Central London accommodation explained

image Central London is by far and away the most popular destinations for passengers on a Great British Trip and with good reason! Our nation's Capital City is a fascinating, fun and breathtaking city with so much to see that we couldn't possibly list it all on our website!

One of the questions and comments that we are asked most by our customers is 'where is Central London' or 'where is my hotel in relation to Central London'. This question is one that is so difficult to answer that we wanted to create a point of reference for visitors to Great Britain to think through exactly where in London they would like to stay.

So what's the problem with the question 'where is Central London?'

The problem is quite simply that London is massive and has no definitive centre. The 'centre' of London varies according to who you are asking and what the information is used for. London has a large ring road motorway called the M25. For the purposes of this page we will call everything within the M25 'Central London'. Outside the M25 is 'Greater London'.

Within the M25 there are roughly:
8 million people, Over 700 Hotels, around 275 Underground Train Stations, over 250 pubs, around 240 museums, over 60 professional theatres and 94 MacDonalds Restaurants.

All of this is compacted into a relatively small area - mostly made up of small 'sub-communities' each with there own 'centre', that are all squashed together to form 'Central London'.

With all this in mind, below we have created a map with what we feel are the key 'visitor zones' that we consider when selecting accommodation for our customers.

Central London Visitor Zones

Zone 1 - Kensington

Zone 1 is a very nice area to stay in. There are lots of tall beautiful Georgian buildings which many of the hotels in this area use. Not the cheapest area to stay in but neither is it the most expensive, getting around is very easy, the area feels quite safe and there are of course plenty of small shops and delightful restaurants to enjoy here.

Within this zone you will find:

Kensington Palace
Royal Albert Hall
Harrods Department Store
Natural History Museum
Science Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum

Zone 2 - Westminster

Zone 2 is a more expensive area as there are generally less hotels here and lots of very historic buildings. However, for lovers of British history and art this is an incredible place to be based.

Within this zone you will find:

Buckingham Palace
Westminster Abbey
Houses of Parliament and Westminster
Big Ben
London Eye
Pall Mall
Downing Street
Trafalgar Square (Nelson’s Column)
Sea Life Aquarium
Tate Britain
National Portrait Museum

Zone 3 - West End

This zone is the busier, vibrant, cosmopolitan area which comes alive after dark. In this area you will find the majority of the West End Theatres, lots and lots of restaurants and the lower priced end of the incredible shopping that London has to offer. This is an area built for tourists. Price wise it's not the budget traveller's area but having said that if you are not too worried about staying somewhere 'nice' there are some budget 3* hotels here offering reasonable rates.

Within this zone you will find:

Leicester Square
Covent Garden
British Museum
Main West End Theatres
Oxford Street (Shopping Centre)
Carnaby Street (Market)
Piccadilly Circus
Charles Dickens Museum
Pollocks Toy Museum

Zone 4 - Southwark and the City

This zone is a mixture of business, culture, history and simply great attractions. On the north side of the Thames you enter the 'City' which is the business district however the Millenium Footbridge which takes you across the river affords an iconic view of the great St Pauls Cathedral. South of the river a walk along then river bank will sweep you right back in time to ancient London then. The east of this zone includes the Tower of London which can be seen in all its glory from the viewing platform of Europe's tallest building.

Within this zone you will find:

St Pauls Cathedral
Borough Food Market
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
The View from the Shard
The Golden Hinde Ship
The Tower of London
HMS Belfast (Imperial War Museum Ship)
Tower Bridge
Clink Prison Museum
St Katharine’s Docks
Millennium Bridge
Tate Modern

Zone 5 - Greenwich

This zone covers the area of Greenwich which actually feels like a city within a city. The Royal Borough of Greenwich is a pure delight and packed with history. Just a stones throw away from the other attractions within London, Greenwich makes a fabulous base as the DLR railway will take you across to our zone 1 in no time and the hotel prices are much more favourable.

Within this zone you will find:

Cutty Sark Tea Clipper
Royal Observatory
National Maritime Museum
Horseguards Parade
Royal Naval College
The Fan Museum

Zone 6 - Docklands

This zone doesn't have a great deal of attractions to warrant a stay here like the other zones. However, what it does have in its favour is the price. The Excel Exhibition centre sits here which is by far the largest in Britain and as a result the area is full of chain hotels and has good transport links. Priovided there is nothing major happening at the Excel a good hotel here will cost up to 1/3 of the price of hotels in other zones (apart from Greenwich) so if you want somewhere safe, quiet and want to stay somewhere nice without the London premium, this is the area for you!

Within this zone you will find:

Excel Exhibition Centre
Close to 02 Roof walk
Close to Thames Barrier Exhibition

Zone 7 - Regents Park

Away from the river this unlikely corner of the city is actually home to a fantastic range of popular sights and attractions making it a great place to have a base in London. Being slightly further from the geographical centre means that prices are slightly lower than neighbouring zones and there is plenty to do without having to walk far at all.

Within this zone you will find:

London Zoo
Lords Cricket Ground
Madame Tussauds Waxworks Exhibition
Sherlock Holmes Museum
Regents Park
The Wallace Collection
BBC Broadcasting House