Which area to stay in London

Old May 29th, 2017, 06:39 PM
  #1  
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Which area to stay in London

Hi,
We are traveling to London for 6 nights with our two daughters and want to be central...with restaurants and cool places to hang out in walking distance and convenient to public transportation to see the sites. We have friends that are staying in Covent Garden, but have also heard recommendations to stay in Kennsington. I have searched the travel forum, but the best one I found was from 2011.

Any recommendations are appreciated.
Thanks!
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Old May 29th, 2017, 07:00 PM
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>>want to be central...with restaurants and cool places to hang out in walking distance and convenient to public transportation to see the sites. > I have searched the travel forum, but the best one I found was from 2011.
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Old May 29th, 2017, 07:53 PM
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Hi JanisJ,
It would be great to find a place within $250/night since we are staying for 6 nights, then traveling for another 2+ weeks. I am open to hotel or airbnb. Of course, if we find something great, we may be flexible.

Maybe I'm not searching correctly on the forums. I found posts from 2010 and 2011.

Thanks!
Stacey
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Old May 29th, 2017, 08:03 PM
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I suggest you go to booking.com and check out the possibilities in regard to price, location and dates. After narrowing your choices down, come back here for further and more specific recommendations. It'll be far easier for you to narrow down the options than for us to figure out what suits you best.
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Old May 29th, 2017, 10:16 PM
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Hi Historytraveler,
That is part of my problem, is that I do not know which area to narrow my search down to. I am looking for a recommendation of what area of the city would put me in the middle of restaurants/pubs and close to public transportation. I want somewhere that is in an area that we can hang out in during the evenings.

I am also researching hotel vs apartment. I did take a look at Westbourne Hyde Park (Paddington), but not sure if this is a hip area to hang out in.

Any advice is appreciated.
Thanks,
Stacey
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Old May 29th, 2017, 10:50 PM
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Staceysf, Covent Garden would be perfect. Paddington, while having good transport to other places, is not a hip place to hang out. There are some restaurants and pubs but nowhere near what you will find in Covent Garden. Not walking distance to the main tourist sites in London.

Other areas to look at are Soho and Fitzrovia, the area north of Soho. I also like the area near Marylebone High Street, but it's a bit more residential and less busy than Covent Garden.

For 6 nights with children I would opt for a flat rather than hotel. We use Onefinestay, but there are lots op options. For 250 dollars/night you'd get more space than in a hotel. Don't know how old your children are but I wouldn't want to be in one hotelroom with 4 people for 6 nights.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 05:58 AM
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Definitely not Paddington. Really not a convenient location and not as interesting as other areas. In addition to the ones mentioned above you could also look at Bloomsbury.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 06:13 AM
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Staceysf, your search technique is probably fine. It's the search function itself that is sadly lacking. I've just about given it up since they took away the "sort by date" option.

Perhaps with site changes afoot, things will be better.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 06:41 AM
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Try using this map to locate the areas around public transport - pretty well anywhere in the central part of this area would fit the brief you've given (apart, perhaps, from the business district around Bank/Moorgate), after that it's matter of taste for different ambiances:

http://content.tfl.gov.uk/bus-route-...ral-london.pdf
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Old May 30th, 2017, 07:56 AM
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For specific areas I'd look at Covent Garden; Bloomsbury/Russell Square/Holborn; Sloane Square; Fitzrovia/Charlotte Street; South Kensington; the northern/near the river parts of Southwark; For budget/central/not much 'charm' - Victoria.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 08:02 AM
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Patrick is right, with one maybe two exceptions, almost any area in central London fits your criteria. Over some 30 years, I've stayed in Kensington, South Kensington, Chelsea, Bloomsbury. Notting Hill, Mayfair, Belgravia, Pimlico and Bayswater. I may have left out one or two. All have been fine and the tube makes it easy to get to the city's attraction. In short, there is no one best place to stay. People do tend to have personal preferences usually based on familiarity or as Patrick stated " a particular ambience". I also agree that a flat will better suit your needs as a family. Dates?
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Old May 30th, 2017, 08:08 AM
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I somehow left Pimlico off my list . . . Look at Dolphin House - their one bedroom flats will probably be just above your budget.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 08:14 AM
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Or use the interactive map at londontown.com that will superimpose the Underground lines. The buses are fine for short distances or as a novelty to ride up on top (or to just tour the city - you can take the 9, 15 and 136 routes). But for going across town from site to site, less good. Unlike the Tube, buses are subject to London's narrow streets and high vehicular use thereof.

Check www.daysoutguide.co.uk for discounts. Most major attractions that charge admission are expensive. Many offer family pack admissions and discounts for prebooking online. Usually, the Days Out Guide 2for1 vouchers will be a better deal. You will need to get 7-day Zone 1-2 paper travelcards (no Oystercards) at a mainline train station (not Underground), but the hassle will be minimal and save you a good bit of money. I've written out various how-tos on this so click my name for more info.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 08:17 AM
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Need to clarify whether the $250 is for one room or two or hoping for a family room. A hotel room that would provide enough room for 4 people will be difficult.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 08:22 AM
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I think we need a clarification -- are your daughters young children or older teens/adults? That would make a huge difference how large a flat or type of hotel room(s) you need.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 10:01 PM
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Patrick and BigRuss, thank you for the maps. They are very helpful. And thank you for the tip on which routes to use to see he city.
Janis & historytraveler, thanks for helping to expand my search into other areas (and away from some). In looking at places, I clearly need to increase my budget.
My girls are pre-teens. We have friends that we will be meeting up with in London, and it will likely only be 3 of us staying in our hotel/flat. We are leaving toward the end of June, so I am feeling a bit stressed at finding a place.
Janis- what part of town is the Dolphin house?

Thank you all for your help!!!
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Old May 30th, 2017, 10:50 PM
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If you want to be in the middle of things with lots of restaurants and places to hang out, Dolphin Square is not the best place. It's residential, on the Thames in Pimlico. It's a nice place, quite good value. We used to stay there years ago.

If you don't want one hotel room for the 3 of you, you need to look at flats or increase your budget.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 10:57 PM
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As I mentioned in my post - Pimlico . . .

http://www.dolphinsquare.co.uk/dolphin-house/

Since your kids are young you could easily get away w/ a 1 bedroom (with a sofa sleeper in the living room). Dolphin Square is great - close to the Pimlico tube station (The pre school Princess Diana worked in before she married is practically across the street)

On site small grocery store, bakery, restaurant, snack bar, gardens, fitness center.
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