Cheap days out in London

london panorama

So you fancy a family day out? London can be an expensive day, with train fares alone costing a small fortune. So how best to spend the day when you get there? There’s no need to splash out on expensive experiences, why not try these mostly free outing ideas!

Hamleys

hamleys

A staple family excursion; but for traditional London with an exciting addition, venture down to the lower ground floor in Hamleys Toy Shop to absorb yourself in the underground experience! From themed games to kiosks and entertainment, observe the iconic design elements from London’s most renowned transport system. You can also have a family picture taken in a real-life train driver’s cab from the 1970’s!

Where: Regent Street
How to get there: Nearest tube station is Oxford Circus
Price: Free
Further info: Hamleys

Science Museum

Science Museum

An essential part of visiting London as a family unsurprisingly includes visiting some of the wonderful free museums on offer. At The Science Museum a new exhibition has been installed, named the ‘Information Age’. Opened by Her Majesty The Queen on the 24th of October 2014 (with a tweet!), it houses more than 200 years of information inside this already prestigious building, and has been named their most ambitions exhibition yet! Information Age is divided into six zones, each representing a different information and communication technology network: The Cable, The Telephone Exchange, Broadcast, The Constellation, The Cell and The Web. Why not discover how wireless technology enabled lives to be saved and news of the Titanic disaster to be spread to the world within hours of the event? Hear the personal stories of the operators who worked on the Enfield Telephone Exchange, the last manual exchange which marked the end of an era in communication history.

Where: South Kensington
How to get there: Nearest tube station is South Kensington
Price: Free (other than IMAX and certain exhibitions)
Further info: http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/home.aspx

The Ragged School Museum

School Museum

For something a little different, on the first Sunday of each month, why not visit a historic working classroom and be taught by costumed actors who recreate how school would have been for Victorian children, complete with dunces caps and slate boards!

Where: Next to Mile End Park
How to get there: Nearest tube station is Mile End
Price: Donation: suggested £2
Further info: http://www.raggedschoolmuseum.org.uk

Big Ben

Big Ben

Rather than joining the masses and standing outside the famous clock, why not stand beside Big Ben itself as it chimes the hour, an extraordinary experience, particularly when you think about how far the sound carries naturally and how it is heard on radios all over the world. From a minimum age of 11, you can climb the 334 steps to the top of Elizabeth Tower where you can also stand behind the clock face and see views across London!

Where: Westminster
How to get there: Nearest tube station is Westminster
Price: Tours, which are free, are only open to UK residents and are available Monday to Friday at 9am, 11am and 2pm (and 4pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays). You do need to book several weeks in advance by writing to your MP
Further info: http://www.parliament.uk/bigben

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Where to find out more about cheap trips to London

There are loads of sites and online communities out there designed to help you save money on visiting the capital. If you’re looking for help and advice, check out some of these:

Saving Money On Train Travel
http://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/sightseeing/one-day-itineraries/budget-family-itinerary
http://www.visitbritain.com/en/Destinations-and-Maps/Cities-and-towns/London.htm
http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/2for1-london

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