I have a question which may sound a little strange but any advice will be appreciated. I am looking to hire a flat for a week for when we visit London in a couple of months time. We will have my sisters baby with us so we are a little nervous about renting a flat that we have never seen before... I have found something quite reasonable (cheaper than any other flat I have managed to find in fact!) at the MCH so I just want to find out a little about it. It is on the 8th floor but I don't know which building, all I know is that it is located next to the tube exit? What are the conditions of the flats on this building? Is it likely to be pleasant or hellish?? :) The fact that this is the cheapest flat I have found so far -and I looked at hundreds- is making me a little uneasy... I just don't want to book somewhere that we are not going to feel comfortable taking the baby to..
I don't know anything about MCH (aside from the fact that it does seem to have a good reputation in terms of facilities and so on) and I wouldn't be concerned about the building. Obviously the flat inside could be in any condition though!
The reason it is cheap is because Elephant & Castle is not considered an objectively desirable place. Giles Coren recently described it (albeit slightly tongue in cheek) as follows:
"Elephant and Castle is a stabby shite hole of staggering grimness (not just grismal, not even grimaldi, but grimsky-korsakov to the total max)".
It's not somewhere I would want to take or bring up a child, but this is obviously just a personal opinion and no doubt lots of residents will be along to counter this opinion with their own. There was a stabbing there quite recently and it is not somewhere I would ever go alone at night. I was mugged just outside the tube station last year.
I live in MCH and it is clean, safe and the flats are fairly new and spacious. The block is gated and has a 24h porter and CCTV. There is also a communal garden, indoor pool and gym. And lots of young couples/families and a fair few babies. We live here with a kid.
The area, well, it is Elephant and Castle and a bit on the cheap and cheerfull side...
Personally I think it would be a great place to be based for central London on a budget as it is so easy to get to just about any part of London on public transport. The buildings them selves are fine and secure though I would be aware of my surrounding outside the development at night as you need to be in anypart of London and if coming back from the westend at nightits near enough to get a taxi. Perhaps you could ask to see a couple of pic of the inside to check its condition.
As for bringing up kids there I dont live at the Elephant but my kids primary school was very near there and have lots of friend near by and they have all survived!
I lived in London for 5 years a few years ago and the whole time I was there I've never been to Elephant / Castle.. I just never had the reason to.. The area is one of the things that is worrying me.. I doubt we will actually spend anytime there and if it really is located right next to the tube exit I suppose it would be fine, with there being a 24hr security and everything.. I am also concerned about the inside of the buildings too.. are they clean? I saw a couple of photos of the flat and it looks basic and maybe a little bit tired but ok. I don't suppose I will have any way of checking out whether any of the things mentioned (the closeness of the tube exit, the view from the flat, the "wonderful" facilities of the building etc) until we actually get there and with the baby and my sister, I am just a little nervous about getting it wrong! :)
You are KIDDING, I live in the Elephant and Castle. My grandchildren come and stay. It's not at all dangerous, it's not particularly glamorous, but it's a fab. location for getting about. Dont know why all this scaremongering is going on. Silly.
Elephant is not the prettiest area in London, but MCH is on the best side of it, the side towards Borough and the river.
I live at MCH and love it. I bought here last year.
The location is superb, Zone 1 on the tube, opposite the tube station and millions of bus stops right outside the door which take you all over London.
If I'm coming in late at night I am careful, but touch wood nothing has ever happened to me. I have had bad experiences in London 3 times over the past 7 years of living here- once I was 'mugged' at Charing Cross station, once I was harrassed and flashed at outside my parent's old house on one of the poshest streets in Hampstead and indeed London! And once I was followed by a nutcase at Clapham Common. All of these are areas much more salubrious than Elephant.
The thing that Metro has in its favour is that in the surrounding area there are always lots of people around and that in itself makes the area much safer. It's a busy bustling place. Plus we have cctv and 24 concierge desk. It is a really nice building and I wouldn't worry about staying here at all. Quite a few people here have kids.