We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Stay in Reading instead of London?

Indianapolis...
3 posts
Save Topic
Stay in Reading instead of London?

I'm coming to London in the fall and am considering staying in Reading instead of London due to hotel cost. It seems easy enough to get into London from there and catch trains to elsewhere. Otherwise I would look for something around Paddington. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Canada
Level Contributor
4,840 posts
48 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Stay in Reading instead of London?

I've never been to Reading but believe that it is a somewhat soulless urban centre...

There is a certain something to be said for being in a hotel close to all the sights and places you want to see. At the end of a busy day a longish train trip with a bunch of grumpy commuters can be difficult. You also need to way up the hotel prices and the not-insignificant costs of transport. That said - I often stay at Heathrow and quite enjoy sitting on the bus or tube and watching the locals.

How much cheaper are the hotels? Any one in particular?

Ottawa, ON
Level Contributor
2,472 posts
63 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Stay in Reading instead of London?

The fact that Reading may be soulless (whatever that means) doesn't much matter if it is only being used as a place to sleep. I've actually stayed there and don't think it is any more soulless than the streets in London where you find the budget hotels - Sussex Gardens, Southampton Row, Ebury Street, etc.

Although it is only a half an hour to London Paddington (day return £15.50), I still don't think I would stay there to visit London. On the other hand, it is a major rail junction, and would be a great place to stay to do day trips to Oxford, Bath, Salisbury, Winchester, south Wales, and more.

U.S. expats
Destination Expert
for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
Level Contributor
20,108 posts
209 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Stay in Reading instead of London?

Do not stay in Reading.

You can find lots of inexpensive hotels in London, without having to spend an hour on a train each day, and paying 15 pounds a day for that dubious privilege.

Have a look at the list of budget hotels in London that TexScott put together.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g186338-c162572/Londo…

Oxfordshire
Level Contributor
2,630 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Stay in Reading instead of London?

It isn't £15.50 return.

At least not till the 0931 train (arr 1002). Till 0915, it's £37.50 return -which kills the possible hotel price saving.

There are virtually no hotels within walking distance of Reading station,and Paddington's near few places a tourist would naturally go to. So the comparison isn't the half hour from Paddington: it's the not far short of two hours from - say - a West End theatre, to Paddington, to waiting, to Reading, to the bus (sometimes) or taxi (most often at night) to a suburban Holiday Inn (an alleged "Reading" address covers a huge slug of the Thames Valley.

Be very wary of claims Reading's central: few places are accessible from Reading significantly more cheaply than from London (the train to Oxford from there, for example, costs more almost always than the bus from London to Oxford)

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
32,844 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Stay in Reading instead of London?

You also can't just pop back to your hotel - at best it's going to be 90 minutes each way at best and you'd have to buy new train tickets as well

U.S. expats
Destination Expert
for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
Level Contributor
20,108 posts
209 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Stay in Reading instead of London?

Good point flanneruk. I'll also just add that for me, from Windsor (a good deal closer than Reading) the average time spent traveling from my door to the place in London I want to visit, say the British Museum, is 1 1/2 hours.

And I have a car that I can drive to the station.

Indianapolis...
3 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Stay in Reading instead of London?

Thanks for all the input on this. I think staying in London is the best idea.

Ipswich, United...
Destination Expert
for Ipswich
Level Contributor
7,513 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Stay in Reading instead of London?

I hope you did not mention staying in Paddington because of the (expensive) Heathrow Express. You can stay in other parts of London and get the Tube (subway) from Heathrow far more cheaply. If you say what kind of budget you have in mind some people here may be able to come up with a few suggestions, though you could post that on the London forum.

Edited: 8:27 pm, July 26, 2011
Indianapolis...
3 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Stay in Reading instead of London?

I'm thinking the Paddington area because of trains to other destinations (Cotswolds, Oxford and others). And yes any suggestions would be helpful and appreciated. Thanks.

County Dublin...
Level Contributor
27,030 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Stay in Reading instead of London?

Unless you are addicted to beautiful old restored railway sheds or outlet shopping. Reading is not for you.