Here's my advice.
1. Bayswater is okay and is quite central, has lots of accommodation and food options. However it's quite touristy and is quite a busy/hectic area. Most of the cheap hotels/B&Bs in London are very, very average at best. If you haven't been there before, you might be quite surprised. If you do decide on Bayswater, I would spend an hour and view the rooms of one or two places. Also, a bit of haggling doesn't go astray.
Personally, I much prefer Earls Court. Yes, it's also touristy but it's also central and has a better feel to the place (I lived a few suburbs away for a number of years and know the area well).
2. The bus tour is a good idea. Forget the tube and trying to do things "independently" - you don't have the time. Plus, the tube is underground so you don't see anything! I would do the bus for about half a day and no more than that. You can see a lot of things on foot, and here is my suggested walking itinary. Start at Green Park tube station and walk actually through Green Park. This will take you to Buckingham Palace. From there, head up Pall Mall and towards Trafalgar Square. From there head down Birdcage Walk to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Then walk up Whitehall, past 10 Downing street to Trafalgar Square. From there, you are 5 mins walk to Leicester Square and Covent Garden. All up, this will take an hour or so but you would have seen a lot.
- for cheap eats, try the sandwhich selection in "Boots" (a chain of chemist stores).
Woops, I made an error.
Delete "From there, head up Pall Mall and towards Trafalgar Square."
hi james: we decided to stay in the paddington area in london instead. there's a direct train from heathrow. haha. it is also near the victoria station, from which we are departing to stansted airport for our flight to paris.
thanks for the sightseeing route tips. i suppose now we can just start at buckingham palace cos that's pretty near to where we will be staying, won't it?
also, we'll check out the boots sandwiches! haha.
from what everyone's said, i guess we might do the big bus for 1 day, and then just walk around on our own on the 2nd day. actually, now that we are staying at the paddington area, is the big bus even necessary at all?
will have to check out the big bus routes again. my mom has lived in london before, for 7-8 years, but that was a pretty long time ago (1970s). still i suppose we'll manage without the big bus if we want more flexibility. have to discuss this with them again!
but what do you guys think? i suppose tourist places are all very accessible by tube, aren't they?
also, is it recommended to buy a 1-day tourist oyster card for GBP 13.20 per day (peak, and covers all zones)? or do you suppose we don't have to buy one that covers zone 1-6? not really sure which zones are the tourist places located at, so it'd be great if a london-er could help here.
up up up!
can someone help me with these questions (See previous post)?
You do not need a oyster card that covers you 1-6 as all the attractions are all in zone 1 except for "Windsor Castle"...and a few other places...
For Paris,look up"Les Bateaux Mouches"for a ride on the Seine and for sightseeing on the roads try "L'Open Tour"...
As to getting to Luton Airport via Bayswater...Go on Journey Planner
Anything else you may need,just nudge...
what airline are you flying from london to paris? looks like we're on a similar schedule
djiboutici: thank you! it's great to have someone confirm it. such a hassle trying to track down all the attractions and place them on the tube map!
adamsa: flying easyjet. then flying ryanair from paris to glasgow. cheers.
[ Edit: Edited on Apr 9, 2007, at 8:53 AM by daphnemaia ]