When taking an extended trip to London, be it a sabbatical or just a long holiday, one of your main concerns will be finding comfortable, affordable and appropriate accommodation.
In the capital, the list of hotels and bed and breakfasts is endless, but these are often not the best option. Self catered holiday apartments offer many bonuses that these two just cannot match, such as comfort, freedom and space.
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Freedom to come and go
One of the most common ways to live cheaply in London on an extended break might be to look towards bed and breakfasts. The problem with these, though, is that they are quite restrictive.
If you are having a night out or are away on a trip, you don't want to have to worry about the time the doors to your accommodation will be locked and fear spending a night on the streets.
With a self catering holiday apartment, you are 100 per cent in charge, meaning you can come and go as you please at all times of the day and night - ideal for those who want to experience as much of London as they can.
One of the biggest bugbears of living in a hotel for any extended period of time can be the lack of privacy that you will face. Morning after morning, cleaners will be doing their rounds, and it can mean an early wake-up call if you forgot to hang the 'do not disturb' sign on the door handle.
However, if you choose to live in a self catered apartment throughout your stay, you will find that you are able to enjoy privacy that will be very much welcome. It will be very much like your own home, and you can feel free to relax far more easily therein.
Full apartment experience
Another big benefit to renting a self catered apartment is the fact it is a full property rather than just a hotel room. This means no more filling up the tiny little travel kettle and trying to make coffee with the small fiddly sachets provided.
You will have access to a full kitchen, complete with fridge and freezer, as well as a living room to sit and watch TV and relax, unlike the sort of all-in-one experience you might be used to with hotels.
Eat in comfort
One benefit of having the full apartment as opposed to just a hotel room is the fact you have the use of a full kitchen. It means you can make your own meals, lowering your costs as you don't have to eat out all the time.
Of course, the fact you can prepare your own food means you can also enjoy it in the peace of your own apartment as well. No more being crammed into a busy hotel dining room or restaurant on a frantic Saturday night.
Take a step away from the city
Perhaps the biggest benefit, however, is the fact that you get the chance to step away from the city and enjoy the peace and quiet of other areas around the city itself.
If you are in a London hotel, you will almost constantly be surrounded by not only the busy roads and streets, but also by other tourists - which can get a bit tiresome after a few weeks.
By renting a self catered apartment in the likes Balham, Wandsworth Common and Clapham not only allows you the chance to see new areas of the city, but also affords you some privacy and peace and quiet at the end of a long day.