She Saves Money in
is a twenty-something Journeywoman who lives in Norfolk,
United Kingdom and is in London on average once every
month, either staying with friends or attending meetings.
She's involved with many different activities, ranging
from helping with a Talking Newspaper to teaching Trampolining.
She is also an active member of Girlguiding UK, and is
looking forward to exploring a bit more of the world,
once personal funds allow. Ann writes...
you, Journeywoman. I read loads of your excellent website
prior to a recent trip to India -- my first big journey.
I travelled solo for a month and it was great. When you
asked in one of your newsletters for sightseeing advice
for London, I thought that this would be a perfect time
for me " to give back" -- to contribute something to inspire
other women. This write-up concentrates on money-saving
tips and advice for visitors to London. I've also included
tidbits for those moms travelling with their JourneyBabes.
Dorling Kindersley Guide to London
is excellent - I live 100 miles away from London,
and I still use this book. You can buy your copy at
home or wait until you get here to purchase it. If
you don't mind carrying it with you, do it. I suspect
the book will be more expensive here in the U.K.
are loads of interesting and free things to do in
London, you just have to know where to look. Most
of the museums are free - the Natural
History Museum (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/)
in South Kensington is worth a visit (although, in
my opinion, the Science
museum next door is not so
fab). Another lovely stop is the Geffrye
museum. This is a converted
building that was used as housing for retired people
who had worked in the Navy. It has since been divided
into a series of rooms, each furnished in the style
of a different century, going chronologically. At
the end, there is an exhibition about more recent
interior design trends, and a shop (fairly pricey)
where you can get goodies and inspiration to do up
your own place. Visit their website at: http://www.geffrye-museum.org.uk/
for hours of operation, current exhibits, and a virtual
visit of the displays.
Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood
is also free - although I haven't been there yet.
I imagine it would be extra special if you are travelling
with your JourneyKiddies. Website: http://www.vam.ac.uk/vastatic/nmc/
JourneyBankers and JourneyAccountants! A site not
many people know about is the Bank
of England Museum (Bartholomew
Lane) situated between Liverpool Street station and
St. Paul's on the tube. The Museum is housed within
the Bank of England itself so it is closed on holidays
and weekends. It details the history of banking in
the UK -- visitors are invited to hold a real gold
ingot and read documents relating to famous customers
such as the Duchess of Marlborough, George Washington
and Horatio Nelson. Entry is gratis.
absolute favourite museum in London is the Museum
of London (nearest tube Barbican).
Their website describes it as, "a quarter of a million
years of history ... our collections include over
a million items." It's built right next to part of
the old city wall and offers changing exhibitions
as well as different galleries giving the history
of London. Recently they built a mock-up of a Roman
town and employed actors to staff it. It's got a great
atmosphere and also has a garden with examples of
gardening styles throughout the ages. All galleries
and most temporary exhibitions are free. Website:
fun "no cost" thing to do is to visit the parks --
you can even hand-feed the squirrels in Regent's
Park; they're so tame. There
are also lovely children's play areas if you are travelling
with youngsters - Coram's
Fields (near Great Ormand Street
hospital) is the most amazing play area I have ever
seen. They also run workshops and drop-in sessions.
For further information, click
of the least expensive ways of seeing the sights is
to get a travelcard
and find one of the bus routes that goes past all
the attractions. Take a guidebook if you like, sit
on the top deck of a city bus, and hey-presto, you're
doing a sightseeing tour without having to fork out
loads of cash for an open-top tourist bus (freezing
most of the year anyway). Travelcards also give you
a discount on the river boats - another nice way to
see the city relatively cheaply.
a trip to Greenwich
where you can see the Cutty
Sark ship, Tiger
Moth plane, the world's only
museum, play in the park and
go to the Royal
Observatory - where you can
stand on and jump over the meridian line. The most
fun way to get there is by DLR (Docklands Light Railway)
- these trains are part of the underground system,
but are overground, go up and down hills and have
"no driver." It feels as if you're on a very slow
roller-coaster. Once you get off the DLR, take the
foot-tunnel to Greenwich. If you want a bit of variety,
I believe you can get a river boat back to London.
Lots of fun for children, too.
costs nothing to walk the Millennium
bridge from St. Paul's and
then have a look round the Tate
Modern. The museum is housed
in a converted power station -- interesting even if
you think you don't like modern art. Bonus -- This
building has a lovely, large space in the old turbine
halls which is perfect for exercising toddlers on
a rainy day. Website: http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/default.htm
on your circular riverside walk, go along the South
Bank where there
is an interesting pancake stall on the plaza near
the film museum. Then when you choose, walk back across
the next bridge and retrace your steps to the Tate.
This is best done just before sunset (but take note
that while it may be romantic in summer, bridgewalking
is freezing during the winter).
you have the budget for an extravagance, experience
Eye (also called the Millennium
Wheel). Try to get there just
before dark, then you can see London in the light
and floodlit. Pre-booking is advised. There is a nice
playground out the back - the ride itself takes about
1/2 an hour. Apparently, you can even get married
or book a conference in one of the capsules if you'd
you're involved in Girl Guiding there are several
places in London you can stay centrally, safely and
quite reasonably. These include Baden
Powell House (http://www.scoutbase.org.uk/hq/bph)
Discounted rates include breakfast as well. Groups
can stay for one night at ICANDO
(which is also a hands-on Guiding history museum -
lovely shop too). It's located at 17-19 Buckingham
Palace Road. Visit:
http://www.girlguiding.org.uk to find out more.
you want to eat cheaply, make use of all the mini-versions
of the big supermarkets that are in central London
etc). This is much cheaper than eating out all the
is never free but Oxford
Circus has two huge budget-shopping
stores. Walk along the road with the Borders book
shop on it for the slightly less crowded H&M -- you'll
find more bargains there. I hear that Camden
market sells weird and wonderful
things. I haven't been there myself but it might be
fun to try. In both these crowded places hold on to
your valuables. This is where pickpockets love to
don't forget to get out of London - go camping in
Forest (nearest tube -Theydon
Bois). There's a lovely campsite there, or get a train
and explore the rest of the country. I recommend East
Anglia, but then I'm biased.
I live there. Happy inexpensive travelling, everybody!
money at Harrods...
find that the Food Department at Harrod's (on the lower
level) is a treasure trove for inexpensive gifts - out
of this world teas,
some of them in very attractive tins, real British biscuits
-- also some in tins, marmalades, chutney, etc. Whenever
I have a friend traveling to London I ask for a box of
Harrod's Camomile and Spiced Apple Tea - or Herbal Infusion
- a delicious combination I haven't found anywhere else.
A box of 25 tea bags (oops - I mean sachets) costs 3.5
euro (under $US5.00)!