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london - questions about hotels, travelling and the like

Discussion in 'Personal' started by anon1369, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. My friends and I are having a short break next week (2 days and 1 night). We are based in the NW and were thinking about going to london, I have
    never been before although I have driven past/through it.
    The train would cost over £200 for all of us and as money is (very) tight I suggested driving which would cost us about £25 each in petrol and would take about 4 hours. I would have no problem with driving but I am limited to the miles I can do on my car so it would be down to another friend to drive.
    Then comes the problem with driving - finding a hotel with parking. I have managed to find a hotel in the docklands which charges £5 for 24 hours parking and hotel would cost £20 each (but it is only available for one night)
    We might be able to go for 2 nights instead depending on whether one friend can book it off work. I suppose my questions are...
    1) Is it worth going to london for 2 days/1 night? (Taking into consideration hours spent getting there and going home?)
    2) Do you think it is best getting the train or drive?
    3) Any suggestions about hotels with parking in or around london? We don't mind staying out the centre as long as connections are good.
    4) Is it safe to visit london at the minute? I heard on the news this morning that the riots have been 'spreading' across london.
    Thanks in advance [​IMG]
     
  2. My friends and I are having a short break next week (2 days and 1 night). We are based in the NW and were thinking about going to london, I have
    never been before although I have driven past/through it.
    The train would cost over £200 for all of us and as money is (very) tight I suggested driving which would cost us about £25 each in petrol and would take about 4 hours. I would have no problem with driving but I am limited to the miles I can do on my car so it would be down to another friend to drive.
    Then comes the problem with driving - finding a hotel with parking. I have managed to find a hotel in the docklands which charges £5 for 24 hours parking and hotel would cost £20 each (but it is only available for one night)
    We might be able to go for 2 nights instead depending on whether one friend can book it off work. I suppose my questions are...
    1) Is it worth going to london for 2 days/1 night? (Taking into consideration hours spent getting there and going home?)
    2) Do you think it is best getting the train or drive?
    3) Any suggestions about hotels with parking in or around london? We don't mind staying out the centre as long as connections are good.
    4) Is it safe to visit london at the minute? I heard on the news this morning that the riots have been 'spreading' across london.
    Thanks in advance [​IMG]
     
  3. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    Don't forget the congestion charges if you drive....
    You could stay further out (docklands etc) but it will cost you a tad more on the underground as it will probably fall under zone 3. Not sure abbout hotels offering free parking though...
    Travelodge usually let you get 3 in a room to keep costs down, we stayed at Tower Bridge for less than £50 a night. We've also stayed in the Euston one which was okay. Some places won't keep your luggage though so check this otherwise your 2 days is reduced into 2 1/2 days or you have to lug baggage around (or pay for storage in Euston)
    Personally I'd get the train if you can, first class fares are sometimes cheaper than standard ones too... if your flexible with the times you travel you could get it quite cheap (£11 e/w on some routes from NW).
    x
     
  4. Oooh forgot to mention, friend who would be driving has got a car that is exempt from congestion charges.
    It is the travelodge hotel in the docklands I was looking at but as we have left it rather late, it is the only travelodge left with family rooms (there is only 3 of us so need a room to fit us all in). I checked the TFL website and it would cost us £4 each way from hotel to central london.
    With regards to getting the train to london, I have searched and searched the internet for train prices as we are flexible with time but the cheapest is £70 each return. They did have one leg of the journey for £18 but when it turned out that this would take 9 hours and mean a 5 hour wait in one of the train stations overnight - don't fancy that haha.
     
  5. Have you tried breaking the train journey?
    Not sure how it works down south, but travelling from east coast to west coast in Scotland I saved over £20 by 'breaking' my journey. I didn't actually get off the train, I just had 2 sets of tickets. They guy in the ticket office sorted it for me - i was planning on paying the full price, but just happened to comment at how expensive it was, and he told me he could do something about that!
     
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    London's a big place. Don't think you'll be visiting the spots where riots are taking place.
    It's a long drive - but I've done it from Leeds and back in a day. As to whether it's worth it - well that's up to you. There are places outside London where you can travel into it on the train - usually a very good service. St.Albans for example. Just depends what you are going to be doing in the evening.

     
  7. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    1) yes, if you have never been
    2) personally I drive everywhere. Have you investigated coaches? Are you all confident at driving in and around London - they tell me it is very different from everywhere else (but I started driving in London at age 19 and have never been put off by the traffic)
    3) sorry - no idea about hotels as we live close by and just go for the day
    4) yes - unless you are planning to be out and about in any of the "rougher" suburbs - the city centre should be perfectly safe

    What are you planning to see and do? I love hearing about people's "tourist" experiences of London as I have lived most of my life within a 30 minute train journey, so it is just "there" - does that make sense?
    H
     
  8. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    Personally, I would cast your net for accomodation further afield and see what you can find towards the ends of the tube lines. Driving in London is a pain and you get ripped off for parking. Transport is very good, especially the underground, often with trains every couple of minutes.
    I can't really comment about the riots, but remember millions of people live in London and will be going about their business as normal. During the riots of the 80s, I lived and worked in London. Never saw anything of them except on the news.
     
  9. mmmmmaths

    mmmmmaths New commenter

    For future reference, to get the best cheapest trains you need to book as soon as the advanced fares are released 12 weeks in advance. For example October half term are now available and you can get Manchester to London at £11:50 each way. But they only hold a certain number of seats at this price for each train, as they sell out the prices increase.
     
  10. katycustard

    katycustard Occasional commenter

    We stayed in a travel lodge near Tower Bridge and parking came with the room. I remember it being difficult to find where the car park was and I had to phone the travel lodge and get directions to some underground car park. We did the same as you, 2 days and 1 night and did loads. We were 2 adults and 2 young children.

     
  11. If you've never driven in London you could end up getting completely lost or freaking out! If you can go by train it is by far the best way to get around. Buses are also great once you're there and if you know where you want to go walking rather than jumping on the tubes is manageable
    Yes, but you need to plan carefully. What do you want to see, there is loads to do for 'free'. You can't just arrive in London and hope to get the best out of a two day visit without knowing where you're going and what you're doing.
    .
    Yes, it's a big city, steer clear of Tottenham and you'll be fine!
     
  12. anotherauntsally

    anotherauntsally Senior commenter

    Groupsave off peak train tickets are available with three tickets for the price of two off-peak returns. May not suit when you want to travel, though. Or is flying an option. Cheap flights are often available depending on where you're flying from. We got flights from Edinburgh for £36.
     
  13. voodoo child

    voodoo child New commenter

    If you can park your car at the hotel then leave it there and take the bus/ tube or walk round London. Plan with a map that shows the tubes/buses and get a travel card that covers tube and bus if you want to use public transport. Depends on what you want to see but if it is a quick tourist viewing of sights you can go from Tower Bridge along the river (or possibly on the river) towards Westminster to see the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, walk up Whitehall past Downing Street to Trafalgar Square with the National Gallery (free) and National Portrait Gallery (free) down to Charing Cross out the back to the pedestrian bridge to the South Bank - London Eye, Festival Hall, National Theatre and 10 mins stroll to Tate Modern and the Globe Theatre. You can do one of the open top bus tours if you'd rather not walk.
     
  14. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Have you considered the megabus?
    I don't know exactly where you are or when you intend to travel, but you can potentially get the three of you there for about £30. And £30 back again.
     
  15. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    Not to promote credit cards but you save 10% of virgin trains by using their credit card if you have one x
     
  16. http://www.charlotteguesthouse.co.uk/en_locationdirections.html#
    I have stayed at this B&B a couple of times as have my parents. It is in West Hampstead so very central and easy to sightsee from. For next Tuesday night, for example, they have a room to sleep three- a double and a single for £66 including breakfast.
    Parking would have to be on the street- free after a certain time but you might need to pay during the daytime. I have to agree that if you could get cheap enough tickets it wouldbe much better to leave the car at home. Consider travelling by coach?
     
  17. For example, National express from Newcastle to London Golders Green next Tuesday returning Wednesday £36 each return.
     
  18. If your friend's car is exempt from congestion because they hav e adisability? If so they canpay £16 for a disabled person's rail card and they and another preson can travel at 1/3 off - it doesn't cut your whole bill but takes some off it.
    Two days in London is well worth doing. If you are not going to be based centrally then I'd choose somewhere residential, I used to live in Finchley and it would be OK as a base. Yes you have to spend money and time getting to the attractions but you are easily on the motorway and if you come back to the hotel/ b and b on an evening there are much cheaper places to eat than central London.
     
  19. Thanks for that tip, I tried it but unfortunately it didn't help.
     
  20. Thanks to those who mentioned the coach. I looked into that too but it would take over 6 hours and would waste too much of what little time we have. Although it is cheaper, it would only work out about £20 less than the cost of petrol.
    I have no idea about what to see or do, one of my friends has been to london before so she is in charge of that!
    I know exactly what you mean, I can say the same about my own city!
     

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