Days Out

Nothing beats Christmas in London

You spent last Christmas in Paris and the one before that in Berlin. You don’t know where you would like to go to spend the cold but buzzing Christmas season this year, but you would still like to get away.

Christmas In London

If you like to experience a shopping spree like no other, followed by some mulled wine in a cosy pub, then look no further: London is your next destination. Cobbled and picturesque streets, gorgeous Christmas lights and seasonal weather will make you want to pack the beautiful coat you have just purchased and head to the capital of the United Kingdom and the cultural capital of the world!

Here’s how to travel in style:

The Hotel

Finding accommodation in one of the busiest cities in Europe is sometimes challenging, with many hotels being extremely overpriced and others far from the city centre. Moxy London Stratford offers you a unique experience at a great price. This modern hotel in the East of the city is perfectly located with the beautiful Olympic Park just a few minutes walk away and great transport connections to the town centre.

The Restaurant

Fancy trying some great food but don’t want to splash the cash? Head to the centre of town and venture into Chinatown, London’s Chinese quarter. With plenty of restaurants to choose from, this area will become one of your favourite spots in the city if you are a lover of Chinese and Asian food. Try Jen Cafe for a cosy restaurant with homemade food that includes dumplings and BBQ pork. The cafe will enamour you with its great cuisine and nice staff.

The Pub

“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life” said Samuel Johnson, and he is right! With the thousands of pubs this historic city boasts, there is one to suit every taste. Rustic, modern, minimalist…choose your pick! The Spaniards Inn in Hampstead is known for being one of the city’s oldest pubs. Established in 1585, the likes of Byron and Dickens were once its clientele. Head there for some great ales and lager!

The Shop

London is known for the exquisite shopping you can do whilst visiting the city. Oxford Street, the town’s main commercial hub, tends to be quite crowded in the run up to Christmas, but you might just beat the crowds if you are up early and head there before everyone else does. Selfridges, close to Bond Street Station, sells everything from perfume and makeup to clothes and accessories. The price tag ain’t cheap, but if you fancy treating yourself, this is definitely the place to go.

If you are planning an escapade this Christmas, make London your destination. Its wonderful architecture will captivate you and its narrow streets will make you want to get lost in the city’s buzzing and electrifying fabric. If you would like to shop for bits ‘n bobs and have a chin wag with a local, book that trip…now!

How to visit London on a budget

Heading off to the big city with just a bit of pocket money doesn’t immediately seem like something we’d want to do. With such an amazing nightlife, it would almost be rude not to enjoy it, right? It is, in fact, possible to explore the city without spending a full months pay on it – as long as you know where to look.

Here is a neat guide to help you enjoy London even though you’re on a strict budget so that you get to enjoy travelling a bit more often.

Face the tube

Let’s start with the easiest first. London has a fabulous public transport system, and it would be a shame not to take advantage of it. While the city is big, it also has a lot of people and many of them happen to be on the tube as well, making it a crowded and warm experience.

By coming to terms with the crowd and familiarising yourself with the tube system, it all becomes a bit more manageable, though, so try not to wimp out and order a cab every time. I first time I used the tube I had to double and triple check the maps to make sure I was going on the right line and in the right direction.

Besides, when you use the public transport system and get yourself an Oyster card, you get to explore the city like a local. They wouldn’t spend their hard-earned money on those overpriced cabs, so why should you?

If you’d like to sit down somewhere more relaxed and be served for once, it’s a good idea to check out a shisha lounge or two – they have great food and a relaxed atmosphere, making it a perfect place to spend a few hours with your friends.

Use the freebies

It’s really easy for tourists to save money as long as they take advantage of all the free things to do in the city. The British Museums, Tate Modern, and the National Gallery are just a few examples of great things to enjoy for absolutely nothing. It’s cultural too – and even a bit educational if you pay attention.

Walking around in the parks, admiring the Thames, and experiencing the Changing of the guards are also fun alternatives that will cost you nothing except for the energy you spend on getting there – or a tiny amount of your oyster fare.

Since you’re probably in the city to do a bit of shopping, why not check out some of the charity and secondhand shops too? Blitz is a well-known option, and they have a vast selection of cool preloved clothes that would just love to join you back home.

The wonderful markets

Booking a table at Duck and Waffle with a magnificent view of the Shard is a great time to spend your afternoon, but not the best alternative when you’re on a budget. Steer clear of the overpriced restaurants and eat at the local markets instead – buy your groceries there as well, by the way, if you’re money-wise enough to stay somewhere with a kitchen.

Borough Market is a great alternative, but you’ll also find excellent street food options at Camden Market. The portions they serve are usually gigantic too, so it should keep you full for a while.

There is always lots of other ways to save money while in London, dealsdaddy have a fabulous selection of online discount codes. Hotels, restaurants, travel or even if you are looking to book a flight to the city. Whatever you are doing in London, I hope you have a wonderful time and save lots of pennies while doing so.

Sightseeing with London Duck Tours

Recently the Hubby and I had a child free overnight stay in London, which doesn’t happen very often. I love our amazing capital city. It’s full of history and heritage. During the last year I have been to London 5 or 6 times, which has been amazing, attending various different events but this time the Hubby joined me.

London Duck Tours

As we are not the most decisive people in the world, other than going for a lovely meal at the OXO Tower, we couldn’t decide what to do while we visited.  We have never really just visited to be tourists. On this trip we fancied doing a London Bus tour, but then London Duck Tours got in contact asking if we would like to join them for a sightseeing tour. We had both heard great things about the Duck Tours as my Brother-In-Law had been on them a couple of times before, so we went for it.

London Duck Tour

The Ducks were originally used in the Second World War, to unload troops and cargo straight onto beaches, after so many docks had been destroyed. The Ducks have been rebuilt and modified to meet todays regulations.

The Tour

Arriving in London to the start of the Duck Tour on York Road, we released as it was the Queens Birthday. So the Classic Tour of Westminster was not possible. I was a bit disappointed as I loved the thought of going past Buckingham Palace, St James Palace and Westminster Abbey. Instead we went on ‘The City Tour’ which is used when they are unable to go via the Classic Route.

London Duck Tour

We went past the Royal Courts of Justice, Fleet Street, the magnificent St Pauls Cathedral, being informed of different snippets of history along the way by Ben the rather cute English man with an New Zealand accent.

London Duck Tour

On to the Bank of England, learning about its vaults and how a tube line has to go around the underground vaults. The Monument to the Fire of London, the Tower of London and seeing HMS Belfast sitting on the water.

London Duck Tour

Across to The Shard, Southwark Cathedral and the Imperial War Museum. My Hubby was very impressed by all of the information we had been given. He’s a bit of a history geek so knows a fair amount anyway, but even he learnt a few bits.

London Duck Tour

We headed onto the water next to MI6 which was a bumpy ride down the river bank into the water, getting onto the water it was surprisingly cold. We sailed the up the Thames to the Houses of Parliament. Seeing the Elizabeth Tower, mistakenly called – Big Ben, from the water was lovely.

London Duck Tour

We headed up a the Thames before turning around and heading back to the starting point at York Road.

London Duck Tour

We had a fabulous trip with London Duck Tours, I would highly recommended anyone booking a trip. They are such a novel way of seeing the sights of London in an humorous yet informative manner. Next time we are in London, I shall make sure that there isn’t a big event going on so I am able to do the Classic tour.

*We were given tickets for the Duck Tour in exchange for review, as always thoughts and opinions are my own*