A trip to England’s capital is a wonderful experience but if you’re not a regular you can easily find yourself falling into the same old places and paying well over the odds for things. Especially food and drink. Let us give you a guide to some of the lesser known, often cheaper spots that are sure to still delight.
Get in the Sky
One of the most popular landmarks in London is the Shard. Yes, it offers incredible views of the skyline given it’s the highest building, but it sets you back a few bobs as well. If enjoying sights from a height is your sort of thing then plan ahead and book a visit to the highest public garden in London, the Sky Garden. It’s completely free!
You’ll find an array of fauna to explore in the glass dome situated at the very top of the Walkie Talkie building and it offers spectacular visibility over the city. The only aspect that isn’t free is food and drink; as a guide, wines start at £9 and beers at £6 although soft drinks are cheaper at around the £3 mark and it’s not an obligation either.
Be Wowed by Wildlife
London is famed for its zoo and rightly so. It’s fantastic. As well as being the third oldest in the world it is the oldest scientific zoo, but a visit does come at a price, particularly if there are a few of you.
Why not checkout one of the many parks London has to offer? You might have seen the flocks of pigeons at Trafalgar Square but if you want a bird you don’t see everyday then head to St James’ Park where you’ll find pelicans. Perhaps deer are more up your street? Head to Richmond Park instead.
If you’re still set on an actual zoo then go to Golders Park Hill Zoo. It offers lakes, a butterfly house and a small zoo to please adults and children alike. It won’t cost you a penny to get in.
Capture the Buzz
One of the things people love about London is the hustle and bustle. If shops are your poison then a walk down Oxford Street might be for you, unless a trip to browse Harrods is more your style. Truth be known, if it’s shopping for the sake of shopping then get to Camden Market for an explore.
Another way to immerse yourself in the atmosphere is to check out one of the big sports venues. A ticket will cost you but entrance to an event is optional and stadium tours are much cheaper. We recommend a trip down Wembley Way, which will give you great photo opportunities of the arch too.
If you time your trip right, you’ll be able to witness the fans arriving for the NFL games that are due later in October, in Wembley and in the new Tottenham stadium. This year the upcoming matches do not include any of the regular NFL playoff favourites, but they are always entertaining. Who knows if there won’t be pleasant surprises?
Food and Drink
Okay, we cannot give you anywhere that will provide free food and drink, but we can recommend value for money.
One of the biggest food bargains you’ll find is Brasserie Zedel, a Parisian eatery, in the theatre district (Piccadilly Circus). You can pick up two courses for less than £10!
If that’s not for you then what about pizza freshly made for £7? Get yourself to Balham and Ciullosteria where pastas start from a similar price. Alternatively, if you want a wow experience on a budget then book in at Number 16 in South Kensington where you’ll get a glorious and upmarket afternoon tea for under £20 a person.
For a stop to wet your beak you’re spoilt for choice. If you’re after an Instagram moment, then head to Dirty Bones in Shoreditch where you’ll find yourself in a listed building with a modern twist and a cocktail in your hand for a fiver (Mon-Fri 15:00-19:00).
If, however, you’re an ale drinker and want a decent but cheap pint go to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street. It’s one of the oldest pubs in London with lots of history and it’s maintained all of that charm to this day.
There you have it, London on a budget. If our calculations are correct you and one other can check out the skyline, go to a zoo, walk Wembley Way, get food for two and stop for a cocktail each with change from £30. That can’t be bad!