Cheap Ways To Enjoy The Capital City

London is definitely the city to see this year. There is so much going on, it’s hard to know where to start. There are the obvious things like the Olympics and the celebrations around the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II or if you like something more low key, there are always marvellous exhibitions to enjoy, London Parks, sites of interest, and historic buildings. Flights to London don’t have to be expensive, and the cost of living in the city doesn’t need to be expensive either – here are a few ideas to keep your London holiday within budget.

See London On Foot

This year is Charles Dickens bicentenary – and London is celebrating the work and life of this prolific and highly observant writer. See and experience the things that influenced his writing and character depictions on a Dickens London Walk. This will take you around his favourite haunts, places of interest mentioned in his stories, pubs where he drank – the works. All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes and a donation for your guide. Check the internate for schedules of a full range of London walks.

Shops

Many people enjoy a trip to London to hit the shops – but if you are working to a budget, a great way to shop in the Capital  is to head for the affluent areas of town and check out the local Charity Shops. Victoria and Pimlico are particularly worth a look at – the local residents seem to disgorge an astonishing amount of beautiful, pristine high-end clothing, so don’t be surprised to see Chanel shoes – suits by Yves Saint Laurent, or glorious Gucci silk ties. They also sell lots of other interesting bits and pieces too –  paintings, ceramics, kitchen ware…so,  if you stuck for something special to take home, you won’t need to spend a fortune. Just be prepared to go where holiday makers seldom go!  If you are more of a central London person, The Salvation Army Charity Shop on Princes Street, London WI is a must. We have it on good authority that the staff from the nearby Vogue Magazine offices take their unwanted designer labels here on the way into work!

Eating On The Cheap

Get something good to eat, and pay a visit to some of Londons finest public places. For instance, you can enjoy a trip to the British Museum and have an excellent cream team, complete with Viennese Demel Chocolate Cake.  How about the magnificent Victoria and Albert Museum in Kensington – this is one of the finest Museums on the planet, but it also has the worlds first Museum Restaurant and it’s still going strong with some wonderful additional modern spaces. In summer you can eat in the courtyard garden, complete with water features and art work.  The incredible décor of the interior dining room is breathtaking – lush tiling, huge lights, a grand piano with pianist, and the fantastic choice of affordable food will keep you going through the 11 miles plus of public corridors and galleries. If you want something more formal, you could visit the Royal Academy Restaurant – set in the original refreshment rooms built in 1885. The rooms are elegant and light – serving good British fair and afternoon teas. And one more for gallery lovers, the Tate Britains Rex Whistler Restaurant – children eat free with every grown up who orders two courses.The majority of these places seek a donation or small entrance fee – a great way to spend to a day without spending a fortune.

Once you have located the cheapest flights, plan for what you want to see in the City, and budget for your eating and shopping.  It will make a stay in London affordable, fun and memorable.