London travel with senior dad
May 1, 2022 11:45 AM   Subscribe

My dad is in his late 70s and would love to go a trip to London while he is still healthy enough to travel. He has some mobility issues and we will be cautious about being unmasked indoors, so looking for some suggestions for where to stay and eat with those considerations in mind!

My dad is very well traveled and has been to London before about 15 years ago. He has some arthritis issues that make walking long distances difficult. We will also be taking Covid precautions like wearing masks indoors so any suggestions for outdoor activities or dining are also welcome!

My dad said the last time he was there he stayed in the West End. He likes staying in the thick of it, so if we were to go to New York City, for example, he would want to stay somewhere like Times Square whereas I would much rather stay somewhere more residential (quieter and cheaper) since we can easily use public transit or cabs. Any suggestions for neighborhoods that would be pretty central to major tourism sights but also a little more low-key?

I'm open to a hotel, but we were thinking of using something like AirBnB where we can have two bedrooms and access to a kitchen so we don't have to go out to eat for every single meal.

Any neat events, museums, shows or other things to keep in mind for travel in late August or early September? Haven't booked flights yet, so still some flexibility around dates.
posted by forkisbetter to Travel & Transportation around London, England (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Just a couple of points on mobility. As he’s been before he’s probably aware that many of the tube stations that serve more than one line are sprawling messes of endless tunnels,steps and escalators. The tfl website lets you search for accessible journey variants but if mobility is a concern keep that in mind. Given the choice, I’d probably pick a bus over the tube, which will entail a lot less walking and steps.

Likewise, many older residential properties, even recently refurbished ones, can have a couple of steps leading into another room. This is especially true for houses that were converted into multiple flats. Hallways and stairs can be narrow and especially in homes that are suitable for families there my be a family bathroom with shower over the bathtub. So depending on how mobile he is that may or may not be a concern. A hotel may be more accessible.
posted by koahiatamadl at 12:41 PM on May 1, 2022

I mean, there are no mask requirements in the UK now at all. Here are the current recommendations. Basically nobody is masking. It will be up to you to take all of the precautions, on transport and in museums and restaurants. Your ABnB should of course be cleaned and aired to be lower risk.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:08 PM on May 1, 2022

You can get a transfer chair to get him around that is airline-friendly. (call to see if you can use that to board or if you have to use theirs. Regardless, they'll have space to store the portable narrow one while you're flying) These can be absolute lifesavers as far as getting around goes, and if he accepts his mobility issues you'll be able to see a lot more than without it.
posted by rhizome at 1:11 PM on May 1, 2022

Best answer: In terms of places to stay, the Bloomsbury/Holborn area is neighbourhood-y but very close to the West End and some other attractions. There are options at many different budget points, but some mid-range options are the Holborn Premier Inn, the Bloomsbury Holiday Inn and the Holborn Citadines. Please feel free to MeMail me about other options in this neighbourhood.
posted by sueinnyc at 2:50 PM on May 1, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Came here to say Holborn as well! I just came back from London and stayed there. It’s close to the action but very calm, especially for central London. Also second the suggestion to take buses over the tube since mobility is an issue.

And yeah, no one is wearing masks in London except (probably) other American tourists that need to test negative to go home. Get yourself some N95s or KN95s.
posted by rhymedirective at 3:47 PM on May 1, 2022

Aka serviced apartments has a branch in marlybone
posted by brujita at 6:00 PM on May 1, 2022

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