Flash Facts

How the Hell do you spend the day in London with £20?

Sometimes, the urge to travel conflicts with the bank balance and that can result in sulky faces and stomping feet.

But a tantrum can be avoided and adventures may still be had, even with £20.

For if you don’t mind travelling on the National Express,  you can easily get a ticket to London for about a fiver. It’s a 3 hour journey from my home town in Leicester,  so travelling near 7am means you get to the Capital for around the time places are starting to open. 

Taking food and a flask cuts down on a lot of expensive. It might appear quite retro to break out a lunch box and a flask of tea, but seeing as something as simple as a sandwich can cost nearly a fiver, that’s a fiver saved and can be put towards a nice souvenir instead.

Water points are also to be found throughout the city to top up your own water bottle, stay hydrated,  look after the world, reduce the use of single use plastics and all that jazz. Plus, saves money!

Travel, however, is a necessary expense and I always have my trusty Oyster card on hand for zipping around the capital in search of adventures and usually top this up by a fiver upon arrival into London. You can check your balance and add funds prior to your journey on the website if you don’t like standing in queues or arguing with machines.

It is worth noting that you can also use your Oyster Card on Buses, Boats and the London Cable Car.

Sometimes places are close enough to walk to and you will find plenty of maps with easy directions around London. Or you can hire an electric bike/scooter. Last time I hired a bike it cost me £3 for 24 hours and I used it to get from the Tate Britain to the Tate Modern. Which was a rather pleasant bike ride along the Thames. (this price may have since changed).

Summary: a fiver for the National Express and a fiver towards city travel. We’ve used a tenner out of our budget so far.

Free things to do in London and I think this is going to be a whole separate Blog in itself and I’ll make a full list of places (that I know of) which don’t cost anything to visit.

Of course if you want to attend an exhibition or event, this is going to go over your meager pennies, but the idea of this blog is to travel on a shoestring budget, it’s the same with tourist attractions, they can be overpriced and over crowded with the exit through the gift shop to suck more funds from unsuspecting travelers.

I’m going to use places of worship here as an example; To visit St Paul’s Cathedral will cost you an £20.50 entry fee, yet walk a mere 20 minutes and cross to the south of the river and you will find Southwalk Cathedral which is free to visit. Just as beautiful and rich in history, and you might just meet Hodge the Cathedral cat.

Travelling on a tight budget can be done, can be fun, can lead you to discover hidden charms among all the tourist traps and you still a tenner left for a fresh cuppa when your flask is empty and a couple of postcards as a memento of your visit.

Stay curious, save funds and have fun!

Hodge the Cathedral Cat

Useful Links:

National Express

Oyster Card

Santander Cycles London

IFS Could Cable Car

River Bus

Refill London

101 Free things to do in London


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