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Very confused about areas

Durham, North...
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Very confused about areas

Planning a trip for next November for myself, dh, 4 kids (ages 5, 6, 10, 11) and my parents for about 10 days. Dh will be attending a meeting at The Landmark at Marylebone (how do you say this??) for 3 of the days. I am presently looking into our hotel/B&B and flat options, but my head is spinning at it all!! I thought I'd ask for advice on areas for our particular needs to perhaps weed through these options.

So, November, I'm guessing the weather might not be the best (esp for us, coming from the US South when November is usually quite nice!), a bunch of youngish kids- I'm thinking we will need a bus stop or tube station pretty close. (I am perfectly willing to do some walking, just thinking best to be prepared to be able to catch rides to places if it's cool and rainy). I'm also thinking that having family friendly, reasonably priced eateries, as well as some sort of grocery nearby where we stay would be highly desirable. So, that's something many families request. My added need is that it not be too difficult or time consuming for dh to get to The Landmark on those days.

Some of the areas (sorry, some of these might be tube station names and not areas, my notes are a bit vague on some) that the hotels or flats are in are Bloomsbury, Notting Hill, Kensington, Chelsea, Westminster, Paddington, Kings Cross, Marble Arch. I'm sure there are more on this list! But that's a start! Oh, there is one in Acton (East Acton tube is 7 min walk).

Are any of these areas better or worse for my needs than others? Are there others that I should definitely include that aren't listed here?

Thanks so much for any advice! My brain is just getting so muddled with all this info!

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Vancouver, Canada
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21. Re: Very confused about areas

County Hall is a swell location, and getting from there to the Landmark (notice how I sidestepped the pronunciation dilemma!) isn't too grim: Bakerloo line from Waterloo to Baker Street, then a short walk.

'Five minutes walk from Gloucester Road' includes some very very nice areas of London. Getting to the Landmark could be a matter of hopping on the number 74 to Baker Street station or the Piccadilly line to Piccadilly Circus, then a change there to the Bakerloo line or a journey on the District or Circle line to Embankment with a similar change.

Sloane Square is also very smart, but it would be good to know the location of the flat, as transport can be a bit fiddly depending on where one stays.

High Street Kensington - v swell neighbourhood, with all mod cons on the High Street plus masses of buses.

I view the Underground as useful for longish journeys or when I'm in a hurry, but on the whole I'm v keen on London's red buses. See the link below for the Central London services; coverage is superb, with lots of choice. Fold out maps (with this info) are free at Underground stations.

tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/Central-London-D…

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Waterloo
Waterloo
Merseyside, UK
Athens
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22. Re: Very confused about areas

Westminster is a very nice area, as TP said and the bonus of Big Ben views is huge!

I would choose the cheaper between Hi Str Kensington, Marble Arch and Westminster.

You can also use Journey Planner …tfl.gov.uk/user/XSLT_TRIP_REQUEST2… to check out which is more convenient for the places you wish to visit. Try to uncheck bus or tube option to see how you can get to a place by bus only or by tube only.

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The Marble Arch London
The Marble Arch London
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Dublin
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23. Re: Very confused about areas

kkbrig, the Landmark is a five star hotel, so it is scarely surprising that it would cost £600+ for accommodation for four adults and four children. Only redeeming feature is that the rooms are exceptionally large. I got a great rate from the Landmark a few years ago in early January and wrote a glowing review of the place for Tripadvisor. But I'm a solo traveller most of the time, and it's easy for me. I appreciate that there's no way you're going to fork out £6,000+ just for your accommodation in London.

Which is why it would make sense to hire an apartment for the ten days. Added advantage is that you would be in complete control of the place and - assuming that there are a few good chefs amongst you - you could encourage each other to produce different delicious dishes for dinner most nights. It could be great fun.

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24. Re: Very confused about areas

Location location location . . .

Notting Hill - right by Portobello Road, five minutes' walk from the Kensington Place restaurant in Kensington Church STreet, one of my favourites. 20 minutes' walk from The Belvedere in Holland Park, a perfect place for Sunday lunch with the kids.

Kensington- great for shopping, the above mentioned restaurants and close to Knightsbridge and the museums.

Chelsea- One flat says it's 1 minute walk from Sloan Square tube. You might get mowed down by a Sloane Ranger here. Another flat says 5 min from Gloucester tube. Bit further out of the way.

Camden- Flat is "very close" to Camden tube. Probably too close for comfort, given how busy the market is at weekends.

Wandsworth- The back of beyond unless it's Wimbledon fortnight and you've got tickets.

Little Venice, Warwick Ave tube is one block away. Good central location esp for Oxford Street.

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Kensington Place
Kensington Place
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Durham, North...
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25. Re: Very confused about areas

Thanks for all this info! It'll help me weed some of the places out, and then know what I'm comparing for the others.

What is a Sloane Ranger?

Athens
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26. Re: Very confused about areas

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sloane_Ranger

Durham, North...
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27. Re: Very confused about areas

Read the Sloane Ranger link- hysterical!

Arlington, TX
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28. Re: Very confused about areas

I've been to London only twice now, but the buses have not become easy for me yet. The tube is a snap but I have to really think to use the buses and I've still come out in the wrong place. Part of it for me is that there are no street signs as there are in the US. You have to really look at the buildings to figure out which street you are on--mostly the street names appear on the side of a building. If I am by myself, it's not too bad--I can really pay attention to my map and count. With someone else, I have to not talk!

I'm staying at Royal Court Apartments right across from Hyde Park in two weeks. Really good reviews on this site for the price. I hope it works out! You might want to look into it, though . . . great price and great location.

Vancouver Island...
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29. Re: Very confused about areas

kk; try 'Google Earth' combined with a decent London map and you can soar over London like Peter Pan. GE shows most (all?) of the tube stops together with a lot of the hotels/restaurants in the different areas. It'll give you a good feel for a very wonderful city and you can even zoom in to see how many trees (or not) are on your particular street. In November all the leaves will be off the trees regardless but you can see where's the nearest pub to warm the innards.

London
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30. Re: Very confused about areas

I'm not a massive user of the buses either - find it is usually more convenient to walk short distances and tube longer distances, and the bus occasionally features for middle-distance hops (eg what would be a couple of tube stops).

It can be hard work figuring which bus you want and where to get off (although buses with an automated voice for each stop are becoming more common).

Anyway, for a basic orientation, you can't go too far wrong with the tube map - I doubt you'll want to be considering locations that aren't close to the tube network, and places that are well connected by tube tend to be well connected by bus as well, so you've always got the choice.