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Post Captain

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    Thames & Hudson
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    Furness Bermuda Line

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  1. From what I recall, having done the "TBE" with a friend and her young son about 15 years ago, this "experience" is more or less geared for children. Unless you have a particular interest in the design/engineering/mechanics of a neo-gothic Victorian drawbridge, I certainly wouldn't consider it a must-do. According to the page for the PI County Hall on the PI website, yes, they do offer luggage storage. I believe it's offered by most if not all Premier Inns. I have taken advantage of this service at another Premier Inn on at least one occasion. (That particular PI had a fairly large storeroom just off the lobby; I suspect it will be much the same setup at County Hall.)
  2. Fortunately, I've never had the "pleasure" of sleeping in a Yotel😵/ pod😱 / whatchamacallem🤔 . . . Nor have I yet experienced a Premier Inn hub. However, a quick search on YouTube for "premier inn hub london" brings up quite a few video reviews of PI hub rooms: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=premier+inn+hub+london Thankfully for the OP, hub rooms are distinctly larger than the aforementioned Yotel / pod / whatchamacallem accommodations, with the added advantage of decent en-suite facilities, basic amenities (e.g., a bottle opener attached to the wall--though I'd rather do my drinking in the pub than the hub), and ample headroom for those who are prone to bump their noggins on the ceiling beams🤕 when wandering through Tudor-period establishments. Just think of the hub room as a miniature high-tech version of a ship's cabin.😄
  3. "£26 for a dreary plate of fried dough and cauliflower." I can get that around here for less than half the price! 😁
  4. As John Bull and just_don't have mentioned, quite a bit of "weather"🌧️ happens in the Lake District--as I can attest from much personal experience! It's a beautiful region, but the amount of sunshine--or lack thereof--can have a profound effect on how you perceive it. However, I think my main concern with this tour would be that you will spend at least half of the 8+ hour tour just travelling there and back. Sitting in a coach on the M6 motorway for four hours isn't my idea of a good time, and I don't know if the remaining four hours or so that you will actually have in the Lake District itself is worth the trip. Your time "on the ground" might seem awfully rushed. (My own forays into the Lake District have usually lasted at least three or four days, if not more--a time-span that allows for more leisurely exploration... and, usually, for the rain to abate and the clouds to clear somewhat.) Although Lake Windermere itself is quite lovely, of course, the town of Windermere is rather touristy and isn't the most attractive of Lake District towns. Bowness is rather attractive, but seems to me (based on one short visit) like a bit of a tourist trap rather than a "real" town. In the summer, both towns tend to get overrun with visitors. Sorry to sound so negative, but I do think it's best to be armed with realistic expectations. Now, if you were going to the northern lakes (say, around Derwentwater or over to Buttermere), I would have a more positive response...
  5. Answering your question purely in terms of location... The Great Scotland Yard Hotel is more central, relatively speaking. Just around the corner from Trafalgar Square (Nelson's Column, the National Gallery, St Martin in the Fields, etc), and within walking distance of a number of other major tourist sights (e.g. Buckingham Palace, Churchill War Rooms, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the Thames) as well as many West End theatres. Also, a short taxi ride from Waterloo Station. That said, The Hyatt Regency - Churchill is not off in the boondocks by any means. It's about two and a half miles from the GSY Hotel--in Marylebone, an attractive, upscale area of London. The streets thereabouts feel more spacious, less crowded and hectic (at least until you venture onto Oxford Street). But you can easily travel (by bus or underground) to the sights/attractions mentioned in the previous paragraph. I don't have any experience of these two hotels themselves (other than familiarity with their locations) so can't compare them in terms of amenties, service, and the like, except to say that the Churchill looks quite massive from the outside. Hope that helps. (I see that princeton123211 posted pretty much the same information while I was typing.)
  6. Off the top of my head, I'm pretty sure that was the Sanctuary House Hotel, literally next door to the PI Westminster Abbey hub on Tothill St. It (Sanctuary House, that is) is frequently mentioned on CC, and gets generally very good reviews on Tripadvisor (apart from occasional complaints about noise from the pub at night). I must make it a point to pop in for a drink next time I'm visiting my friends around the corner at H.M. Treasury!😉
  7. See my previous comment, above. Be aware that the Premier Inn "Hub" hotels feature minimalist high-tech pod-style rooms. They might or might not be suitable for you, depending on your needs/expectations and the amount of luggage you have. I have not stayed at a Hub and probably would not be likely to do so in the future unless it were only for a night or two. (It might be tolerable for me on my own, but I know that SWMBO would not be keen to share the experience.) The hub hotels also have what PI calls "Bigger Rooms"--bigger than the pod-like standard hub rooms, that is, but not the size of regular Premier Inn rooms. There are some reviews of Hub rooms on YouTube--take a look to see what they're like and if they might be right for you. The PI Victoria is right around the corner from Victoria Station. The Westminster Abbey Hub and also the Westminster St James Park Hub (very close to one another) are both a little over a half mile from Victoria Station. Both the PI Waterloo and PI County Hall hotels are virtually next door to Waterloo Station, from whence the faster trains to Southampton depart.
  8. As per my comment in response to a similar question in a previous thread ("London Hotel - down to 3 choices", started by MSPCUBS)... I would suggest you look at several Premier Inn properties that are much more centrally located than the Travelodge London City: Blackfriars, Holborn, Euston, St Pancras, County Hall, Waterloo, Smithfield/Farringdon (in addition to Victoria, suggested by Bob++.) I haven't stayed at any Travelodge hotels, but have stayed in a number of Premier Inns (in London and elsewhere in England) and have been quite satisfied with each of them. It's my understanding, from numerous reviews and professional descriptions/recommendations, and casual observation (from what I've seen of some Travelodge properties and their location in passing), that Premier Inn is a step or two above Travelodge in terms of amenities, consistency, and overall quality. Their prices can be extremely competitive if you can book well in advance. Use the link to the Premier Inn website provided in Bob++'s post above, and book directly through that website.
  9. Just as Globaliser says, I too would eliminate Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall on the basis of location if nothing else. For me, it would more or less be a tossup between the two other hotels. Friends from NYC stayed at the Hampton Inn by London Waterloo a few years ago, prior to a Cunard transatlantic crossing. They were quite satisfied with the hotel and recommended it to me for a future visit. Although I favor other areas of London--the location is a bit out of the way--this hotel does give you easy access into central London, as it is on a number of bus routes that will take you directly into the heart of London in a few minutes. Moreover, this hotel is only 5 minutes' walk from Waterloo Station (assuming you are taking the train to Southampton). If the price is right, I don't see any real negatives here. Premier Inn is Britain's premier budget hotel chain, known for value, consistency, cleanliness, and comfort. In fact, Premier Inn is to the UK what Hampton Inns & Suites and Holiday Inn are to the US. I've stayed at several different PIs in London (and elsewhere in the UK), though not at the Victoria location, and my experiences have all been positive. Interior decor (a predominance of purple!), room layout, and amenities are virtually identical. If you don't expect (and don't want or need) the last word in luxury, but rather a clean, comfortable place to lay your head at night, you should be happy with this choice. (There are a half-dozen or so other Premier Inns in London whose locations I would prefer to Victoria: Blackfriars, Holborn, Euston, St Pancras, County Hall, Waterloo, Smithfield/Farringdon... But that is strictly a personal choice, not a negative comment on the PI Victoria.)
  10. Sounds like a good choice. I hadn't heard of The Rookery before, but I liked the look of it when I checked it out on Tripadvisor. As it happens, I stayed not too far from there (at the blandly modern and functional but comfortable Premier Inn Smithfield/Farringdon) last April, and am pretty sure that I walked right past The Rookery on at least one occasion. (The Rookery is just north of Smithfield Market; the Premier Inn is just south of the market.) Here's what I wrote about the area In a previous thread on Cruise Critic: I love the location -- a bit off the usual tourist track but within easy walking distance of the kinds of places I love to explore when I'm in London: St Bartholomew the Great, Smithfield Market, Charterhouse Square, the Barbican, Christchurch Greyfriars Church Garden, Postman's Park, the Old Bailey (from the outside), the Viaduct Tavern (from the inside!). And ten minutes' walk from St Paul's Cathedral. Incidentally, as well as the aforementioned Viaduct Tavern, I also recommend The Jerusalem Tavern (in a building dating from 1720) and Ye Olde Mitre (established 1546). All three are within a 10-minute walk of your hotel. And if you visit the Mitre, be sure to stop at St Etheldreda's Church, built in the 13th century.
  11. Yes, the Sanctuary House Hotel is within easy walking distance (less than a mile each) to Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and the London Eye. (The abbey is directly on the way to the Eye.) But I'm sure you mean Tower Bridge, not London Bridge. You'll know the former when you see it. You'll pass by or under the latter without even realizing it.😉 There's no discernible advantage to the Visitor Oyster Card over a regular Oyster Card. Simply purchase a regular Oyster Card when you're in London. The standard Oyster can be returned for a refund of any unused £££ (up to £10, if I recall correctly), whereas (if I'm not mistaken) I believe you can't get a refund of unused £££ on a Visitor Oyster. I've only ever used a standard Oyster, but have never returned it for a refund--I have one from my last two trips in my wallet at this moment, in anticipation of my next return to London. The London Pass is rarely advantageous, cost-wise, unless you plan on visiting a significant number of fee-entry attractions in a relatively short span of time.
  12. Whoops! Just realized I've basically repeated what markeb already said (post#17), without having noticed his post!😁
  13. Believe me, you won't have any trouble finding a place to purchase wine in London! Supermarkets (such as Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Tesco, etc) have branches all over town, and all carry a basic selection, as does the "food hall" section of Marks & Spencer (department store) -- not to mention the food hall section of Selfridges and of Harrods. You might also see an off-licence (=liquor store) shop called Oddbins, part of a retail chain. For more rare/ high-end wines, head to Fortnum & Mason or to Berry Bros. & Rudd.
  14. That's what our friends like about it. It's right around the corner from the Wallace Collection (it actually faces the back of the Wallace Collection building), and a short walk from Wigmore Hall. Also very close to Daunt Books, one of the great old London bookshops.
  15. As Mark Twain pointed out some years ago (mistakenly attributing this witticism to Benjamin Disraeli ), there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. For someone visiting Hoboken for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon, the crime statistics are basically meaningless. For one thing, the visitor doesn't own a home or a car in Hoboken, so burglary and auto theft rates are of absolutely no concern to her. She's not going to get drunk and get into a Saturday midnight brawl, so that drastically cuts down her chances of assault. She's not going to join a gang or consort with drug dealers or get involved in a plot to murder someone, so that also greatly reduces her chances of becoming a victim of violence. She's going to be strolling in daylight in the heart of town along with hundreds of other law-abiding people of all ages--parents with young children, singles walking their dogs, and seniors who are pretty much doing the same things she is doing. Regardless of "statistics", the same principles apply just about anywhere, whether it's Hoboken, New York, Boston, Ottawa, Toronto, or Podunk. For the record--not that it matters for the purposes of this discussion--my wife grew up in Hoboken back when it was a gritty, blue-collar working-class town, and lived there for the first 30+ years of her life. Thereafter, she visited relatives in the town almost every weekend. By sheer coincidence, she worked in one of the new office buildings near the waterfront for the last ten years or so before she retired. I've been going into Hoboken regularly for more than 30 years and have seen an enormous transformation for the better during that time. If we could afford a condo overlooking the Hudson River, we'd move there in a minute. (As for Newark: Yes, it has "issues", and there definitely are areas where I wouldn't go and wouldn't advise a visitor to go. But just like mjkacmom and her family, my wife and I often attend concerts at NJPAC. We ride the Newark light rail and the PATH and NJ Transit trains. We sometimes find ourselves spending time at Newark Penn Station or at Broad Street station, between trains. On several occasions when I have had jury duty at the county courthouse in Newark, including just last year, I have walked there through the Rutgers campus from Broad Street Station. I'm more comfortable in these environments than in the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan!) Anyway, getting back to the original topic: The OP has asked sensible questions and received sensible, practical travel information and advice. On that basis, she has made sensible and practical travel plans that suit her. Let's leave it at that.
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