London Area Guides: Where to stay in London
If you’re flying into Heathrow Airport, Acton is a very convenient place to stay as the West London area is just a few stops away on the Piccadilly line. However, it's also spread across zones two and three, ensuring the area is still quite close to the sights and sounds of Central London, such as the West End and the museums around South Kensington. Although it is largely residential, there are plenty of pubs and restaurants for those looking for some evening entertainment. Nevertheless, the biggest draw for those staying in Acton is its transport connections, making getting around London a breeze.
Found just south of the River Thames in Southwark, Bankside is one of Central London's trendiest waterfront communities. The arts are heavily represented in the area, thanks to a number of galleries such as Purdy Hicks and the Tate Modern, as well as interesting public art like the Ian Davenport's Poured Lines underneath the rail bridge on Southwark Street. Bankside also offers superb views back across the capital and has plenty of fantastic places to grab a bite to eat or a drink. You can even visit the replica Shakespeare's Globe theatre to learn about the famous playwright.
You can’t miss Battersea, with the famed disused power station resting like an upturned table on the south bank of the River Thames visible for miles around. The former industrial area has been on the up for years, and its popularity with young families means there is plenty of artisan cafes and quaint boutiques to explore, while its tree-lined Victorian streets gives it a very homely feel. Battersea is on the doorstep of Central London in zone 2, with connections to the city on the Overground from Clapham Junction and the Northern Line on the Tube from Clapham Common and Clapham South, making it an excellent place to stay.
The cosmopolitan neighbourhood of Bayswater on the edge of Hyde Park in West London is one of the capital’s most beautiful areas in a fantastic location. Its peaceful, elegant garden squares and attractive architecture contrast brilliantly against the vibrant, bustling Queensway. For visitors staying in Bayswater, everything you need is within walking distance, whether shopping at Selfridges or relaxing in Kensington Gardens. But if you want to travel to other parts of the city, it is well served by Queensway on the Central Line. There’s no wonder it boasts more hotels than any other area of London.
The cosmopolitan Belgravia is one of London's most wealthy and exclusive regions, which makes it a top choice for anyone looking for a bit of luxury when visiting the capital. Fashionable boutiques and trendy bars line the streets, while for those looking to indulge in the arts there is the Belgravia Gallery on Albemarle Street and the Royal Court Theatre on Sloane Square. Within walking distance you'll find the likes of Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace too, and Knightsbridge, Victoria and Sloane Square tube stations make an excellent gateway to the rest of the city.
Found in the trendy depths of London’s East End, Bethnal Green is a fantastic place if you want to stay close to the capital’s vibrant subcultures. Whether sinking a beer and tucking into traditional pie and mash in a blue collar boozer or exploring the local art galleries and boutique shops, the varied Bethnal Green has plenty to keep you occupied. What’s more, it’s affordable and has great connections into Central London, with a zone two Tube stop on the Central Line taking you into central London in no time at all.
Bloomsbury is a beautiful area of Central London best known for its idyllic Georgian garden squares and some of the most striking buildings in the country. There are plenty of hotels and B&Bs dotted around the area, ensuring easy access to the local attractions, which include the world-renowned British Museum and the Charles Dickens Museum. The zone one location has excellent connections to the rest of the city, with Kings Cross and St Pancras train stations and six different tube stops close by, as well as the likes of Regent’s Park, Oxford Street and Covent Garden all in walking distance.
Live music venues, buzzing clubs and trendy bars make Brixton one of London’s most popular areas for a great night out, with Brixton Academy, the Fridge and The Windmill attracting revellers from across the city. This diverse neighbourhood is a fascinating place to stay, crammed full of cultural treats to expand your mind and your belly! Taste world food in the cafes and restaurants, and find exotic goods from the Caribbean, South America, India and Vietnam in Brixton Market. Located in Zone 2, Brixton has excellent transport links too, with the Victoria Line connecting you to Oxford Circus in less than 15 minutes.
When you think of Charing Cross, the first thing that typically comes to mind is the train station. However, there is so much more this bustling area of London offers visitors. It’s a great place to stay for those looking to bask in some of the world’s best artwork at the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, while Trafalgar Square is one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks. Charing Cross is about as central as anywhere in London, and the transport connections are fantastic from the train station, while plenty of attractions are in walking distance, including Leicester Square and Covent Garden.
There's no more stylish and exclusive area of London among the upper echelons of society than Chelsea. Home to the world famous Kings Road, if you're looking to do some luxury shopping then here is the place. Full to the brim with boutique shops, it's a great place to pick up a lavish memento of your travels. Chelsea is very lively too, giving it a unique buzz which you shouldn't miss out on. It is also the home to Chelsea FC, one of the nation's greatest football clubs. You can check out a match or do a tour of Stamford Bridge if the fixture list doesn't feature any home games during their stay.
Experience authentic Chinese culture in the heart of London when you stay in Chinatown! You’ll be bowled over by the area at once, as the entrance gates (Paifangs) are a sight to behold. Delve into the colourful shops to find fun gifts and feast on traditional food in the popular restaurants like Baozi Inn, Wong Kei and Leong’s Legend Restaurant. A particularly special time to visit is the Chinese Lunar New Year, but at any time you can see attractions like the Lion Statue and the 1888 Mural. Transport links are great too, with zone 1 underground stations at Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.
Known for swathes of young professionals and marauding Australians on working holidays, Clapham is an exciting area of South London, full of lovely restaurants, pubs and bars, and fantastic open green space. Make sure to take a trip to the award-winning cocktail bar Lost Society, and don't be surprised if your night ends up in the infamous nightclub Infernos. Clapham may come across as a bit loud and overwhelming for some, particularly around the high street, but relaxing parks such as Clapham Common are nearby, while the transport connections out of the area are fantastic with a total of three tube stations.
Dating back to the early 17th century,the famous market of Covent Garden is one of London’s biggest attractions, drawing people in from across the city to sample its wonderful foods and peruse its fascinating wares. There is more to it than the market though, with The Royal Opera House, the London Transport Museum and the bustling atmosphere of the pedestrianised piazza all worth a visit. Covent Garden is very central, with Soho, Leicester Square and the West End in walking distance, while the nearby zone one Tube station provides ample connections to the rest of the city.
A short 20-minute train ride out of London is the suburb of Croydon, and it does in fact have a lot of attractions for visitors to London. Shopaholics will be head over heels for the Whitgift Centre, which is the south-east leading shopping destination, while the newer Centrale shopping centre is a more relaxed retail option for those in the area. Meanwhile, the Museum of Croydon details the local history and is based inside the landmark Croydon Clocktower. If you're flying in through Gatwick Airport, you'll find connections to Croydon are superb and the accommodation very affordable.
Ethnic diversity and lots of green spaces mean that West London’s ‘Queen of Suburbs’ Ealing is a great place to stay. With Ealing Studios, PM Gallery and House, and The Questors Theatre all in this district, culture vultures will love the local arts scene. Shopaholics will also enjoy staying here, and other Ealing attractions include the largest Sikh temple in Europe, Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara. With great transport links via road, rail and tube, and a convenient location near Heathrow Airport outside the congestion charge zone, Ealing is a great base for a trip to London.
Home to the landmark Earls Court Exhibition Centre, the surrounding area is a fantastic place to stay if you’re attending an event there. Although there is not much else in the small, square section of West London, given Earls Court’s close proximity to South Kensington, Hammersmith and West Brompton, you will have easy access to a range of attractions. These include Kensington Palace, the Apollo and the city’s best museums, all without having to pay the high prices of hotels in these areas. What’s more, Earls Court Tube Station is a gateway for you to explore the rest of the city on the District line.
Embankment is a stretch of London running across the northern side of the River Thames from Westminster to the City of London. Created atop of marshy land in the 19th century, it marked an extraordinary feat of civil engineering to reclaim land in the centre of the city. Nowadays, Embankment is known for its stunning views of the London skyline and being surrounded by a number of fantastic attractions, such as Cleopatra's Needle, the 17th century water gate and the Benjamin Franklin House museum. Its fantastic location also means many locations are within walking distance, such as Leicester Square and Covent Garden.
Art lovers and foodies flock to Fitzrovia to find hidden gems. You’ll be right by Oxford Street, Regent’s Park and Camden when you stay in Fitzrovia, but you’ll also find an array of less well-known goodies where you can get a taste of the real London. Head to Charlotte Street for independent restaurants and cafes. Fitzrovia has been a haven for artists since the 1920s, and today you’ll find fabulous art galleries like the Coningsby Gallery, Alison Jacques Gallery and Jagged Art. With no less than six tube stations to choose from, you can get to anywhere else in the capital easily.
Another of London's exclusive West London neighbourhoods, Fulham nevertheless offers something for everyone and does not have to be an enclave for the wealthy. While there is plenty of fine dining restaurants and upmarket boutique shopping, there's also a whole heap of friendly, down-to-earth pubs, while around Fulham Broadway you will find a much more modest shopping experience. If you're heading to an exhibition at Earl's Court, then Fulham makes for an excellent place to stay, while football fans will want to visit Fulham FC's Craven Cottage on match day. The area has three tube stations too, so getting out is a breeze too.
Gatwick Airport is London's second largest air hub, where just one runway handles some 35 million passengers every year. It was first established in the late 1920s as an aerodrome before being used for commercial flights in 1936. Gatwick Airport may be located in Crawley, West Sussex, around 30 miles south of Central London, but don't be concerned about how long it will take to get into the city if you're landing there as the transport connections are superb. Although there is no tube station, it has its own train station where you can catch the Gatwick Express to London Victoria in just 30 minutes.
The veritable home of time - Greenwich is undoubtedly south-east London’s tourism hub, offering an array of exciting attractions on the beautiful banks of the River Thames. You can bask in the glory of the capital’s most famous clipper the Cutty Sark, explore the Royal Observatory and the Old Royal Naval College and kick back in the wide expanse of Greenwich Park. On top of the headline locations, there’s copious cosy pubs, revered restaurants and a great market to boot. North Greenwich is connected to the Tube network on the Jubilee Line, while the DLR and Greenwich train station provide further connections.
The North London area of Hampstead is worth a visit for any London tourist simply to bask in the glory of the wonderful Hampstead Heath. It is one of the most expansive open spaces in London, and the views from Parliament Hill are second to none. Beyond the park, there is still plenty for you to explore, with a wealth of trendy shops, traditional pubs and impressive architecture nearby. The Everyman Cinema Club offers one of the more luxurious film experiences in the capital, while poetry fans can't miss out on the opportunity to check out Keats House, a museum on a site where John Keats lived for two years.
The West End’s biggest competitor, Hammersmith is vibrant area of West London where you indulge in the arts at some of the capital’s most prestigious venues, such as the Apollo, the Lyric and the Riverside Studios. Once you’ve immersed yourself in the local culture, why take a stroll along the River Thames waterfront or sample some of Hammersmith’s fantastic restaurants and bars, such as the River Cafe or the Dove. There’s plenty of hotels in Hammersmith, but try to get one far from the A4 flyover as the noise of cars thundering across it day and night can be a bit much.
Vast green spaces and cultural diversity make the North London borough of Haringey a really interesting place to stay. More than 25% of the borough is covered by greenery, like Finsbury Park where lots of events are held, so you can take a stroll or enjoy a picnic. There are plenty more attractions in Haringey to visit too, from Alexandra Palace to The William Morris Gallery and the historic Bruce Castle. The fast transport connections mean you can get to Oxford Circus in just 16 minutes, and as you’re outside the congestion charge zone you could bring your car too.
Heathrow Airport is the UK’s biggest flight hub, expanding since its opening to public in 1946 to handle some 68 million passengers coming into London every year from 170 destinations. Its most obvious positive is its easy access to and from Central London thanks its connection to the London Underground network in zone 6. To get to the heart of the city it takes just 45 minutes on the Piccadilly Line, but if you’d rather take the Heathrow Express, you can get to London Paddington in 15 minutes. If you want to stay close to the airport will find an abundance of hotels vying for their custom, which means reasonable prices.
Best known as the highest area of the city, Highgate has nevertheless becoming one of the trendiest parts of North London. Near to the capital’s biggest and best park Hampstead Heath, it is characterised by grand, multi-million pound homes. As such, there are many quaint boutiques, glamorous restaurants and even a conservation society that aims to maintain the charming rural spirit of Highgate. Its affluent make-up is far from pompous and the village-like atmosphere is a welcome break from the hubbub of the city. There are plenty of affordable hotels too, and journey times to Central London are short on the Northern Line.
If you're visiting London to hit the West End or take in the history of the City, then Holborn may be the perfect place for you to rest your head. It's a vibrant area of London full to the brim with old, glorious buildings, fascinating museums and famous streets known the world over. What's more, Holborn is on the doorstep of the likes of Covent Garden and Leicester Square, which means that there is an abundance of London's famous attractions nearby. Check out the lauded British Museum, contemporary art at the October Gallery and Lincoln's Inn Fields, which is the largest public square in Central London.
Mix with the hipsters and delve into the creative scene with a stay in Hoxton. Contemporary art fans are spoiled for choice in Hoxton, with the White Cube Gallery and Deluxe Gallery just two of the many art galleries in the area. There’s plenty for foodies, musos and fans of fashionable bars too, with Jamie Oliver's restaurant Fifteen, The Macbeth and Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen amongst the most popular places to dine, drink and listen to live music. You can use the handy transport links at nearby Old Street in zone 1 to explore the rest of London.
Found on the fringes of north-east London, Ilford is a lively area known for its shopping, entertainment and superb food. Indeed, it is one of the largest retail centres in London with 1.7 million sq ft of shopping space and it also boasts a huge choice of restaurants, cafes and pubs to visit. It may be a little further out of the city, some seven miles from Central London, but you can get to Liverpool Street station in just 15 minutes and it has great connections via Gants Hill Tube Station on the Central Line. What's more, being further out, the hotels are very easy on your wallet.
One of the most vibrant and exciting areas of North London, Islington is a fantastic example of what the capital's nightlife has to offer, from delightful cafes and lauded restaurants to classy bars and raucous nightclubs. Islington is perhaps best known for being the home of North London's best-known football club Arsenal FC, who play their home games at the nearby Emirates Stadium – a must for any self-proclaimed sports fan. If you're staying in Islington and crave a slightly more gritty experience, then Camden is only minutes away on the Tube, while theatre lovers can find themselves in West End in no time as well.
Cricket fans and history buffs flock to Kennington! That’s because this part of London is home to The Oval, England's biggest cricket ground, as well as the Imperial War Museum. Situated just south of the River Thames in zone 2, the fast transport links will whisk you to the West End in a short journey, but there’s plenty to keep you entertained in Kennington itself too. The local cafes, shops and restaurants on Kennington Lane have a great ambience, and major attractionsinclude Lambeth Palace, Charlie Chaplin’s House, Kennington Park and the Oval House Theatre. There’s affordable hotel accommodation here too.
Kensington is one of the wealthiest areas of London, home to the rich and famous and boasting some of the most beautiful Victorian and Georgian architecture in the city. It grew to prominence following the Great Exhibition of 1851 when profits from the event were used to buy an 87-acre plot of land that eventually became the home of the Natural History, Science and Victoria and Albert Museums. Besides these world-renowned centres of knowledge, Kensington is home to the royal residence of Kensington Palace and the lush open space of Kensington Gardens. Yet, just wandering the streets of the area is an experience in itself.
Kings Cross is one of the London's biggest transport hubs, offering connections to the north of England and Scotland, while the adjacent St Pancras International is a gateway to continental Europe. It's not just about getting in and out of London either, Kings Cross is the capital's biggest tube station, with access to the Northern, Circle, Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City, Victoria and Piccadilly lines stopping through. There's more to Kings Cross than transport, however, as the British Library is nearby, as well as plenty of parks and art galleries. Don't forget to imitate Harry Potter running through the wall at Platform 9 ¾.
The wealthy Central London area of Knightsbridge is perhaps best known for its landmark department stores Harvey Nichols and Harrods, which attract people from all across the world through their doors. Unsurprisingly, shopping is the main attraction of Knightsbridge, but it is worth a visit to Harrods even if you can't afford to buy anything – you can just soak in its grand atmosphere. Once you're done getting your retail fix, you are conveniently located to explore the rest of the capital – two tube stations (Knightsbridge and Hyde Park Corner) can get you to the likes of Leicester Square and Camden in around ten minutes.
As you can imagine from its name, what brings London visitors to Little Venice is the quaint waterways that bear resemblance to Italy's famous City of Bridges. The idyllic, leafy neighbourhood in Maida Vale is at the junction of the Grand Union and Regents canals and is so quiet and pleasant you'll forget you're even in Central London. Its natural beauty has remained largely untouched from when the Grand Union Canal opened in the 19th century, which makes it a very romantic place to take a stroll. Make sure to take a canal boat trip, and check out some of the other local attractions such as Camden Market and London Zoo.
Whether visiting the City on business or looking to explore London's diverse and vibrant nightlife, Liverpool Street is a fantastic, well-connected area to stay that features plenty of affordable accommodation. Being so close to Shoreditch and Old Street means that Liverpool Street is a hub for night time revellers, but there is plenty of culture to indulge in during the daylight hours too. You can explore Spitalfields Market to find some fantastic bargains, visit the Bank of England Museum to learn about the history of this 300-year-old institution or take a trip to the Barbican Centre to indulge in the arts.
Maida Vale combines a charming village feel with easy access to the bright lights of the West End. The major attractions here have to be the beautiful Little Venice area and the Grand Union Canal that it surrounds. Hop on a boat from here to travel to Regent’s Park, London Zoo and Camden Town. The Italian vibe gives Maida Vale a vibrant atmosphere, and you’ll love heading out from your hotels to explore the smart boutiques and trendy restaurants. Abbey Road Studios and Lord’s Cricket Ground are nearby, and Maida Vale Tube Station in zone 2 gives you a quick route into Central London in just 15 minutes.
Marble Arch is a fantastic place to stay in London, at the core of all the tourist attractions and centred on a glorious historical site. The area is named after the gigantic edifice at the corner of Hyde Park, which was built in white Carrara marble in 1828 based on the arch of Constantine in Rome. It was originally outside Buckingham Palace but had to be moved to its current location when the Royal home was enlarged in 1851. The gateway arch between Bayswater and Marylebone is seconds from Oxford Street and walking distance from the West End and the nightlife of Soho, ensuring people staying in the area have plenty to do.
The celebrity-spotting centre of London, Marylebone sees the rich and famous swarm its streets and for good reason. The beautiful, historic buildings attract the affluent, and catering to them is a range of quaint boutiques and fancy cafes on the often overlooked Marylebone High Street. Tourists are at home here too, with the West End, London Zoo and Hyde Park all nearby, while transport connections are plentiful via the Marylebone and Baker Street tube stations. Don't forget that a trip to Marylebone wouldn't be complete without a trip to Sherlock Holmes place of residence at 221B Baker Street either.
Brought to prominence by Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts on the silver screen, Notting Hill has a rich history charting the ebb and flow of London's population demographics. This is reflected in its annual Notting Hill Carnival where millions of people celebrate the area's Afro-Caribbean heritage among its present wealthy inhabitants with costume parades, live music stages and bucket loads of jerk chicken. Notting Hill is also famous for the vibrant Portobello Road Market, fancy restaurants and glorious garden squares. There are three Tube stations too, which ensures visitors staying in the area can easily get around.
Anyone who's anyone knows that Oxford Street is a mecca for shopaholics all over the world, with flagship stores from the likes of Topshop and Primark attracting people from far and wide to the retail heaven. Whether you want to spend vast sums of money or are sticking to a strict budget, Oxford Street can cater for your needs, and there's plenty of trendy bars and restaurants when you need a bit of respite. The central zone 1 location and choice of three Tube stations makes Oxford Street easily accessible and it is also on the doorstep of a range of London attractions, such as Hyde Park and the West End.
Paddington's biggest draw for visitors for to the capital is its convenient location in Central London, close to a range of transport connections and plenty of fantastic attractions. With Paddington surrounded by the likes of Hyde Park, Kensington, Bayswater, Maida Vale and Marylebone, there is plenty to do and the affordable hotels means the location does not have to break the bank. Around Paddington Train Station the area can feel a little hectic, but dig a little deeper and you will find plenty of local gems, such as Paddington Waterside, Paddington Green and St Mary's Church, which are all worth a visit.
Pimlico itself is home to great attractions and is also within walking distance of some of London’s biggest star sights, including Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral. In the district itself you’ll want to spend plenty of time admiring the artwork in Tate Britain and admiring the views as you walk along Millbank. There’s also beautiful Regency architecture and delightful garden squares like Eccleston Square and St George’s Square to explore. With Victoria’s excellent transport links nearby you’ll be able to get across the capital and to Gatwick Airport quickly from your affordable accommodation.
Move over Oxford Street, there's a new shopping hub in town, and it goes by the name of Westfield London, the second largest retail centre in the country. The self-contained location in Shepherds Bush has more than 250 shops, as well as a range of restaurants and even a cinema and is a must for any visitor to the capital in need of retail therapy. Although Shepherds Bush is not traditionally touristy, there are plenty of attractions in the area. Have a stroll around Wormwood Scrubs park, enjoy some live music at Shepherds Bush Empire and then while away the hours at the funky nightclub Ginglik.
For some of the best views in London, stay on the South Bank! Stroll along the River Thames and marvel at Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament across the water, or head up high on the London Eye from panoramic vistas of the capital. There are so many attractions on the South Bank, from the London Aquarium and Oxo Tower to the artworks at Dali Universe and Hayward Gallery, and the performances at Royal Festival Hall, National Theatre, South Bank BFI and South Bank Centre. If you want to venture further afield, Waterloo Station’s transport links will come in very handy.
Any London tourist who foregoes a visit to South Kensington is seriously missing a trick, especially if they are on a budget. It is home to the capital's best, and most importantly free, museums: the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Science Museum. You can easily while away a whole day perusing each one, and they are all brimful of fascinating exhibitions. There are plenty of affordable hotels too, and you won't go hungry given the number of fantastic restaurants. It's easy to get out as well, via the compact area's two Tube stations, which provide quick access to the rest of the city.
Royal palaces and royal parks make St James’s one of London’s most exclusive areas. Stay in St James’s and you can say you’ve slept in the same district as the Queen! Make sure you take a look at Buckingham Palace, then stroll past The Mall down to the beautiful St James’s Park, home to pelicans, ducks and geese. You’d never believe this tranquil green haven is just minutes from Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament. Tube stations give you easy access to the rest of the capital, and Victoria and Charing Cross mainline stations are also within walking distance.
In 2012, Stratford became the centre of the universe when it was transformed into the home of the London 2012 Olympics still continues to attract visitors to the capital daily. You can visit the world-famous Olympic Park to see where the athletes competed last year, but there is plenty more to do in the area, which is currently undergoing significant regeneration. Why not indulge your purse or wallet at Westfield Stratford shopping centre, catch a film at the famous Stratford Picture House or bask in a performance at the Theatre Royal Stratford East?
Fans of plays, shows and concerts flock to Theatreland to enjoy world-class entertainment in famous venues, from the Royal Opera House, London Palladium and Theatre Royal Drury Lane to the London Coliseum, Donmar Warehouse and Her Majesty’s Theatre. There’s plenty of fun to be had in Leicester Square and Covent Garden too, and those two tube stations give you easy transportation from the heart of zone 1 across the rest of the capital. With lots of shops, bars and restaurants here too, Theatreland is a fantastic place to stay; you could even spend your entire trip just in this area of London!
The ultra-modern stands side-by-side with the ancient in the buzzing financial centre of London. The City of London may only cover one square mile, but it crams in a huge number of fascinating attractions, from St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London to the Bank of England and Lloyds of London. There are plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes too, so you’ll find everything you need right on your doorstep when you stay in this area. The City of London is in zone 1 and has excellent transport links, with a staggering 11 tube stations to choose from!
Interesting attractions and plenty of restaurants and bars give Vauxhall a great atmosphere. This redeveloped part of the capital, situated right on the River Thames, is home to modern areas alongside historic sites like St Peters Church plus popular open spaces like Vauxhall Park. Other big draws in this area include Vauxhall City Farm, the Oval Cricket Ground and New Covent Garden Market, which show just how diverse Vauxhall is! Located in zone 1 and close to Waterloo Train Station, transport links make the rest of London easily accessible, and a range of accommodation options make staying in this part of the capital affordable.
Believe it or not, Victoria is not an official part of London, but rather an informal district in the City of Westminster surrounding Victoria Train Station. The area is full to the brim with affordable hotels and B&Bs, and the transport connections to the rest of the UK via the train and coach station make it a very convenient place to stay. The Victoria Line provides easy access to the rest of the city, while there's plenty of London attractions in walking distance too, with Buckingham Palace, Tate Britain and the Apollo Victoria Theatre all nearby.
Waterloo is famously named after its namesake 1815 battle when the Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon in present-day Belgium close to the town of Waterloo. This may be lost on many visitors to London these days, who tend to associate Waterloo with a large train station or an Abba song. There are many attractions in Waterloo, however, such as the IMAX cinema, which boasts the largest screen in the UK, the Old Vic theatre, London Aquarium and the London Eye. Its zone 1 location in Lambeth just south of the River Thames means that it is quick and easy to get around London too.
When you hear the word Wembley, you don't think of an area of London, you think of one of sport's most important and impressive stadiums worldwide. The home of England's much-loved, yet forever disappointing football team is a mecca for sport fans across the country. It's not just about football, however, there are many big concerts held at Wembley Arena, and whatever reason you are going there, the area is home to many affordable hotels that can ensure you only have a short walk home. Found in zone 4, Wembley has easy access to the city centre too via the Metropolitan, Jubilee and Bakerloo tube lines and the Overground railway.
There's no place more historic in London than the City of Westminster – home to some of the most visually imposing and significant attractions in the capital, including the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square. Of course, there's Westminster Abbey too, which has remained the venue for the coronation of our monarchs for centuries, while 10 Downing Street and Big Ben are both worth a visit too. Being such a central part of London, there's also plenty to do in the surrounding areas of South Bank, Waterloo and Pimlico, while the Jubilee, Circle and District lines will easily take you to the rest of the city.
West Kensington is primarily a residential district of London where you may not find many attractions, but you will find cheap accommodation and fantastic links to the rest of the city via three Tube stations. Located just outside of the congestion zone, West Kensington is a great location for people driving to the city and looking to stay close to the Olympia Exhibition Centre or the Queen's Club, which hosts an annual lawn tennis tournament, and it is very close to the West End and Covent Garden. It may not have the style and glamour of Kensington, but this is what makes West Kensington so good for those on a budget.
When you hear the name Wimbledon, the first thing that springs to mind is no doubt the area's annual Grand Slam lawn tennis tournament. While this certainly takes over the south-west London location for two weeks every summer, there's more to the area than racquet sports. You can enjoy a sunny afternoon on Wimbledon Common, sample some of the local delicacies at one of the many bistros or restaurants or indulge in the arts at the Hicks Gallery. Located in Zone 3, Wimbledon is a short trek out of the city, but the transport connections are superb, with three tube stations able to get you into the heart of London in half an hour.