When you’re planning a weekend or mid-week break in the English capital, the costs can sometimes pile up. Organizing travel, accommodation, food and excursions is expensive, particularly in a city where you can often pay a premium for being centrally located.
Guest writer Catherine Lavinia recommends staying on the outskirts of London, whether that be south of the Thames or even as far away as Greater London. According to the British native, you can save a great deal, even when you factor in the extra travel arrangements. Here are her recommendations:
1. Pick up an Oyster Card to cut costs on your travel as soon as you arrive to London. Similar to the Metro Card in New York, you can add funds as you need them.
2. Areas around the South bank of the Thames are ideally located for cheaper London visits. Suburbs such as The Oval, Kennington and Battersea are perfectly situated to provide affordably hotels within good proximity of the necessary tube and rail stations. The Travelodge hotel in Battersea is less than a mile from Clapham Junction train station, putting you in a perfect spot for easy access to London city.
3. With local amenities and facilities to suit any visitor, Battersea isn’t short of things to occupy you. The Battersea Park Children’s Zoo will keep little ones amused, including ring tailed lemurs, meerkats, pygmy goats and mynah birds.
4. For the football fanatics, the mighty Chelsea FC, winners of the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League, is just over a mile away and makes a great afternoon if you can catch a “footie match” or even take a tour of Stamford Bridge.
5. Just a short train ride or a quick stint on the Tube will get you to inner city London and the vast array of attractions held there. Whether you prefer an afternoon shopping on Oxford Street, or uncovering the delights of Camden Town, you’re never too far from where you need to be.
6. Catch a West End show one evening. Whatever musical or theatre production floats your boat, you’ll be sure to find it in this bustling show business metropolis. For the kids, definitely try Matilda the Musical before it’s too late, or Shrek the Musical for some Dreamworks fun. For the ladies, Ghost the Musical, Wicked the Musical and Dirty Dancing are highly recommended or, for the guys, how about Rock of Ages or We Will Rock You?
7. Treat yourself to a gourmet meal at one of the city’s michelin starred restaurants. Go all out with a meal at Royal Hospital Road, where you can sample some of the exquisite tastes from the eponymous bad-mouthed master of culinary magic, Gordon Ramsay.
8. Enjoy drinks in the trendy pubs and cocktail bars around Leicester Square and Covent Garden, or shop till you drop on Oxford Street. For the more alternative and retro threads, head to Camden or catch a concert at the numerous gig venues scattered across the city.
Whatever you decide to do from your base in Battersea, the excellent network and transport links means that you’re never far away from your chosen activities. Book a hotel as far in advance of your trip to Battersea in order to secure a great room at affordable prices.