London, England on a Shoestring Budget

Sustainability and low-cost are the buzzwords of today’s economy. Joining us from London is Tiera St. Claire of #beingTiera. She shares some of the top things to do in London when traveling on a shoestring budget.

London is one of the most interesting and eclectic cities in the world. There is so much to see and do and take in.

Here is a short list of things to do that do not take all day and that not everyone knows about.


1. Charity Shops: London is filled with them and they offer not only bargain prices but the opportunity to Treasure Hunt and acquire something that is not found ‘on the racks’ in departments stores. My top two favourites are Mary’s Living and Giving and Royal Trinity Hospice – they are more like shopping in Boutiques than thrift stores.

2. The Cartoon Museum: located not far from the British Museum, not only offers a couple of hours of chuckles, but a glimpse into English social, economic and political history, as cartoons have a way of mirroring the pulse of the public. Click here for more information.

3. The Foundling Museum: also not far from the British Museum, is a touching look at the history of orphans in the UK. There is a wall of trinkets that children were given by their mothers to identify them later and a photo wall of who the children became as adults. Click here for more information.

4. Nespresso: Maker of coffee machines and coffee pods, offers free tastings, so stop in to try a coffee, but be warned you may be hooked and go home with a coffee maker! Click here to find locations near you.

5. Barbican Centre: An Arts Centre with performances and exhibitions, I happened upon it one day and was delighted to see and exhibition about famous painters who had been married with each other. They have an excellent little Gift Shop and cafe next to the water. Click here to find out what’s on exhibit!

6. Wimbledon Common: One of the oldest Commons in London, said to have been around since the 6th century BC. A lovely area of woods, ponds a Windmill and a cafe. A wonderful place to go for a walk, be in nature (I’m told the Fairies are still alive and well here). Click here to find out what events are on.

Wimbledon Common


7. Little Venice: An area near Paddington Station where you can wander amongst the Canals for a little different flavour in busy London Town. Paddington Station itself is wonderful for its architecture and the Paddington Bear statue outside.

8. St Pancras Renaissance Hotel: St Pancras Station itself is filled with shops to browse, perhaps whilst waiting for the EuroStar to take you to your next Pet Sit. Next to it is the Renaissance Hotel with superb architecture and well worth a walk through. They have a couple of cafe’s so you can also sit and enjoy the grandeur whilst have something to eat. Click here to learn more about it.

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel


9. Handle and Hendrix Museum: Would you believe the same home was occupied by the composer Handle and then 200 years later by Jimi Hendrix? Yes, it’s true. There is a wall between the two living spaces, though the same building. Catch a glimpse of the past and maybe a flavour of the mystical synchronicity that brought these two to the same place. Click here for the latest updates on events.

    10. Walk along the Southbank of The Thames: (pronounces tems)

    St Pauls Cathedral from the South Bank of the Thames


    11. Take the Tube – the London Underground. Less expensive and often more efficient than cabs, and they are filled with great architecture.

    • Two of my favourites are Embankment and Piccadilly, with their arches and tunnels and colours.
    • Baker St station has a picture of Sherlock Holmes and nearby is the Sherlock Holmes Museum.

    12. Walk across the Bridges:

    • Embankment/Charing Cross links you to The Southbank Centre and Waterloo Station. Charing Cross is near Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus.
    • The Millennium Bridge will link you from Tate Modern to St Pauls
    • From Westminster Bridge you have great views of Big Ben and the London Eye.
    • Tower Bridge is iconic

    Tower Bridge


    13. Check out some of the gorgeous hotels. Stop in for a coffee or tea, or just to look around:

    • Claridges is near Regent St (for upscale shopping and browsing)
    • The Langham is near Oxford St (for High St shopping and browsing)
    • The Savoy is near Trafalgar Sq and The National Gallery
    • St Pancras is right at the St Pancras train station, where you can get the Eurostar to Paris, Brussels, Lille or Amsterdam.

    14. The Royal Exchange and Leadenhall Market. Both in the City of London with gorgeous architecture. Walk around this area for a glimpse of the old Wall of London. And check out St Dunstan in the East Church for a peaceful oasis.

    The Royal Exchange


    Leadenhall Market


    St Dunstan in the East Church Garden


    15. Take a double decker bus and ride on the top for great views.

    There is so much London has to offer. My final piece of advice is just to wander about and see what you encounter. Be open and allow London to guide you.

    Postcards from the Road

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