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Making the Most of London on a Budget

Tate Modern

With the UK’s capital city gearing up for an Olympic year, tourists can expect some testing prices as well as boosted attractions, festivals and things to see this 2012.

So how to enjoy a stay in London without breaking the bank? Staying in Kensington hotels London (Millennium Hotels have a fine offering) within easy walking distance of the majority of the city’s big museums and galleries is a simple way to save money and time.

Other tips include keeping an eye out on the main attractions which are free to get into. You might spend a huge amount of time and effort on hoping for Olympic tickets, but some of London’s most exciting permanent attractions are free to enter and packed full of interesting things. Here’s our pick of 5 of the best:

Natural History Museum

Britain is a fairly nature-mad place, and this makes the Natural History Museum a firm favourite with anyone fascinated by feathers, reptiles, ancient dinosaurs or huge spiders. Interactive and architecturally impressive – plus down the road from Kensington’s hotels and restaurants.

British Museum

Excellent day out with large groups (who can explore and get lost) or a good friend. The British Museum houses an astonishing collection of ancient relics and cultural treasures from around the world, tracing the history of the British Empire and its conquests and infiltrations into the corners of the East and West. Best bits: the mummies, the ancient Greeks, and the Easter Island stone.

National Gallery

Home to some of art history’s greats, and ideal to combine with a visit of Trafalgar Square and a gawk at the royal palaces – St James’ Palace and Buckingham Palace are just over the roundabout. Specialising in masterful paintings from 1290-1900, you’ll see Leonardo, Botticelli, Rembrandt and more.

Tate Modern

The cool counterpart to the National Gallery, with huge installatios in the Turbine Hall and a host of incredible modern art in the permanent collection – from Jackson Pollock to Andy Warhol to Tracy Emin – this one is fun and eye-popping for kids, packed with more intrigue and curiosity for the adolescent and analytical.

National Science Museum

Whether astonished by telescopes and stars or buzzed by electricity and the magic of conduction, the National Science Museum is a bag of tricks that prove there’s more to science than Bunsen burners and lab coats. Located in South Kensington just down the road from the V&A and Natural History Museum, it’s a great stop for a big day out – and easy walking distance from the other big draws.

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