I am trying to plan a trip to England for my mother and I. We are leaving our spouses at home and going on this once-in-a-lifetime trip together. That being said, I am working on planning it myself and trying to make the best decisions. We definitely want to stay in a nice hotel, but working with a budget of about $3,000 each for the entire trip I realize we have limitations. What I really need to know is what area of London is the best place to stay, ie: close to transportation lines, safe, and close to some sites. I want to stay somewhere central and would love to hear your suggestions. Also, suggestions for reasonably priced, nice hotels would be excellent. I am working on doing research but as of right now I know very little about London's layout.
My mom would prefer to be on a guided tour, so that each day something is planned. It sounds like a good idea, as long as the tour takes us to spots we want to see.
We think we will go in June 07. Is June a good month to visit London? Our second choice would be September.
Please respond with any comments, suggestions, etc. Much appreciated!
Some suggestions for London:
a) Take a look at the London Subway (it is referred to as the "Tube")map online. You will notice there are several zones. At all costs, stay ONLY in Zone 1. It might be cheaper to stay in other zones but from a travel standpoint, they will not be as convenient. Buy a Zone 1 pass for the duration of your stay in London. It will be an economical way of getting around.
b) I don't think you necessarily need a guided tour. I would only recommend a tour for day-trips out of London (Windsor, Warwick, Oxford etc.)
c)The attractions in the city are as follows:
1) Tower of London
2) Tower Bridge
3) Change of guards at the Buckingham Palace
4) Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
5) Big Ben
6) Royal Observatory at Greenwich (and of course, the Prime Meridian)
7) BBC Studio tour
8) Jack the Ripper tour
9) British Museum
10) The home of Charles Dickens
11) The home of Sherlock Holmes at Baker Street
12) Shopping at Oxford Street
13) Covent Garden (this is a MUST VISIT!!! - the atmosphere there is to die for!!)
14) Wimbledon Museum
Hope this helps.
When I go to London I try to stay in or near Earl's Court. I think it is a good neighbourhood. Not too expensive and pretty central without being crowded or noisy.
Have a look at LondonTown.com for more information and ideas for things to do.
If you're going in June, you could check out University accommodations around London. Once the students have gone home, the universities rent out their rooms to tourists and the like throughout the summer - for a lot less than staying at a hotel or B&B. We stayed in (if I remember right) King's College, and a big buffet breakfast was included in the price. It was also conveniently near an Underground station - as I suspect most universities would be.