Visiting London on the Cheap

Written by Karen Bryan

trafalgar squareI managed to book a room for £15 a night for three nights at the Tune King’s Cross Hotel in London for a stay in January 2014. I thought if I was going to visit London on the cheap, I’d better search for the lowest price train tickets.

I had enough East Coast Rewards points to get a free single standard class ticket. I did some price comparisons and checked availability of the free tickets to decide if I should get the free ticket for the outward or return leg of the journey. As I was able to find a standard single ticket from Berwick upon Tweed to London King’s Cross for only £16.50, I redeemed my East Coast Rewards points for trip back home. I was able to book train departing from King’s Cross in the late afternoon; usually tickets for this time are quite pricey.

Before booking the train, I checked that I could leave my luggage at the Tune Hotel. My usual London budget hotel chain, Travelodge, don’t offer a left luggage facility, which is a real pain.  Tune Hotels will keep your luggage, but charge £2.50 per item of luggage.

My stay at the Tune Hotel King’s Cross is on a room only basis. I will buy some fruit and croissants to eat in my room for breakfast. I know that I can get a decent Indian buffet lunch for £8 at the Poppadom Express in Bloomsbury.

Tune Hotels are really no-frills, you don’t even get a towel or any toiletries. I have some old towels I will take and bin after use. As the hotel is close to King’s Cross Railway Station having the additional weight of towels and toiletries won’t be too much of an issue with my wheelie case.

As King’s Cross is a pretty central location, I should save money on London Underground and bus fares as I’ll be able to walk to many attractions. If I do use public transport I have an Oyster Card which offers cheaper fares.

Most of museums in London are free to enter, plus they’re a weatherproof attraction for a visit to London in the Winter. I’ll be using my January John Lewis voucher for free cake and a hot drink at the Oxford Street store when visiting the nearby Wallace Collection.