Which area is the best location and most convenient to stay? Traveling with my husband and 8 year old! Want to be somewhat close to all the sightseeing! TIA!
London is a very large city and it's impossible to be close to all the sightseeing. If you give us an idea of your priorities we can advise better. A lot depends on budget too, so some idea of that would also be helpful.
We would like to be close to Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, London Bridge etc....maybe looking for something around $250 or less a night?
London has an extensive public transport system,buses and Underground and walking!!! ,so wherever you choose is within a short trip to what you want to see
Look at booking.com for ideas.
I don't know them myself but Earl's Court area and Kings cross area are often recommended and a short tube(underground) trip from the "Attractions"
Where are you travelling from? if it's LHR then anywhere along the Piccadilly line would be a good choice slightly cheaper than "the centre" of London
You also have the Premier Inn range of hotels at Covent Garden (very central) and near The Tower of London,a short tube ride or interesting bus ride away from The West End
You mention London Bridge,well thats a very ordinary bridge but I suspect you mean the Tower Bridge?
The three attractions you mention are someway apart but reachable by the transport system
There's no one place that is close to everything, when I go to London I try to stay as close to a tube station so that I have easy access to everything. If you stay in Westminster, you are close to the London Eye, Southbank, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. The aquarium and London Dungeons are over there although I'm not a fan of either, with kids you may end up there. Plus you are on the line that goes out to the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge (the London Bridge is not a tourist attraction, it's just a bridge). I've stayed at the Marriott County Hall (I got that on Priceline so it might be over budget) and the Park Plaza. I think Premier Inn has a couple of properties over there if you are not too fussed about having a concierge.
If you stay in South Kensington or near the Gloucester Road station, you are close to three of the big museums, the Natural History, Science (a great place with an 8 year old) and the V&A. I've stayed in a few hotels in the area for well under your budget, Holiday Inn, Millennium, Radisson and quite a few others. I was able to walk from Gloucester Road to the museums in South Kensington.
I like staying in Earl's Court because it's very close to Heathrow but it's not within walking distance of anything. I like King's Cross when I know I'm taking daytrips or leaving from there to go to another part of the UK but again, not within walking distance of any attractions except the British Library.
As Dabs has said, staying in Westminster would put you close to the first two on your list, and London Bridge isn't an attraction (like her, I think you mean Tower Bridge, which is close to the Tower of London). But Westminster is expensive, so you wouldn't get such a good hotel for your money as you would further out. Gloucester Road is mid-priced, handy for the museums as she says, and also with a nice child-friendly park (Kensington Gardens) on your doorstep. Staying there or in South Kensington (also nice but maybe a fraction dearer) you are on the right Tube line (District) for travel to Westminster and to Tower Hill. You are also on the Piccadilly Line which takes you straight to Heathrow if you are travelling via there, and in the other direction to Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square if you plan to see a show.
Another nice area that hasn't yet been mentioned is Bloomsbury, which I like better than Gloucester Road in terms of atmosphere, but it's less convenient (that is, using the Tube you would have to change lines to reach many of the bigger attractions, which could be a smallish hassle with a youngster in tow). On balance I would say Gloucester Road or South Kensington could be your best options.
I like the Gloucester Road area a lot, it's on three tube lines including the one from Heathrow (Piccadilly). There are a couple of large supermarkets nearby which is nice if you don't get an included breakfast, you can pop over and get fruit, yogurt, pastries, etc. which helps the budget a bit.
Westminster can be expensive but it's a great location. I loved staying on the Thames with a view of the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament right out my window. There are a couple of Premier Inns near Westminster, County Hall and Waterloo that won't be even close to your budget if you book them early enough. PI County Hall appears to be right next to the Marriott that I stayed at (I paid just over $100 US for it but that was from Priceline blind bidding which you can't do with three people).
Sorry for the late reply as I have not been on VT for a few days.
You have already had excellent advice on the different areas to say so I shall confine myself to a couple of travel opptions for you to combine all three of the attractions you have mentioned. If it was adults only I could suggest a great walking route between them all and taking in a host of other places but that is obviously not feasible with the youngster.
Obviously these routes are reversible but I'll start at Tower Bridge which is obviously the one you are talking about. You might want to add on a visit to the adjacent Tower of London which is one of the most popular attractions in the UK and is absolutely worth a visit. Either way you can get the 15 bus which passes both and then follows a fascinating route through the City of London (it passes St. Paul's Cathedral amongst many other things) then along Fleet Street and the Strand to Trafalgar Square which is in itself a huge tourist attraction with Nelson's Column. Then you walk along Whitehall where you can see the mounted guardsmen at Horseguards and this brings you to Parliament Square where Big Ben is. From there another pleasant walk along Birdcage Walk brings you to Buckingham Palace. Instead of walking up Birdcage Walk, you may wish to deviate slightly into the delightful St. James's Park instead.
An alternative which involves less walking if you think this is too much for the little one is to get a Clipper boat from Tower Bridge to Westminster Bridge. You really do get a completely different perspective of London from the River, I love that journey. Here is a link for the Clipper service.
Hope this assists,