by Harley Nott
London’s Top Ten Attractions
London with all its history and culture is waiting to be revealed, and many of the top ten attractions are FREE.
You can also save £££ by staying in a vacation rental rather than a hotel. Rather than chance an Airbnb, Coach House Rentals still has some summer availability. We’ve been looking after our guests since 2001, you’ll find us in several London guide books: Frommers, Rick Steves, National Geographic, Marco Polo, and we look after you with our full concierge service.
Here’s the list:
10. Madame Tussauds
Rub shoulders with royalty, film stars and sporting legends.
9. National Maritime Museum at Greenwich
Explore Britain’s naval past, visit the Royal Observatory and stand astride the Prime Meridian.
7.Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A)
3,000 years of fashion and design.
6. Science museum
Steam trains to Space Rockets.
5. London Eye
More visitors than the Taj Mahal or the Great Pyramids – great views up to 25 miles.
4. Tate Modern
Contemporary art on a spectacular scale.
3. National History Museum
Come face to face with animals from the past and present. Watch out for the dinosaurs!
2. National Gallery
Over 2,000 of the world’s finest paintings
1. Top attraction at the number one spot is
The British Museum
Over 2 million years of human history
And if you’re looking for a truly English experience, a chance to meet and get to know some locals and are happy with 3/4 star comfort –The Coach House is the place to stay. It’s pretty booked up in July but still has some availability in June and August. View the short video.
by Harley Nott
A vacation rental in London? There’s just too much choice!
The problem. Airbnb list over 50,000 London rentals, HomeAway claim over 9,000. How can you possibly filter them and choose the right one for you? Even if you do there’s the nagging doubt that you might not get what seems to be on offer.
The solution. Use a small, specialist company like Coach House Rentals. With just some 50 hand-picked central London properties, a list of satisfied guests as long as your arm (just view our testimonials) and the services of our reservation team to help you choose what’s right for you – we take the hassle and frustration out of choosing and booking.
And it doesn’t end there. We’ll arrange a car to collect you at the airport, we’ll be at your rental when you arrive to greet you, hand over the keys, explain how everything works and answer any questions. And while you’re here we provide a 24/7 help line to call if you have any problems. You don’t get that with Airbnb or HomeAway!
With the current exchange rate of $/£1.38, London is still excellent value compared to past years. So realise that dream – go to our web site and choose your London rental today.
PPS. And here is our new, very affordable, property in Rome.
by Harley Nott
“A real English experience”
If you are looking for an authentic English experience, a chance to meet and get to know some locals and are happy with 3/4 star comfort – read on.
Planning a trip to London this year? Before you book your accommodation check out The Coach House.
What makes it special?
You have your own little cottage with your own private entrance, all to yourself (no other guests) set in a charming garden.
You are served a delicious breakfast every day in “the big house” by your hosts – saving money by just needing a light snack for lunch.
You have real “contact with the natives”. Your hosts, Harley and Meena while serving you breakfast, are there to chat, answer any questions about London, UK – or anything else and give you an insight into their lives. They also like to hear about you!
It is excellent value for money – for 5 people it works out at £42 / US$53 per person per night.
The Coach House is mentioned in several London guide books and has great Trip Advisor reviews. It already has several bookings for spring and summer 2018, there’s only one Coach House, so check availability and book now if you want to stay.
Warning. Don’t book if you are looking for 5 star hotel-style accommodation, The Coach House is not for you.
But if you’re looking for a truly English experience, a chance to meet and get to know some locals and are happy with 3/4 star comfort –The Coach House is the place to stay. View our short video.
PS. We also have some 45 London vacation rentals, houses and apartments for 2 to 10 people.
by Harley Nott
An affordable family holiday to London.
Impossible? Not if you stay in one of our rentals. Read on ……
1. At GBP/USD 1.32 London is very good value compared to Paris or the rest of Europe.
2. If you stay in a vacation rental, rather than in a hotel, it works out much cheaper especially for 3 or more people travelling together.
A vacation rental is also better because:
• preparing some of your own meals or getting take-aways is much more cost effective than always eating in restaurants,
• with a vacation rental you get more space
• there’s no need to dress up or “put on a face” to go out of your room.
And, as an added bonus, you have an authentic London experience, living in like a local.
Here are some of our best value properties.
Property THD. Spacious modern open-plan house in picturesque old London – sleeps 8 (3 doubles, 1 twin, 4 bathrooms) £330 (USD435) / night, or £41 (USD54) per person per night.
Property WML. Large family house in trendy Pimlico – sleeps 8 (2 doubles, 2 twins, 3 bathrooms) £265 (USD350) / night, that’s £33 (USD44) per person per night.
Property VAU. Modern Pimlico apartment boasting views across the London skyline, with aircon – sleeps 5 (1 double, 1 single, 1 double sofa-bed, 2 bathrooms) £195 (USD257) / night, £39 (USD51) per person per night.
Property BSH. Classic “English style” flat close to the river in Fulham – sleeps 4 (2 doubles, 1 bathroom) £135 (USD178) / night or £34 (USD45) per person per night.
Property ETW. Great value, modern 7/8th floor flat with private balcony and view of Battersea Park – sleeps 4 (2 doubles, 1 bathroom) £125 (USD165) / night, £31 (USD41) per person per night.
These are quality properties, not cramped hotel rooms that you’d be paying at least twice as much for.
What’s more, unlike Airbnb, we look after you with a full concierge service as well. We’ve been in business and looking after our London guests since 2001, read the reviews on the property pages.
And don’t forget our B&B, The Coach House, your own little cottage with your own private entrance, all to yourself (no other guests) set in a charming garden, just 20 minutes by tube (every 3 mins) from the centre of London and a delicious breakfast in “the big house” served by your hosts. Sleeps 5 (1 family room, 1 twin, 2 bathrooms + your own kitchen) £125 (USD165) /night for 2, £210 (USD275) /night for 5.
We only have a limited number of these great London rentals, when they’re gone, they’re gone so you need to move fast if you don’t want to miss out.
by Harley Nott
How to afford a Christmas / New Year’s Eve trip to London.
Stop Press. Owing to cancellation of a long-standing booking, The Coach House has just become available over Christmas / New Year. This is ideal, self-catering (it has its own kitchen), low cost, accommodation: sleeps 5, 2 bed, 2 bath £200 (US$250) per night. Ideal for a family.
Christmas and New Year’s Eve is a great time to be in London for adults and children alike. There’s so much happening: candle-lit carol services, the Christmas lights, the shows, the pantomimes, ice skating, festive meals, wonderful shop window displays, the sales, the list goes on…….
With the British pound at a low against the US$ (£1=US$1.30), NOW is the time to get the most bangs for your bucks.
You can save even more and make the trip really affordable by staying in a vacation rental rather than a hotel. Not only can you save $$$ by not having to have every meal out, with a vacation rental you get much more space, there’s no need to dress up or “put on a face” to go out of your room, and as an added bonus you get to experience the city like a local.
We still have some availability over the festive period but it’s going fast. Here’s a selection of what’s still available today, but it might not be tomorrow…..
Ref: BRE: sleeps 2, £115 (US$145) / night. Sleek and contemporary Fulham apartment.
Ref: ETW: sleeps 4, 2 bed, 1 bath, £125 (US$155) / night. Great value, modern 7/8th floor flat with private balcony and view of Battersea Park.
Ref: CPM: sleeps 3, 2 bed, 1 bath, £140 / (US$175) / night. Comfortable apartment in quiet attractive private mews.
Ref: CVN: sleeps 4, 2 bed, 1 bath, £165 / (US$205) / night. Ground floor flat in grand London house, moments from Hyde Park. (Available from 28 Dec).
Ref: RTV2: sleeps 5, 2 bed, 1 bath, £170 / (US$215) / night. Modern apartment in Parson’s Green, Fulham. Ideal for a family.
Ref: HAR: sleeps 4, 2 bed, 2 bath, £205 (US$255) / night. Convenient apartment in the heart of South Kensington.
Ref: TKR: sleeps 2, 2 bed, 1 bath, £225 / (US$280) / night. Comfortable, modern apartment in excellent Chelsea location. (Available from 29 Dec).
Ref: CLI: sleeps 4, 2 bed, 2 bath, £275 (US$345) / night. Traditional London pied-à-terre in excellent Sloane Square location.
Ref: THD: sleeps 8, 4 bed, 4 bath, £330 / (US$415) / night. Spacious modern open-plan house in picturesque old London.
These are really nice properties, not crummy hotel rooms that you’d be paying at least twice as much for! What’s more, unlike Airbnb, we look after you with a full concierge service as well. We’ve been in business and looking after our London guests since 2001, read the reviews on the property pages.
We only have a small number of these great London rentals, when they’re gone, they’re gone so you need to move fast if you don’t want to miss out.
New Year’s Eve Fireworks
There’s still time to get tickets for the famous London New Year’s Eve firework display. This spectacular event takes place on the River Thames, opposite the Houses of Parliament. It’s one of the most spectacular celebrations of its kind in the world. Set against the capital’s unique skyline, if you are in London over New Year it really is something not to miss. To get the best view you need a ticket and there are still a few left. No tickets will be available on the night. Click here to get tickets.
by Harley Nott
Thanksgiving / pre-Christmas shopping trip to London
Need a break from hurricanes, NFL protests, Trump v Kim, bad news, fake news?
Give your partner a surprise Thanksgiving or pre-Christmas present – a shopping trip to London!
Air fares at the end of November and the first 3 weeks of December are low, save money by staying in one of our rentals and have more to spend on Christmas shopping. These links Shopping in London and Essential London Shopping Guide will help you find the right stores. And no visit to London is complete without a trip to the theatre, go to www.whatsonstage.com to see what’s on and to book your tickets.
Somewhere to Stay
If you’re planning on being in London over the festive periods you’ll need somewhere to stay, and a vacation rental is so much nicer than a hotel. Why?
1. With a vacation rental you get more space.
2. There’s no need to dress up or “put on a face” to go out of your room.
3. It’s cheaper – especially for a party of 3 or more people and for a group.
4. It’s more practical, preparing some of your own meals (Christmas dinner?) or getting take-aways is cheaper than always eating in restaurants. You can buy and sample the local specialities.
5. To summarise – you get to “live like a local”.
Why book with Coach House Rentals?
Our “service with a difference” starts with the booking process: an excellent web site – chsrentals.com, real people to exchange emails with and talk to if necessary to help you decide the best rental for you and a safe and secure booking system – no danger of correspondence being intercepted and money being diverted to the fraudster’s account.
We will arrange a car to meet you at the airport and will be at your rental when you arrive to greet you, hand over the keys, explain how everything works and answer any questions. And during your stay we’ll provide a 24/7 help line to call if you have any problems or have any questions about what to do and how to do it.
Coach House Rentals is a well established company. We’ve been in business since 2001 and although we’re small we have a very high reputation with 35% of our bookings being repeat or recommended by friends. We have a range of properties on our books ranging from simple one bedroom apartments to houses with 4 double bedrooms and 4 bathrooms.
Christmas/New Year Bookings
We’ve already taken a number of bookings for Christmas / New Year. We still have reasonable availability for smaller groups. Book now for Christmas!
London New Year’s Eve Firework Display
Now’s the time to get tickets for the famous London New Year’s Eve firework display. This spectacular event takes place on the River Thames, opposite the Houses of Parliament. It’s one of the most spectacular celebrations of its kind in the world. Set against the capital’s unique skyline, if you are in London over New Year it really is something not to miss.
To get the best view, you need a ticket and they sell out very quickly. No tickets will be available on the night. Click here to get tickets now.
by Harley Nott
Two famous London Palaces- not to be missed
If you’re in London in August or September don’t miss the chance to see the inside of these famous palaces.
Buckingham Palace, 21 July – 01 October 2017. Annual public opening of State Rooms and Gardens at Buckingham Palace, The Queen’s official residence in London. If you are in London at this time, a chance to see these magnificent rooms and the palace gardens is not to be missed. Find out how people are welcomed to Buckingham Palace and what goes on behind-the-scenes to create the magic and magnificence of a State Visit – from the dresses designed, to the ingredients and porcelain chosen for a State Banquet.
There are 3 options available:
1. The State Rooms, Buckingham Palace. This includes the exhibition Royal Gifts, which tells the story of The Queen’s reign through a wide-ranging display of official gifts presented during the past 65 years.
2. The State Rooms and Garden Highlights Tour (really recommended) and
3. Royal Day Out. This ticket gives admission to The State Rooms, Buckingham Palace, The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace and the Royal Mews, but no tour of the garden.
Find out more here.
Palace of Westminster, August/September 2017 (and on most Saturdays throughout the year). Public tours of The Houses of Parliament are available for overseas visitors, who will be able to see the historic building, including the Chambers of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Find out more here.
And if you’re in London in September you’ll be here during Totally Thames, an annual month long season of surprising, diverse and accessible arts and culture with activity taking place on, beneath and along the River Thames.
Where To Stay?
Coach House Rentals has the solution. Unlike other vacation rentals services such as Airbnb, HomeAway etc. where you’re on your own, often at the mercy of the non-resident owner, Coach House Rentals provides a full concierge service from the moment you arrive at the airport to the moment you depart.
Our “service with a difference” starts with the booking process: an excellent web site, real people to exchange emails with and talk to if necessary to help you decide the best rental for you, and a safe and secure booking system – no danger of correspondence being intercepted and money being diverted to a fraudster’s account.
We will arrange a car to meet you at the airport and will be at your rental when you arrive to greet you, hand over the keys, explain how everything works and answer any questions.
And during your stay we provide a 24/7 help line to call if you have any problems or have any questions about what to do and how to do it.
We’ve been in business since 2001 and, although we’re a small company, we have a very high reputation with over 35 % of our bookings being repeat or recommended by friends.
And we do still have some avaiability for both larger and smaller parties in August and September!
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by Harley Nott
London for Free (part 2)
Unlike the museums and art galleries of most capital cities, in London, among other attractions, they are free!
Well known among these gems are The Science Museum, Tate Britain and Tate Modern, The V&A, The British Library, The Changing of the Guard, and St. James Park.
Here are some lesser known, but just as interesting, free attractions:
National Maritime Museum – Greenwich
Explore the history of life on the sea – the adventures, the battles, the bravery and the discoveries – through the vast collection of art and objects at the world’s largest maritime museum. The National Maritime Museum is situated in beautiful Greenwich Park and is part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. It is walking distance from the Royal Observatory, the Queen’s House, Cutty Sark and the River Thames. The historic building includes 10 galleries, a shop, café, interactive displays and is fully wheelchair accessible.
by Harley Nott
Eating Out in London
London visitor surveys have shown that food, surprisingly, only gets a 46% satisfaction rate. This, despite the fact that London has some of the best cuisine in the world, certainly the most diverse.
Many London visitors choose a vacation rental so they can self-cater for some of their meals. But whether you eat out only one or twice, or you go out for every meal, some prior planning will make for a much more enjoyable experience.
London has over 7,000 restaurants covering all styles, cuisines and price ranges. Invariably some will disappoint, some will be over-priced, some will have poor service, some will be over-crowded.
So, rather than take pot-luck and dive into the nearest establishment to where you happen to be at the time, plan ahead, look for the hidden (or not so hidden) gems that will give you a memorable experience rather than just provide fuel. These places need not be expensive, just good.
How to find them? Use a good restaurant guide, here are a few:
Hardens – The Gastronome’s Bible! Generally very reliable, you can search by location, price, type of cuisine facilities, number of reviews.
Square Meal – also searchable by price and cuisine.
You will of course sometimes get good fare from a fast food operator, but you’re more likely not to be disappointed if you do some prior research remembering the old axiom: “Time spent on reconnaissance is seldom wasted.”
ROYAL BRITAIN – CHANGING OF THE GUARD
The sentries that look after Buckingham Palace are called The Queen’s Guard and are made up of soldiers from the Household Division’s five regiments of Foot Guards. The guards are dressed in traditional red tunics and bearskin hats. Although undertaking such ceremonial duties, these are regular soldiers in the British Army, who serve normal tours of duty in parts of the world such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the minds of the majority of people, the ceremony of Changing the Guard is associated solely with Buckingham Palace but it actually takes place between three locations – Buckingham Palace, St. James’s Palace and Wellington Barracks.
Also known as Guard Mounting the ceremony takes place outside Buckingham Palace from 10.45am and lasts around 45 minutes, with the actual handover taking place at 11am. The Buckingham Palace Old Guard forms up in the palace’s forecourt from 10.30am and is joined by the St James’s Palace Old Guard at around 10.45am. The New Guard then arrives from Wellington Barracks and takes over the responsibilities of the Old Guard in a formal ceremony accompanied by music. The Old and New Guards ‘Present Arms’ before the Captains of the Guard ceremoniously hand over the Palace keys. This symbolic gesture represents the transfer of responsibility for the security of the Palace’s from the Old to the New Guard who will then be The Queen’s Guard until relieved.
The ceremony is free to watch and currently takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, weather permitting. There is no ceremony on days when large events are held in the city centre. The ceremony schedule should be checked on the Household Division’s website before planning a visit. Being a very popular event, it is also necessary to arrive early to secure a spot with a good view.
To check the schedule go to www.householddivision.org.uk/changing-the-guard-calendar
For your London Vacation Rental go to www.chsrentals.com/london