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Premier Travel Inn London Southwark

Basic, bland motel with a great location—and attached to one of London's most historic pubs where Shakespeare once drank

This place is a bland, modern, cookie-cutter chain joint—think Motel 6, but one that’s particularly clean, comfortable enough (thin walls, though), and modern—but it’s location is killer: on the revived Southwark river walk (that’s the south side of the River Thames), bang between the Tate Modern and the daily covered food market, a short stroll from both the Golden Hind (which is far tinier than you’d ever have imagined) and the Globe Theatre (Shakespeare as it was meant to be heard for £5).

But it’s true claim to shining fame in my book is that it is attached to the venerable Thameside Anchor Pub, where Shakespeare himself used to get sloshed and Samuel Pepys sat and watched the Great Fire of 1666 consume the City of London across the river. Of course, the limey bastards of the hotel chain had the temerity, shamelessness, and utter lack of style to modernize the main bar in the pub (how they got around various antiquities protection laws is beyond me), but most of the other little bars and snugs creating this multi-level maze of a pub remain, some of them named for famous patrons, including Dr. Johnson, who found fortification here to write his famed dictionary (much of which was penned whilst sitting here with a pint or four). Best bit: you get to take breakfast (a full English fry-up) in a top room of the pub, at a table overlooking the Thames River to the dome of St. Paul’s.

This is actually just one of a chain of 450 cheap hotels across the UK (a marriage of two chains that used to be called Travel Inn and Premiere Lodges), and the prices at all are usually excellent for expensive spot like Great Britain—officially starting at £47, though I’ve know sales to bring it even lower and, for late April/early May, the cost will likely be closer to £80-£90.

34 Park Street, Tube: London Bridge.
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This article was last updated in September 2010. All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2010 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.