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A tale of three capitals: how to city break in east, west and central London

A tale of three capitals: how to city break in east, west and central London

Whether you’re visiting London for a romantic weekend retreat, to explore the West End and catch some shows, or you’re on a mission to seek out some of the city’s top restaurants and coolest vintage shops, you’re going to need a base of operations.

Choosing a hotel you can rely on for a comfortable, quiet night’s sleep is vital. You’ll need to be energised and ready to explore everything London has to offer and there are more than 40 Hilton hotels in London alone, all close to tourist hotspots. Book your Hilton hotel with a few taps of the keyboard and start dreaming about all the fun you’re going to have – all you need to do is choose which vibrant part of the city you want to visit.

West London

Historic and cultured west London is home to some of the city’s most famous attractions, and is an ideal hub for first-time visitors. From museums and galleries to the iconic 152-year-old Royal Albert Hall, west London is where you’ll find the Chelsea and Kensington neighbourhoods, with their stunning Georgian and Victorian architecture and the occasional A-lister wandering down the street.

Hilton London Olympia is smack bang in the middle of Kensington, where there are countless gorgeous little cafes and restaurants for enjoying afternoon tea or a spot of lunch. This location is perfect if you’re hoping to visit the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum or the V&A, as all three are within walking distance from the hotel. Take a stroll through Holland Park, and visit Kensington Palace and its stunning gardens – all within striking distance of your room. It’s easy to travel farther afield from here, too, with a bus ride to Covent Garden taking about half an hour.

A little farther north is Hilton London Kensington, which has dog-friendly rooms so you can bring your furry friend along on your adventure. You’ll be close to White City, Westfield, as well as Shepherd’s Bush, a vibrant, multicultural area of London where trendy cocktail bars and craft beer pubs sit comfortably alongside Syrian, Turkish and Lebanese restaurants. Live music venues and Portobello Market are just around the corner, and pretty Notting Hill is a short walk from your hotel, in case you feel the need to relive scenes from the classic romcom.

Hilton Park Lane
London Hilton on Park Lane boasts panoramic views of the city and Hyde Park. Photograph: Paul Winch-Furness

Central London

Central London is where it all happens. At London Hilton on Park Lane, you’ll find panoramic views of the city and cocktails at the 10 Degrees Sky Bar, as well as award-winning dining at the hotel’s Galvin at Windows restaurant. Step outside directly on to Hyde Park for romantic strolls around one of London’s most iconic parks, or wander to Buckingham Palace and St James’s Palace and park in just a few minutes. Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament are just a couple of tube stops away, making this the ideal hotel for sightseeing. What’s more, Harrods and the boutiques and high-end vintage shops of Knightsbridge are on your doorstep, ready for a day of upscale retail therapy.

Expect five-star luxury at Conrad London St James, a Hilton hotel converted from the 19th-century former Queen Anne’s Chambers. Sumptuous marble bathrooms and high-quality linens are just the tip of the comfortable iceberg here, with each spacious room offering a serene oasis in the heart of the city. For a special treat without leaving the hotel, The Pem restaurant, under award-winning chef Sally Abé, is all about seasonal British ingredients, from dressed Dorset crab to Cumbrian shorthorn. Conrad London St James is right next to St James’s Park tube station and around the corner from the Palace of Westminster, and you know what they say – location is everything. Catch as many shows as you can on London’s West End or visit some of the city’s most celebrated live music venues, such as Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in Soho, in a few minutes by cab. Take a walk along the River Thames and find Tate Britain, or head north and pop in for afternoon tea at the Savoy (be sure to book in advance), before wandering over to visit St Paul’s Cathedral.

East London

Recently reopened after a full renovation, Hampton by Hilton London Old Street is your key to the trendy East End of London. Base yourself in a quiet, comfortable room in the heart of Shoreditch, and explore the artistic, vibrant side of the capital city. All within easy walking distance are Spitalfields Market and Shoreditch High Street for an eclectic day of shopping and exploring, and just around the corner is historic Brick Lane, famous for its traditional bagel bakeries and delis, third-wave coffee shops, and unusual and intriguing antiques, vintage clothes, and memorabilia. Take the tube a few stops to Columbia Road flower market for even more vintage fashion and antiques. Not far from the hotel are the Barbican estate and centre, where the incredible mid-century brutalist architecture has a hidden secret – London’s original Roman walls can still be found here.

You’re well placed for the charms of Greenwich with a stay at Hilton London Canary Wharf.
You’re well placed for the charms of Greenwich with a stay at Hilton London Canary Wharf. Photograph: Paul Rogers/Pellier Photography

At Hilton London Canary Wharf you are in the centre of the buzzing financial district. Surrounded by glistening skyscrapers and glamorous waterside bars and cafes, Canary Wharf is the ideal hotspot for business and pleasure, or to open up the south of London – Greenwich is just a short hop over the river. Take the Docklands Light Railway for a unique, above-ground view as you travel around the Docklands, and look out for Victorian storehouses and factories alongside modern architecture. Travel to Greenwich, just a few minutes away, and find quaint cobbled streets and cosy pubs, as well as the O2 Arena, where the world’s top artists perform. A few tube stops to the west will take you to St Dunstan in the East Church Garden, a beautiful Grade I listed Wren church that succumbed to bombings in the Blitz and is now a romantic ruin, filled with trees and rambling plants. Around the corner from the church is Borough Market, a must-visit spot for foodies. It’s packed with street-food vendors, stalls with unusual produce, and historic pubs. Shakespeare used to shop here, you know.

Hilton has more than 40 hotels to choose from in central London, covering focused service and luxury brands, as well as locations in the north, south, east and west

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