Forget Shoreditch, Soho and Hoxton; the suburbs of London are the hottest places to stay right now, according to latest visitor data from LateRooms.com.
Over the past three years, hotel bookings for properties on the outskirts of London have boomed, with people willing to travel into the centre of town while on a leisure trip and opting for cheaper alternatives to central London hotels.
The average cost of a room in a 4* hotel in Covent Garden is £192, and since it costs less than £10 to get into the city centre from zone 6, and often beyond, more visitors to the capital are choosing to make savings by having a sojourn in the suburbs.
The north London town has seen a massive 171% increase in leisure bookings over the last three years. The fantastic Whitewebbs Museum of Transport, The Chickenshed Theatre and Enfield Market keep tourists flooding in. The average rate of a 4* room in Enfield is £95 – nearly £100 cheaper than city centre properties.
Even though Croydon is Kate Moss’ hometown, it hasn’t had the best reputation over the years, but it looks like the tide is turning – leisure bookings are up 185% over the last three years, coinciding with a multi-billion pound regeneration plan. Croham Hurst, the enormously popular woodland area, and the David Lean Cinema, which shows arthouse movies from across the world are both big pulls in the area. Plus, Croydon is being tipped to become London’s next property hotspot as cheap prices combined with billion-pound investment projects start to attract aspiring young professionals. The average rate of a 4* property in Croydon is just £79 per night, while 3* hotels and B&Bs cost £68 per night.
Between Twickenham and Hayes in west London, Hounslow is located amongst a group of sub-urban destinations that have boomed in popularity over the past few years. True, a fair amount of the people who stay at hotels there do so because of its close proximity to Heathrow Airport, but the 46% increase in leisure bookings since 2012 points to a growing trend towards the sub-urban retreat. With rooms at 4* hotels averaging £96 night, there’s far more to Hounslow than a stopover for Heathrow; Bedfont Lakes Country Park is a huge tourist pull plus the London Museum of Water & Steam is an evergreen attraction.
Slightly north of Hounslow, Greenford’s hotels and B&Bs have seen a monumental boom in leisure bookings, 272% since 2012 to be precise. This figure is particularly impressive given the average rate of a 4* room in the area is £130 per night – higher than some of its sub-urban counterparts. Visitors come from all over the UK to see the London Motorcycle Museum and the Perivale Wood Nature Reserve.
With strong transport links into the centre of London, Bromley is yet another sub-urban location that has seen a huge increase in bookings over the past few years. The average rate of a 4* hotel room is £89, and there has been a 261% surge in bookings since 2012. Bromley’s big tourist pull is the Chislehurst caves – originally old mines, which were turned into an ammo dump and then air raid shelters during the two wars, they eventually became a film set and now a tourist centre in its own right.
Andrea Tarpey, spokesperson for LateRooms.com, said: “As the capital, London is undoubtedly the UK’s most popular tourist destination, but that also comes with a cost. As a result, we’re seeing more visitors than ever choosing to book their accommodation in the suburbs where their money will go further and they can get the best rates on offer – and still be in the centre within 30 minutes.
“Staying in London’s suburbs might not only be a great way for thrifty travelers to save some cash, but also experience some of the less familiar tourist attractions spread across the city.
“Together with an impending 24 hour tube service and Crossrail construction under way, we fully expect this trend to continue over the coming months and years.”