London is a massive city and let’s get serious, it’s expensive and there are endless things to do here. I’ve found that my London bucket list, which was once 100 items deep, has now diminished substantially and I’ve stopped being a ‘tourist.’ It’s easy to get stuck in the rut of the hustle and bustle of every day life and forget all these cool places, history and sights that come with living in the capital. Recently, I’ve started forcing myself to get back on the band wagon and tick things off because, who knows what tomorrow will bring. And, why the hell not?!
So dust off those Converse and get your adventure hat on! Here’s my top 5 best cheap things to check out in London:
Hotel Chocolat Lock-In
Want to feel like a VIP on a secret mission? Hotel Chocolat is now offering secret ‘lock in’ experiences for only a tenner – no password required. Book online and head to one of their venues for a 45-min intimate experience involving a glass of prosecco (chocolate + prosecco, I’m already sold) and have an after-hours in-house tasting experience. Bonus: the £10 it costs goes towards anything you purchase that night – and don’t even try and tell me you won’t buy anything, how can you not? Cheap and cheerful, INDULGE, GURL!
Bluestockings London Bookshop Tour
ATTN bibliophiles! Explore the best nooks in London to curl up and get lost in a great novel. This bargain £10 tour is offered through Bluestockings Bookshop Tour, across a variety of locations around the city and is curated personally by trained librarian, Lauren LaTulip. I went on the tour which had been crafted specially around travel and was surprised by the amount of locations I had never seen that existed smack in the middle of the tourist zones. The tour operates in Central (West End/Soho and Bloomsbury) and East London (Shoreditch) and takes you through the pages of not only great bookshops but also the history of the area.
Learn more here.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir – AKA Neasden Temple
Did you know that one of the biggest Hindu temples outside of India is located in North London? I sure didn’t! Neasden Temple located in, you guessed it, Neasden (Jubilee Line), is an absolutely incredible and masssssive Hindu temple made from handcrafted Bulgarian Limestone and Italian Marble with British wood on the inside. You instantly feel transformed to another world entirely as you stare up at the intricate carvings on both, in and outside of the temple. Not only is the temple cheap but it’s completely FREE to visit, including guided tours as well. Don’t miss out on the gift shop for some incredible deals on anything from comic books explaining the history of the Gods, as well as incense and flaxseeds!
National Theatre Tour
Ever wondered what it’s like behind the curtain of your favourite theatre show? Looking for a new way to explore an often unseen side of the city? Why not book in to the National Theatre Backstage Tour and see for yourself why the show must go on! Located on the South Bank, the National Theatre is home to over 20 new shows a year and facilities the set and costume design, and rehearsals all on one site – which you’ll get a chance to see on the tour. Tours run Monday-Sunday at various hours for £10.
It’s not as morbid as it sounds.
Highgate Cemetery is the final resting place of some of the world’s biggest names – people are dying to get in!
Everyone from the creator of Monty Python, to George Michaels (although you’re not allowed to visit him), and the great Karl Marx (he’s located in the East Cemetery which you can visit for only £8) are buried here. Head on up to North London and take a look! Be sure to spend time in the village of Highgate, which is beautiful on its own. Take a wander through the streets and check out the vintage pubs along the hill up to the cemetery.
Tours of the West Cemetery are offered on weekends for £12
I’m always on the look out for different cheap activities to do in London, do you have anything off the tourist trap? Post them in the comments!