London is the capital city of the United Kingdom, and, like most capital cities it is a very expensive place to live, work or enjoy oneself. Many people are put off visiting London, indeed, by its’ reputation as being the preserve of the rich or at least the fairly well off, but this would be a mistake, since the city offers much in terms of entertainment and attractions which are either inexpensive or even completely free of charge. The following is a small selection of the ideas which you might like to combine in order to put together your cut price trip to London:
Visitors from many other countries are often surprised to discover that the best museums and galleries in the centre of London don’t even charge for entry. This means that is costs absolutely nothing to gain access to fantastic collections including historical artefacts from all over the world, hands on interactive exhibits which kids will love and some of the finest works of art ever created. Amongst the best are Tate Modern, the British Museum, the National Gallery and the Natural History Museum. Any one of these would provide a day out in their own right.
One of the biggest expenses when you’re staying in London can arise from the simple necessity of keeping yourself fed and watered. Even ‘cheap’ chain cafes can cost more than you’re used to in your home town. For delicious but affordable snacks, head to Camden, where the stalls on the market and next to Camden lock sell delicious street food from around the world which is not only tasty but often extremely healthy as well.
Areas such as Oxford Street, Mayfair and Kensington are packed with designer boutiques and flagship department stores, but it’s possible to shop in London without breaking the bank. Markets such as Portobello Road, Brick Lane and Spitalfields offer the chance to track down bargains both old and new, whilst the Petticoat Lane Sunday market offers designer goods at knock down prices.
Remember that children under 15 travel free or at a reduced fare rate on buses, trams, the Tube and over ground railways. Purchase a Travel Card at the start of the day and you’ll have unlimited travel on bus, tube and train throughout, something which will save a large amount of money as you spend the day criss-crossing the city.
One of the most popular means of taking in the sights of London is to book a ride on one of the many open top sightseeing tours which run throughout the city. If you’ve got two or three children to take with you, however, the cost of a trip like this can soon mount up. There is a way to organise your own mini sightseeing tour, however, and that’s by taking a ride on just the right bus route. The Number 4 bus, for example, will take you past landmarks such as Waterloo, the Houses of Parliament, Fleet Street, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Barbican. The number 88, on the other hand, will give you a view of Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Tate Britain.