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London--where to stay and sidetrips????

Halifax, Canada
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London--where to stay and sidetrips????

We've just had a window of opportunity open up and are thinking of visiting London in May. This will be our second trip to London but the first trip was 30 years ago (imagine before Trip Advisor--how did we manage?). At that time, we stayed in a B&B in Ebury Street. I recall the location being excellent--close to Victoria Station and walkable to many sites. Although not adverse to a B&B, we do prefer a private bath, and by that I mean a private bath not a bath with a window to the room such as you see in many "modern" hotels. We enjoy walking so would like to be able to be within walking distances of at least some sites. Is Ebury Street still a desirable location? I've read the forums and have gotten quite confused on where we might want to stay. We will be flying into Heathrow and most likely will take a train from Heathrow to our hotel. By London standards, I expect we would be looking for budget accommodation. I've sent an information request to Lime Tree Hotel but haven't heard back yet. I'm looking for contrbutors' favourite areas to stay.

We still are deciding whether to stay in London with side trips, such as Liverpool and Stonehenge for the entire two weeks or whether to take the Eurostar to Brussels or France for the latter part of the second week. We have to decide soon as I understand Eurostar tickets are cheaper booked in advance. Any informaton based on experience with side trips will be welcome.

Am I correct in thinking May 6 is a bank holiday?

West Virginia
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1. Re: London--where to stay and sidetrips????

I don't understand what you are looking for in a "private bath". But when reading hotel websites, a room with it's own bath is called "ensuite" in the UK.

If you tell us your budget in pound sterling we can help guide you. I'm sure London is much changed since your last visit!

Plymouth
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2. Re: London--where to stay and sidetrips????

Hello! May 6th is a Bank Holiday, but apart from the banks everything will be open as normal.

London, United...
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3. Re: London--where to stay and sidetrips????

Ebury St remains a good location 30 years on but its also in what is now one of the most desirable areas of London . Most budget hotels and budget B&B guest houses have small rooms with a small en-suite shower ( very small too at times ) and I think that is what the hotel you have contacted will offer. A hotel that gives you a really nice bathroom with a bath to soak in is unlikely to be a budget hotel. And I would not worry too much about where in London to stay because the underground trains and buses cover every area fully and make it easy to get from place to place. Good luck with your search

West Virginia
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4. Re: London--where to stay and sidetrips????

This area is also very near Belgrave Road, down which there are other accomodation choices in the budget range.

London
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5. Re: London--where to stay and sidetrips????

As a Londoner I can't really advise about hotels/B&Bs as I never stay in them, but as far as areas are concerned, you might want to consider South Kensington if you're coming into Heathrow. It's conveniently on the Piccadilly line so it's a direct journey, no changes. It's a very pleasant area, plenty of cafes and restaurants, several of the major museums, it's within walking distance of Knightsbridge, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens/Palace, and has several tube lines (District, Circle, Piccadilly) which will take you directly to places such as the British Museum, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace. I would be careful to check if your chosen b&b has a lift if this is important for you - many of those in older buildings in London don't. You're correct in saying that it's necessary to book early to get the best fares on Eurostar - they're already running out on some days, so I'd get moving quickly if I were you. By the way, May is one long public holiday in Paris and unlike the UK on May 6th, many places do close. May 1st , 8th, 9th 19th and 20th are public holidays in France .Many of the museums and galleries in Paris close on Mondays and the rest on Tuesdays. In Belgium May 1st, 9th, 10th and 20th are holidays. You don't say how long you plan to stay in either Paris or Brussels, but in my experience a couple of days in Brussels is quite enough (and the same would go for Liverpool).

Halifax, Canada
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6. Re: London--where to stay and sidetrips????

Thank you all for your advice.

Whiterabbit57, as far as hotel price goes, we would be hoping to keep the cost to approximately 150 pounds per night. With regard to the private bath--yes it is an ensuite we are looking for; preferably one without windows to/from the bedroom (as seems to be a growing fad).

I've been reading about the South Kensington area and it sounds like an area we would enjoy. Any hotel suggestions would be appreciated. I like the idea of the direct line from Heathrow; we'll arrive on an overnight flight so will appreciate getting to the hotel where hopefully we can, at least, store our luggage until check in time.

For convenience, we may take a tour to Stonehenge--any recommendations? Still thinking about the Liverpool excursion--we don't want to be racing around without time to relax and enjoy the sights. Perhaps travelling to Liverpool for Wednesday and Thursday would be feasible. Of course, we'd want to do a Beatle's tour.

It's looking like we'll head to Paris with an overnight in Brussels or Ieper, depending on train availability, early in the 2nd week. Thanks for the heads up about the Paris holidays.

Halifax, Canada
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7. Re: London--where to stay and sidetrips????

We've booked the Rembrandt for our initial 3 days in London, then we're off to Liverpool. We have 3 days in London on our return from Liverpool before heading to Paris on the Eurostar. We are exploring the idea of staying in another area of London for the final 3 days. Any suggestions--what about the area around St. Pancras station?

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: London--where to stay and sidetrips????

"but in my experience a couple of days in Brussels is quite enough"

I agree having stayed there for 5 days in 2008 - I was disappointed. I found it to be dirty (lots of people spitting on the ground, and saw men peeing on the station stairs and anywhere they wanted to basically) and TBH, Brussels was the only place I felt that I had to be more aware of my surroundings than other cities and that includes the scammers in Barcelona, Paris and Rome !

When we stayed there, we primarily used it as a base to make day trips to Bruge, Gent, Antwerp etc.

I would advise you to opt for Bruge or Gent - beautiful old towns with canals. The train from Brussels is about 40 mins I think

U.S. expats
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9. Re: London--where to stay and sidetrips????

Daytrips/side trips can depend a lot on how much time you have. If you only have 3-4 days in London, I would not recommend planning anything outside London.

If you have five to seven days, one or two trips would be fine, but no more.

A list of day trips from London:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g186338-c174500/Londo…

London, United...
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10. Re: London--where to stay and sidetrips????

As a couple of side trips I would recommend going to Bruges (via the Eurostar), it's quaint and full of some truly delicious chocolate. Another one I can highly recommend is taking the Thames Clipper from Waterloo to Greenwich. It's full of lovely little shops and a market on the weekend.