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London, United Kingdom

London Guide - Spend Less, Do More

London skylineYou've seen the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, all from the comfort of your seat on one of London's red double decker buses. But some of the best London experiences you can have are inexpensive and don't require you to follow the hordes of tourists.

The best things in life are free!

The swanky establishment of the Savoy mightn't be the first thing you think of for a cheap outing, but its small museum displays a unique collection of artefacts from the hotel's rich history. Catch a glimpse of the first edition of bartender Harry Craddock's vintage Savoy Cocktail Book or playwright Noel Coward's lighter and cigarette case.

A walk by the Thames might sound fairly low key, but be on the look out for a unique hidden gem near the Thames Barrier. The Diver sculpture was installed by John Kaufman and is the only sculpture installed in the River Thames. Even more peculiar than that, the sculpture can only be seen at low tide since it is completely submerged by the river at high tide.

Head to the north of London for a wander around the Abney Park Cemetery where you may spot a famous gravestone or two. Salvation Army founder William Booth is buried here along with lion tamer Frank Bostock who's said to have discovered that lions are frightened of chairs. But don't despair if looking at gravestones is not your thing, the park also offers one-of-a-kind lessons in wood and stone carving.

For the price of lunch

Head to Lower Marsh Saturday Food market to avoid the throngs of tourists and shop for the freshest of produce with the locals. Prepare your own authentic English meal with specialties for sale including Somerset cheeses, loose leaf teas and biodynamic fruit and vegetables.

London tube and big benIf you'd rather sit back and relax, head to Bistrotheque in Bethnal Green for Brunch. Serving a combination of French Bistro and Modern British cuisine, this airy converted warehouse is one of the more unique places to grab a bite to eat. If that wasn't enough, as you eat you'll be able to enjoy the dulcet tones of new wave classics on piano.

The accommodation was cheap, so be a bit extravagant and…

Rent a barge and float along Regent's canal. Avoid the crowds and see the attractions along the canal from the comfort of the barge including London Zoo and Camden Lock. Be sure to stop by Camden Passage, hidden away behind Upper Street in Islington, where its array of antique shops are the perfect place to pick up a distinctly London souvenir.

For more intrepid travelers (and lovers of beer) try one of the world's most famous pub crawls along the London Underground's Circle Line. Starting at Baker Street station, the aim is to have a half pint at a pub of your choosing near each subway station. The circle line consists of 27 stations so this pub crawl will test even the most experienced drinkers but will leave you with a truly memorable experience.

Ghostly Goings On takes a different angle on the multitude of London's historic buildings. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, visiting one of these paranormal sites will spook and thrill even the bravest of guests. Whether you're into castles, mansions or jails, Ghostly Goings On will tickle your senses and send shivers up your spine.

If that sounds too terrifying, why not safely enjoy a Fringe Theatre Show. Away from the hype and crowds of the West End, the fringe theatre collection of small, unsubsidised theatres is where the locals turn to for performances that include everything from the most popular hit plays to revivals of long-forgotten musicals.

If the hustle and bustle of the big smoke has tired you out, why not get up early, hire a car and drive 3hrs to the picturesque Jurassic Coast. The white chalk cliffs of the coast surround some of Britain's most pristine beaches with unusually clean sand and calm waters. Hiking along one of the many channels, with spectacular views of the countryside and the English Channel, it's easy to see why the Jurassic Coast is one of Britain's most beautiful World Heritage Sites.

Spend Less, Do More

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