London vacation info? No idea what I'm doing


OK, thinking of booking a London trip for a week in 9/22. Went to book a hotel and realized I had no idea what any of the neighborhoods were or anything.

So. We’re looking for a walking neighborhood (mostly pubs and curry and such like) and not fancy stuff. Don’t need to be near city center but that would be nice, since it’s the center. Don’t need luxury, but not looking to get rolled outside the hotel.

What areas should I look at? I was looking at something neat St. Paul’s Cathedral/the Thames which seemed OK but the closest restaurant was a Gordon Ramsey pizza place, so…

Also. What should I not miss? Aside from a full English breakfast.


I’m hopping on a plane to Arizona as we speak. Have a good trip.


What’s your budget for a hotel? I remember when I went there 1989 or 1990, I can’t remember exactly but we stayed at a Ramada Inn which I think is gone now and the bathtub leaked. I remember it being kind of far from the center of London. Coming from Japan and going there for the first time, instead of trying to figure out the subway, my ex and I took a cab everywhere and that worked for us. Not suggesting you stay somewhere like the Ramada Inn but my friend who used to live in London did say that if you stay at a low-budget hotel, you’ll have trouble. But that was years ago so I’m sure things are different now.

Went again in 2008 and stayed here:

It was a divorce gift for myself and it was amazing. I didn’t see the butler and we didn’t use the chauffeur service, which we should have…If you have the money, I recommend staying there, even if it’s for a couple of nights, just for the experience.

Also in 2008, I stayed here which was really nice:

Near the Thames and Tower Bridge. There’s also a subway station close by. We did a lot of walking around in that area.
This one might work for you.

And you have to visit this pub, just for fun:


Can’t go wrong with Premier Inn. Always clean and comfortable and cheap. The one at Wembley stadium is good, and the whole area is a bit of a park in itself, bars and no roads around it. It is a little out from the centre but tubes are quick enough.


Thanks for this–I think we are trying to keep it below 200 a night. I think that’s a good idea though, maybe treat ourselves to a fancy one for a couple of nights, then keep it basic for the rest of the week.


This is an interesting idea–and super inexpensive. We’ll be tube riding all week for sure. I love public transport.


9/23 come visit Japan. You’ll love the public transportation here!


I really want to see Japan! Their public transit is legendary. But I want two full weeks.


If you do stay in Wembley, and you’re in any way into scooters/mods/rockers, check out the Ace Cafe that’s close by. If you stay in St Paul’s, and you want curry, go to Brick Lane, where there are some great curry houses, plus a cool Rough Trade record shop. Camden, Borough and Portobello markets are great places to walk around, as is Covent Garden, Soho and Chinatown. If you’re gonna try fish and chips, most pubs don’t do it well. Look for a real fish and chip shop. South Kensington is where most of the great museums are, and they’re mostly free but require advance booking due to Covid. Kew Gardens is lovely also, just south of the Thames. There’s some great parks, such as Hyde Park where you can find the Serpentine… How long are you there for? Ha ha. It might be cool to do a boat trip along the Thames, great way to see the lights and bridges


That’s a bunch of great advice, thanks. I’m looking to spend a week. Wish I had more time. When I travel I don’t do too much sightseeing–just like one or two things a day. I like to just walk around and pretend I live there, absorb it that way.

So far of what you mentioned, St. Paul’s looks like the kind of place I’d want to stay. Curry and records, just my speed.


The East end might be your best shot then. There’s also Whitechapel around near St Paul’s, there’s some cool Jack The Ripper guided walks that can be had around that way, it was also Krays territory. And you can’t go wrong with Premier Inn, they’re everywhere and they’re great. A lot of them do great food too.

Sorry, extra edit: also a couple of markets closer to the east end are Spitalfields and Petticoat Lane, though the latter might not be that interesting.


Looking at these two Premier Inn locations. One seems like it’s Whitechapel-ish, the other Islington which is recommended somewhere for ‘live like a local.’ Good areas to stay?


I was waiting/hoping for Gary aka excowboy to chime in.
There you have it, you can get all the advice you need from him. :100:


Personally, I’d go for the Aldgate/Whitechapel, because Liverpool Street is a very short walk from there and has access to 3 different Underground networks, whereas Angel/Highbury has 2 between them. You’d also be closer to the Thames, which is just a more picturesque place to be in the evenings. Nothing against Angel, though, it’s got some great pubs and restaurants.


what about all your sex shops? any recs?


Don’t try to test the equipment whilst it’s still on the shelf… They don’t hold much weight.


OK, trip booked. Early September, took advice and staying at Premier Inn Aldgate on the edge of Whitechapel. Thanks to all who helped!


safe travels buddy!

i recommend Hate Inc for the flight over


hugs buddy and have fun!


Well I am headed to London in a few days. Have a few final questions, hoping @Excowboy or @exile might have some thoughts to impart.

Supposed to rain most of next week. Is London rain a downpour of more like incessant drizzle?

Are any shops or restaurants going to want to see a Covid vax card from us?

Where is a good spot for used vinyl–not spendy, just used items I can’t get easily in the US? Scottish stuff like Pastels, BMX Bandits, Josef K, etc.?

Do people really dress better than they do in the US? Am I going to stand out in my jeans and flannel?

Thanks for the info! Jokes at my expense welcome also.


Don’t forget to visit the Tate museums!

And I’m not @exile or @Excowboy but the three times I was in London/UK it was just an incessant drizzle.

And people dressed the same when I went. You won’t stand out in jeans and flannel. :sunglasses:
My summer visits, I was in jeans & t-shirt my whole trip.
But it was a lot cooler than I was used to for summer so I needed to pick up a jacket while I was there.

Have a wonderful time, highlife!
I’ll be looking forward to seeing your photos when you get back!