Big days out in London town can put a strain on the deepest of pockets, but those in the know can enjoy a city jaunt here without breaking the bank. Here are our 100% Sloanie-verified tips and tricks for enjoying London on the cheap.
Wandering through Mayfair
Starting at Hyde Park corner, a stroll southwards along Park Lane will take you past some of the world’s most famous hotels and smartest residences. Check out the gleaming Ferraris and Lamborghinis parked outside The Dorchester (and the odd billionaire checking in) before taking a left down Curzon Street and deep into the heart of opulent Mayfair. Stop at a pavement café for some refreshment before continuing on your route past Berkeley (pronounced BARK-ley) Square and the shops of Bond Street and the Burlington Arcade, then hitting Piccadilly. Other fab places to go wandering, snacking and window-shopping are Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill, Harrods in Knightsbridge and – but of course – the King’s Road in Chelsea.
Souvenir Shopping at Fortnum and Mason
Pop into the Queen’s favorite shop (on Piccadilly) to browse their delectable range of homeware, gifts, food hampers and teas – all packaged beautifully. Their tins of biscuits make especially sweet gifts for friends and family back home if you’re after a quintessentially English souvenir. Or if you’re really broke, just treat yourself to a stylish Fortnum’s Bag for Life – great for packing your picnic into!
Picnic in Regent’s Park
…Which brings us neatly onto our next tip. Pick up Some tasty treats from one of the gorgeous delis on Marylebone High Street and head north to Regent’s Park for an afternoon of lazing, grazing, boating and people-watching. A simple punnet of fresh strawberries will do for pudding! London has a profusion of wonderful parks and green spaces, but we love Regent’s Park as it’s got a zoo, a lake, a mosque, a theatre, a university and a canal running through it. The beautiful homes situated on the quiet and leafy outer edges of the park are worth the trip alone, in our opinion. Regent’s Park is also one of eight Royal Parks of London, originally created for the Royal family’s sole use, and then later opened up to the public.
River Taxi Trip
Boat trips down the Thames can be expensive but the river bus – which shuttles tourists and commuters across the river all day and into the evening – is a great way to see London from the water. Take the river bus from Westminster to Greenwich for the best collection of landmarks that include the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the London Eye, Millennium Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral, to name just a few.
Been to London? We’d love to know your top tips for how to enjoy the city on a shoestring. Leave us a comment below!