Last weekend, I explored London and managed to do so on quite a budget, so I thought I could share my experiences!
London seems HUGE to me, coming from a small countryside town, but with my boyfriend’s knowledge on the tube maps, we managed to navigate the city pretty easily and still managed to fit quite a bit into our two days in the capital! As our hotel check in wasn’t until 3pm and we wanted to make the most of our days there, as soon as we arrived in Euston, we hopped on the tube to St Pauls in order to explore the cathedral and hunt down the First Dates restaurant!
St Pauls Cathedral is normally £18 per adult, but with train tickets valid on the day, you can get 2 for 1 tickets, making it no more than £10 per person.
This cathedral is absolutely breath-taking inside, with colourful mosaics all over the ceilings and there’s plenty to explore as you can climb the stairs to the turrets which give a beautiful view of London! I chickened out of the highest level as the stairs looked a bit too scary for me (not so good with heights!), but my boyfriend continued on, and the view was even better, despite the weather!
I would say that this is a perfect place to visit, especially on a rainy day as there’s so much to see inside the cathedral and the views (even on a rainy day!) really top it off.
Next, we wandered round St Pauls Square and found the First Dates restaurant which was personally quite a fangirl moment for me as I do love that show! We weren’t the only ones taking pictures in front so clearly others were having fangirl moments too!
We then caught the tube to Notting Hill Gate, to wander through the streets of Notting Hill before going to the Museum of Brands and Advertising. This museum is really interesting (especially to me because of my course!), mainly because although it shows how brands and advertising have evolved over the years, there is a lot of nostalgia when you see how things have and haven’t changed. This museum was £7 at student price and we spent a good two hours there!
When we left the museum, we were able to check into our hotel which was in Bloomsbury, a lovely area, but still really central. Whilst looking where to eat online, we found a Pizza Express that wasn’t too far away, which worked perfectly for us and our budget (You can’t beat the 3 courses for £12.95!). Despite it being a chain restaurant, it had a really independent Italian pizzeria feel to it, with all the original décor kept, so it was a lovely place to spend an evening before heading back to the hotel for the night.
The hotel included an incredible full English breakfast delivered to our room at 9am, so we were ready to start our day after that! We took it as a leisurely Sunday, so we caught the tube to Camden market and explored all the stalls. Then we walked off our breakfast along the canal to Regents Park and through the gardens, before dropping onto the canal again and exploring areas like Little Venice. The weather was a lot nicer on the Sunday which made it perfect to enjoy exploring the peaceful areas of London. I think the only money we spent on Sunday was on the tube and food, before we caught the train home at 6ish.
Overall, it was a perfect weekend as we managed to cram lots into a weekend, without spending an excessive amount of money. I would say in order to do as much as possible with as little money as possible plan what you want to do before you go and see which deals are around at the time – but definitely check the small print as well!