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Top 5 Things To Do In London On A Budget

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Make your money go further this year with our list of things to do in London on a budget...

London, as we know, can get pretty expensive, and after the festive season, we can all feel a little out of pocket. From the array of Christmas gifts, numerous dinners and catching up with friends alongside the New Year's Eve parties; the New Year often greets us with the start of budgeting. Luckily, London can be forgiving too, providing visitors and locals with a plethora of cheap (and sometimes even free) things to do that won't break the bank and will leave you with a smile on your face. Read on to discover more...


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Visit A Museum

Yes, we may be stating the obvious here, but museums in London are always packed with either permanent features or exciting exhibitions. A lot of it is free but exhibitions prices that have a fee incuded remain affordable. There's lots happening this year so we've made a list of things going on for you, your friends and family to enjoy...

THE SCIENCE MUSEUM

Exhibition Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD, United Kingdom

Educating and eye opening, the London's Science Museum is enjoyed by adults and children alike. Admission is free, just make sure you book in advance. There's tonnes to see and do with attractions such as the space exhibition, energy hall, discovering flights, clocks and medicine. Most paid exhibitions are under £20, for £14 pp you can watch the new Avatar movie, for £20 you can enter an immersive world of science fiction, and for £9pp you can enter the Wonderlab and enjoy live shows and demonstrations. 

THE NATIONAL GALLERY

Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN

Free to enter with a bunch of wondrous exhibitions attached, the National Gallery is packed with formidable collections of world-class art. From Van Gogh's: The Sunflowers to Turner's: The Fighting Temeraire. Founded in 1824, the gallery has grown to house the works of over 2,600 pieces of art and is regarded by many as the most representative sampling of European paintings globally. Gallery entry is free alongside the majority of exhibits. Check out more of what's on here.

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

Cromwell Rd, London SW7 5BD

The Natural History Museum is a magnificent South Kensington home to over 80 million plants, animals, fossils, rock and mineral specimens. Packed with animatronic dinosaurs, Dodo's (sadly not real), earthquake simulator and glow-in-the-dark crystals. Be prepared to be wowed by the wonders of the planet we inhabit. Travel through 4.6 billion years of earth's history and learn how to protect its future. Entry is free but be sure to book your ticket in advance here. A lot of the exhibits are free but also require timed entry tickets post Covid. 

V&A MUSEUM

Cromwell Rd, London SW7 2RL

Another Kensington treasure, why not pop into the V&A after exploring the history museum? A vibrant hub of decorative art, fashion, textiles and design packed with a permanent collection of over 2.3 million pieces. There are books and archives that span over 5,000 years of human creativity with some of the greatest resources for the study of architecture, furniture, fashion, photography and much more. There's such an extent of collections to explore (for free) that you may need to break up your visits. Anything ticketed tends to range between £10-£20 and is still doable on a budget. Check out more of what's on here.

NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM

Romney Rd, London SE10 9NF

Part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, the complex also includes the Royal Observatory and the Queen's House making it a perfect exploration education combination (we're a poet and we didn't know it). The museum is home to over 2 million artifacts relating to maritime history including manuscripts, old scientific instruments and much more. Whether you're observing astronomical photography or Nelson's uniform, you're guaranteed to learn something new on your visit. Just make sure you book your free entry ticket here!

The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich is part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. The complex also includes the Royal Observatory and the Queen’s House. The museum itself is a repository of over two million valuable artifacts related to the maritime history of the nation including cartography manuscripts, old scientific instruments designed for time-keeping, astronomy and navigation and a sizable portrait collection rivaled only by the National Portrait Gallery. You can see all sorts of cool things like the Armada Portrait or Nelson’s uniform.


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<> Take A Walk In A Park...

After a month of hibernation, lot's of food and being slumped on the couch, why not hit the new year running (or walking) by exploring London's beautiful greenery. There are parks dotted around the city filled with tranquility, stunning views and grounding energy, best of all- it costs nothing...

HYDE PARK 

Starting with the most obvious, well known and central. Hyde park is nestled in the heart of London and is a hub of expression. Protest rally's and speakers gather in Speakers Corner, skaters make the most of the flat grounds by the Serpentine, swimmers endure the cold waters and budgies decorate the trees. It plays host to concerts and the ever enjoyed Winter Wonderland. Grab a warm coat and get on down there. There's lots to see!

HOLLAND PARK

This hidden gem is our ultimate suggestions for relaxation and reconnecting with nature. Holland park is home to the Kyoto Garden, decorated in colourful maple and cherry trees with a waterfall that spills into a pond patrolled by dazed koi fish. See if you can catch a glimpse of the occassional peacock too. An environment that will truly calm all the senses.  Once you're done, explore the other 22.5 hectares of garden and get those muscles moving.

RICHMOND PARK

A stones throw from central London is Richmond Park. Covering an area of 2500 acres it's space is occupied by free-roaming red and fallow deer, discover Henry VIII's old hunting grounds, catch a glimpse of St Paul's Cathedral between ancient oaks at King Henry's Mound or stroll through the picturesque Isabella Plantation. Once finished why not grab a delightful cup of tea and cake at Pembroke Lodge

HORNIMAN GARDENS

Amroth Cl, London SE23 3BX

The most interactive of our selection, the Horniman Gardens is an eden for kids and adults alike. Managed by the Horniman museum, the gardens are made up of 16 acres of formal and natural landscapes including a sound garden, sunken garden, bee garden, wildlife and prehistoric garden. All packed with educational information, wildlfe and serenity. They're all free to enter with a guide on hand to teach you more about the grounds you're exploring. 

PRIMROSE HILL

London Borough of Camden

Although originally intended to be an extension of Regent's Park, Primrose Hill became somewhat of its own entity. With a summit 63m above sea level with trees deliberately kept low so that you can enjoy the gorgeous and protected views from the top of the hill, it may be our more understated choice but you can certainly end the day with a cracking sunset view. There's also a quaint range of coffee shops, cafés and restaurants surrounding the park so you can enjoy a nice meal after making your way up and down that hill!

Dive Into A Play At Shakespeare's Globe

21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT

Chances are you've defintely heard of Shakespeare and his many renowned plays. They're really not as mundane as our schooling experience may have made them seem to be. So why not rediscover the genius of this playwright by watching an innovative and adapted performance at Shakespeares Globe. With the intention of making Shakespeare accessible to all, the ticket prices are great for those on a budget. Standing tickets start from just £4 and seated from £16. 

There are some incredible performances lined up for 2023, from an adaptation of the classic Henry V to a Monologue Slam Night there's plenty to enjoy, and with ticket prices being so cheap, you can go a few times! 


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Tour The City With A Thames Clipper

Less traffic than a bus tour, cheaper than a cruise and breathtaking views. If you're looking for an affordable tour of the city, why not jump on a Thames Clipper? There's only one thing missing- a tour guide... but luckily google is quick with information as well. You can jump on at Westminster and cruise all the way through to Greenwich whilst breathing in the architecture and atmosphere of beautiful London. 

If you fancy seeing your sights up close and personal, why not purchase a River Roamer ticket allowing you to hop on and off all day for a fixed price of £18.90. 

Single trips start from £9.80 for adults and can be purchased here.

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