Travel: United Kingdom - London

School terms keep kids in school and parents sane. Holidays can be boring to kids if they are left alone. Discuss vacation ideas and how to make good use of the free time for both children and adults.

Travel: United Kingdom - London

Postby doratheexplorer » Fri May 21, 2010 10:24 am

Hi mmy family and i planning to go london and would like to get some suggestions / advice on accomodation, where to go and where to eat. I am not going on a shoestring budget but definitely prefer a low cost as i am travelling with 2 v young kids, my mil along with myself and hubby. Would like to cut down as much unnecessary cost. can anyone advice thank you

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Postby hquek » Fri May 21, 2010 10:31 am

hi doraexplorer,

Depends on what you want to do. If you are exploring UK generally and just spending a couple of days in London, I would recommend you to get a Britrail pass. You can only buy this outside of UK, and affords you unlimited travel within a set period (either flexi pass or number of days pass). Do check out the various places that sells these cos the prices can be very different - misa travel, diners travel (at beach road) for instance offers these.

In London, do NOT miss Tower of London. I truly enjoyed myself there and went on the 2 times I was in UK (different years). The beefeaters are very good storytellers and the history is intriguing, of course the crown jewels are a draw.

I missed the British Museum and am still kicking myself - it's free and there are loads of treasures in there. So make a point to go if you are interested.

Westminister Abbey, Buckingham palace (changing of guards always a popular option). Go window shopping at Harrods - the food halls are famed. Understand you will have to pay money to use the loo (I didn't pay, but hear that it's nice inside).

Go watch a play or a musical if that appeals to you.

Most of all, have a good time!

hquek
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Postby doratheexplorer » Fri May 21, 2010 10:58 am

Hi HQuek thanks , how abt the accomodation. I am going to visit a relative but her place too small for us to stay so we will put up in hotel or something. Any suggestions cos hotels can be ex and don knwo if they have those service apartments or so. How abt food...?If going in dec my kids are 6 and 4 so will be needing lots of winter clothings. In all how muc do u think i can expect to spend including airfares, heard can come up to 15k with accomodation and food everything.

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Postby mckenzy » Tue May 25, 2010 9:36 am

When i was a kid (i know i know long time ago)... we stayed at B&Bs (Bed and Breakfast)... they're cheap and serve a scrumptious breakfast... mostly run by italians, greeks... etc.. iirc we paid 24 pounds per night for a small room for a family of 4 (my sis was 14 i was 12)

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Postby hquek » Tue May 25, 2010 9:48 am

hi doraexplorer,

The amount spent it all depends on your needs - nice hotels as opposed to cramming.

Please note that hotels in London are typically bird nests. I went with DH before and the room was pitifully small - one jump from door to bed, another jump from bed to bathroom.

Try tripadvisor and look for the type of accomodation you like - I like this website cos many pp would have seen and reviewed them (ie not biased, but you have to be careful to sieve out the fake ones).

Then look various ways (either from B&B site, or www.booking.com [not sure if it's bookings] to find the best rate.

It's a bit of work but I think the end result should be ok. That's what I did for amsterdam trip last year. we rented a top floor apartment for 1 week and it was really grand (although the steps up were super scary).

I think if you wander around UK, the B&Bs are really pretty. I stayed in one where the curtains, lampshade and bedsheets are all matching flowery prints. very very pretty. and the bathroom....also very very pretty.

UK is not a cheap place even with the depreciating pound. But it's navigable and no problems with language. Just estimate on the higher side and see how you can save. Remember to budget some for food wise.

BTW, fish and chips are super great there (I still recall this little shop outside of Manchester U football club area that has fantastic fish & chips). Mussels at covent garden (it was served in guys dressed like monks) - sorry no clue what that place is called.

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Postby toddles » Tue May 25, 2010 10:11 am

try this for service apartments. www.citadines.com think it has some links to capitaland. and most of their branches are in good locations in london. There's one near Holborn tube station that i passed by recently.

if you prefer a hotel, Holiday Inn Forum Kensington (near Gloucester Road tube station) was one of the better value ones we found. It's quite basic, but spacious enough. A bit old, but clean with all the necessary amenities (kettle, minifridge, iron, ironing board, hairdryer etc).

Plus point of that is that it's walking distance to Natural History and Science museums (the latter is especially great cos they have a basement specially for children, with bubble science shows etc). Both museums are free. If you don't mind walking. Oh wait. you're going in Dec. might not be warm enough to walk 15-20 mins. take that into account.

There are also many little B&Bs near Russell Square. The Grange Whitehall (google it) is right behind the British Museum and walking distance to Russell Sq tube station.

Hope this helps!

toddles
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Postby toddles » Tue May 25, 2010 10:15 am

On food, there are many chinese eateries in Chinatown if your MIL needs her chinese fix after a while.

My all time favourite is Kam Fung near Holborn Tube (but it's quite a walk from the station - exact street is Red Lion Square) - huge portions for about 6.5 to 7.5 pounds.

Food and children's clothing are VAT exempt so it's not too expensive in the supermarkets. Milk and very good bread are especially cheap. Can go crazy shopping for kids' clothes at H&M.

If you go for the service apt, then you can get rather gourmet tv dinners from M&S (it's not so upmarket there) at a good price and save on eating out.

There's also wagamamas (one near Brit Museum on Tottenham court road i think) and one along high street kensington for good asian food, huge portions, friendly staff, kid-friendly environment (crayons and paper).

enjoy! i love love love london.

toddles
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Postby optimistforum » Sat May 29, 2010 6:45 pm

I was in London last week at a seminar. My "tube" stop was Tower Hill; directly in-front of the Tower of London. It was great and I also walked along Tower Bridge.

I would try the sight-seer buses. For hotels, try the Premier Inn; great vfm and comfy too.

PS, I would recommend Stratford-Upon-Avon; so why not go and visit the home of Shakespeare; it's only an hour's train journey from London.

PPS, if going in June try Stonehenge ca 21 June. Funny, I live in the UK and I have not visted Stonehenge. Indeed, I only visited the Lake District last summer.
Last edited by optimistforum on Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby noobparent » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:48 pm

Going to London with young kids? Wow. How young are your kids?

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Postby doratheexplorer » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:44 pm

hi all thks alot for your suggestions, i have written down the accomodation and the sightseeing suggestions already. Now am going to check on the accomodations and see which one is best and book soon. My kids zre aged 4 and 6. since dec is gonna be very very cold i think i may have to get for them lots of xtra clothing e.g jackets rights. Anything on this to look out for.

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