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Let’s be real – the Australian dollar is rather shite at the moment, so travelling needs to be done inexpensively so as not to feel like you have to black-market a kidney just to go away. London is a magical place that I have called home for almost year now, and whilst it is beautiful and amazing and I am terribly in love with the place – it is also a bloody nightmare to my bank account. Lucky for me, I work here (so earn in British Pound), but when I transferred my Australian savings to my UK account, it did take beating. So, I have learnt to love London on the cheap at times – and have found some seriously fun adventures to fill a weekend for less than your average tourist jaunts.
So here we go – what $AU150 (£80 thanks to Travelex’s best rates) can get you in London-town being a tourist!
Kew Royal Botanic Gardens
Kew Gardens is a magical place that is full of new and exciting things. Whether it be the Cherry Blossoms in springtime or the lights displays at Christmas – Kew caters to all your eyeball’s needs and lusts! The best time to venture to Kew is on Spring weekend. Not only are the cherry blossoms flowering, but the sun is more likely to start shining, there are less crowds and it is all-round just a bloody fantastic place.
COSTS YOU – £16.50
The Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is basically a tourist necessity. Not only is it the most pretty museum you will see (oh the history), but it is such site for sore eyes on the exterior too! Oh, and all that history inside is pretty decent (lol).
Just don’t venture there on a Sunday – EVERY man and his dog visits on a Sunday. I often run past and lol at the hoards of people standing and waiting. During the week is best.
COSTS YOU – Free
Paddle Boat around the Serpetine in Summer
Last year, my flatmate took me on a surprise adventure paddle boating on the Serpentine. Not only did it help me accidentally exercise, but it also showed just how beautiful Summer in London can be. The word are chirping, a soft gentle breeze is blowing through your hair and the water is lapping up against your boat. It is definitely one of my favourite things to do in London in Summer, and I am sure it will be yours too!
COSTS YOU – £12 per person for 30 minutes
Ride around Richmond Park
If you are fond of getting out into nature, but not spending too long doing it (like me), then a brisk bicycle around Richmond Park is right up your alley. Oh, and it is hell cheap. One of the great things about London is it’s accessibility. Not only can you efficiently get around London on the Tubes and Overground (and inexpensively for a day pass), but they have a million Santander and Boris bikes placed around the shop for you to promptly hire and take in the sights. One of the most majestic things in London is the access to lush green parks, and Richmond Park is just that. It also has some of the most impressive wildlife.
COSTS YOU – Bike hire approx £15
High Tea at Sketch
Sketch has become an institution – made famous by their powder pink rooms, space-alien bathrooms and uber all round coolness. And now, their Afternoon menus are taking centre stage. With quirky food and beverage, this little alcove of coolness is a hit for any tourist or local alike. Whilst I have never actually visited, it is on my hit list to go… One day! And then devour a whole tier of cakes and not even give a shit… cause powder pink room, and shit!
COSTS YOU – £45
Tower Bridge at night time
Trust me on this one – Tower Bridge is magical. Not just in the day, but at night too. If you want something romantic to do (but on the cheap), nosey on down to the Thames and take in all it’s romantic glory. It is free and good for your health so that is always a win-win!
COSTS YOU – Nothing!
Walk along the Thames
My friend and I would meet once a week after work at Blackfriars and walk home along the Thames (her to Clapham Junction, me to Chelsea). It was a fun adventure we did in Summer and really made us appreciate how beautiful London is. A lot of the time it was torrential down pour but that didnt stop us – I would whip on my fedora and leather jacket and be right as (literally) rain!
Not only is the Thames a site to be seen, but there are so many different treasure troves along the banks to pop in to. And the bridges are rather sexy to photograph too! #TouristItUp
PRICE – FREE
Enjoy a Pint at The Churchill Arms in Notting Hill
A floral pub – i dont think I need to say anything more!
Tip – beware of the bees in Summer.
COSTS YOU – Around £4 for a pint of cider or FREE if you just want to look at it.
Press the champagne bell at Bob Bob Ricard
For a little extravagance to send off a brilliant day of walking around London, swing by Bob Bob Ricard for the ultimate in luxury and fun. Not only is the food delectable, but the booths offer intimate, fun and different ways to celebrate/dine/enjoy a glass of Moet. And don’t forget – press for champagne.
COSTS YOU – Around £20 for two glasses of champagne (I would either venture here or to Sketch – best not to get too OTT in one weekend!).
See, there is SO much you can do in London for less than $AU150/£80. Not only does that mean that your money can go far, but that you are getting value for money. Travelex knows that nobody wants to lose out on the exchange rate when travelling, so they always try and give the best rate possible – and we all love that! Save your pennies, and travel with Travelex!