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Kensington & Earls Court

boston
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Kensington & Earls Court

So I'm looking at hotels to stay in for a few nights in an upcoming trip. Most the hotels that are well priced and decent seem to be in the area known as Kensington & Earls Court. The hotel s reviews all seem to say it's a good local for getting to the city proper, but I was hoping to get some additional input.

Is this area nice, and is it really as convenient as it looks?

Thanks!

Denver, Colorado
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1. Re: Kensington & Earls Court

>>Is this area nice<<

Yes.

>>and is it really as convenient as it looks?<<

In my experience, it is. If you want to get to the City of London (the financial district and also the location of the Tower of London, which is what I assume you mean by "the city proper"), just catch the Tube and ride a few stops, and you're there.

Detroit, Michigan
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2. Re: Kensington & Earls Court

The place we always stay is close to the High Street Kensington tube station. We love the area. Lots of nice shops and restaurants along Kensington High Street and Kensington Church Street. Lovely area. Circle and District lines at the tube station and good bus routes (9 & 10) stop along the high street,

Haven't stayed in the area, but hotels around the South Kensington and Gloucester Road tube stations are also very convenient. Earls Court, too, but maybe not quite as nice area-wise, but still fine.

Denver, Colorado
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3. Re: Kensington & Earls Court

I've stayed in hotels in the South Kensington - Earl's Court areas several times over the years. I'm sure those hotels are a bit lower in the stratosphere of London hotel rates than kayb95's Kensington hotel. ;-) But they were nice places all the same.

Earl's Court Road and the Cromwell Road are the busy commercial streets in the area, busy night and day. But if you get off either of them by even a block, you'll be in quiet and pretty much residential streets. Either as a woman alone or with one or two other women, I've never felt unsafe walking in those areas night or day.

The Tube connections via the Earl's Court and Gloucester Road tube stations are terrific. Not just for the City of London, but for other parts of London where the landmarks, museums, theatres, etc., are located. Including Westminster (Parliament, Big Ben, etc.), Covent Garden, the West End, Trafalgar Square, the Strand, etc.

Ottawa, Canada
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4. Re: Kensington & Earls Court

I've stayed in the neighbourhood a few times. They were fine but I've stumbled upon staying in flats. Its suits me better as I don't like to spend a great deal of money in restaurants daily. However, again they are usually quite fine. You are able to get about easily from there.

Detroit, Michigan
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5. Re: Kensington & Earls Court

<<I'm sure those hotels are a bit lower in the stratosphere of London hotel rates than kayb95's Kensington hotel. ;-)>>

Toofargone, there can be some good deals in Kensington, but you can also spend lots of money as well. : ) We actually got very lucky and made an investment in a timeshare in Kensington several years ago and it averages out to about $1300US for a 3BR apartment for a week. We couldn't afford to stay there otherwise! But we LOVE the area!! : )

Edited: 05 April 2010, 15:52
boston
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6. Re: Kensington & Earls Court

Appreciate all the feedback. What about Paddington? My choices are down to Kensington vs. Paddington. Both look good in terms of closeness to Tube stops and sightseeing, but Paddington looks easier to get from Heathrow with the Heathrow Express.

Denver, Colorado
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7. Re: Kensington & Earls Court

kayb59, as soon as this huge wave of jealousy subsides, I'll congratulate you on nailing down such a terrific bargain! Good for you!

I haven't even finished working with the digital pictures I took during my week in London last month, and I'm already wondering how soon I can afford and manage another trip to London!

Although for the next trip, for sure, I'm getting a rail pass and doing a slash-and-burn-ulralight-one-bag packing thing, and seeing much more of Britain than I've managed before. With three days in London at the end.

Denver, Colorado
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8. Re: Kensington & Earls Court

I'm kind of meh about the idea of staying near Paddington, personally. Perhaps there are others here who can chime in with the area's advantages as a place to stay on a London holiday.

The absolute easiest trip I've had to and from Heathrow? Was when I stayed at base2stay, in the Earl's Court/S. Kensington area. Seriously. It cost a fraction of the Heathrow Express, to take the Picadilly Line from Heathrow to Earl's Court Station (and back again). There are *no* stairs required to get from the Picadilly Line tube cars up to the street at Earl's Court Station (go out the "Earl's Court Road" exit which is where all the hotels are anyway), and vice versa.

if you're fit enough for a London visit where you'll be using the buses and Tubes, and walking a lot, unless you are burdened with huge bags, the Tube between Heathrow and Earl's Court station is not a problem. I had a moderate-sized rolling (checked) bag and a carryon, and I'm way older than I want to admit, and I did fine.

And then during your stay, the Earl's Court and Gloucester Road and South Kensington tube stations have marvelous connections to central London via the Picadilly, District and Circle lines.

Edited: 05 April 2010, 16:04
Minnesota
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9. Re: Kensington & Earls Court

We just returned from a week in London. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza Kensington, Gloucester Rd Tube stop.

We loved the area. As stated by the others, all the sights were a very easy tube ride away.

Heathrow was a piece of cake as well. We took the Picadilly line right from Heathrow to our Gloucester rd stop. Only about a dozen and a half stairs need to be navigated before you get to the lift. We are a family of four, two adults, kids 15& 12 - and all were able to easily navigate. And it is much cheaper than other options.

Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: Kensington & Earls Court

I too would choose Earl's Court / Gloucester Road over Paddington, not because Paddington is unpleaasant but because I find transport easier to and from Earl's Court.

You ask if it's good for 'getting to the city proper', and I don't think you mean the City (the financial and legal area) but are thinking more West End-ish. If you've been looking at the Tube map and thinking that Earl's Court is far away it's not, really: the Underground map is far from accurate in terms of distances, with Gloucester Road five stops (maybe 15 minutes) from Piccadilly Circus station.

I'll second what Toofargone said about base2stay, it couldn't be easier to make one's way from Heathrow to the hotel on the Underground, can be done step-free. Gloucester Road station does have some stairs to and from the lift and train platform for the Piccadilly line (stairs only for the District and Circle line) but again is easy to navigate to and from the airport, even with bags.

The areas are mostly residential, but with lots of shops, services, restos and cafes along Earl's Court Road, and a handful of cafes and shops along Gloucester Road. There is a good feel about the areas, and both are just a short bus ride from Kensington Hgh Street, which again is just as nice as kayb says.

What hotels are you considering in SW5 / W8?