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London on a Budget

London on a BudgetBored of London, bored of life – so the saying goes. There’s always something happening in London and it would take more than a lifetime to do it all. Good job I’m here to source the best of what to do in London beyond the London Eye and Buckingham Palace. There are so many better things to spend your money on in the Big Smoke than expensive accommodation so check out the Cheap London Hotels available and you’ll have all the more money to spend in the London restaurants, shops and bars.

Shopping in London

If you want a day of bargain shopping go past Camden Market and head to Holloway. Here you’ll find all the High Street favourites –New Look, Marks and Spencer, Topshop, Warehouse, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge and Evans are all housed in the Selby’s department store – as well as some great outdoor markets and free boot sales. Opposite the Odeon Cinema you’ll find the Holloway Car Boot Sale with free entry and some top stalls selling new and used clothes at a huge discount. Head up Seven Sisters Road a few steps and you’ll find the Nags Head Car Boot Sale selling a great mix of modern and classic ‘junk’.

Marylebone High Street is filled with boutique shops and unique restaurants – in the summer sit outside for a true ‘European’ vibe. The Opulence Hotel in Gloucester Place is a unique and charming hotel that prides itself on its elegant, antique and authentic furniture and ability to offer luxury at a budget price. Private rooms start from €57.96pppn.

London Eats

St John’s Wood is a lovely area with coffee shops and interesting food shops with stalls spilling out onto the street. There are also a few great upmarket charity shops here and you can chill out in the St John’s Wood Church Gardens while looking out onto the observatory tower at Lord’s Cricket Ground. Walk down to the Clifton and you’ll find The Clifton pub – a great place to while away a Sunday with their array of board games and delicious menu.

The Camelot House Hotel in Paddington is just 20 minutes’ walk from St John’s Wood and private rooms start from €44.92pppn. Walk 10 minutes the other way and you’ll arrive at the bright lights of Marble Arch in the city centre.

Nearby Primrose Hill is always great for a mooch around. In the summer climb the hill and you can see out over the whole of London – in the winter either wrap up warm, or stick to the boutique shops, restaurants and cafes in the village. If you’re in need of a hearty meal try Trojka – at weekends they have traditional live Russian music and their vodka menu is not to be messed with.

Leather Lane in Holborn is one of the best and inexpensive food markets in London, although it’s often overlooked by the bigger food markets of Borough Market and Camden. The famous Daddy Donkey burrito van is here and the King of Falafel who claims to be the longest serving falafel shop in the area.


The Yoga Place in Bethnal Green is a great place to realign your chakras – you can drop in and do a class for just £8.50. You can choose from Ashtanga, Hatha, Dynamic, Tyrengar and Pregnancy Yoga.

Pineapple Dance Studios in Covent Garden has been made famous by the documentary of the same name, and is known as London’s premier dance studio. But anyone can come along and give a class a try. There are over 20 styles of dance taught including Cheerleading, Street Locking and Commercial Hip Hop with prices starting from just £6 plus a membership fee, although a day’s membership starts at just £2.

Getting Around

Don’t bother spending £20+ for a city tour around London grab yourself an Oyster Card for a £5 deposit and you can hop on and off the buses all day. You need to top it up, but you will only pay £1.30 a time and it will be capped for the day at £4. If you pay without an Oyster Card it will be £2.20 a time which can go up to an infinite amount. If you plan to use the London underground you can save nearly half by using the Oyster Card system.

London Nightlife

Angel is great for a night out. If you like to dance around in fancy dress to the latest pop tunes you need to go to the Carling Academy. If you prefer your London nightlife a little more sedate and mature you’ll love the cocktail bars of Upper Street. Go to Wax Jambu for cocktails, Slim Jim’s for whisky and the Keston Lodge for wine. Nurse your hangover the next day on Camden Passage in Angel at the Breakfast Club – the French Toast with Bananas and Maple Syrup is a feast!

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