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Quick Overnight in London--Ideas for Hotel/Tours?
Tsuki's profile picture
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My huband and I need to make an Easy Jet connection and will be flying into Gatwick at about 12:30 noon, and then will have to fly out of London Heathrow at about 4:00 p.m. the following day. I would like to see a little bit of London and basically have the afternoon that we arrive and the first part of the next day—allowing of course for time to get to Heathrow in good time for our flight out. We are traveling with carry-on baggage only that convert to backpacks. It would be possible to carry them around but not extra convenient.

I was thinking of taking a “city tour” via bus either the afternoon that we arrive or the morning before we fly out. Also would like to hit a few sights/interesting neighborhoods and have a nice dinner. (doesn’t have to be fancy, maybe a pub?). I’ve never been in London before. Does anyone have specific suggestions regarding hotels/or even neighboods/areas? Should I look for a hotel near Gatwick and then make my way over to Heathrow the next day. Or travel over near Heathrow for our hotel and just stay parked. Ideally, I need something that will be reasonably situated to get me into the city for a tour (near the metro) and not too difficult to get to from Gatwick (arriving) and Heathrow (leaving). Also..something in a reasonably decent neighborhood that won’t be too scary to walk around and might have some eating places/shops. What to do with our luggage in the a.m.before we leave is another question. If getting back to the hotel is easy, maybe we can stash it at the front desk and then just pick it up on the way….

Do folks a have a specific bus tour (and location of same) that would be good? Or other ideas? Also, ideas for hotels or locations/areas that work for the Gatwick-tour-sights-Heathrow idea. This will be in the middle of the Olympics, so it could be crowded and I’m anxious to get my hotel reservation. Thanks so much for any ideas/advice!

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Try one of the hop on/hop off bus tours. The tickets are good for 24 hours, so you could ride the route in the afternoon and then use the bus to get back to a place or two you really want to visit the next morning. “Guide Friday” is one,” Big Red Bus” is another, and there are several that use some variation of hop on hop off in the title.

I like to stay in South Kensington, but it’s pricy in the best of times and may be outrageous with the Olympics. Check a Rick Steves guidebook. He deals with several neighborhoods for lodging options, giving info about the character and pluses and minuses of each. Any of his guidebooks that cover London will work including an out of date used or library copy. I agree with his opinion that if you can afford one splurge in your trip, staying in South Kensington is as good a choice as any for spending the extra money.

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I’d rather stay in the city than near an airport. It will be tough with the olympics, but since it’s one night you might be able to get a decent deal via Hotwire or Priceline.