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BS: Visiting London on a Budget

Dave the Gnome 18 Aug 08 - 03:05 PM
A Wandering Minstrel 18 Aug 08 - 08:12 AM
Liz the Squeak 17 Aug 08 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,Tommy 17 Aug 08 - 08:38 AM
Roger the Skiffler 17 Aug 08 - 03:06 AM
Liz the Squeak 17 Aug 08 - 02:59 AM
Liz the Squeak 17 Aug 08 - 02:57 AM
Gulliver 16 Aug 08 - 10:05 PM
GUEST,lox 16 Aug 08 - 05:23 PM
Anne Lister 16 Aug 08 - 02:44 PM
GUEST,crazy little woman 16 Aug 08 - 01:42 PM
RobbieWilson 16 Aug 08 - 01:08 PM
lady penelope 16 Aug 08 - 12:59 PM
Anne Lister 16 Aug 08 - 03:10 AM
GUEST,leeneia 15 Aug 08 - 12:05 PM
Liz the Squeak 14 Aug 08 - 06:46 PM
GUEST,Tommy 14 Aug 08 - 09:42 AM
lady penelope 14 Aug 08 - 09:15 AM
Liz the Squeak 14 Aug 08 - 04:59 AM
lady penelope 14 Aug 08 - 04:57 AM
Gulliver 13 Aug 08 - 09:20 PM
Liz the Squeak 13 Aug 08 - 04:39 PM
lady penelope 13 Aug 08 - 04:17 PM
Liz the Squeak 13 Aug 08 - 01:43 PM
Bert 13 Aug 08 - 01:03 PM
manitas_at_work 13 Aug 08 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,Tommy 13 Aug 08 - 11:30 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Aug 08 - 03:05 PM

Family room on a Sunday night, booked at least 21 days in advance at the travel Lodge near Euston is £29! At least one night for cheap anyway:-) Going out towards Heathrow you can get reasonable rooms as well and it ain't too bad getting in and out of the centre on the Picallily line.

I find eating out very reasonable as long as you look round and be prepared to go into the dodgy looking places;-)

Good luck.

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 18 Aug 08 - 08:12 AM

Covent Garden often has lots of street performers well worth looking out for, The British Museum, Science Museum and National History Museum are all free (optional contribution). The Portobello Market can take up a good hour (even more if there is filming going on) You can also go and hunt for the "Ghost" stations on the Underground (British Museum - between Holborn and Tottenham Court Road and Down Street - between Hyde Park Corner and Knightsbridge) The instrument shops in Denmark Street and the second-hand bookshops in Charing Cross Road can offer rich pickings(detour into chinatown (Garrard St) for an all-you-can-eat-for-£5 lunch). The Japan Centre in Picadilly and Hamleys in regent street are both pretty good (if you don't buy anything :) )


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 05:44 PM

Absolutely! The TV cannot show the real vibrant colours of a street market, along with the myriad sounds of people chatting, market vendors barking out their patter, Bhangra, Reggae and Rock music all mingling together; or the smells of fruit, flowers, vegetables, the perfumes of a hundred different people from a hundred different lands... No matter how much I say I hate living in London, I'd really miss my local street market should it ever disappear - a threat that the local council are trying desperately to make good on!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: GUEST,Tommy
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 08:38 AM

You are a kind and generous person Liz the Squeak, and thank you so much for your valuable advice and information. I have just booked at a Hostel in West London that is near the Underground and have also booked a Travel Pass for each of us.
By , not so strange I suppose, co-incidence my internet investigations turned up the name of a YHA place in Holland Park also where I had boarded for some 3mths or more back in 1959. I had lived in London for approx 6yrs from that but have only made one ,solitary, visit there on family business, since. That was for a few days also, in Autumn 1982 and the occasion did not allow for any nostalgia trips.
This time it will be all "pleasure" (I hope) incl. a visit to my old football club near Greenford where I played up to 1964. I havn't looked forward to anything so much for quite a while and "the boy Thomas" is equally excited.
A few hours from now and......we're off !!

Many thanks again to all of you for your help and advice, incl Crazy Little Woman. I have been (myself) to Toronto & New York and both were magnificent experiences , I will never forget the almost tangible Electricity in the air on alighting at Grand Central Stn from the Am Track from Canada and emerging into the NY metropolis for the first time. That trip was also c.1980. You city dwellers lead hectic lives indeed compared to our "laid back" existence in Rural Ireland but it will be good to be among you again if only for a brief stay.
I will try to describe my son's reactions and emotions to all this real forthcoming experience on our return. It has to be better for him than seeing it all on TV ??


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 03:06 AM

..and don't forget to try the echo in the British Library Reading Room, yodelling works best.

RtS
*BG*


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 02:59 AM

Sorry... premature thingy wossname. I wanted to make a blicky and missed.
F1 Barking

Or try www.londontown.com

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 02:57 AM

Had we the space at the moment, I'd say come stay with us over night, but I'm not sure the effect a 14 yr old boy would have on my 12 yr old daughter... or vice versa - she learned from the Mistress...

If you don't mind a little bit of walking to the nearest station/bus stops, there is an F1 hotel in Barking, east London which advertises rooms for £41 or some such price


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: Gulliver
Date: 16 Aug 08 - 10:05 PM

Yes, London is a great place to visit--so much to see! I only mentioned my last trip, year before last, but I've lived there for 9 months and visited over 20 times and I'd go tomorrow if I had the time. Don


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 16 Aug 08 - 05:23 PM

Ignore the doom mongers.

I've got sweet FA and there is loads to do in London that doesn't cost that much.

Rule number 1.

When you arrive go to a news stand or news agent and Buy a copy of TIME OUT magazine.

Accomodation ia the stumbling block from my angle as I've never had to find accomodation for a short stay in London.

Perhaps check out the lonely planet website or the "rough guide" website.

If that doesn't work, nip down to a local bookshop and buy a copy of the lonely planet guide to London/Britain or whatever or the rough guide.

Perhaps whilst comparing them to decide which one you want you could take note of a couple of hostels before deciding that you don't want either ...

good luck.


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: Anne Lister
Date: 16 Aug 08 - 02:44 PM

The Ibis at Aldgate is probably dearer than the £50 a night mentioned in the original post, but, as I said, there are other possibilities if you check out the cheap hotel websites. Not all cheap hotels in Europe are as Leeneia suggests - in fact, we always travel to the cheap ones and haven't encountered any problems anywhere - and it's perfectly possible to eat reasonably for less than £15. Although it's the drinks you need to watch out for - best to stick to tap water for economy's sake!

It's a good idea as well to check out the London transport website, as some buses do a tourist route without the additional price - I'm thinking here of a bus which goes from the Tower of London (or just around the corner) to Covent Garden, taking in Tate Modern and the London Dungeon. Can't remember what number it is, but if you have a travel card for zones 1 and 2 you can ride it as much as you want. You don't get a commentary, but if you follow a map you'll see quite a bit.

Anne


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: GUEST,crazy little woman
Date: 16 Aug 08 - 01:42 PM

Hi, Tommy.

I'm an American and I have been to Europe or the British Isles 7 times. So I know something of what it's like.

I really, really suggest that you start back-pedaling. Tell your son that you had no idea how expensive London was when you made that promise. Tell him you need to do something else.

Then take him on a few-day trip to a glamorous city in America or Canada. You will have much more fun, be much less stressed and spend less money than on a trip to London.

After that, he will be more used to strange places and strange people. You will know how good a traveller he is. Just one aspect of being a good traveller - can he sleep on airplanes or not?

A few years down the line, you can take that trip to London and it have more promise of being a success.


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 16 Aug 08 - 01:08 PM

I wouldn't do the bus tour but you can get a central london bus ticket which lets you hop on and off the service busses. Tubes are great for getting from A to B and a free bus map will show enugh to get you around without forking out for an A-Z.

Great cheap indian food round from euston station in Drummond St, esp if you are a veggie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: lady penelope
Date: 16 Aug 08 - 12:59 PM

Docklands railway is currently up the spout (as I found out the hard way today...) due to massive refurbishments and new engineering between Tower Gateway (by the Tower of London) and Poplar. Essentially you can only travel between King George and Lewisham. This is long term works.

But there is an Ibis at Aldgate, so you wouldn't have to be all the way out at ExCel anyway *G*.


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: Anne Lister
Date: 16 Aug 08 - 03:10 AM

Best thing to do for a cheap hotel is use a site like laterooms.com or activehotels.com ...they have reviews and photos, as well as discounted deals. Check out whether or not breakfast is included and if so, whether it's a "continental" breakfast which is often just cornflakes and half a croissant (husband has just been accommodated in a cheap place near Victoria where this was the case - this was booked for him, much to my annoyance as I know I could have done better!). Not a problem if there's no breakfast, but it's good to know - cheap breakfasts can be had from all manner of department stores, shops, Wetherspoons and Subway. If you stay at a Holiday Inn Express a better version of the continental kind is free, and if you stay at an Ibis (reliable chain) you pay for a very copious buffet breakfast, which is worth doing.
We have generally found good hotels (not as described above by Leeneia)through laterooms and activehotels for the kind of money you're talking about. Don't be put off if the hotel is out of the centre of London as public transport is easy. There's an Ibis, for example, at ExCel (the exhibitions centre in Docklands) where you can be very comfortable and within easy reach of everything using the Docklands Light Railway.

Anne


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 15 Aug 08 - 12:05 PM

I've been abroad several times. I have caught on that many 'hotels' are nothing like what Americans would call a hotel. They are old, prob. 19th C buildings cheaply remodeled to pack lots of rooms in. The worst thing about them is that they have one, small wooden staircase which winds up a multistorey building. Talk about a firetrap!

We stayed at an expensive 'hotel' in Paris which had that kind of staircase, a elevator which could hold two people - and no fire escape. Smoking was allowed.

I told my husband, 'Forget quaint, forget cheap. I want to stay in a modern building which at least offers a CHANCE of a way out if there's a fire.'


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 06:46 PM

Just be wary of the usual caveats - don't flash mobile phones around, if you need to use it, keep it short and put it away safely. Carry cards and cash separately, so you still have something if you are unfortunate enough to be pick pocketed. Don't give money to beggars - many of them are better off than we are!

There has been a lot of coverage in the press in recent months about street violence. That is not the norm. The majority of visitors to London have no problems whatsoever.

Be sensible, be safe and enjoy the day.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: GUEST,Tommy
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 09:42 AM

I've had a laugh as well as getting a lot of good friendly advice from you Liz and Lady P and also Don, Manitas and Bert. Thank you all, When we get back I'll put up a brief account of our trip, it's cost and other values in case anyone is interested. I can't be the only father, with a young son, from the "sticks" with a yen for the "bright lights" , can I?


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: lady penelope
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 09:15 AM

Did I mention your name? *G*


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 04:59 AM

You saying I don't tell people the right way to go and that I keep getting lost even though I've lived here for 18 years next Wednesday?

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: lady penelope
Date: 14 Aug 08 - 04:57 AM

I've done the bus tour thing as well Don. I think you can get a day pass for them, which means you can hop on and off as many as you like and it's cheaper than paying for individual tours.

I would recommend buying an A-Z book map though (and I recommend you actually go for the brand A-Z, rather than Collins, or AA or anything). It's incredibly easy to get lost, A-Z do a version that's pocket sized and notes theatres and tourist attractions. Should be about a fiver and can save you hours of wandering about getting wrong directions from people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: Gulliver
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 09:20 PM

I got a bus pass for one of those city tour buses which wasn't exactly cheap but I hopped on and off all around London so got to see a lot more than I'd see by walking (London is a BIG place). I think I was most impressed with the Tower of London. In the evening I found a nice session (well, more of a gig really) in an O'Neill's pub somewhere near Soho. I was staying near Hyde Park so bought bread, cheese, etc, had a picnic in the park and took the leftovers with me in my shoulder bag.

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 04:39 PM

For a 14yr old boy, the 'Jack the Ripper' tours might be ... "interesting"...

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: lady penelope
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 04:17 PM

If you like japanese style noodles etc, the chain Wagamamas is very reasonable and can be found all around central London. Ask pizza are another reliable chain that aren't expensive and do good italian food.

If you buy a day travel card to get around on London Transport you should be able to get money off certain boats trips on the Thames. Ask at the ticket offices on the London Eye pier, Westminster pier or Southwark pier (opposite The Globe).

A good walk is to start at County Hall on the South Bank and walk along the embankment to Tower Bridge. Along the way there are various attractions - from statues to exhibitions, street entertainers, views up and down the river, the Clink Museum, the replica Golden Hind, HMS Belfast for example. Once you get to Tower Bridge you can walk across to the north bank and stroll round the outside of the Tower of London fer nothing.

If you like guided tours, there are various guided theme walks, try

London Ghost Walks

It depends on what you want to do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 01:43 PM

There are many things to do for free, try Googling 'London for Free', that should score you some things.

Of course, the real touristy stuff will cost - the London Eye, Madame Tussauds, Planetarium etc, but many of the quality museums - Natural History, Science, Victoria and Albert are either dontation or free and are good standbys when it's raining.

Parks are all free except for Kew Gardens, which will cost if there is an exhibition on.

The Doctor Who exhibition at Earls Court at the moment (it may be ending soon) is good for an hour and not very expensive, but it's all the modern stuff... very little of the old Doctors.

For good, reasonably priced food, try the Wetherspoons chain of pubs. They allow children in the bar if you're eating, serve real ales, and the food is plentiful. There's a great one in Whitehall (Lord Moon of Whitehall or something like that) which is within spitting distance of Trafalgar Square, National Portrait Gallery, St Martin in the Fields, staggering distance of Pariliament Square and Big Ben, slightly longer stagger down the Mall to Buck House and St James' Park.

Leicester Square does still have the ticket booths, but nothing is cheap these days. Many theatres still have the late cancellations and the Globe on the South Bank does £5 tickets if you don't mind standing in the rabble for the duration.

Good luck.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: Bert
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 01:03 PM

Asw Manitas says the YHA is great.

There used to be an office at Victoria Station where they would find cheap accommodaion for travellers. I don't know if it is still there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 11:50 AM

You could consider staying at the YHA, there are several close to central London and one hard by St Paul's. The budget chain hotels tend to offer weekend deals so you could look at Ibis, Best Western, Travelodge.

Try Googling London on a budget like this:

http://www.metacrawler.com/metacrawler/ws/results/Web/london%20on%20a%20budget/1/417/TopNavigation/Relevance/iq=true/zoom=off/_i


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Subject: BS: Visiting London on a Budget
From: GUEST,Tommy
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 11:30 AM

Is this title an Oxymoron (or am I ?)
I have been persuaded to take my Son (14yrs old) to London for his birthday.
It's my own fault, I've been regaling him with stories of my "adventures" there over 30 yhrs ago for the past 10/11 yrs and he is "dying" to see the sights and experience a real city.
My prob is that funds are not too plentiful so, I wonder if any 'catters can advise on places to stay, near Central London and where to eat, at reasonable costs ?
By reasonable I would propose c. £50(E75) Per room per night and a main course dinner at c. £15(E22) per person.
Of course my exchange rates are very loosely translated.
We hope to use the Underground and busses and "Shanks Mare" to get around.
Is it possible to get tickets for Premier League Matches at Stadia nowadays ? Can Tickets be had from that Ticket Kiosk in Leicester Sq still? Theatre Tickets are another interest, can they be had "on the night" still?
I will be grateful for any info, however meagre and thanks.


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