29 Apr Short Breaks in the Capital – Choosing a Hotel in London
The rising cost of air travel has put UK city breaks firmly back in fashion, and with a multitude of crowd-pleasing attractions and affordable travel links to the rest of the country, there’s never been a better time to take a short break in the country’s capital.
Its spectacular West End productions, historic buildings, grand palaces, spellbinding museums and pioneering art galleries ensure London offers something to appeal to everyone.
And whether your budget is lavish or shoestring, you’ll be spoilt for choice with places to stay, from fashionable boutique hotels to ancient converted buildings and modern masterpieces.
Piccadilly makes a perfect base for theatre breaker’s and shopping fanatics alike. It’s ideally placed for bustling Oxford Street, home to Selfridges and a myriad of fabulous shops and department stores, while the hip hangouts of Soho and Covent Garden are also nearby.
In the evening, you’ll find the bright lights of London’s famous West End are just a short stroll away. Here you can catch a show, see a musical, visit the opera or laugh the night away with the country’s top comedians.
And if you’re in need of a little refreshment, head for Leicester Square to sample delicious international cuisine or innovative cocktails at one of the area’s many restaurants and bars.
If you’d rather explore London’s historic buildings, look for hotels around Westminster. From here you can visit Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament and nearby Buckingham Palace, then cross the bridge over the Thames to the London Eye and take in the city’s majestic landscape.
Some of London’s best museums are located in South Kensington, just south of Knightsbridge and Hyde Park. Here you’ll find the Science Museum, the Earth Galleries Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum and Brompton Oratory.
Art buffs should stay near Southwark on the banks of the River Thames – the iconic Tate Modern is just off the nearby Millennium Bridge. Visitors can take a short ferry ride between the Tate Modern and the Tate Britain galleries, while to the east of Southwark lies the Tower of London, one of the most compelling and historic buildings in the city.
If you’re after pure luxury, seek out hotels around the upmarket neighbourhoods bordering Hyde Park. Most have stunning scenic views and its proximity to nearby green areas like St James’s, Park, Green Park and Kensington Gardens make it a perfect base for relaxing strolls and picnics.
North of Hyde Park, the leafy Regents Park makes an excellent base for visiting the the must-see Madame Tussauds waxworks museum. Tussauds also offers some great time-saving packages combining the museum with other attractions like the London Eye and and the London Dungeon – not for those of a nervous disposition!
It’s a good idea to make a list of everything you plan to do before you book a hotel in London. Taxi’s around the capital can be very expensive, and choosing the right base for your short break will help you reach most of your destinations on foot and take in some spectacular sights on the way!