would it be a good idea to stay near the King's Cross station? I know I sound like a country bumpkin but any information or suggestions anyone can give me will be greatly appreciated. There are so many details to attend to that I'm a little overwhelmed. I haven't even bought our plane tickets yet so there's lots to do in only about three weeks. Thanks.
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Old Apr 21st, 2011, 04:03 PM
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In in central London there are hundreds of hotels and B&B hotels and a few B&Bs. What is your budget? And at which airport are you landing (this makes a difference re which is the most convenient area to stay).Most anyplace in central London is w/i easy link to Kings Cross by tube or bus.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2011, 08:00 AM
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I'm sorry, I should have been more specfic. We will be coming in from Heathrow via Heathrow Express I think and that will take us to Paddington station? If we stay in the Paddington area, how would we get to King's Cross station for our train to Edinburgh? I've also read that the Bloomsbury area is pretty central to most attractions. I know nothing about the different lines and am just trying to get my bearings. We don't have a very big budget (maybe around 80 or so per night) so that will probably limit our choices for hotels or B&Bs. Also we may want to go to Hampton Court on one of those days and will need to figure out how to get there. Do I understand correctly that an Oyster card would pay for the tube trips and buses? Thanks.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2011, 08:49 AM
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80 or so what per night? £, $?

I would definitely not come into London via the Heathrow Express (and I personally would not stay at Paddington). The HEX is outrageously expensive and is only useful if you stay right AT Paddington - which like I said -- I wouldn't. But even if you do decide to stay at Paddington the Heathrow Connect train is much cheaper than the HEX.

Plus Paddington is not at all convenient to either the Tower or Hampton Court Palace.

Even a pre-booked private car service (limo) would be cheaper than the HEX and be door to door w/ no luggage schlepping.

Since you are on a budget -- save the money of the HEX and take the tube into town. If you take the tube -- any location along the Piccadilly line will be convenient to both LHR and to Kings Cross. Those areas include Gloucester Rd, South Kensington, Holborn/Russell Square (these 2 are in Bloomsbury near the British Museum) and others.

Some areas along the circl/district lines are also convenient to from LHR w/ one easy line transfer (Victoria,etc.)

Clarify if you mean £80, $80, €80 and we can give you lots of suggestions
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Old Apr 22nd, 2011, 11:47 AM
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Thanks janisj, I can already see that I'm so lacking in knowledge about London. I did visit two years ago when a friend we were visiting took us for the day and it was such a whirlwind, I don't remember much about the logistics. Our host was very knowledgable and had us on buses and the tube practically running every step of the way.

I meant 80 in pounds for a double room. We won't be spending much time in the room so luxury is not necessary, just clean and safe. I'm leaning toward the Bloomsbuy area so maybe a few suggestions for B&Bs or hotels in that area would be very helpful.

After going through customs at Heathrow, is the Heathrow Connect train close by? I'm assuming there are signs posted for us first timers and I don't mind asking for help. I guess when I decide on a place to stay, I can get some information as to what tube line and stop I will need from the airport. We will be taking the train to Edinburgh from London and I'm looking into advance tickets this weekend. I want to go first class if possible and know I need to get those booked right away.

I don't know why I'm so intimidated by London, but I want to learn and enjoy my short stay there. Thank you so much for your help.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2011, 02:19 PM
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OK -- Bloomsbury is terrific for both travel in from Heathrow AND for access to Kings Cross for the train to Edinbirgh.

But you 100% do not want the Heathrow Connect to get to Bloomsbury. That would involve a train to Paddington then a difficult transfer to the tube or an expensive cab ride. And the tube would require another transfer.

Whereas if you get on the tube at LHR -- you just ride straight through to Russell Sq or whichever station is nearest to your hotel. (Ane w/ the money you save you could up the budget just a tad)

I don't know your exact dates and that could make a difference . . . But try Londontown.com The Kingsway often comes up at quite a discount -- but still approx £100-ish (remember - w/o the £33 on the HEX you'd still come out ahead )

Also try the Morgan -- about £125 double. http://www.morganhotel.co.uk/

Arran House - £97 w/ shared bath, higher w/ ensuite http://www.arranhotel-london.com/

Gower House - a bit more down market. From £70 w/ shared bath, from £85 ensuite. http://www.gowerhousehotel.co.uk/

And then of course there is always Priceline and Hotwire - but you can't specify a particular property/location.
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 06:37 AM
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Thanks Janis.Sorry for the long delay but I've been away from my computer. I inquired at the three hotels you recommended, but no luck so far. They are already booked. I am going to try londontown next. Any more suggestions?

I'm also trying to book advance tickets on national rail for the trip to Edinburgh but it keeps refusing my credit cards (I've tried two). I must be doing something wrong but I can't figure out what. Any help on that would be appreciated.

I'm going to use the tube to get from Heathrow to my hotel so as soon as I nail down a hotel, I will ask for help in getting the right one.
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 07:12 AM
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You can take a private Shuttle from Heathrow to Central London, for less than the HEX> Check out Justairports
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 07:14 AM
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I reserved The Millenium Gloucester for Oct and Nov for 80GBP prepaid thru Londontown.com. Great Location across from the tube station and lots of cafes and good restaurants nearby
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Old Apr 27th, 2011, 12:58 PM
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I hope I haven't made a hugh mistake, but I booked the Holiday Inn Kings Cross for May 20 & 21 (Friday and Saturday) for 110 pounds per night double. It feels very expensive but I guess the weekend probably is busier and more expensive. It also doesn't provide breakfast which I didn't like, but I'm sure there will be plenty of places to catch something to eat on our way out for the day.

So if the hotel is near Kings Cross, I'm assuming I can take the tube from Heathrow and get off at Kings Cross and probably walk to the hotel. Is that possible, and which line would I need to take? I'm hoping that we can drop our luggage at the hotel and head out to the Tower and the British Museum on Friday. Which line would take us to the Tower and then to the museum from the Tower?

Should we buy an Oyster card at Heathrow? We will only need one for the two days so what would be best for us and how much would it cost?

I'm sorry for so many questions, but I'm already axious about the whole thing so please bear with me. I did get our advance tickets for our train trip to Edinburgh or rather I have a voucher that I need to take to the ticket window to collect the tickets. Now I just need a B&B in Edinburgh for 3 nights booked and I will just about have everything nailed down.

Thanks so much for all the help.
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Old Apr 27th, 2011, 05:29 PM
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You want Tower Hill tube station for the Tower of London. It's on the Circle Line ( the yellow one ).

Or Tower Gateway (DLR) - though I doubt that line'll tie in with likely hotel locations.

For the British Museum you want Holborn on the Piccadilly or Central Lines ( Dark blue one, red one, respectively).
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Old Apr 27th, 2011, 08:43 PM
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That hotel isn't AT Kings Cross -- it is more than a 1/2 mile walk. Not a bad walk -- but I wouldn't want to drag luggage that far. You really haven't overpaid for that hotel, but you probably could do better elsewhere. (Generally speaking -- at full service hotels like the HI, rates are lower on weekends, higher on weekdays since a major part of the clientele is business travelers)

You can't get on the wrong tube line at Heathrow -- there is only one going in one direction

get on at LHR, get off at King's cross.
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Old Apr 27th, 2011, 09:06 PM
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Another thought - have you thought about staying in a hostel? The YHA hostel at St. Pancras is just up the street from King's Cross, and they have private rooms. We stayed at several YHA hostels in the UK in 2007 and were really pleased with the accomodations.
http://www.yha.org.uk/find-accommoda...ras/index.aspx

Lee Ann
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 06:24 AM
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Thanks to everyone for all the information. Of course I have a few more questions! Are there two Kings Cross stations? My hotal is at 1 Kings Cross Rd. (Holiday Inn) and I want to be sure to get off at the right stop. And I'm wondering if it's walkable or should I get a taxi?

Will I be able to purchase an oyster card at Heathrow for our two day stay?

My sister is pushing to go to Portobello market on Saturday. Is it better than Borough market or Camden?

I appreciate your patience with all my tedious questions, but it seems the older I get, the more I need to get details nailed down to feel comfortable. I have all our reservations, tickets. etc. bought and we will be leaving on the 19th so it will be here before I know it. I'm really hoping that there won't be travel restrictions for London.

Thanks again for your help.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 06:53 AM
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I went to Portobello market on a Saturday last time I was in London. From the moment I got out of the Tube Station around 11AM, it was crowded. In essence, you did not need to know which direction to go, you just followed all of the people.

I had been before, so I had an idea of what was there. Antiques, knick knacks, some good food.

If you went really early...
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 07:54 AM
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"I'm wondering if it's walkable or should I get a taxi? "

As I mentioned in my previous post -- it is about 1/2 a mile from Kings Cross. There is a Kings Corss/St Pancras tube station and a Kings Cross train station -- but they are at the same place --one is underground and one is on the surface.

"Will I be able to purchase an oyster card at Heathrow for our two day stay? "

yes

"My sister is pushing to go to Portobello market on Saturday. Is it better than Borough market or Camden?
"

They are three different animals. Portobello rd is mostly antiques and collectibles but also general 'stuff'-- and you will want to get very early in the AM. Like 8 or 8:30AM, 9:00 at the latest. And leave before 10:30 or 11:00. By 10:00 it gets very crowded.

Borough is mainly food

http://www.boroughmarket.org.uk/

Camden is a bit of everything but mainly clothes, jewelry and crafts.

http://www.camdenlock.net/
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 10:41 AM
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Thanks all, that's a great help. We're both early risers so I think we can go to Portobello early and then on to something else.
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