In one day, you can visit a palace that has housed a royal family for generations, step inside a building that resembles a steel and glass egg that has fallen from space, nibble on a scone and sip some tea during an afternoon respite, and add some spice to your wardrobe with a purchase at an independent fashion boutique. Historic, futuristic, traditional, and avant-garde: all these characteristics apply to London. Attracting visitors since the Roman times, the British capital inspires awe with its grand palaces and stately Georgian townhouses, but also delights with pubs that know how to pour a proper pint, and eateries that serve fish and chips, Cornish pasties, lamb kebabs, and sushi. Be sure to rent a car in London so you can explore some of the typical English villages that charm visitors near the city. Just be careful not to become Clark Griswold and get caught on the Lambeth Bridge Roundabout, screaming “Hey look kids, there’s Big Ben, there’s Parliament…again!” With the money you save thanks to Travelocity’s London rental car deals, you’re sure to have a great time on your European Vacation.
Where Are the Best Places to Stay in London?
It’s a good idea to have a car rental in London. Not only is it fun to drive around the city on the other side of the road, you can also head out of town to visit places like Stonehenge on the summer solstice or Liverpool to see where the Beatles cut their teeth. The most convenient place to stay so that you can easily visit all of the spots on your itinerary is in downtown. Here are some of our favorite hotels in downtown London:
Sofitel London St James: Repurposed from the former Cox’s and King’s Bank building just steps from Trafalgar Square and the National Portrait Gallery, the Sofitel is a destination in its own right. The expert therapists at the award-winning So SPA are trained in multiple exhilarating international treatments. And, the well-appointed guestrooms and Balcon restaurant are both a splendid mix of French chic and British charm. Perhaps the best display of world fusion at the Sofitel, though, is in its St. James Bar signature seasonal cocktail menu which features flavors, spirits, and mixers from around the globe.
St. Ermin’s Hotel, Autograph Collection: With a courtyard garden, classic architecture, and Rococco plasterwork, the St. Ermin’s has the feel of a luxurious apartment building. Step inside, and you are greeted with modern amenities complemented with world-class service. Guestrooms feature sleek décor, 42-inch flat screen televisions, and White Company bathrobes and slippers. Dining and drinking options include the Caxton grill, Caxton Bar and Terrace, and the Tea House at St. Ermin’s.
The Rembrandt: Just south of Hyde Park, and equidistant from the Natural History Museum and the world-famous Harrod’s department store, the historic Rembrandt pampers its guests in understated elegance from the moment they step foot through the lobby door. Enjoy an aromatic exfoliation or other body-rejuvenating treatment at Aquilla Spa, savor a traditional roast lunch at the Palette Restaurant, and sip a proper Pimm’s No. 1 cocktail at the 1606 Lounge Bar.
The Bailey's Hotel London: Spend your London nights in a bygone time with a stay at The Bailey’s. This Victorian-era townhome has been renovated into one of the city’s most stunning luxury hotels. Detailed stonework, stained glass windows, and a sweeping lobby staircase punctuate the posh property. While its fashionable South Kensington neighborhood serves as a beacon to pleasure-seekers, business travelers will appreciate The Bailey’s proximity to the Millennium Conference Centre next door.
Riding Around London
Flights to London arrive at Heathrow Airport. If you reserved a vehicle as a part of Travelocity’s London car rental deals, pick up your keys at the courtesy counter while waiting for your luggage to arrive at the baggage claim carousel. From Heathrow, it is a short 16-mile drive to the city center. After you check in with the front desk, it’s time to start exploring the city. Stop by the Tower of London for a glimpse of medieval life or drive across the famous Tower Bridge–but only when the decks aren't raised so watercraft can pass. Then head for Chobham, a charming village that appears in legend and lore as far back as 1086 in the Domesday Book. There, you’ll find the Church of St. Lawrence, which dominates the surroundings with Victorian updates to its original Norman architecture. The half-timbered houses there are worth viewing as architectural delights, but many also contain antique shops, clothing boutiques, restaurants, and pubs. Chobham Common reigns as the largest National Nature Reserve in southeast England. For a taste of how the landed gentry lived, drive to Syon. One of the last great houses of London has been in the Duke of Northumberland's family for over 400 years, there. You'll be impressed by Van Dyck masterworks, Robert Adam interiors, and 40 acres of gardens. Leave the kids to play at the Snakes and Ladders indoor adventure playground while you feed the rainbow and brown trout at the Fishery.
Travelocity makes it easy to book hotels and cheap rental cars in London. Our intuitive reservation system is the best on the web, and presents you with deals on cheap car rentals in London you won’t find anywhere else. You can also get mobile-exclusive deals on the Travelocity app, including the best prices on London hotels and flights. Lock down your London car rental today, and you’ll be exploring the Big Smoke before you know it. And, with the money you save, you can afford to visit all of the city’s wonderful cultural points of interest…like Big Ben and Parliament.