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Beating the £ in London (and the rest of England)

Beating the £ in London (and the rest of England)

Mar 30th, 2008, 12:38 PM
  #41  
brodypetey
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I second the recommendation of London Walks (www.walks.com). Most of the guides are realio, trulio professional actors, so for a mere six pounds you get not just a brilliant walk but a fabulous performance! I hope to go on three or four next visit.
 
Mar 30th, 2008, 11:11 PM
  #42  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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You'd save a great deal more by just downloading walk routes from www.walklondon.org.uk
flanneruk is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 08:51 PM
  #43  
 
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great thread, I'm hoping to be in London later this year, the info here has helped me budget/plan my trip. Thanks
goingtobeijing is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 09:16 PM
  #44  
 
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Last October I paid under USD 100 per night for the Hilton Islington. The room was fine but souless. The best thing was the location. The station is very close.

It's very lively and has lots of great inexpensive restaurants. I splurged on a three course french meal (main was duck) with a kir royale and a glass of wine for under GBP 20.00.

Sarvowinner is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 09:32 PM
  #45  
 
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Perhaps I'm stating the obvious here, but with the exchange rate so high, I'm stocking up on every supply I could possibly need on my trip: batteries, wet wipes, vitamin supplements, band aids, etc. If I run out, I can still buy supplies there, but when I know I'll use them and not tote them back, I may as well buy them here.

I once alighted from the HOHO bus and, out of water and thirsty, I bought a bottle of water for two pounds. Aaaiiieee. After that, I started to stash a few bottles in my hotel room, and always carry an extra.
Merseyheart is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 09:32 PM
  #46  
 
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Sorry - should have mentioned that price was through priceline.
Sarvowinner is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 01:07 AM
  #47  
 
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i agree with cw...wetherspoons also has very cheap illy coffee and they generally know how to handle a real ale....a pint here is cheaper than almost anywhere. the clientele and atmosphere are a little better after the smoking ban. many also do breakfasts i believe. you can certainly do better for food but considering the price, the value is clearly there and the places are usually quite well managed.

you can also go to the bakeries in chinatown for very cheap snacks. for a light lunch you can spend about £2 for some buns that will fill you up.

walkinaround is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 01:55 AM
  #48  
 
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Also try pubs that are off the tourist path...the beer tends to be cheaper and the food better as well! There are tonnes of pubs in residential looking areas, and just around the corner from the major streets.

Also have a picnic in the parks! You can buy alcohol and great ready made sandwiches in Tesco or any grocer and sit in Hyde Park for example and enjoy a sunny day.

London Walks Explorer days (www.walks.com) provide great value. You get 2 walks (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) for 12 GBP + rail travel costs. You get the advantage of group travel rates and top notch guides for a fraction of the price of some organized tours!
jamikins is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 09:06 AM
  #49  
 
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ttt

Excellent recommendations!
Kaneohe is offline  
May 20th, 2008, 12:19 PM
  #50  
 
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Great information....bookmarking
fieldtripcoordinator is offline  
May 20th, 2008, 01:05 PM
  #51  
 
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Based in part on opinions expressed here, Herself and I tried Pret a Manger when in London last week.

That's it done. Won't do it again.
Padraig is offline  
May 20th, 2008, 01:53 PM
  #52  
 
Join Date: May 2008
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<<<KatieH:
Wales is actually covered within the England book.>>>

*blink*

Crikey, don't you mean the "England and Wales" book? That's a bit like including Canada in the USA book!

My "cheap" tip is to pick up a pub guide, while prices vary and they're not always the cheapest option for a B&B, staying in a five hundred year old coaching inn and chatting to the locals is an education and entertainment in itself, one which can give you for free a far better "Piece of Eccentric and Old Fashioned England" than you'll get from many expensive tourist attractions.
C2BK is offline  
May 26th, 2008, 04:28 AM
  #53  
 
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While we were in London, we got into the habit of popping into the Tesco market and grabbing salads and sandwiches to eat in a park every day for lunch. There are beautifiul places to sit and eat wherever you go.It was perfect because we didn't have to plan a lunch stop or time our sight=seeing around meals. Have fun!
KellyP is offline  
May 26th, 2008, 07:48 AM
  #54  
 
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Just some pretty general money-saving comments for the U.K.

Food:
In general Pubs are cheaper than restaurants.
In general, cafes are cheaper than pubs (but usually only open till around 4 or 5PM)
Sandwiches and some pretty decent take-out food can be purchased at super-markets and other places (like Boots (drugstore))
A hearty breakfast at a B&B makes lunch unnecessary.

Accommodation
B&Bs (and gueshouses) are usually better value for the money than hotels and motels.

B&Bs outside of towns are generally cheaper than those inside of towns (and usually have better parking).

If you don't mind sharing a bathroom, you can save a lot of money (when I was single and travelled on my own I did this a lot).

Youth Hostels are a great alternative for those on a really tight budget. In my young and single days (late 20s), I stayed at a lot - my favorite was Carbisdale Castle in Scotland.

Public Transportation is always cheaper than renting a car but personally I like the flexibility of a car. However if you are mostly going to be in cities (like London, Edinburgh etc) a car is completely unnecessary.

Walking (except for investing in some decent maps) is free and a great way to see the countryside.

BTW IF you are intending to see a number of castles and great houses - the following is REALLY worth it:

http://www.britishheritagepass.com/

Check out the website and see if the sights you intend to go to are covered.
semiramis is offline  
May 26th, 2008, 10:47 AM
  #55  
 
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MandS is indeed very good for sandwiches, crisps, fruit and pop etc. Tesco is good too, and cheaper, and (unfortunately) ubiquitous in most English towns and cities.
Walking is the cheapest form of transport, and is sometimes quicker than the bus in the centre of London.
Ask for tap water in restaurants. If you don't want an alcholic drink in a pub, ask for a pint of lime and tap water or blackcurrant and water.
For travelling on certain routes, try megatrain.com
Avoid thetrainline.com and try the websites for the specific train companies. That way you won't have to pay the scandalous charges for credit and debit cards and postage (and send a sign to Trainline, which used to be a great enterprise). Try to get two single tickets rather than a return, as it could be cheaper that way.
Don't tip more than 10% in cafes, curry houses, and never in pubs, taxis, hotels. (Yes, I know many Americans will find it hard not to tip in hotels, but I stay in hotels a lot in the UK and in Europe and never leave a tip. It is simply not done.)
Scoff a big breakfast in the BandB or hotels, and take a cake or muffin for a snack if you are lucky enough to stay in a place with a big buffet breakfast.
When offered a big or small glass of wine at a restaurant, go for the latter. The waiters and waitresses are obviously told to push you to take a large one.
Borrow a library book on the country you're visiting and bring it with you, rather than buy a guide.
Happy scrimping!
Nigello is offline  
May 27th, 2008, 02:37 AM
  #56  
 
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If you don't want an alcholic drink in a pub, ask for a pint of lime and tap water or blackcurrant and water. >>>>

If this is all you buy - expect to get a frosty reception. If it is part of a larger order, especially one that includes food, then it's fine.

Some of the bottled non alcoholic drinks aren't pricey. I like the J20 brand which are fruit juice drinks in various flavours and usually cost about £1.50 a bottle.
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
May 27th, 2008, 04:00 AM
  #57  
 
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''Tesco is good too, and cheaper, and (unfortunately) ubiquitous in most English towns and cities. ''

Why is it 'unfortunate' to have supermarkets in most towns? How many people in this day and age are home 9:00-5:00 and actually able to use small high street family-owned stores for all their shopping? Not that many, I'd think.
RM67 is offline  
May 27th, 2008, 04:12 AM
  #58  
 
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>>>>>
If this is all you buy - expect to get a frosty reception. If it is part of a larger order, especially one that includes food, then it's fine.
>>>>>

barmen don't care what you order. this is nonsense. just order a bag of crisps if this is what you want.
walkinaround is offline  
May 27th, 2008, 04:34 AM
  #59  
 
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er...someone just suggested you never tip taxis. Wrong - taxis are one of the few things that we do tip.

I'd agree with CW that you'll get an odd response if you ask for a pint of what we call 'squash'. Just buy a soft drink if you don't want alchohol. Grown-ups don't drink squash in the UK.
nona1 is offline  
May 27th, 2008, 05:10 AM
  #60  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
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I suggest that we adopt walkingaround as our very own British hooting loon.

Why let the seppos have it all their own way?

I would like to see you try and go in a pub and order just a pint of squash or a packet of crisps on it's own.

HOOT! HOOT!
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  

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