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Shopping trip to London!

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Melanoriel
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Hiya! I'm hoping to bring my young hopeful on a shopping spree to London this summer... 

We've never been to London or the UK (apart from Gatwick Airport for a stop) so I'm looking to see if any Guards have any tips for hotels and shopping centres? I was recommended Westfield Shopping Centre, and staying aroud Shepherds Bush?

Walking distance to malls and subways would be great - hopefully I can squeeze in some tourist traps aswell Smile

...

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Bonkadoc
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Strand Palace hotel has the best location imho (www.strandpalacehotel.co.uk), while still has reasonable prices, not anywhere close as the rates of it's neighbours. (like the insane Savoy Smile ). Walking distance to all the big sights, just a block away from Covent Garden, also close to Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square. You will save a lot of time and taxi fares by living there, than around Paddington station, where a lot of the cheaper hotels are.

Along the most famous sights, I would recommend seeing Brick lane and Camden town areas, which are something a bit different. Very 'ethnic' and 'bohemian'. Plenty of weird shopping to do in those locations. Smile

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Maexe
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Happy to do some checking out of suitable places and finding some good tourist traps as well, depends what you want to see.

I would certainly recommend Camden as a place to visit, and it's definitely worth taking in a couple of the main museums (such as the British Museum; http://www.britishmuseum.org/ and the Natural History Museum/Science Museum - they're separate buildings but are next to each other (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/ and http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/) - all these are free.

 

 

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Iviwine
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For staying in London the best thing to do is go to Lastminute.com and use the secret hotel option. select your price range and your preferred location and you could end up with a blinder of a hotel... random value I hear you say? No! the descriptions of the locations never change and you can look them up on the internet. I travel to London 2 to 4 times per week and use this option a lot. I have stayed in the Ritz and Hilton for £65 per night.

 

Personally I think the best area to stay is in Victoria. You have superb access on the tube and mainline, you're next door to some of London's most famous places. 

 

Shopping in Westfield is fine if you want a snapshot of shopping in Britain. The Westfield Centre is not exclusive to London as it is a chain: indeed there is a Westfield in my nearest city of Derby. What are you shopping for? I would say say explore... Bond Street and Regents Street are famous for brands and of course you have the world famous Hamley's. If you want to see how the other half live, head to Knightsbridge and check out Fortnum & Mason and Harrods (btw you cannot get into Harrods if you wear trainers or denim). But in all fairness, it doesn't matter were you go in London there is shopping all over and some really quirky stuff.

 

For day trips, you're spoilt for choice: you could do a different activity or site visit every day of the year and still not see everything. Note that the big museums like the Natural History, Victoria & Albert, British Museum are all free. I would also recommend going up the London Eye, get out your Monopoly board and book of tourist attractions and you will see how close everything is.

 

If you want eating out, it's fairly expensive to ridiculously expensive. Don't ever expect cheap. Even a meal deal from Tesco's Express is more expensive than you would expect. That said, you can eat good food for not a lot of money.

 

For transport, get an all day travel card: this gives you unlimited use on the tube and buses, plus a discount on the river taxi (highly recommended). Talking of which, get the river taxi down from Waterloo to Greenwich: you'll go under London Bridge, see the Houses of Parliament, The Globe Theatre, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, the Belfast, the O2 and Greenwich itself is a very nice spot (you'll also find the Cutty Sark there).

 

You will have a great time in London: it is safe, it is not outrageously expensive like most capitols, it's fairly clean these days and most people are friendly. What you will hopefully find is that it's the most cosmopolitan city in the world and too much to see and do. I have seen many places in this world and there are many places I'd rather be than London... but as cities go, there is no better city than London

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Ytho Cliffdiver
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The Westfield is expensive - catering to designer gear pretty much exclusively - and Shepherd's Bush isn't the best of areas, particularly at night. Bond Street is the traditional shopping area, perpendicular to Oxford Street (which has gone seriously downhill in the last 10 years). They're both in the centre of the West End though, so plenty of touristy things to see while shopping. Or, if you prefer things a little more indie, check out High Street, Kensington for some great little boutiques and alternative clothing shops.

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Melanoriel
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Thanks for all the inputs... we were probably mostly looking for clothes shopping... kids these days Smile I swear my kid can out shop me any day of the week (or at least so long as I pay for him Lol

I'm having a hard time finding "decently priced" hotels though... I heard London was expensive Biggrin Another thing is finding hotel rooms with twin beds instead of double beds... he's getting a bit big to share Wink

However, plans seems to have changed... so this is off the table now, might be rescheduled for the potato-holiday come Fall.

 

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