THE CAPITAL will be in the spotlight this weekend as it hosts the Virgin Money London Marathon. If you are coming along to watch or take part, or plan to visit the city soon, here are some holiday lets that will help you see the place in a whole new light.
ST PANCRAS CLOCK TOWER
Every day 200,000 London commuters pass underneath the clock tower at St Pancras – but now you can actually book to stay in it.
Built by George Gilbert Scott in 1873, the clock tower boasts an apartment with two bedrooms which can be let out separately or together.
The bedrooms and kitchens are all white and cosy but the sitting room is fantastically theatrical. Built on several levels with a galleried library, its ceiling goes all the way into the tower itself.
You can enjoy fine views across London, including St Paul’s Cathedral, through its Gothic windows. Bloomsbury and the British Museum are on your doorstep, as is the newly-hip King’s Cross area with its restaurants and bars.
From £149 a night, it will not cost you a fortune. Sleeps two.
St Pancras Clock Tower (stpancrasclocktower.co.uk)
HIP EAST END
Studiomama is one of London’s hippest architects with its projects regularly appearing in style magazines.
And in 2012 it renovated the Carpenter’s House near Bethnal Green, located just off a cobbled alley, which allows you to throw yourself into a clever, clutter-free designer lifestyle.
Sleeping five in a series of pod-like spaces, it is filled with bright orange furniture and prints by Mondrian and situated near to the famous Columbia Road Flower Market and the V&A Museum of Childhood – packed with toys and memorabilia.
The Modern House (020 3795 5920/themodernhouse.com) offers seven nights at the Carpenter’s House from £800.
Go to sleep with a view of the Tower of London and enjoy the gently rocking movement made by the Thames.
The two-storey Harpy Houseboat is moored at Shad Thames and offers fantastic views over Tower Bridge and the City of London.
Built in 1904 as a Customs & Excise boat, this shipshape houseboat has all the mod cons, with designer furniture, outdoor terraces and a fully- equipped kitchen.
Not quite life on the ocean wave but a hugely memorable holiday let.
The Harpy Houseboat (07836 262 222/ theharpy.com) From £600 per night, minimum three nights (sleeps 10).
Packed with clubs and cool bars, Shoreditch is cold-brew coffee central. During the week, it is full of tech types working on start-ups who would all like to live here.
If you want to try it for yourself, you can rent the Shoreditch Treehouse, a loft apartment right in the centre, just off Hoxton Square and within walking distance of Shoreditch High Street and Old Street.
It has wooden ceilings, wooden floors and – decorated with Indian furniture – comes with stacks of boho charm. There are two bedrooms and a huge living area complete with grand piano, plants and sofas, with fairy lights coming down from the ceiling and an indoor swing.
This is a great base from which to explore the hip Kingsland Road or the famous designer outlets of Hackney Walk, including Burberry, Anya Hindmarch and Nicole Farhi.
The Shoreditch Treehouse (020 3795 1390/theplumguide.com) from £450 per night (sleeps four).
Dickensian Princelet Street
One of the oldest houses in the capital, this house was built for Huguenot silk weavers in the early 1700s after they fled from religious persecution in France.
Derelict until the 1980s, the property at 4 Princelet Street, which belongs to the Landmark Trust, is now highly sought after, with its quaint charm and wood-panelled rooms.
It is filled with era-appropriate furniture – although it has a fully up-to-date kitchen – and a small walled garden.
You can explore Spitalfields Market and the City of London by foot from here.
Landmark Trust (landmarktrust. org.uk/01628 825 925) offers four nights from £1,433 (sleeps six)