Great 'cheap things to do in London' Hunt

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  • BettyCash
    BettyCash Posts: 16 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Speaker's Corner on a Sunday - English eccentricity at its best!
  • Other good free museums:
    Sir John Soane Museum - Architects house in Lincolns Inn Fields full of extraordinary stuff inc Hogarth's Rakes Progress, they often have evening openings when it's lit by candlelight.
    Bank of England Museum - only open weekdays, everything you could want to know about the Bank, it's history and how it works now. Original drawings for the pictures on the bank notes and a gold bar in a case, but you can touch it, pick it up.
    Guildhall Art Gallery, very quiet because hardly anyone know it exists, not just pictures of Lord Mayors, they have the statue of Thatcher that was intended for Parliament, but someone knocked her head off. Also access to the partially excavated Roman Ampitheatre.
    Museum of London - Everything you could want to know about london.

    Not museums but also interesting
    Guildhall - Home of the goverment of the City of London since 1430, glorious building that is open daytimes, unless it is shut. When in use or when they are setting up a banquet etc it is closed to public, all other times we can just wander in.
    Supreme Court - Parliament Sq, daytimes can go and watch court cases in the highest appeal court in the land, they also have a very good exhibition about the development of the judicial system.
    Can also watch cases at Royal Courts of Justice and Old Bailey, but check rules in advance- can't take cameras inside for example.

    For a walking tour London Walks are good- not free but £8 for 2-2.5 hours, lots of the evening walks have pub stops so they can be quite sociable. Huge choice of walks.
  • My favourite thing about London is that you CAN fill a whole day with free stuff - or rather for the price of a travelcard! The other weekend we did:

    Brick Lane;
    Covent Garden;
    Parliament Square;
    Science Museum.

    Not bad eh? Spent a few quid on some street food on Brick Lane, and a cupcake at the Primrose Bakery in Covent Garden, and a postcard or two for our cousins.

    Other things I love to see in London which are free include Borough Market, the Cross Bones graveyard (Google it - fascinating!), the outside of The Globe, Tate Modern, The National Gallery, walking along the Thames, etc. etc. And my ultimate favourite - the treasures room in the British Library. Where else can you see original handwritten Beatles lyrics, alongside the Magna Carta. Fabulous.

    Wherever you turn in London there's something interesting to see! Oh, and those with no Olympics tickets - you can always go view the marathon for free, the road cycle race, or just hang out and soak up the atmosphere!
  • p00hsticks
    p00hsticks Posts: 12,761 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary
    RichyRich wrote: »
    See London by river! Take a riverboat tour and it will set you back several limbs. But take the commuter ferry (marketed as Thames Clippers) and it will take you from North Greenwich (for the O2) via Canary Wharf into Central London (Embankment/Waterloo) for about a fiver.

    Rather than do just a single trip, buy a 'River Roamer' ticket to get unlimited travel all day. If there are two of you,and you are coming by train, you can get two tickets for the price of one (£12.60) here

    http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/2for1-london

    making it almost as cheap as a single fare.

    As well as the usual commuter service you can use these on the 'Tate to Tate' service taking you from Tate Modern to Tate Britain (both free). In the evening the Clipper route extends to Woolwich, taking you through the Thames Barrier. An evening trip to see London by night is well worth doing (watch out for the laser marking the meridian at Greenwich!).

    It's worth mentioning that the link above has a whole load of other 2-4-1 offers on London attractions for those with a valid train ticket (one with a 'crow's foot' symbol). If you have come to London on a return ticket (or two dated singles), then your tickets can be used for the period in between. You can make great savings on many attractions including the Tower of London, Hampton Court, etc plus shows.
  • For something a bit different check out The Alternative London Tour ( have a look at Time Out and Trip Advisor's website for the brilliant reviews) or go on their website...just google Alternative London Tours.
    My boyfriend and I went on the tour a few weeks ago, the tour guide Gary takes you for a walk (it takes 2 hours which flies by) around East London telling you about the amazing street art and some history of the area too.
    I couldn't recommend it enough. It's free, however we gave a donation at the end of the tour as we really think Gary deserved it.
  • All of the below are great value:

    Bank of England Museum - free (Nice and interactive, free audio guide, lift a gold bar....)

    Tour of the Royal Opera House - £8/9ish (Great value, lasts about 2 hours)

    Tour of the National Theatre - £10ish (Great value, 3 stages, usually see a rehearsal)

    Manze's pie shop - £depends (Have a proper pie and get the real London atmosphere)

    Afternoon tea at Tuttons - £8.50 each (Great cream tea)

    Watch the entertainers in covent garden - £Free

    The free walking tour with Sandemans £Free (Lasts about 2.5 hours)
  • ABerrisford
    ABerrisford Posts: 141 Forumite
    Why not take a walk in Regents Park, Lovely park and on the Northern Side you can walk right by the pens of London Zoo on the other side, you can usually hear the lions roar and see some of the animals from the park,

    Follow the road from there down to Baker Street and you can see the Sherlock Holmes Museum also nice to see.

    For Theatre tickets, if you dont mind waiting around even sold out shows have a returns line at the box office for returned tickets and if the theatre is not sold out these are usually sold cheaper from the box office to fill seats, Ive had cut price last minute tickets to Billy Elliot, Frankenstein and As You Like It.
  • ABerrisford
    ABerrisford Posts: 141 Forumite
    Also the Saatchi Gallery near Sloane Square is free and great if your tates are for more modern Art and you have been round the Tate Modern loads, its a very nice gallery with some interesting stuff to look round, all free.
  • Smick100
    Smick100 Posts: 283 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 1 June 2011 at 2:56PM
    The bus route 15 (Heritage Route) is a great thing to do. It costs the same as any other bus journey (free on travelcard, £1.30 Oyster, £2.10 cash) and starts at Trafalgar Square, finishing at Tower Hill. You get to travel along from Trafalgar Sq, along The Strand, past Aldwych and the BBC World Service, Fleet Street, St. Paul's Cathedral, Bank of England and finish opposite the Tower of London.

    On top of all this, it is operated by an old Routemaster bus with the open back platform.

    Tourists wanting to go to Covent Garden, London Bridge, Tate Modern, Borough Market, The Mall can use this bus with only a short walk from its stops.

    There is another 15 which is the non heritage route so if a modern bus comes along, sit and wait for the next one.
  • makeup
    makeup Posts: 1,633 Forumite
    A lot of people complain that opera and ballet is really expensive and out of the reach of 'normal' folk.

    However I go to the Royal Opera House a lot and don't spend much money. If you sit in the upper slips the tickets are in the £6 - 8 category. They are slightly restricted view but you are close to the stage and depending on the staging you probably miss about 20% of the stage but most things take place in the middle so it isn't too much of a hardship. To be honest I prefer my cheap seats to the more expensive ones in the Amphitheatre which are central but are also a lot further away from the stage.

    The ROH give out free cast lists plus they always have tap water jugs and glasses out. The building is gorgeous, there is a terrace overlooking covent garden and they have a changing display of old artwork, sketches and photographs of previous performances and normally have a few costumes as well. At the moment there is a discovery trail about Ninette Valois.

    I live in London and go out a lot and try and spend as little as possible so I can do as much as possible so I'll see if I can think of more ideas.
    I've got my own flat :j:j

    Now I have to pay the bills :eek:

    And feed my interiors addiction ;)
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