A morning of Culture & Art
London is chock-a-block with some of the best museums in the world and best of all, they’re nearly all free! Your time can be well spent in the grand and leafy surrounds of South Kensington exploring the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert and the Natural History Museum. The three are within a stone’s throw of each other and can provide a whole day of wonder and entertainment, no matter what your age.
If perhaps you’re more of an art buff (or if you have time after the dinosaurs) hop on the tube into the centre of London and check out the masterworks of the National Gallery, just off Trafalgar Square. The gallery is full of incredible works from Michelangelo and Da Vinci to Monet and Van Gough. You can even join a free hour long guided tour of the collection at 11:30 and 14:30 every day, and 16:00 on weekends.
Dive into the thick of things
After all that culture you’ve probably built up an appetite so it’s time to plunge into the city and see what’s on offer! Cafes and food bars really aren’t hard to find but a great place to check out is around Carnaby Street; Kingly Court, a 3-teir eatery-extraordinaire, is basically a mall for restaurants and street-food, with 21 food concepts to try, including; Dirty Bones, Señor Ceviche, Pizza Pilgrims and The Detox Kitchen. The choice is yours!
Staying in Carnaby and Soho, it goes without saying that you are now mere meters away from the hustle and bustle that is Oxford Street, one of the busiest shopping thoroughfares in the world. If you’re prone to a bit of retail therapy then this is where you want to be; enjoy, just don’t overdo it! You’ll have to carry those bags all day!
For an evening of entertainment that won’t leave your bank balance feeling abused, head to the TKTS booth in the middle of Leicester Square and bag yourself some cheap tickets to a West-end show for that evening. They deal in stand-by and returned tickets so you might not get to see your first choice, but with up to 50% discount available it’s a great way to get the West-end experience at a fraction of the cost.
Do the Camden Shuffle
Well, no trip to London feels truly complete without a visit to the vibrant, colourful bubble that is Camden Town. There has been a market in Camden since the early 1900s and over time it has evolved from a collection of fruit and veg stalls through a craft market to now being one of the largest and most vibrant markets in London with hundreds of stalls and shops to explore, and yes, quite easily get lost in.
It can take an entire day to just get your bearings so take your time to wander, using the main street as a kind of handrail. Starting to feel a bit peckish? Head on round the corner to Camden Lock Market where they have an incredible street-food market with a variety of stalls from every corner of the globe. We’re talking curries, tapas, paella, Nepalese chatamari, game burgers (Camel, Alligator and Kangaroo have all been available), Mexican street-food and even hand rolled sushi. Honestly, if you say you can’t find something you like, we think you’re probably fibbing…
Lazin' on a sunny afternoon
Phew! After all that hustle and bustle maybe it’s time to take a load off and relax on the grass in the park. Hyde Park is a fantastic spot to while away a sunny afternoon; sitting by the banks of the Serpentine, in acres of greenery at the heart of London’s metropolis. Or why not pay a visit to Regent’s Park, only a short walk from Camden. It’s free to enter for all and includes a stunning rose garden, a host of outdoor sports facilities and even a boating lake to enjoy, alongside the native wild birds and waterfowl, of course.
For one final Hurrah (if you still have the energy) muster your strength and head on up Primrose Hill for one of the most spectacular views of the London skyline anywhere in the city. It’s an incredible panorama, providing one of the best city-scape views anywhere in London, especially if you manage to catch a sunset.
Why crawl when you can fly?
Flybe runs the London Gatwick service up to 3 times a day, giving you a fantastic amount of choice when planning your break. It really is quick and easy to take advantage of. You could go for just a weekend, a whole week or even just a day-trip, it’s entirely up to you. Gatwick airport has excellent connections into London and no matter where you’ve booked your accommodation there’s a train to get you there, or at least pretty close! With the Oyster Card now extended to work all the way from Gatwick you can just hop on a train and be in the middle of London in half an hour.
There really are so many options and with a flight time of under an hour, it’s easy to plan a trip to suit you! With seats from only £30.99 o/w you really can do London on a budget!
- All information, prices and times correct at time of writing.
- Flight times may vary so always check with flybe.com
- Flybe operate up to 3 flight a day to Gatwick, all year round.
- Southern trains operate quater hourly services form London Gatwick to London Bridge, St Pancras, Clapham Junction, East Croydon and Victoria station. (Journey time 30-40 mins)
- More information on London days out can be found on the Visit London website