Author: Nona Tyler
Date of Trip: September 2007
Just last month I played tour planner and guide for our niece to England and Ireland (Dublin). We flew into Manchester as we had relatives there to visit. I had arranged for coach tickets to London through the National Express web site which brought us into their Victoria coach station. That is such a central place with coach, rail and tub stations, so I picked Harcourt House Hotel (really a B&B) that was within 2 to 2 1/2 blocks from all the stations. It is at 50 Ebury Street, which backs right up to the Belgravia area and Margaret Thatcher’s home.
Harcourt House is an old Victorian with ensuite rooms and those with the facilities down the hall. It has four floors and no elevator, so the climb to the 4th floor is a bit steep, but this 77 year old lady did not have a problem. The have a cozy breakfast area down a few steps under the main entry and serve either full or continental breakfast included in the room rates which was very good. It seemed to be a very popular place with all ages and we met several Brits who used it whenever they came to London as well as young American couples. For a twin bedded room ensuite the price was 85 pounds which at the present time in the UK is a good bargain, thought not economical like a hostel.
We arranged a day tour to Stonehenge and Glastonbury which we could board from the Victoria station area as well as a tour of Windsor Castle and Hampton Court and Kew Palace. We hopped on at Victoria Station “The Original Tour” bus which is one of the off and on buses and the ticket includes a boat tour down the Thames which has a stop by the “London Eye”, always a good buy for an overview of London.
We found several good restaurants within 2 blocks of Harcourt House, our favorite being a Spanish one “the Goya” which served Tapas, which are small servings like appetizers, but great for light meals which we both preferred.
All in all a great introduction to London for our niece.