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nini

London is HUGE! What area to stay- our 1st time there

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Yes, that caught my attention. They  other properties in London: Hazlitt's (Soho area) and Batty Langley's (more west, Liverpool district), just in different areas. We are not sure of what are would be best for these 2 London newbies.

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As far as neighborhoods go, what do you want to see and do? You can get almost anywhere by bus or Tube, but it there are things you really want to do that are in the same area, I'd kind of start there and check price. For instance, many of the most popular first time visitor locations are in or near Westminster. There are historical hotels in that area, although they may be quite expensive. There's also good Tube access. The Tower of London and Tower Bridge are other common destinations, but not in the same part of London. Easily accessible by Tube, and not long travel times. On the other hand, if you're looking at hotels that give you 30+ minute travel times for what you want to see, you're going to have to factor convenience into your equation. 

 

My wife and I have been blessed with being able to stay on the fringes of Mayfair several times, with easy walks to Piccadilly, Green Park, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, as well as the shopping areas along Oxford, Regent, and Bond Streets, and the old school St. James, Jermyn, and even Saville Row. Those all give access to unique London neighborhoods. Soho is one of those, Covent Gardens is one of those. Not sure what experience you want, other than the hotel experience (which may frankly be less important than the experience outside the hotel...)

 

Just some thoughts.

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All three are very distinctive and very interesting indeed and would make a great place to stay. The Rookery is very, very near a tube station and is handy  for St Pauls, the river, Tate Modern ,  Charterhouse area and the Museum of London (all worth a visit.)

Batty Langleys is near Liverpool Street Station and is in an interesting area - the artists Gilbert & George live in the same street and there is quite a lot to see and do - Spitalfields Market, Denis Severs House, Brick Lane Curry restaurants, Ottolenghis restaurant, Bevis Marks Synagogue (google - brilliant),  Whitechapel Art Gallery & Jack the Ripper walks. The bus and tube service from Liverpool St is brilliant. Hazlitts is more central and a  much busier area. 

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markeb and Morgans-

There is so much to see and do, that is for sure. Currently on our to do list (a work in

progress), we have:

- Thames River Cruise

- Westminster Abbey

- At least one these: The Wallace Collection/ British Museum/ National Gallery

- Tower of London

- Sky Garden

- Food Tour (evening) We did this in Rome and was excellent.

 

Any thoughts? This might help us determine an area. 

Thanks!

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The river cruises typically leave from Westminster, but many of them have a stop at the Tower. I find the Tower to be best when it first opens, so you might check on a cruise you can pick up there and possibly return to Westminster. The Abbey, National Gallery, etc. are all in or near Westminster. 
 

You don’t have to stay in that immediate area, but you do want good Tube access to it. The British museum is amazing, huge, highly recommended, but in its own space...

 

You might check Trip Advisor reviews for the Charing Cross Hotel and I believe it’s the Horse Guards hotel. They may have been overdone on remodels for your taste, or just out of budget, but they’re both excellent locations for what you’re considering. I just don’t know the neighborhoods you’re looking at well at all. 

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The Rookery is handier for the Tower of London, river cruise and Sky Garden( from near the Tower). Bus no. 100 from round the corner or tube to Tower Hill (direct.) Also easy walk to the Millennium Bridge where you can pick up a river boat.

Edited by Morgans

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And Morgans to the rescue filling in details I don’t have!

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We are staying at the Sanctuary House Hotel between cruises for 3 nights.  Hoping this is a good location to visit Buckingham Palace, London Eye, London Bridge, and Westminister Abby.  Trying to decide if we should get a visitor oyster pass for these days and also considering the London Pass.  This is our first trip to London and would appreciate any suggestions you would have.

 

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1 hour ago, shippmates said:

We are staying at the Sanctuary House Hotel between cruises for 3 nights.  Hoping this is a good location to visit Buckingham Palace, London Eye, London Bridge, and Westminister Abby.  Trying to decide if we should get a visitor oyster pass for these days and also considering the London Pass.  This is our first trip to London and would appreciate any suggestions you would have.

 

 

Don't know the hotel, but just looking at the location, it's perfect for what you want to do. The visitor Oyster really depends on what else you plan on doing. You'll walk to Buckingham Palace, the Eye, etc. You'd take the Tube to the Tower and Tower Bridge (probably what you're thinking rather than London Bridge), so the Oyster would be useful and probably worth having, although a contactless credit card or Apple Pay/Google Pay will also work.

 

The key is to figure out what you want to see and in what depth. And cut the number of stops you're initially planning in half...

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Thank you Markeb for that information it is very helpful.  I will keep planning and getting more excited as each passes.

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On 1/25/2020 at 8:09 PM, shippmates said:

We are staying at the Sanctuary House Hotel between cruises for 3 nights.  Hoping this is a good location to visit Buckingham Palace, London Eye, London Bridge, and Westminister Abby.  Trying to decide if we should get a visitor oyster pass for these days and also considering the London Pass.  This is our first trip to London and would appreciate any suggestions you would have.

 

 

Yes, the Sanctuary House Hotel is within easy walking distance (less than a mile each) to Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and the London Eye.  (The abbey is directly on the way to the Eye.)

 

But I'm sure you mean Tower Bridge, not London Bridge.  You'll know the former when you see it.  You'll pass by or under the latter without even realizing it.😉

 

There's no discernible advantage to the Visitor Oyster Card over a regular Oyster Card. Simply purchase a regular Oyster Card when you're in London. The standard Oyster can be returned for a refund of any unused £££ (up to £10, if I recall correctly), whereas (if I'm not mistaken) I believe you can't get a refund of unused £££ on a Visitor Oyster.  I've only ever used a standard Oyster, but have never returned it for a refund--I have one from my last two trips in my wallet at this moment, in anticipation of my next return to London.

 

The London Pass is rarely advantageous, cost-wise, unless you plan on visiting a significant number of fee-entry attractions in a relatively short span of time.

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22 minutes ago, Post Captain said:

There's no discernible advantage to the Visitor Oyster Card over a regular Oyster Card. Simply purchase a regular Oyster Card when you're in London. The standard Oyster can be returned for a refund of any unused £££ (up to £10, if I recall correctly), whereas (if I'm not mistaken) I believe you can't get a refund of unused £££ on a Visitor Oyster.  I've only ever used a standard Oyster, but have never returned it for a refund--I have one from my last two trips in my wallet at this moment, in anticipation of my next return to London.

The visitor Oyster Card costs £5 which is not refundable. You can get back the balance on the card, but it requires emailing  tflenquiries@visitbritainshop.com. You can have the card sent to you, but it will cost extra for postage. There are also certain discounts with the card.

 

The regular Oyster Card has a £5 deposit, which is refundable, along with the balance on the card. I arrived in London by train, and picked up a regular Oyster Card the first time I used the tube. Then, when I flew home, I cashed it in at the airport. It didn't make any sense to me to keep it, as I don't know when I will be next in London.

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11 minutes ago, gnome12 said:

The visitor Oyster Card costs £5 which is not refundable. You can get back the balance on the card, but it requires emailing  tflenquiries@visitbritainshop.com. You can have the card sent to you, but it will cost extra for postage. There are also certain discounts with the card.

 

The regular Oyster Card has a £5 deposit, which is refundable, along with the balance on the card. I arrived in London by train, and picked up a regular Oyster Card the first time I used the tube. Then, when I flew home, I cashed it in at the airport. It didn't make any sense to me to keep it, as I don't know when I will be next in London.

 

The OP may want to check on the TFL web page. At one point, there were discounts on river cruises, for instance, on the visitor's card. The Thames cruise from Westminster (or the Tower back to Westminster) is a very nice orientation and something to consider, even with a limited amount of time. I'd 'probably" take the Tube to the Tower just to get there early, and look at one of the return cruises back to Westminster. We've gone to Greenwich both times we did that, so that's an option, depending on time and interests.

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8 minutes ago, markeb said:

 

The OP may want to check on the TFL web page. At one point, there were discounts on river cruises, for instance, on the visitor's card. The Thames cruise from Westminster (or the Tower back to Westminster) is a very nice orientation and something to consider, even with a limited amount of time. I'd 'probably" take the Tube to the Tower just to get there early, and look at one of the return cruises back to Westminster. We've gone to Greenwich both times we did that, so that's an option, depending on time and interests.

Here is a link to the current special offers.

http://content.tfl.gov.uk/visitor-oyster-special-offers.pdf

By the way, you can't buy the visitor's Oyster Card in London; you have to order it in advance

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Thank you for the info on the Oyster Card.

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7 hours ago, Post Captain said:

The standard Oyster can be returned for a refund of any unused £££ (up to £10, if I recall correctly), whereas (if I'm not mistaken) I believe you can't get a refund of unused £££ on a Visitor Oyster.  I've only ever used a standard Oyster, but have never returned it for a refund--I have one from my last two trips in my wallet at this moment, in anticipation of my next return to London.

 

6 hours ago, gnome12 said:

The regular Oyster Card has a £5 deposit, which is refundable, along with the balance on the card. I arrived in London by train, and picked up a regular Oyster Card the first time I used the tube. Then, when I flew home, I cashed it in at the airport. It didn't make any sense to me to keep it, as I don't know when I will be next in London.

 

Just to add a little to this:

 

There's little disadvantage to keeping the Oyster if there is a good chance that you (or someone else) might use it in the future, because the credit does not expire - this gives you one less thing to do on arrival in London next time.

 

But, as gnome12 says, if you really don't know whether or when you'll come next, TfL has made it pretty easy to get refunds of small amounts. Up to £10 of credit on either a standard pay-as-you-go Oyster or a Visitor Oyster (plus the deposit on a standard Oyster) can now be refunded at a machine.

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1 hour ago, Globaliser said:

But, as gnome12 says, if you really don't know whether or when you'll come next, TfL has made it pretty easy to get refunds of small amounts. Up to £10 of credit on either a standard pay-as-you-go Oyster or a Visitor Oyster (plus the deposit on a standard Oyster) can now be refunded at a machine.

I didn't know that. When I got off the tube at terminal 2/3 there was no line, and I just popped over to get my refund. Good to know that I can do it at a machine.

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Thank you everyone for all this information.  It was was helpful and I will read it all again to make an informed decision.  

 

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We booked The Rookery- it is about a 100 yard walk to Farringdon Station. I read tons

of reviews on many hotels and know that there will always be glitches in different people's

stays, rendering fewer stars. What is interesting is that the reviews are basically stellar for the three

sister properties: The Rookery, Hazlitt's, and Batty Langley's.

 

I hope I remember to let you know how it goes. It is not until September, but with quite a few

properties not having vacancies on Sept. 12, I thought I should book now (payment is not due now).

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18 hours ago, nini said:

We booked The Rookery- it is about a 100 yard walk to Farringdon Station. I read tons

of reviews on many hotels and know that there will always be glitches in different people's

stays, rendering fewer stars. What is interesting is that the reviews are basically stellar for the three

sister properties: The Rookery, Hazlitt's, and Batty Langley's.

 

I hope I remember to let you know how it goes. It is not until September, but with quite a few

properties not having vacancies on Sept. 12, I thought I should book now (payment is not due now).

 

Sounds like a good choice.  I hadn't heard of The Rookery before, but I liked the look of it when I checked it out on Tripadvisor.

 

As it happens, I stayed not too far from there (at the blandly modern and functional but comfortable Premier Inn Smithfield/Farringdon) last April, and am pretty sure that I walked right past The Rookery on at least one occasion.  (The Rookery is just north of Smithfield Market; the Premier Inn is just south of the market.)  Here's what I wrote about the area In a previous thread on Cruise Critic:

 

I love the location -- a bit off the usual tourist track but within easy walking distance of the kinds of places I love to explore when I'm in London: St Bartholomew the Great, Smithfield Market, Charterhouse Square, the Barbican, Christchurch Greyfriars Church Garden, Postman's Park, the Old Bailey (from the outside), the Viaduct Tavern (from the inside!).  And ten minutes' walk from St Paul's Cathedral.

 

Incidentally, as well as the aforementioned Viaduct Tavern, I also recommend The Jerusalem Tavern (in a building dating from 1720) and Ye Olde Mitre (established 1546).  All three are within a 10-minute walk of your hotel. And if you visit the Mitre, be sure to stop at St Etheldreda's Church, built in the 13th century.  

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We stayed at the Strand Palace last year. It's very convenient to Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square. My reason for booking it, though, was to be close to theaters so we could walk to them.

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