I had recently gotten my hands on two very cheap last minute plane tickets to London. Soon I realised that most of my friends have serious jobs and commitments, and so are unable to spend a weekend away without a few weeks’ notice. Luckily, there was one crazy female book enthusiast with free time, and we went across the sea determined to spend … not much and see as much as possible in less than 4 days.
London is a big place, so there is probably something for every taste. John the Ripper lived there, a while ago, and he had lots of fun. But here are some of a bit safer activities we tried and places we visited. We focused on the cheap London activities.
There is no entrance fee for Tate or British museum. Actually, there is for some expositions, and there are some free ones. Here is a longer list of museums (from Time Out) you can enjoy or get bored in. Or at least use a free toilet after walking around town for hours. You are welcome.
Used book stores
I am a Kindle enthusiast, but there are also some authors I am willing to carry around in paper version. We went to Skoob, but there are many many more. It is a bookstore, so not technically free, but you are not required to buy anything in order to exit. And as we non English native speakers know, books are best read in the language they were written in. Especially if we normally speak a language with only two million users, so translations of some more exotic authors are non-existent. Because the market is just too small to bother.
There is nothing like walking on a busy street, avoiding the traffic going in wrong direction, and then crossing the road and making a lunch break in one of London’s parks. Like stepping trough portal directly from busy to nature. And there are fuzzy little squirrels everywhere eating from people’s hands. And would probably steal our cookies, if we gave them the chance.
If something is out of fashion in London, chances are, it is not in fashion elsewhere yet. Or not, but still looks awesome. Macklemure type of awesome. Luckily, we had limited time and luggage space.
Royal everything and such
Royal guards, the palace, bridges, towers and all high rise expensive looking buildings around Thames, can all be seen from outside for free. Pick up a tourist map and wear comfortable shoes. You probably won’t get invited to an evening tea with Harry, but a girl can always dream.
The Boroughs market
A busy place. A place to go get some food or enjoy the English marketing skills, where every stall has produce, more eco bio locally produced and picked up with more love than the next one. We wished we had a live chicken with us, since fresh from the chicken eggs would go for gold. And related to this one there is also number 7.
In London, there is also a possibility of specialising in Ginger Hipster spotting. Or the Guy with the coolest looking beard spotting. Or people watching in general. Seat on a bench next to Thames and enjoy the view.
8. Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes, James Bond and every other fictional character walk
We took the bus from the Airport to London, first stop Baker Street. And I am not ashamed to say that I dragged my travel companion to Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station. But I didn’t wait in long line with kids to get my photo taken. Not because I didn’t want my photograph entering the secret Platform, dressed as Harry Potter, making my best wizard face. No. I just don’t like long queues.
We got a bit lost in Soho, saw many weird and curious things and were finally directed to the right place by a nice passer-by. First impression was ‘ow my god what is this smell’. They sell Durian fruit on the street. And anything else your heart desires. If you like Asian food and shiny shops with gold and red kitsch, this is the place to be.
There are many other things to enjoy in London even when on low budget. Yes, London can be cheap. Here is a long list of ideas from Time out London.
Since goblins love to travel, but usually do it on a budget, we use Airbnb. By using this link to subscribe, you get discount on your first trip, and we get one on our next. If you are not into Airbnb, here is a 10% percent discount on your next booking. Travel as much as you can.