Definately register with couchsurfing...you've enough time to get some references by hosting yourself ( even if you just meet for coffees etc). You can then stay with locals all over the country and see the real places! We did it in Iran and it was the best thing we've ever done, now hosting in London, great way to meet interesting people!
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
I think it's a lovely idea to spend more time on one place and really exploring it rather than just passing through. If you're planning to travel all around the UK perhaps you should consider staying somewhere other than London, as, like everyone else has said, it probably is one of the most expensive places to stay. Perhaps plan a stay in one of the other cities you want to visit? Or even stay in a suburban area, just outside of a city? Aslong as there's a train station you'll still be able to get around very easily. For cities to visit, I'd recommend London (obviously), I love Edinburgh, Bath is very pretty and Bristol's nice too.
I'm all for spending time really getting to know a place but perhaps your spending a bit too much time in cities - The UK is really small nothing is that far apart so the cities are interchangeable 5 days in Glasgow, then 5 days in Edinburgh is a bit much they are only a few hours apart stay in one and perhaps day trip to the other then get up into the highlands that's where Scotland differs in feel from the rest of the country. A train to Inverness is only a couple of hours from Edinburgh.
-10 days in the North of England: Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds. All great places to go but what about getting a train out into the Yorkshire Dales inspiration to classic stories by Jane Austen and the Bronte's. Keswick is only an hour or so by train.
- 14 days in London is more than you need really, there is lots to do but its very expensive and its not exactly typical of life in the UK to get that in depth feeling. Start here explore a the usual sites then head off explore the country then come back and see the quirkier places. A coach called the Oxford tube takes you there in an hour and a half from London, Brighton is about the same. Megabus and National Express coaches are cheaper than trains but if you can get tickets a little in advance there are some bargains. Don't buy train tickets on the day unless its a short journey as they can be 10 x the cost of an advance ticket. Bristol and Bath are just over an hour from London and are really nice cities the train then heads on to Cardiff also a cracking city with easy access to beautiful national parks and then you would have been to 3 countries in one!
[ Edit: Edited on 08-Oct-2016, at 09:59 by jojoz ]
Alice, I would like to go back to your original post. You wrote, "but I'm reeeeeally digging the idea of staying in one place and getting to really know it. I'm not saying that I'll get a room in Westminster and never ever leave the Queen and the Big Ben since I do want to visit as much as I can."
NO ONE can say whether it is BETTER USE OF TIME to move around or to spend all YOUR time in London. All they can say is what they think they would prefer. But THEY are not YOU. Your sentence that I have quoted above has 2 major points. The first is "getting to really know" and the second is 'as much as I can". Those two things are NOT compatible. No one can argue that the more time you spend in a place the better you will come to know it. Most tourists will say after 3 days that they have got a place figured out. Yet, after 3 weeks someone will know more and after 3 months even more and even after 3 years will still be discovering new things. There is no amount of time after which someone can say, 'I know ALL about this place.' So anyone stating 'you do not need' a month in one place, is WRONG. It may prove to be too much time for them but ONLY if they try doing it. Otherwise, all they are stating is an OPINION, not a FACT.
Second, when people say 'as much as I can', what most really mean is 'as MANY as I can'. But quantity does not mean quality and the word 'much' is not syonymous with the word 'many'. The way to see/do as much as you can is to spend time IN places, not in BETWEEN places. So if you "reeeeeally" want to stay in one place, there is nothing whatsover wrong with doing so. What I see here is you being influenced by those who think that what they would do with their time is what YOU should do and that to stay in one place would be the 'wrong' thing to do. Most travellers in fact try to cover too much in too little time. That is a known fact. It is one of the two commonest mistakes that travellers make. The other is packing too much. So you can expect that most will tell you to 'move more and cover more'. It doesn't make them RIGHT.
Your initial thought was to get to 'really' know London as well as you could in the time you have available. What I would suggest is that you go back to that thought but don't put a time limit on it. You actually don't know (nor does anyone else) how long London will hold your interest. What you do know is that you have MAXIMUM of 2 months available. So what is to stop you from going and staying UNTIL you feel you want to leave? That may be after a day, a week, 2 weeks or maybe even at the end of a month you may still not want to leave yet. It is only when you reach a point that you no longer feel you are getting 'as much as possible' out of each day, that it makes sense to move on. Otherwise, all you do is waste time moving from A to B and gain no more value from doing so.
'Best use of time' is totally dependent on what VALUE YOU get out of each day. It is NOT dependent on how many places you visit. As the saying goes, 'you can see a little of a lot or a lot of a little.' The one is not necessarily better for any given individual than the other. What does differ however is how much time actually gets spent IN places rather than in BETWEEN places. Time spent moving is largely lost time as it is not spent IN a place. So arguably, 'best use' of time is really to go to one place and spent ALL your time in that place. What would make it not 'best use' of time is only if it stops being of interest to you each day and giving you full 'value' from your time. That as I said, is the time to move on, not BEFORE.
[ Edit: Edited on 09-Oct-2016, at 08:37 by OldPro ]
Hi, I live in London. Of course is a nice city, but you probably will be able to see all its touristic glory attractions in 10 days or 15 with a slow pace. Your attitude and demaneur will determine your enjoyment of the city, some will experience Londoners as polites and overall friendly, other as cold, busy and rude. In other words you must put your personality as determing factor. Overall people are quite shallow, work/career oriented, stressesd and many indulge in party life, binging and flashing their cash. A minority of creatives, arty farty with cash has retired in the EAst of the city, where they breed and prosper with unconventional lifestyles- a bit fake if you ask me, inspired by trendy neighborhood of Brooklyn and Manhattan. You might want time to explore and make friends not just sightseeing, beside visiting the tourist attractions, will ware you out quickly as it often consists of : extortioned prices, long ques and big crowds, not to mention public transport and long distances headaches. So in case you really want to live the city and mix with its folks then a month is appropiate! You can rent on airbnb a room in shared house, or for an immediate Londoner insight explore the couchsurfing, even if is just for few days. Couchsurfing host show you around, often meeting you in evening for a social (the drawback is that is not abedroom you sleep in but a free couch, well they can be top end ones too), . Your chances with a couchsurfer intro or airbnb for that matter, can jumpstart your enjoyment of this cool city. If you are lucky JAnuary wont be that cold otherwise happy freeze. Enjoy