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London is a place of superlatives – it is by far the largest city in Western Europe, it has the most green spaces, it is one of the most diverse and exhilarating. However, it is also one of the most expensive and hotel accommodation is at a premium. It is also a place in constant flux, with ongoing regeneration. But for the savvy tourist, there are accommodation options which aren’t out of reach, even within London’s most exclusive areas. Staying in a central location with good tube links is a definite plus in London, and these four areas deliver.
As an introduction to London, Southwark has it all: the famous London and Tower Bridges stretch across the Thames and the picture-postcard views of Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s and The City. For excellent vantage points, Southwark boasts both the London Eye and the Shard, offering views across the whole city. For culture-lovers, Southwark offers the Tate Modern, the Oxo Gallery and the Royal Festival Hall, whilst Westminster is just a short walk or tube ride away. Foodies, meanwhile will delight in Borough Market, located near London Bridge. There is a lot of expensive accommodation here, but there are also guesthouses and budget hotels available if you look hard enough.
Made famous by the film of the same name, Notting Hill attracts streams of tourists to the lively Portobello Road markets, many of whom also come looking for Hugh Grant’s blue front door. With houses painted in a rainbow of pastel shades, Notting Hill feels a bit like a section of Cornwall lifted and set into the middle of leafy, whitewashed Kensington, and it has plenty of alternative, independent shops and cafes to keep any bohemian happy. It is well connected to the rest of London, whilst feeling almost like its own village. Kensington has some of the most expensive hotels in the whole of London, but around Notting Hill, it’s possible to find B&Bs and small hotels offering reasonable prices, particularly outside of the main Summer Season.
London’s East End used to be one of the poorest and most run-down areas of the city, but now it is the parade-ground for trendsetters. The areas of Shoreditch, Brick Lane and Hoxton retain a grungy feel - graffiti tours are a key attraction here – and ‘distressed’, arty-looking warehouses sit side-by-side with genuinely distressed, tumbling-down buildings. Still, independent businesses run by young entrepreneurs are booming here, and now visitors in the know are seeking out boutique hotels and quirky restaurants. Hotels here are generally mid-range, but it is possible to find some which, in London anyway, count as budget. If you’re looking to party in London or to explore pop-up shops, then Shoreditch is the place to be.
Offering a similarly alternative vibe to Shoreditch, Camden is better placed to access the rest of London. Situated just north of Regent’s Park, Camden provides wonderful access to this huge green space, which includes London Zoo, so it can be a good option for families. A wander up the Parkway towards the Camden Town tube offers a range of delightful, cosy-looking restaurants, as well as live music venues, making it a good option for a more relaxed night out. Further up, at Camden Locks, things get rather more hectic, with tourists spilling in and out of the markets, but it’s a fun place to spend the day – and there are some great street-food stands. There is a greater range of budget accommodation here than anywhere else listed, making it an all-round good choice.
x The average starting price for a place to stay in London is £106 per night.
armmc The staff, room, location and food was awsome!!! We defenetly recommend anyone to stay in this hostel.
siijiska Very nice little hostel very close to Hyde Park. One has to walk a bit from the underground but there are several buses, and the location is really central. The hostel is situated in a very charming old building, there is lot of space in the dorms, and the staff is really friendly! We had a little trouble staying here, with people getting placed in each other's beds etc. but the staff was always nice and eager to help us out with all problems. They say 24h reception, but quite often it seemed to be noone there at night, so if you're in a hurry and must check out in the middle of the night you better tell them in advance. Nice and clean dorms and showers, unfortunately the water pipes makes a noise in the entire building when used. But overall, I had a nice stay at Astor Hyde Park and could recommend it.
18-20 Deptford BridgeExcellent 90%
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