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Two Cheap Days Out in London

A visit to the UK’s capital needn’t cost you the earth and make your wallet run for cover; there are plenty of cheap and free things to keep everyone smiling and interested to do in London.  In fact from the free world-class museums to the cost-effective markets and all kinds in between, there are few cities which could offer so much for so little expense.

If you need some cheap or free day out inspiration then look no further.  Here are just two ideas of ways you could spend your time in the city without spending a fortune:-

Spend the Day in Greenwich
For those looking to spend an entire day exploring a much loved part of the city without breaking the bank then Greenwich is the perfect option.  You can reach Greenwich a number of ways either by public transport, the foot tunnel from the Isle of Dogs or by boat from one of the many piers dotted around London’s river Thames.  You can also come by car and, if you travel to Greenwich on a Sunday then you will find the parking fares to be very favourable; some places it costs as little as £1 for a whole day’s parking!  As for things to do in Greenwich itself, the National Maritime Museum is a real must.  It offers free entry, is the largest museum of its kind in the world and there is plenty for everyone to enjoy.  Families travelling with children will love the two interactive galleries; one for under 7’s and one for over 7’s and anyone with even a passing interest in Britain’s maritime history cannot fail to be impressed with some of the artefacts on display here.  If art galleries are more your thing then you might enjoy a free visit to Queen’s House which is home to a fine collection of art.  For a final glimpse into maritime history be sure to head down to the waterfront and admire Cutty Sark which stands proud near to Greenwich Pier.  You might not want to plump for the expensive ticket prices to see inside but it is still a pretty impressive sight.

You can’t go wrong with a wander around Greenwich Market which has an entire section for food, arts and crafts and home wares.  You could pick up some food to add into a picnic or buy a souvenir to take home.  Afterwards be sure to head up to Greenwich Park; one of the eight royal parks in the city and one which offers stunning views across the London skyline from the crest of its hill.  Returning back to Central London and your hotel is all too easy; we would recommend taking a Thames Clipper boat and enjoying an alternative view of some of London’s best landmarks and attractions.  A Clipper boat is cheaper than a cruise but still offers the chance to see some of the sights en route.

Enjoy the Delights of Hyde Park
Another one of the royal parks in London, and one which offers an entire day’s worth of entertainment if you plan it right, is Hyde Park in central London.  Hyde Park covers 350 acres and is home to a number of attractions aside from the park itself.  Anyone with children is going to want to head to Kensington Gardens first.  Although technically situated within Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens is counted as its own park but for the purpose of this day out we don’t think it matters too much!  Within Kensington Gardens you will find the Princess Diana Memorial Playground which features a huge wooden pirate ship surrounded by play sand and many other tempting sensory experiences.  The park does tend to get busy so it is always worth heading here first thing if you are interested which shouldn’t prove too difficult if you are staying some nearby such as the Park Grand London Hyde Park Hotel.

The Serpentine winds its way through Hyde Park and is the focus for many of the attractions which can be found inside the park.  You can hire a pedalo or row boat if you want to cruise your way along the water or you might prefer to let someone else do the steering and board the UK’s first Solarshuttle.  The Solarshuttle is powered only by the sun and holds around 40 passengers per journey.  For those who are feeling brave, you might enjoy a dip in the Serpentine Lido instead; public swimming is available daily between June and September.

If you have thought ahead and packed a picnic then you might want to walk over to Speaker’s Corner and set up nearby; Speaker’s Corner is located on the north-east edge of the park and is the place where people have come to air their grievances and express their thoughts for many years.  If you don’t have any food pre-packed then there are plenty of places to buy some in Hyde Park itself from light refreshments to hot meals.  There are lots of refreshment points dotted around the park or there are two dedicated café/restaurants available.

If all of this wasn’t enough to keep you going for the entire day then you could get involved with some sport; there are tennis courts and football pitches available for hire as well as stables for anyone wanting to engage in some horse riding.  If you want to explore the park by foot then keep your eyes peeled for the many fountains, statues and memorials which have been placed throughout the 350 acres.  There are around 20 of note from the 7 July memorial to the Reformers’ Tree and it can be a fun game to see how many of the 20 you can find as you follow the paths and open spaces and discover Hyde Park for yourself.

For those who want a quiet afternoon which doesn’t cost a penny then it is easy to find some tranquillity in the park; the sheer size almost ensures that you will be able to set up camp and not need to worry about constant interruptions.

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