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Where to stay in London

Discover the capital’s best bits with our helpful guide to where to stay in London

By Danielle Goldstein
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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. Swish.

Wanna get in on the action? 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

Best buildings in London: Smithfield Market
Best buildings in London: Smithfield Market
© Cedric Weber

1. Clerkenwell

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

Covent Garden
Covent Garden
© Petr Kovalenkov/Shutterstock.com

2. Covent Garden

Drawing in tourists like a moth to a flame, Covent Garden is very special indeed. In one afternoon, 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 (Agatha Christie’s ‘The Mousetrap’ if you’re wondering). Afterwards, we suggest taking a totally lavish respite in one of The Hospital Club’s 15 boutique rooms, or alternatively in one of its bars, the restaurant or rooftop terrace.

© Petr Kovalenkov/shutterstock.com

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Soho
Soho
© vvoe/Shutterstock.com

3. Soho

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.

© vvoe/shutterstock.com

Hampstead
Hampstead
© Andy Parsons

4. Hampstead

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

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Peckham Rye Music Festival
Peckham Rye Music Festival
© Sebastian Barros

5. Peckham

With one of the city’s cheapest cinemas and best clubs, Peckham is the place for alternative, trendy 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. Lovely.

Sebastian Barros

6. Richmond

To add a little countryside whimsy to your schedule, 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. In fact, this stately riverside hotel has elegantly designed rooms (six of which overlook the River Thames) and a restaurant with a thoroughly Instagrammable menu, so showing off to your friends and family is easy peasy.

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7. Shoreditch

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.

Shepherd’s Bush
Shepherd’s Bush
© Louise Ireland/Flickr

8. Shepherd’s Bush

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 totally irresistible. 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

Booking ahead?

Simon Brown

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