Calling all nightlife nuts, country bumpkins, spa seekers and explorers – London welcomes you. The capital has everything you could ever need for a day trip or a weekend break, from afternoon tea with cats and parks full of deer, to hotels with hot water bottles and DJs. All you have to do is pick your perfect spot. Take a look at our guide to eight great neighbourhoods and find the best places to stay in London.
Discover where to stay in London
Named after Clerks’ Well, which can still be seen on Farringdon Lane, this location allows easy access to Michelin-starred restaurants (meat marvel St John is a highlight), buzzing markets and, if you’re visiting in May, Clerkenwell Design Week. Stay at The Rookery on Peter’s Lane, a Georgian townhouse that is impeccably decorated, has huge beds and an honesty bar.
© Cedric Weber
In one afternoon in Covent Garden, you could easily shop both ends of the fashion spectrum, pick up a black lava sea salt ice cream and watch the world’s longest running play (‘The Mousetrap’ if you’re wondering). Afterwards, we suggest resting in one of The Hospital Club’s 15 boutique rooms, or alternatively in its restaurant, two bars or rooftop terrace.
© Petr Kovalenkov/shutterstock.com
Once a cornucopia of sex shops and rock ’n’ roll, Soho maintains pockets of hedonism, but overall is more family-friendly these days, with shops, restaurants and theatres in abundance. But keep Soho’s spirit alive with a stay at the Sanctum Soho, which is like a rock star’s crib. They have a 24-hour bar, rotating beds and a guitar tuning service at reception.
This charming part of London offers stunning scenery and impressive views of the city from atop its famous Heath. Around the village are quaint shops and cafés, an array of arresting architecture and the wonderfully quirky Hampstead Village Guesthouse. As well as unique décor, this detached Victorian B&B provides home comforts, including hot water bottles, mobile phones and a house laptop.
© Andy Parsons
With one of the city’s cheapest cinemas and best clubs, Peckham is the place for alternative tastes. Plus it’s a short walk from Silk Road, a bargainous Chinese restaurant that’s so popular you’d be foolish to enter without a reservation. But you could always eat (and sleep) at The Victoria Inn, a traditional British pub with beautifully presented boutique rooms upstairs.
© Sebastian Barros
For a little countryside whimsy, make a beeline for Richmond. Here you’ll find the very large and very royal park with freely roaming deer, the blooming lovely Kew Gardens, and a fine night’s stay at the Bingham. This stately riverside hotel has elegantly designed rooms (six of which overlook the River Thames) and a restaurant with a thoroughly Instagrammable menu.
Approach Shoreditch with an open mind; this where you’ll find the Cereal Killer Cafe (all cereal, all the time), shops in shipping containers (Boxpark), and Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, where you can have tea with feline friends. When you’re ready to take a step back, Boundary makes for good shelter. This warehouse was overhauled by Sir Terence Conran and is, needless to say, en vogue.
It may be way out west (ok Zone 2), but Shepherd's Bush offers a good taste of London without needing to leave the neighbourhood. Westfield's White City branch can appease even the fussiest of shoppers, while legendary venues like Hammersmith Apollo and Bush Hall host a variety of big-name musicians and comedians. Plus there's a market brimming with international foods that smell irresistable. If you decide to head out this way, book in at the K West. This four-star hotel is favoured by rock stars, having once been a recording studio used by David Bowie and Bob Marley, plus they have an in-house DJ and an excellent spa.
© Louise Ireland/Flickr