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9 Budget-Friendly Things to See & Do in London

Put your favourite outfit on and start exploring the capital. There are still plenty of spots and activities to enjoy on a budget. Here are some ideas for the perfect day out without spending a fortune.

Westminster Abbey

Photo: Westminster Abbey

An architectural masterpiece of the 13th to 16th centuries, Westminster Abbey also presents a unique pageant of British history. It has been the setting for every Coronation since 1066 and for numerous other royal occasions, including sixteen royal weddings.

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site Westminster Abbey is a major tourist attraction with a fascinating history. It was built by Henry III in 1245 and is one of the most important Gothic buildings of England.  It contains a treasury full of paintings, stained glass, pavements, textiles, books and various other artefacts plus the most significant collection of monumental sculptures of the UK.

📍 20 Dean's Yard, London, SW1P 3PA
📞 +44 20 7222 5152 / Website>

Richmond Park

Photo: Richmond Park

Escape to the great outdoors in Richmond Park with its wide open spaces, grasslands and deer herds, just a stone’s throw from central London. The park is a top UK site for ancient trees and supports a range of rare species including fungi, birds, beetles, bats, grasses and wildflowers.

Discover the Isabella Plantation woodland gardens, refuel at Pembroke Lodge tea rooms and enjoy distant views of St Paul’s Cathedral from King Henry’s Mound. Try your hand at power kiting, horse riding or golf, or hire a bike for some off-road cycling along the Tamsin Trail.

📍 Richmand, UK
📞 +44 (0)300 061 2000 / Website>

Photo: National gallery

The National Gallery in London houses one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world with a collection that contains over 2,300 works, including many famous works, such as van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait, Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus, Turner’s Fighting Temeraire and Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.

All major traditions of Western European painting are represented from the artists of late medieval and Renaissance Italy to the French Impressionists. These pictures belong to the public and entrance to see them is free.

📍 Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN
📞 +44 20 7747 2885 / Website>

Natural History Museum

Photo: Natural History Museum

The Museum first opened its doors on 18 April 1881, but its origins stretch back to 1753. The Museum remained a part of the British Museum until 1963 and was only re-branded as the Natural History Museum in 1992.

This world-renowned museum allows you the discover the natural world through exciting exhibits and galleries, a flourishing wildlife garden and an impressive collection of geological collections.

Meet the roaring T. rex and wander among fossils in the Dinosaurs gallery or explore the evolution of life on our planet in the Beginning gallery. Entry to the Museum remains free however donations are welcome.

📍 Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 5BD
📞 +44 20 7938 9123 / Website>

Borough Market

Borough Market is the oldest street market in the capital. Photo: Kristina Pavlinova

The Borough Market is the oldest street market in the capital with a thousand year history. It differentiates itself with delicious Street food and good quality produce. There is a wide range of cuisine on offer and there is something for everyone.

The traders have built their reputations on seeking out small-scale artisan producers and bringing their wares to Borough. Together, the Market’s stalls, shops and restaurants reflect London’s status as a truly global city, with traditional British produce sitting alongside regional specialities from around the world.

📍 8 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TL
📞 +44 20 7407 1002 / Website>

Emirates Air Line

Emirates Air Line crosses the River Thames between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks, just five minutes from the O2 by North Greenwich Tube station. Cabins arrive every 30 seconds and flights are approximately 10 minutes each way. Whether you’re having a night out with friends or indulging in a romantic evening sunset, the Emirates Air Line is a must do experience.

Discover a unique perspective of London’s captivating night sky including the reflections of the O2 and the awe-inspiring lights of Canary Wharf. You can also opt for the Discovery experience tour for a round trip with added extras. You can use Oyster pay as you go to buy tickets at discounted prices. You can also enjoy the stunning night flight experience on the Emirates Air Line which runs from 19:00 and flight duration’s are extended to approximately 25 minutes.

📍 Edmund Halley Way, London, SE10 0FR / 27 Western Gateway, London E16 1FA
📞 - / Website>

Tower Bridge

Photo: Tower Bridge, London

Visit London’s defining landmark and enjoy spectacular views of the city. Your visit begins at the North Tower as you enter this iconic landmark. Discover the history and discover what made this architectural marvel possible. In The Walkway you can enjoy panoramic views of London for a stunning perspective above the river.

You can also have a unique view of the city through the glass floor. At the South Tower learn about the people who have maintained the tower since it’s completion in 1894. At the blue line you can learn more about the people who helped to operate and construct the bridge.

📍 Tower Bridge Road, London, SE1 2UP
📞 +44 20 7403 3761 / Website>

Kyoto Garden

Photo: Kyoto Garden

The 22-hectare Holland park in west London features the stunning Kyoto Garden which is situated around the ruins of Holland House. One of the most beautiful gardens to be found in London, it offers a tranquil, Japanese-style landscape perfect for meditation and relaxation.

The Kyoto Garden opened in 1991 and was a gift from the city of Kyoto in Japan. The garden features tranquil tiered waterfalls and a serene pond full of beautiful koi carp. There are stone lanterns, Japanese maple trees and you might even spot a peacock or two wandering around.

📍 Holland Park, Ilchester Pl, London, W8 6LU
📞 - / Website>

The Golden Hinde

Marvel in this living-history museum built in 1973. The Golden Hinde was launched in a grand ceremony, attended by the Countess of Devon. Since the launch it has sailed over 100,000 miles, with a full circumnavigation, and two more Atlantic crossings to its name. For its maiden voyages, The Golden Hinde was captained by Adrian Small, a forty-three- year-old sea-captain who lived in Brixham, Devon. 

📍 St Mary Overie Dock, Cathedral Street, London, SE1 9DE
📞 +44 207 403 0123 / Website>

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