5 years, 6 months ago
I like lists. Big, long lists. So I’ll keep the preamble short for once and get right to it, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover and many pound notes to pocket. Here are some unusual, low-cost things you can do in London. It’s one of the world’s more expensive cities, so happy saving!
Afternoon Tea At The Ritz …. Skinny, crustless sandwiches and your choice of tea. They do offers but I figure £45 per person is worth it so you can say you had tea at The Ritz! www.theritzlondon.com
Afternoon Tea At Claridges …. Go on and go all Nancy Mitford on me for just £50 per person – apparently they have over 40 types of tea, worth a visit for that alone www.claridges.co.uk
Lunch at The Savoy Grill for just £26 per person you can have lunch at The Savoy Grill – please tell me you’re not taken away with the romance of that? www.gordonramsay.com/thesavoygrill
Tate to Tate Go see Blake then Hepworth on a boat, all day long for less than £12 return www.tate.org.uk
Sherlock Holmes Museum people adore the imaginary, pompous detective and will pay up to visit his fictional home. You can “find” him, at home, for under £25 for a family of four www.sherlock-holmes.co.uk
The Garden Museum even if you have not one green finger this museum is worth a visit to see the Griffin and skull laden tomb of John Tradescant and the ‘Breadfruit’ on the tomb of Captain William Bligh and it costs less than £20 for a family of four www.gardenmuseum.org.uk
Battersea Park Children’s Zoo is in the iconic park and it’s got monkeys and who doesn’t love monkeys? A family ticket is £28 www.batterseaparkzoo.co.uk
Hackney City Farm is free and it’s the place I want to live when I have lots of money and capable farm hands. While you’re waiting for that to happen you can visit and see the charming oddness of a London farm www.hackneycityfarm.co.uk
The Windmill, Brixton is where you want to go if you need live music and beer. But it’s really about the music. Voted 3rd in Time Out’s Live London Music Venues and under £10 a ticket, what can I say? www.windmillbrixton.co.uk
Hammersmith Lyric is eclectic and bold and you can go see London theatre without ‘doing the shows’, so no risk of you feeling completely tragic. Tickets from £8 www.lyric.co.uk
Emirates Stadium is home to Arsenal Football Club and a £17.50 Stadium Tour lets you ‘marvel’ (their words, not mine) at the modern architecture, see trophies and have a look at football stuff – it’s also in Islington where you can always get a decent cup of coffee and excellent traditional Sunday Roast Lunch www.arsenal.com
The Michael Faraday Monument stands in the middle of the Elephant and Castle roundabout. It’s free. You just have to get over the road to see it. But in 2013 ‘selfie’ was the Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year, so I can think of no good reason not to snap yourself next to the father of modern electricity’s monument.
Thames Path Walk runs from Hampton Court to The Thames Barrier. It’s about 50 miles of easy strolling and one of the best and most inclusive ways of seeing this magnificent city. For £12.95 you can pick up the official guide www.aurumpress.co.uk
One Hour’s Personal Style Consultation might be just what you’d like if you like what you see round and about London. £100 gets you an hour’s personal style consultation and £70 gets you an hour’s personal shopping www.orionarobb.com
London School of Painting and Drawing holds Saturday classes for £74 including oil paints, so if London inspires you www.thelondonschoolofpainting.org
Design Museum has a lot to irritate and a lot to impress but it’s certainly worth a visit and an adult ticket costs just £11.85 and children’s tickets are free – this is a good ‘un because there are regular short exhibitions and talks www.designmuseum.org
credit: Christina Waterson
City Academy is where you can taste a talent (or discover one) in singing, dancing, musical comedy, acting, public speaking. You don’t need to have any experience and I think taking home a skill from London is better than a tatty replica of Big Ben. Classes from £12 www.city-academy.com
The Chelsea Physic Garden is London’s oldest botanical garden, founded in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries (no matter how many times you say that it doesn’t sound any less marvellous). The garden’s open to the public during late Spring and Summer, but for just £38 you can become a Friend of the Chelsea Physic Garden and any time you’re in London you can visit – this is a really good deal during The Chelsea Flower Show www.chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk
Hyde Park is home to graceful Tai Chi classes, would-be marathon runners, cyclists, dog walkers and a lot of people who just like to sit about. For a whole day you can hire a deckchair (green and white striped, of course) to lounge in the sun, and it only costs £7 www.royalparks.org.uk
Visit a Thrift Store and acquire vintage fashion, good for getting a lot of unconventional presents on the cheap. Or bedeck yourself in penultimate London fashions at excellent value. Go indie for best quality used garb. My favourite is The East End Thrift Store
And there you have it, a big long list of stuff to do in London for less money that might not have seemed immediately obvious.