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Hi All, my wife and I are travelling to England on 4 October, and I'm seeking some advice for the second half of our stay. We plan to arrive Heathrow, hire a car, and drive to Bath for a day & night and then head south to the coast, Brighton and then up the coast to Dover and Canturbury. The last half of the stay will be in London proper, sans auto, and we are hung up on where to stay. We are history buffs, but not typical tourist types. I've been to 27 countries (England not one of them) and like to blend wherever I am. We love people watching and good dining, but not so into "nightlife" as we once were, we're both teetotalers now. Thinking minimal reliance on Uber, good walking to cool places, easy tube travel. Wife likes Covent Garden for being petty central, is Kensington or Hyde Park too out of the way? Last three days we are spending in Oxfordshire with an old Mod friend. Flights booked, just want to make the best decision on the lodging, because we can save a bundle by reserving and paying this early. Pro tips from locals or recent travelers appreciated!
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It's been a fair few years. I mostly stayed in Bayswater, which is just north of Hyde Park. It was an easy walk to Trafalgar and Covent Garden. At least when I was younger.
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I stay with family in Hampstead but you will find London surprisingly walkable. I can't answer your accommodation question but get yourselves Oyster cards for the tube and busses, plan to only travel outside of rush hour and make sure you get a senior card if you are one. Don't try and take a car into London, it is a huge hassle and if you venture into the wrong sector, expensive. Plan to ditch the car and take the Heathrow Express to Waterloo. And for your health, look both ways before you step off the curb! Hard habit to break.
London is very spendy…
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It's Canterbury, not Canturbury.

Don't waste your time with Dover, It's a shithole.

Folkstone is marginally better.
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Bath has plenty for history buffs. A good destination for a day or two. I enjoyed the Roman Baths, it's kinda pricey but there's more inside the building than it first appears, as the old bath works descend below the current street level. I also enjoyed the modern Thermae Spa, it gets busy but it can be quieter if you wait till evening and visit a couple of hours before closing. There's an open air heated pool on the top floor, and you can look out over the city from there. The Royal Crescent is impressive and worth the walk up the hill. These are all big attractions though, you've probably already got them in your sights.

Stonehenge is a big feature on the route west to Bath, but consider Avebury too: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avebury

And London? No idea. Somewhere down in the South East? I have only heard tell of it.
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Bill Dog wrote:
It's Canterbury, not Canturbury.

Don't waste your time with Dover, It's a shithole.

Folkstone is marginally better.
LOL thank you Bill! Just want to see some chalky cliffs!
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Ironfoot wrote:
Bath has plenty for history buffs. A good destination for a day or two. I enjoyed the Roman Baths, it's kinda pricey but there's more inside the building than it first appears, as the old bath works descend below the current street level. I also enjoyed the modern Thermae Spa, it gets busy but it can be quieter if you wait till evening and visit a couple of hours before closing. There's an open air heated pool on the top floor, and you can look out over the city from there. The Royal Crescent is impressive and worth the walk up the hill. These are all big attractions though, you've probably already got them in your sights.

Stonehenge is a big feature on the route west to Bath, but consider Avebury too: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avebury
Thanks Ironfoot, I'm really interested in Bath for a couple days, thanks for the other recommendations too.
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How about a trip to Ace cafe? Here is what is on in October:

https://london.acecafe.com/meets/?cm=10&cy=2023&ct=

Or Bike Shed cafe:

https://bikeshedmoto.co.uk/pages/london
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johnymoore wrote:
How about a trip to Ace cafe? Here is what is on in October:

https://london.acecafe.com/meets/?cm=10&cy=2023&ct=

Or Bike Shed cafe:

https://bikeshedmoto.co.uk/pages/london
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My wife and I stayed at a Premier Inn in Victoria/Eccleston Square on our trip. 3 star businessman's hotel (Hampton Inn equivalent in our minds). Decent restaurant with a friendly staff. Walking distance to Victoria Station and pubs. Grocery stores, chippies, and local color in a quiet neighborhood. Kids walking to school every morning, birds and trees, residential homes. Very quiet.
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London has plenty to see and while drinking helps its not a requirement of living here. The tube (underground) has lots of coverage and is frequent at about every 3 minutes so getting around is easy. There are lots of accommodation options, the premier inn chain is a good call. Also worth considering citizenM and Motel One near Tower of London.
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The underground will get you everywhere in London. You can get a day pass.
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Well if it's chalky cliffs you want and you want to get close, either park at Folkstone and head for the Martello Tower on the hill then walk down to the beach and keep going.

Either that or drive along the coastal road towards Dover then double back to Samphire Hoe which is accessible through a tunnel. It's a nature reserve built on the spoils of the Channel Tunnel.

Dover Castle is worth visiting if you like your WW2 History but avoid the town but if you are going to visit Folkstone don't stay over at the Hotel Burstin. It's probably the 2nd worst Hotel in the UK.

The Ace Cafe is very over rated but BikeShedMoto is really worth a visit.
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Check out the Skygarden. You have to book in advance but its free and if you are there on a weekday more availability.

https://skygarden.london/
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Bill Dog wrote:
Well if it's chalky cliffs you want and you want to get close, either park at Folkstone and head for the Martello Tower on the hill then walk down to the beach and keep going.

Either that or drive along the coastal road towards Dover then double back to Samphire Hoe which is accessible through a tunnel. It's a nature reserve built on the spoils of the Channel Tunnel.

Dover Castle is worth visiting if you like your WW2 History but avoid the town but if you are going to visit Folkstone don't stay over at the Hotel Burstin. It's probably the 2nd worst Hotel in the UK.

The Ace Cafe is very over rated but BikeShedMoto is really worth a visit.
Well I happen to like scooters so it not overrated if you want to look at lots of scooters!
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Not a local (150 miles away), but I do like days out in London

I would probably lodge a bit further out from the centre, somewhere like Hampstead Heath (you might even bump into Ricky Gervais!) as it's a nice area and easy to get into the centre & Regent's park, Camden Town etc only a mile or so to walk..

we tend to use the Premier Inns (decent standard, reasonable price)

https://www.premierinn.com/gb/en/hotels/england/greater-london/london/london-hampstead.html

edited to remove eleven lines of tracking dross - jimc
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Just up front Brighton is a place called Seven sisters which has a lovely scenery. You can go for a small walk and end up at the chalk cliff faces.

Also, have a look on the National Trust website. These are important historic properties that have been donated to a charity and so are open to the public. There's hundreds across the UK, each with a very unique history. A good example to see would be Chartwell House (where Winston Churchill lived), but there's lots up and down the country: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit
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Der Blechfahrer wrote:
It's been a fair few years. I mostly stayed in Bayswater, which is just north of Hyde Park. It was an easy walk to Trafalgar and Covent Garden. At least when I was younger.
I still like staying in the Bayswater Road area North of Hyde Park. Numerous lodgings and restaurents available, and several underground stations. Easy to get all over London and even to somewhat further destinations like Kew Gardens by tube.
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Bath and Brighton are my two favourite UK city's so good call on planning to visit them both.


Where in Oxfordshire will you be staying?
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Thanks for all of the suggestions and tips!
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Coddy wrote:
Bath and Brighton are my two favourite UK city's so good call on planning to visit them both.


Where in Oxfordshire will you be staying?
Our friend Roy lives in Milton.
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Certainly go to Bath. Consider taking the train from London to Bath though. Romans didn't lay out a city that is motor-car friendly! I'd look to visiting Oxford too.
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