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Nick Turpin

Eight New Year’s resolutions every Londoner should make

Want to make 2019 the year you live your best London life? Take our challenge to make the most of all the fantastic free and affordable events and activities the capital has to offer – and check out these tips on getting fitter, healthier and more cultured


Ah, New Year’s resolutions. We’ve all made them and we’ve all broken them. So, this New Year, how about setting yourself some resolutions that you can definitely stick to? And what if those same goals could help save you some cash, keep you active and get you exploring more of this fine city along the way? We’ve teamed up with Transport for London to bring you eight awesome resolutions that’ll do just that. Thanks to TfL’s affordable off-peak fares (starting at just £1.50) and free or discounted travel across London for kids with a Zip Oyster photocard, it’s incredibly easy to save money when getting around the city you love. New year, new you!

Remember to check TfL Journey Planner before you travel and always touch in and out with the same card or device to pay the right fare.


1. Discover the gems of the outer zones

We don’t need to tell you that London is big. Huge. None of us have managed to explore each and every treasure in the capital – but you can try, by making it your mission to tick off as many amazing places in Zones 2-6 as possible. Start with our list of these 19 amazing places in outer London: some highlights include the grand and fascinating Ham House in Richmond, the lush Hollow Pond in Snaresbrook and the Insta-worthy Wimbledon Windmill.
Getting to Ham House Overground or District line to Richmond, then 65 bus.
Local bus routes 65, 371.
Getting to Hollow Pond Central line to Snaresbrook.
Local bus routes 66, W12, W13, W14.
Getting to Wimbledon Windmill District line to Wimbledon, then 93 bus.
Local bus routes 93.

Need a bit more arts, culture and community spirit in your life? We think you’ll want to hear more about the exciting things going on in Waltham Forest this year. The Mayor of London awarded the North East region the illustrious title of the first-ever London Borough of Culture. Whether you’re a lifelong Waltham Forest resident, new to the area or you live on the other side of town, you’re more than welcome to make the most of the huge programme of events, festivals, exhibitions and more that will take place throughout the year. The celebrations kick off on January 11-13 with a huge ‘Welcome to the Forest’ party. Local heroes will be front and centre: there’ll be a performance by Leytonstone boy and former Mercury Prize winner Talvin Singh, unveiling an original audiovisual piece that will tell the story of the borough. There’ll also be a street market, sound and light installations and more. Make sure you check out the full programme and start planning your year of culture: other highlights include a festival from music collective Africa Express (featuring founding member Damon Albarn) in March, the Chingford May Day Fayre in May and, in October and November, a large-scale free outdoor installation called ‘Molecules on the Marshes’, in an as-yet-to-be-revealed location.
Getting to Walthamstow Central Victoria line or Overground to Walthamstow Central. 
Local bus routes
 20, 34, 48, 58, 69, 97, 123, 212, 215, 230, 257, 275, 357, 675, N26, N73.

Go on fun family adventures for less

3. Go on fun family adventures for less

After the financial drain of Christmas and New Year, everyone could do with saving the pennies. Handily, this is something that your kids can help with. With a Zip Oyster photocard, five to ten-year-olds can travel free on all Tube, DLR, London Overground and TfL Rail services. Apply for a Zip Oyster photocard today by going to What’s more, up to four children under 11 travel free on bus, Tube, tram, DLR and most London Overground services at any time when accompanied by an adult. Simple!

Become an off-peak guru

4. Become an off-peak guru

To get 2019 off to a flying start, tap into the wonderful world of off-peak. Off-peak fares apply at times when you’ll most likely be going out and having fun: after 7pm on weekdays, plus all weekends and those glorious few bank holidays! Start here for loads of recommendations on making the most of off-peak. It’s a real money-saver: you can travel into Zones 2-6 for £1.50, and into Zone 1 from £2.40 on all Tube, DLR and most London Overground services.

Take advantage of the Cultural TfL Map

5. Take advantage of the Cultural TfL Map

There’s nothing like waking up in the morning and setting off on an unexpected adventure. One of the best ways to do that is with the Cultural TfL Map. Our interactive map of TfL’s network has loads of Time Out-recommended museums, galleries, street art works and more, all of which are just a few minutes’ walk from each station. All you need to do is click on a station, check out what’s nearby, and start exploring. What’s more, heaps of these activities are free! To kick things off, why not explore the line you live on? For example, if you live near the Victoria line, click on Vauxhall on the map, you could have a day that involves meeting cute animals at Vauxhall City Farm, encountering contemporary art at Cabinet Gallery, getting active in the calming Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and catching a cabaret show at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.
Getting to Vauxhall City Farm, Cabinet Gallery, Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and the Royal Vauxhall Tavern Victoria line to Vauxhall. 
Local bus routes 2, 36, 77, 87, 156, 185, 196, 344, 360, 436, 452.

Be a happy Hopper
Photograph: Eleanor Bentall

6. Be a happy Hopper

Buses in London are a wonderful thing. TfL is creating the biggest, greenest bus fleet in Europe, with over 3,000 hybrid and 150 zero emission buses – and what’s more, 90% of Londoners live within 400 metres of a bus stop. The best part? The Hopper fare lets you catch as many buses and trams as you like within an hour, all for £1.50. Starting from when you first tap in, you won’t be charged extra for other bus or tram journeys within 60 minutes, meaning you can hop-on and hop-off as much as you jolly well please. Start taking advantage of the Hopper fare in 2019 to save yourself cash and explore more of London. For a fun and affordable outing, check out TfL’s bus leisure routes. There are five to choose from, ranging from a jaunt through London’s museums and palaces to a journey to seven major markets.

Get schooled

7. Get schooled

Finally get round to learning how to meditate/keep bees/play guitar at a workshop or adult education course. There are spots all over the capital that offer fun and affordable ways to learn a new skill. Craft-lovers are spoiled for choice: studios like The Kiln Rooms in Peckham run one-off taster sessions for pottery; or you could try your hand at weaving at The London Loom at Hackney Downs Studios, or head to Collage Club's sessions around town for nostalgic crafty fun. You can also check out your local library for free workshops, or hit up art galleries like the Tate Modern for fascinating free talks. Feel like getting active? For something a little left-field, why not channel your energy into women's feminist wrestling collective Eve Wrestling School, or throw Quaffles at the London Unspeakables Quidditch club?
Getting to The Kiln Rooms Overground to Peckham Rye.
Local bus routes 
12, 37, 63, 78, 197, 343, 363, 484, P12.
Getting to The London Loom Overground to Rectory Road.
Local bus routes 67, 76, 149, 243, 276.
Getting to Tate Modern Jubilee line to Southwark. 
Local bus routes 45, 63, 100, RV1, 381, 344. 
Getting to Eve Wrestling School Central line to Bethnal Green. 
Local bus routes 8, 106, 254, 309, 388, D3, D6.

See your city from a new angle

8. See your city from a new angle

Stepping out of your everyday routine and seeing a little bit more of London can be as simple as incorporating some walking into your daily commute. It’s also an easy way to keep active every time you travel. Another nifty way to experience your city in a new way is by bike – so why not try hopping on a Santander Cycle? You’ll pay as little as £2 for your trip, and all you need is your bank card – they now accept contactless payments. You can also download the Santander Cycle mobile app, which allows you to hire bikes and find available docking stations in the in-built map.

Get there for less!

We know that affordable, convenient public transport is the key to accessing the best that London has to offer – and thanks to TfL’s affordable off-peak fares and other discounts across the network, the possibilities for adventure are wider than ever. Here, you'll find plenty more unexpected and exciting off-peak outings.

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