Cheap days out in London

0

Comments

Add +

Our selection of six belt-tightening itineraries to help you have fun on a budget



The toughest thing about a day out with kids is that the little blighters can’t pay their own way. We’ve allocated £20 per blighter in this itinerary, and £40 per adult.

Start the day in Covent Garden

© Susannah Stone

Most kids are happy to spend hours watching Covent Garden's (1) juggling/magic/painted-statue acts – and the truth is that some of them are quite impressive. Make sure you go prepared with a stash of small denomination coins.



Hit the shops

© Heloise Bergman

There are two shops in the Covent Garden area with a nostalgic appeal likely to enchant all ages. Benjamin Pollock’s Toy Shop (2) has been selling toy theatres in Covent Garden since the 1880s. These days stock includes charming music boxes and sewing cases.

Be firm; tell the kids it’s looking-only on this occasion but be prepared to splash a little cash at relative newcomer to the area Hope & Greenwood (3), a traditional sweetie shop, where the gobstoppers are stored in glass jars and you can get sugar-free gummy bears.

Take in some culture

Topolski Century Topolski Century

Next, take a walk across Waterloo Bridge (4) and head to the Royal Festival Hall (5) to take advantage of the free loos and check out an exhibition. You can also visit Topolski Century (6), a vast rambling mural by the Polish expressionist Feliks Topolski in a railway arch close to Waterloo Station, which records many of the key events and important figures of the twentieth century.

Grab something to eat

At some point you’ll want to refuel. There are sandwiches for sale in both the Royal Festival Hall and the National Theatre (7) (and quiet spots where you could buy a drink and eat a discreet packed lunch) but there’s a handy branch of Pizza Express (8), and the chain’s a family favourite with good reason.

Visit an underwater wonderland

Round off your fun-but-frugal day with a trip to the London Aquarium (9); children will be entranced for hours and the ticket is cheaper if you buy online.

Buy London Aquarium tickets


Users say

24 comments
londont
londont

Does this person who put this together actually live in or visited London? I live in London with a 6 year old and have great days out for NOTHING...

Nick
Nick

Why not visit Charlton Athletic this saturday? ONLY £5 ANY SEAT, ANY AGE BRACKET! WWW.CAFC.CO.UK or check the #footballforafiver on twitter. UNMISSABLE

Bevis Man
Bevis Man

Must admit, as cheap days out go, this itinerary is pretty rubbish. Come on Time Out, try a bit harder than suggesting we spend our time watching the crap street performers at Covent Garden.

LIN
LIN

taking two teenage girls for the week-end, looking for a reasonable price for the week-end but its not this one !!!

Jamie Claret
Jamie Claret

London Aquarium and Cheap in the same sentance - errrr?!

lilly
lilly

Some of us have very different ideas about what the word 'cheap' means. My son and I have wonderful days in London armed with just a flask of coffee and a couple of scotch eggs. This article is an insult to everyone who has clicked on this page and an insult to our fantastic city. It is confusing and upsetting...but above all absolutely ridiculous!

Growler
Growler

Looks like my subscription ran out at just the right time.

bibi
bibi

zzzzzzz you must be kidding me

James
James

As my students would say " epic fail!"

AndyOC
AndyOC

I have to agree with everyone else. An extremely poor article - not cheap and doesn't sound much fun either!

nicholasallen
nicholasallen

Have to agree with everybody else. This article sounds like it has been written by somebody reading a poor london guide book aimed at tourists with money to spend rather than someone who lives here and knows how to get the best out of the city for as little as possible. 9/10 Londoners on the street could give better suggestions than this.

Jo Cunliffe
Jo Cunliffe

Disappointing and unimaginative. Cheap should mean cheap - £40 per adult is not cheap by most standards. This article fails to deliver, and should be re-classed as a 'good value family day out'. Please re-commission and try again.

Solitude Skye
Solitude Skye

The feature dosen''t lend itself to what the article was meant to be about As others have pointed out in erm a variety of different ways this is actually rather expensive. I could have written a much better article about Cheap days out in London ,maybe i will get something together and send it to you. Readers deserve so much better and Time Out normally delivers.This time however you didn't.

MONKEY IN A SPACE SUIT
MONKEY IN A SPACE SUIT

WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH, SACK THE EDITOR WHO ALLOWED THIS TO GET PRINTED AS 'CHEAP' ! !

Gaby
Gaby

Reading this actually made me angry. Whilst there are a few (literally, a few) good suggestions here, these articles should should not be billed as "cheap". £5.50 for a cuppa tea? I don't care if it's at the frigging Savoy, that's just ludicrous for someone watching the pennies. Yesterday I had a brilliant day out: travel, lunch, a delicious chai latte, Ghostbusters at the best cinema in London...all for £7.90! Beat that Time Out.

Gaby
Gaby

Reading this actually made me angry. Whilst there are a few (literally, a few) good suggestions here, these articles should should not be billed as "cheap". £5.50 for a cuppa tea? I don't care if it's at the frigging Savoy, that's just ludicrous for someone watching the pennies. Yesterday I had a brilliant day out: travel, lunch, a delicious chai latte, Ghostbusters at the best cinema in London...all for £7.90! Beat that Time Out.

Diana B.
Diana B.

whoever thought of this feature forgot that it's supposed to be cheap!

sam
sam

any day which starts at covent garden is never gonna be cheap, i have found this to my cost

Kim Smith
Kim Smith

I went straight to this feature only to find that it was rather an expensive day out. You are normally very good at this sort of thing but on this occasion I think you have failed.

Johnny Nelson
Johnny Nelson

It has to be said that this seems like a pretty expensive day for a "cheap day out" shops, pizza express AND the London aquarium. Families of 4 are surely going to be looking at shelling out around £100 on a day like this! Go for a walk in the park and fly a kite. Go to a museum. there are innumberable FREE things to do in our great city.