City Profile: London on a budget

Houses of Parliament August 2017
The scaffolding isn't there all the time, promise...
One of the most populated cities in the world and a historic centre bursting with culture, London is one of my favourite cities. Having started visiting the capital when I was twelve, the city has continued to awe inspire me and I love when I got to be a 'typical toursist' over the summer as I was showing my American friend what England's capital has to offer. However, I am also a student and with London being one of the most expensive cities in the world, £5.00 for a small white wine doesn't sound great to many people. So I'm here to help you out and show you that London can be done on a budget.




Museums

Luckily, most of the museums in London are free! However, with so many to choose from it is impossible that all can be done so I would recommend first visiting the British Museum, a true icon of the city. Founded in 1753, anything from every corner of the globe can be found here and is truly one of the greatest collections in the world. If you have the time, pop into the Reading Room and you will be stunned at how truly beautiful it is and want to grab a book to read in such a picturesque setting.

Entrance Hall
Last weekend I re-visited the Imperial War Museum for the first time since I was fourteen years old  and it was just as amazing the second time round. The building is beautiful, originally the Bethlem Royal Hospital, located on Lambeth Road and about 15 minutes from Westminster Bridge (I got lost and didn't see the signs, so just keep your eyes peeled!). I freaked out when I saw a Spitfire and Hurricane suspended from the incredibly high ceiling and with four floors to explore, the museum explores life on the front lines to life in Britain from World War One to Afghanistan.

The exhibition that cannot be missed is the Holocaust Exhibition on the fourth floor. At the age of fourteen it had a profound affect on me and at twenty it still does. It illustrates how ordinary people had their ordinary lives torn apart and really drives home the impact of the Holocaust.




Attempting to contain our excitement!
If you are willing to spend a little bit of money and are a giant nerd (which if you are reading my blog, you most likely are), pop down to Baker Street for something very special. 221B Baker Street exists! Well, Sherlock Holmes never lived there in reality but you will find the Sherlock Holmes Museum which is a visual representation of Conan Doyle's legendary consulting detective's base of operation. There are figurines, references and Easter eggs alluding to the various stories, including Irene Adler, Professor Moriarty, a head of a hound from 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' and so many more that made my little nerdy heart burst. It costs £15, but if you are a fan of the novels, RDJ films or the BBC show, it is well worth a visit!







Sightseeing

The National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square
London is such a walk-able city that if you want to see all of the main tourist sights here is my recommendation. Take the Jubilee line to Westminster Underground stop where you will immediately come across Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. To the right of them will be Parliament Square Gardens and Westminster Abbey, two beautiful locations which if it is your first time to London you should definitely visit. Making another right on to Parliament Street will lead you pass many famous landmarks and areas of Central London including the Cenotaph, Horse Guards Parade, Downing Street, and ending up at Trafalgar Square. From there, you can make a slight left down the Mall and find yourself walking down one of the most regal streets in all of the country as it leads you to Buckingham Palace. If you can, Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace is at 11:00am every morning and watching the Guards take part in a ceremonial tradition is really something that must be seen for yourself. Sightseeing in London is mostly free and are all within walking distance of one another, and you get some good exercise so you can get your 10,000 steps in!


Top tip: forget about finding some fancy café to drink your tea or coffee in. Grab a takeaway drink and go a sit in one of London's amazing green parks. Surrounding Buckingham Palace are three beautiful parks: St. James' Park is to the west of the palace, Green Park is to the east giving you access to Oxford Street and Marble Arch, whilst Buckingham Palace Gardens to the north. For one of the busiest cities in the world, these parks are extremely serene and really make you feel like you are not in the centre of London.





If you enjoyed reading this, feel free to leave a comment as well as follow me on Instagram and Twitter. Comic Con is two months so expect some great posts about how to survive your first Con, Comic Con essentials and how to get your cosplay plans off the ground! See you all soon.

- Katie




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