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London on a budget

Visiting London and being on a tight budget aren’t two things you would necessarily think are possible to achieve at the same time. There are, however, ways to do both.

Here are a few ideas to help make your stay in London a lot more cost-effective…

Cheaper travel

You may not believe it, but cheap train fares to London are available! Arriving into London Kings Cross station can be much less expensive if you book an off-peak train ticket in advance of your departure. If you have a Railcard, then this will save you further money too.

Once in London, it’s more cost-effective to get a Visitor Oyster card to get around on public transport. You can top up whenever you like, and the fares are up to 50% cheaper than if you pay in cash for the same journeys.

Free attractions

One of the amazing things about London is the wealth of museums, galleries and landmarks that are available to visit. Even better, many of them are free to visit. From the Tate Modern to the Natural History Museum and the National Gallery, there is something for everyone, regardless of taste.

Plus, don't miss great free spectacles such as the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, which is an enjoyable and regal ceremony in itself.

Green spaces

Despite its towering office blocks, huge structures and vast shopping and residential districts, there is actually a lot of green space to enjoy in London.

From Hyde Park to Hampstead Heath, Kensington Gardens or Regent’s Park, there are large open spaces that are great for strolling, running, dog walking, kite flying or outdoor yoga sessions.

Make your own picnic on a warm day and relax by The Serpentine or even better, visit the Lido there to paddle your feet and enjoy a sun lounger for under a fiver for the whole day.

Discount theatre shows

If you are heading into town to see a show, then there are many techniques you can use to get in a little cheaper.

The TKTS booth in Leicester Square offers half price and discounted theatre tickets, but you will have to queue and also be prepared to be flexible in terms of what you see if your first choice is already sold out. You could also go directly to the theatre box office where your chosen show is hosted, as often they have stand-by or returned tickets available to buy on the day at a discounted rate.

Shakespeare’s Globe offers hundreds of cheap tickets from just £5 to those who want to stand and experience what it was like to be a ‘groundling’ back in the day. If you are prepared to stand and watch the performance, then you can often bag some of the best views in the house.

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