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Beating London Prices

You can expect to pay at least $150 a night for the most basic hotel in central London. However, a bed and breakfast in the city’s suburbs is considerably less expensive and provides a much better sense of England.

Rural Buckinghamshire or Richmond, on the banks of the River Thames, are both only 20 minutes away by underground or train. Bed and breakfast is an English tradition, and prices are consistently more palatable than commercial hotels.

If you’re determined to stay in central London, most of the universities rent out rooms in their dormitories during the summer recess, from June to September, for as little as $40 per night.

If you plan to stay more than a week or two, look for a studio rental. By investing in an “A-Z” map and a copy of the Wednesday Evening Standard or Loot,the classifieds paper, you can find decent accommodations in a safe area for $100 a week. (Utility bills will often be extra, and you’ll also have to pay as much as $500 as a security deposit.)

If you’re in London for more than a few days, its worth considering a “Season Ticket” from London Transport, which can span anything from a week to a year, and offers a considerable saving. Or you may want to stick to the buses, which now operate on a flat fare of $1 for any journey outside the West End.

For More Info

British Tourist Board:
011-44-20-7932-2000; www.londontown.com.

London Transport:
011-44- 20-7222-1234; www.londontransport.co.uk;

University Accommodations:
London School of Economics, www.lse.ac.uk/accommodation, 011-44-20- 7379-5589;
Univ. of Westminster, www.wmin.ac.uk/static/accommodation.asp, 011- 44-20-7911-5799;
Regents College, www.bacl.ac.uk/facilities.htm#accom, 011-44-20-7487-7495.

Private Accommodations:
Home from Home, 011-44- 20-7584-8914;
Elwood Lettings (Oxford ), 011-44-1865-426410; www.elwood.co.uk;
London Property News, www.londonpropertynews.co.uk.

GARY LOACH is a freelance writer based in Lond. His work has appeared in The London Times, Time Out and Go! Scotland.

 
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