London is a fantastic city to visit for all the family. It is, however, not always the cheapest option as it can be, like most capitals, a massive drain on your wallet.

Author: by Malcolm Oakley

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 If you are savvy about what you do and see, you can do London on a budget or even for free.

How to Save Money on London Tourist Activities

London’s Free Museums and Art Galleries

How to Save Money on London Family Holiday Activities.The majority of the big museums and art galleries in London are funded by the government so they don’t charge an entrance fee. This gives you free access to places like the Museum of London, the Science Museum, the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, the V & A, the National Gallery and the Tate Modern.

Depending on which option you choose, you’ll get free access to dinosaurs, cool science stuff (including a fantastic interactive play area), mummies, the history of London and loads of art. Bear in mind that entrance to special exhibitions won’t be free – it’s only permanent exhibitions that don’t charge. It’s also worth going to museums and galleries early or late in the day in holiday periods as they can get really busy. Free tends to have that effect on places!

London’s Parks

Outdoor London family holiday activities don’t have to cost you anything either so they are an ideal way to save money! The city is full of green spaces and parks that provide free stuff to do. Some are relatively formal; others are more relaxed. All of them are free and most have play areas to keep the kids busy for a while. Try Hyde Park for the Lido if you fancy an outdoor swim – there is an entrance fee for this, however. Regent’s Park has got bird walks and a wildlife garden. Kensington Gardens has the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground with a groovy pirate ship and a beach. Finally, don’t forget St James’s Park and its Duck Island which is home to some very entertaining pelicans.

The Changing the Guard Ceremony

You can time a visit to St James’s Park with a look at Buckingham Palace as they are next door to each other. Although you can pay to go in that palace at certain times of the year, this is quite expensive. You can, however, watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony for free. This happens at 11.30 in the morning every day during the summer schedule and every other day during other seasons. It is free, colourful and full of history. Kids really enjoy it but make sure to get there early as it is popular.

Walking around London

You can see a lot of London just by walking around. For a large city, it is surprisingly walkable. The distances between tube stops can be quite small and walking could save you some money on transport. Try talking a walk up the Southbank from the Houses of Parliament, past the Royal Festival Hall and on to Shakespeare’s Globe. If you have the stamina, you will eventually come across some of the wharf areas that Dickens used in some of his novels such as Oliver Twist. Alternatively, take a walk around Covent Garden and watch the street performers.

The London Pass

The easiest way to save money on London family holiday activities if you, or smaller people in your family, desperately need to see the big sites and attractions, may be to buy a London Pass. This card will cost you a lot but it gets you free entrance to 60+ major attractions, tours and even river cruises. If you have a rewards card like the Tesco Clubcard, you can use the vouchers you get in exchange for free entry to many of these more expensive attractions so that might be worth looking at.

Theatre Discounts in London

London theatres put on some of the best shows in the world but, if you want to see something popular, you may feel like you need to take out a mortgage to get tickets. There is a discount ticket booth in the centre of Leicester Square that could get you in on a budget. You may need to queue for tickets and you may not always get exactly what you wanted to see, but you can get a deep discount.

London Theatre News – West End Theatre Tickets. The London Theater One website provides: booking links for customers to buy theatre tickets from their ticket supplier Encore Tickets. Through their ticket supplier they also offer tickets for attractions, events, dinner and show offers and hotel theatre breaks.

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