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It can be a challenge to find inexpensive places to stay in London when you or your travelling companions have access requirements.
We asked Gordon Couch OBE, accessible travel expert and author of the highly regarded Access in London guidebook, to share his advice and recommend some London budget accommodation.
“London offers a wider choice of accessible accommodation than ever before, though it’s not always easy to find your way through the mass of information. All the Access in London information and recommendations are based on visits by experienced international travellers who need to take access issues into account.
“London is big, and much of the transport system was designed a century ago. In spite of a great deal of progress, travelling around in London is probably the biggest challenge/problem for the disabled visitor who wants to be both independent and mobile, and to see many of the sights.
“Consequently the location of your accommodation is of enormous importance. Then, with a little determination, almost anything is possible.
“You can choose to stay somewhere near an accessible tube or DLR station. (A step-free London station map is available).
“Hotel prices vary substantially depending on the demand for accommodation on a particular night. There can be substantial savings if you can book early. Some hotels only offer accessible rooms with a double bed – suitable for some, but not for others. Whatever you decide, it will be a compromise.”
Top five choices for accessible budget accommodation:
• The Generator Hostel London which is a large back-packers hostel in Bloomsbury, with accommodation designed for disabled visitors on its lower ground floor.
• The YHA Thameside hostel just over 2km downstream from Tower Bridge. It has an accessible riverside pub/restaurant 100m away, and is about 750m from the accessible Canada Water Tube station. I have stayed at the hostel and found it to provide excellent value.
All have several accessible rooms, all offer the possibility of separate beds, and two can provide parking. All have location advantages and disadvantages, and much depends on what you want to do, where you want to go and how confident you are about getting around. If you can master the bus network, your horizons can extend far further.
In addition to the five mentioned, there are several more Premier Inns in very central locations. There are Ibis hotels in Greenwich and Stratford, and near Earl’s Court. In each of these areas, there is local interest, together with easy accessible transport links to the centre of London.
Remember that the best accommodation gets booked early.”
For more information see accessinlondon.org
Read Visit London’s page on accessible public transport in London and watch TfL’s accessible transport video