London on a budget

Old Jun 5th, 2000, 04:42 PM
  #1  
Debbie
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London on a budget

My son and daughter-in-law are considering a trip to London this summer....but they have a tight budget...any recommendations on lodging, sights, transportation...They are planning on staying in London 4-5 days. (flying ryanair from Pisa)...This is their 1 year anniversary...Any info, suggestions, greatly appreciated...thanks, Debbie
 
Old Jun 6th, 2000, 10:25 AM
  #2  
Kristi
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Try the Travel Inn for inexpensive lodging, about L62 per night. My brother in law said the one by the Tower of London was clean and comfortable and had air conditioning and a private bath. Their website is www.travelinn.co.uk

There are lots of transportation passes. We used the daily passes and bought a weekend pass for a 25% discount for use on the tube (subway). There's a website at www.londontransport.co.uk.

If they want to see theater, there's a 1/2 price ticket booth in Leicester Square. They won't get tickets to the popular shows but might end up with something fun.

They might also try having picnic lunches with stuff from the grocery store which will be less than a restaurant.

There's a cool ceremony in the evening at the Tower of London that's free but you need to get tickets in advance, now would be a good time, especially since its summer. Do a search for Ceremony of the Keys for information.

The Museum of London was free every afternoon, I think after 4:30. Flea markets are also free, unless of course you buy something. There's a big one at Portobello Road on Saturday.

If they do a trip out to Windsor Castle, Hampton Court, etc., they should get return tickets for the train, much cheaper than two one way tickets.

Original London Walks has walks for about L5. There was a post about this recently, we enjoyed the Jack the Ripper tour.
 
Old Jun 7th, 2000, 12:39 PM
  #3  
S. C. DIXON
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Good advice from Kristi, though I would nix the Travel Inn in favor of something a little more English. In the Russell Sq. area there is ST. MARGARETS, THE LONSDALE & the CELTIC, all less expensive hotels and in a very nice part of town, too boot. EMAIL me for details. A 1, 2 or 3 day Tube pass is a must, 3 days being the best deal, by a few pence, they are also good for FREE rides on all city buses. People watching in Leicester Sq., Trafalgar Sq., etc. is free.
The British Musuem is also a no-charge thing, though when I was there two months ago they were in a real mess with remodeling, but it was still worth a visit. I've made a couple of budget trips to London and really have been surprised at how much one can do for so little. The picnics are one of the best ideas, one can really save a bundle and enjoy the scene by having a meal at any number of the squares and parks. Sliced meat, a fresh warm bagette, crisps and a pint of beer for easily under five pounds. Two could probably eat for that amount. The hotels I mentioned above all serve a substantial breakfast ( price inlcuded) which allow one to skip lunch all together without really sacrificing anything. There is no charge for the beautiful, long walk down the south side of the Thames or strolling through Hyde Park, Hampstead Heath, etc.. Check with Wesminster Abby, there is an evening where you can walk through this masterpiece for free. St. Martin's In The Field has eventide concerts on Wednesday, I think it is, no charge.
 
Old Jun 7th, 2000, 12:49 PM
  #4  
Gina
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The National Gallery of Art and National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square are both free, although donations are requested (and I'd highly recommend the excellent tape tour of the NPG). Also free is the British Library, at King's Cross/St. Pancras--wonderful for any literature buff, although I preferred its old home in the British Museum to this new, modern, and sterile spot.

S.C.'s close, but not quite right on Westminster Abbey, though. Going *into* the Abbey is always free. What costs money is access to the royal chapels, Poet's Corner, etc.--and it's worth it, in my opinion. Wednesday evenings are when the discounted admission to these areas is offered; it's not free, but if I recall correctly, it's half price (i.e., 2 pounds 50 for an adult instead of 5). When I visited ('96), it was also the only time when visitors were allowed to take photographs.

All of this may, of course, have changed; the Abbey is particularly notorious for widely varying opening hours. Be sure to call ahead once you're in London to see if a wedding or some other event will close the Abbey during what are usually open hours.
 
Old Jun 7th, 2000, 01:29 PM
  #5  
Diane
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I'm just back from London and anxious to share my advice. There were always lots of shows available at Leicester Square, but not the top hits. FOSSE is a great show if you like dancing. We loved it!!

Pretty, quiet Norfolk Square is lined with b&b's and small hotels and is only
a short walk from Paddington Station.
The Heathrow Express runs every 15 min.
from Heathrow to Paddington for L12--about $20. There are buses for about half that, but they are slow--
one to two hours depending on traffic.

Paddington is the station for trains to Windsor Castle (L6 round trip). The train to Hampton Court (Waterloo Station
I think), is only L3 same-day return). Either one of these costs more to GET IN than to GET THERE, but I think your son and his wife should try to see one or the other.

We bought a 7-day pass for underground and buses for about L15 right at the first tube station we wanted to use. We were there only 6 days, but the 7-day pass cost only a little more than the 4-day pass. This price was for zone one only--and it went everywhere we wanted to go, including ALL the train stations (we used three).

We often bought sandwiches at Pret a Manger, little stores found everywhere. There are inexpensive restaurants found in most areas, often Greek, Chinese, Indian, Thai, etc. You have to hunt if you want British food!

Email me if you have more questions.
 
Old Jun 7th, 2000, 05:26 PM
  #6  
Debbie
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Thank you all for your wonderful advice. I will be forwarding this information to my son and daughter-in-law..
 
Old Jun 8th, 2000, 04:39 AM
  #7  
steve
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our family stayed in a suburban B&B for under 50 pounds per night (last year). It was basic, but clean. The White House - www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~dmark

It is near a train station with frequent trains into London (15 min). They give discounts for multiple nights
 
Old Jun 8th, 2000, 05:54 AM
  #8  
Beth Anderson
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CHEAP AND BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO STAY:

Iolanthe. Near Golders Green tube stop - Hampstead Heath in the front yard (literally).

25 pounds a night single, 35 double. NO JOKE. I have stayed there twice.

This is a private home, with 4 rooms to let. 2 are en suite, 2 are not. The single is very small but who cares. The 3 remaining doubles are big.

Try this number (if my memory does not fail me)

011-44-181-455-1417 and ask for Rosie or Simon Gill (owners).

good luck.

Beth

 
Old Jun 8th, 2000, 07:44 AM
  #9  
mick
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Re the above post: the phone numbers in London have changed recently. If that's the right number it would now be 44 20 8455 1417 when calling from the States.
 
Old Jun 8th, 2000, 09:15 AM
  #10  
Frank
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Wondering - when you folks quote hotel and B-n-B prices, you make it sound like the quote is per room. However, I always have been told that in England rates are charged per person.

Would you kind folks please specify whether the price you are quoting is per room or per person?

Thanks.
 

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