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Sightseeing London on the cheap?

(12 Posts)
FairyTrain Thu 08-May-14 20:28:46

Our lovely au pair is going to London for 3 days in June, I've lined up accommodation for her and we are lending her our Oyster card, can you recommend things to do that aren't eyewateringly expensive please? Are there any bus routes that are similar to the the tourist route but without the price tag....any other top tips & money saving suggestions?

PedantMarina Thu 08-May-14 20:51:58

the 11 bus route goes past all the food stuff. with a properly researched audio, she should get a decent tour out of that.

PedantMarina Thu 08-May-14 20:52:18

good, not food! gaaah!

PedantMarina Thu 08-May-14 20:55:05

most of the best museums are donation-only: National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, V&A, Natural History, Science. But some of the nicest times can come of just walking along the river, letting life happen.

FairyTrain Thu 08-May-14 21:36:52

Thanks Pedant, will look for an audio..
Any other "must dos"?

PedantMarina Thu 08-May-14 23:40:44

Well, "must" is such a strong word. grin What sorts of things would she want to do? Tea at the Ritz or Savoy? Clubbing? Theatre? Watching ceremonial stuff? Shopping? A lot of things are free, but have to be applied for in advance (television tapings, some royal ceremonies).

On a more general sightseeing level again, the Tower of London and Hampton Court and a few other venues are alliances, and a single membership does for all. A bit pricey, but worth it if one goes to all the venues. Some of the river commutes are as nice as a tour (see for more details on that). If she's brave, Barclaybikes are a great way to get around town.

HeeHiles Thu 08-May-14 23:51:33

Camden Market and Lock, Southbank has loads to do and see. Walk around SoHo China Town, The parks, Regents, Hyde Park and the Serpentine, has an Art gallery too.

Tate Modern and loads to see around the City - There is tons of things to do - Check out the Mayor of London's website - (I did know it but they changed it recently), that will tell you about any random, pop up things going on that are usually free.

Brick lane and Columbia road flower market, Borough market, Greenwich park, Maritime museum and Cutty Sark etc.......just so much!

CointreauVersial Fri 09-May-14 00:18:20

River boat trip along the Thames. It's pretty cheap, and they do a commentary. Catch a boat from Embankment Pier, up to Tower Bridge, or further up to Greenwich.

threedeer Fri 09-May-14 07:42:27

No 19 bus route goes right through the West End.
No 8 route takes in the City and St Pauls.
Rather than the commentary river boat, get the Clipper river bus which I'm pretty sure you can pay with Oyster card. It's a fantastic trip from London Eye to the Cutty Sark at Greenwich.

National & Portrait Gallery and Tate are free if she likes art
V&A is free is she likes fashion and design.

Suggest she strolls along Piccadilly and visits Fortnum's food hall.
A walk down the Mall to Buckingham Palace and through St James' Park is stunning.

More fun/edgier markets at Camden and Spitalfields (Liverpool Street)

noramum Fri 09-May-14 10:45:10


It updates weekly and gives her an idea what is on, if there are any special events or quirky performances she may like.

Things like Tower or Westminster Abbey are half-day if she does everything, Hampton Court def. is a full day, while great I wouldn't do it if I was in London for the first time.

whatsagoodusername Fri 09-May-14 11:10:10

No 15 bus route goes from Trafalgar Square, down the Strand, past Royal Courts of Justice, St Paul's Cathedral to Tower of London. They do the old Routemasters sometimes for that route as well.

I always found walking from Green Park station down to Buckingham Palace, through St James's Park, to Westminster Abbey and Parliament a lovely walk and popular with my visiting friends. You can then cross Westminster Bridge (good photos of Parliament) to London Eye, Southbank. Southbank to London Bridge is also a nice walk, past the Globe and Borough Market, with views of St Paul's and the Monument and the Tower/Tower Bridge.

NotCitrus Fri 09-May-14 11:14:08

Give her an AtoZ and look up London walks online - along the South Bank, or from Oxford St via Soho to Covent Garden, or Westminster through St James Park to Victoria...
11 and 15 buses have some Routemasters and are scenic, also RV 1 along the river.
Tate galleries are free as well as most museums.

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