London is an expensive city and most of the tourist attractions have a nice price tag too! But how can you see London on the cheaper side?
Easy – use the lovely London buses, not the hop on hop off tour bus, but the big red buses run by Transport for London (TfL).
They are a great way to see the city, just try not to use them during peak time when Londoners are getting to and from work. This is usually between 6 am – 10 am and 4 pm – 7 pm.
How to See London on the Cheaper Side?
You can travel on the bus for as little as £1.50! So, top up your Oyster Card or use your contactless debit or credit card and you are well away.
You not going to have commentary of the sights in London, but the next stop is always announced when it’s approaching and when you’re there.
Just remember to press the button if you would like to get off and get near to the exit door as London bus drivers don’t hang around!
Whilst I was in London, I stayed in the Kensal area which is in West London. While in West London you must see Knightsbridge, Kensington, Belgravia, Chelsea and Notting Hill.
I was there in March and it should have been the start of Spring, but of course, it snowed! It was freezing between the wind and the snow.
As it was snowing, travelling by bus was the best way to see the sights. We managed to get a seat on the top deck at the front of the bus, so we had a great view.
We saw Kensington Palace (residence of Prince William and Kate Middleton, as well as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle).
Kensington Gardens, the Royal Albert Hall, Harvey Nichols, Sloane Square, up to Chelsea Bridge and then went back on ourselves on the same route and stopped on the Portobello Road in Notting Hill.
Portobello Road in Notting Hill
We walked down Portobello Road to see the market, colourful buildings and the quirky shops.
The snow got pretty crazy, so we stopped for a coffee to warm us up! Portobello Market is known for its antiques and vintage finds.
Whilst in Notting Hill, we went to see the famous ‘Blue Door’ from the film Notting Hill.
No Huge Grant though, just a blue door! Although even in the snow, the infamous door was surrounded by tourists.
Pie & Mash
On the top of the Portobello Road, we went to a traditional Pie and Mash Shop, called Cockney’s. This is one of the oldest types of food in London and the most traditional.
What is a Pie and Mash Shop? It is a café that sells meat pies, mashed potatoes with liquor or gravy.
Historically, pie and mash shops were everywhere in London, being a cheap meal to eat and the eels were caught straight from the River Thames. The liquor was originally made from eels; today it is a green sauce made from parsley.
As I was in London on a Sunday we went to the Parlour in Kensal Green. It is a great place to have a traditional Sunday roast dinner but also specialises in quintessential British food using local and seasonal produce.
It is also listed in the top 50 gastropubs in the UK. They are also famous for their soda bread and a dessert list to die for, including the classic artic roll! This place gives British food a good name!
Bus Route: 452 Kensal Rise to Vauxhall – vice versa back.
Bus route – started in Kensal Green, down Ladbroke Grove, through Notting Hill, Kensington Church Street, Kensington High Street, past Kensington Palace and Kensington Gardens, Royal Albert Hall, through Knightsbridge (Harrods & Harvey Nichols), down Sloane Avenue (all the designer shops), around Sloane Square which is Chelsea, Chelsea bridge and by the river in Battersea and then back the same route and wandered around the Portobello Road in Notting Hill.
Weather: Winter: 0* – 8*C / Spring 8* – 15*C / Summer 16* – 22*
Currency: Pound Sterling
I hope you enjoyed reading about London and how to see the city a cheaper way.
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Love Lucy x