Thinking of going to the UK capital? We guide you through some of the best places to stay in London
2012 is going to be a big year, and with an expected 1-2 million added tourists flooding into the country, the UK’s biggest city is not the best place to be without a plan. In a busy metropolis like London, it’s important to have a good idea of where you’re staying and how to get around.
From a swanky Kensington hotel from the likes of Millennium Hotels to an up-and-coming guesthouse in Stoke Newington, there are plenty of options for all budgets and tastes in London this year, the question is how you’ll be travelling and what you’re hoping to do when you’re there.
We’ve done some research into great areas in zones 1 and 2 for tourists and city slickers alike, from the classic London hotel zones to quieter, more residential spots that will give you a taste of a different kind of urban rhythm.
Stoke Newington, N16
This village-esque enclave in the north-east of the city is an excellent spot to stay in for those who aren’t so keen on packing in the big sites and south western museums. Excellent for visiting friends or for those who know the city well, pick a spot like the bespoke rooms above The Rose and Crown pub on Stoke Newington Church Street. Wander Abney Cemetery, sample the excellent pubs and restaurants in the area, or wander down Kingsland Road to fashionista Dalston.
Kensington and Chelsea, SW3
Right on the other end of the scale from Stokey is this traditional western borough, bordering Mayfair and the most exclusive streets and restaurants in the city. Think old money, big foreign investors and pricey Michelin-starred restaurants. A good location for wandering Hyde Park, easy access to the river, and walking distance from the V&A, Natural History and Science Museums.
Another up and comer, and another recommendation for those who are not visiting London for the first time. Just south of Elephant and Castle, Camberwell is a changing region of Southwark, whose largely Afro-Caribbean population has seen a recent influx of gentrifying newcomers. Camberwell Church Street is excellent for little cafes (and the Angels and Gypsies tapas bar/hotel); you’ll also find the revamped South London Gallery on Peckham Road, and you’re a short walk from Brixton. All great places to explore, and whilst it isn’t on the tube line just yet, you can hop on from Brixton or Oval in no time.