Festive London Break on a Budget

Who needs the fuss of making sure you’ve packed your passport & trying to squeeze all those shoes into the smallest suitcase, when you can make the most of what is to offer on our own doorstep! It also means you can pack a lot more into the budget. I spent a long weekend sightseeing London on a budget and here’s some highlights….

I started my long weekend by braving the London Dungeons. The Dungeons offer a gruesome history of the city including the Plague and Jack the Ripper. It lived up to all my expectations and leaving me suitably scared witless! Beware of characters creeping up behind you! The Dungeons also have a new ride. I won’t give too much away but let’s just say it left my stomach in my mouth. Our top tip if you’re on a budget is to pick up 2 for 1 tickets at selected train stations.

View of the O2 from Emirates Air LineEmirates Air Line – Image © Caz

The Emirates Air Line Cable Car across the Thames has gone under the radar since Olympic fever subsided, but is a London experience that can’t be missed. It provides unprecedented views across the Docklands, Canary Wharf and miles beyond and I was thoroughly impressed. Ideal time to ride is sunset. Tickets cost £3 per person if you have a day travel card.

I also made the most of London’s free museums by visiting the Science Museum. While younger this was a regular haunt for school visits so my initial expectations were limited. It easily surpassed these with numerous new displays. Highlights included a 4d Red Arrows experience and a Space display.

Carousel Bar - Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Carousel Bar – Image © Caz

Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is an annual visit for me. I started going when it was fairly small and only had a few rides. This year word seems to have caught on and it was heaving and bigger than ever. With an abundance of bratwurst and mulled wine, an ice rink, big wheel, rides for adults and kids, rotating carousel bar (rather challenging after you’ve had a few!) and lots of stalls for festive gift ideas. We were treated to a rendition of Gangnam Style sung by an adorable elder at the Oktoberfest bar which drew quite a crowd. I would recommend anyone visiting to travel to Green Park or Marble Arch and walk as Hyde Park Corner station was very busy.

I do love my food, so a long weekend in London is also about indulging! Two food beauties for a smaller budget include Byron and Bodean’s. Byron is famous for its burgers, however its courgettes fries and coleslaw are also to be rivalled! It is a perfect pit stop before a West End show, located just off Covent Garden. Bodean’s is a barbecue chic restaurant and bar with a variety of ribs, wings, pulled pork, steak and Mexican delights on offer. Downstairs is a hidden seating area that feels like a cosy Canadian ski lodge/ sports bar. I was amazed at the value for money.

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