london

21 Cheap Date Ideas In London

Save your pennies.

We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share their favourite budget London tip. Here’s what they said:

1. Visit the Hunterian Museum

 

Budget: Free

“One of the best and most overlooked museums in my opinion is the Hunterian Museum, which is a 5 min walk from Holburn station. It’s kinda creepy, but SO interesting. It’s full of preserved specimens, medical equipment, skulls/skeletons, abnormalities, that kinda thing.”

Suggested by Steff Louise Gros on Facebook

2. Get crafty at Drink Shop & Do

Flickr: yukino Creative Commons

Flickr: lastyearsgirl_ Creative Commons

 

Budget: Tea from £2.80

“Drink Shop & Do at King’s Cross have some fab activities including Lego Robots and Lionel Rich-Tea Biscuits – all absolutely free! The only thing you have to fork out for that’s less than a fiver is their delicious cocktails and coffees”.

Suggested by Maz Norton on Facebook

3. Pick up cheap seats at the National Theatre

Flickr: jovriens Creative Commons

Flickr: sofiagk Creative Commons

 

Budget: From £5

“£5 standing tickets at the National Theatre. Just don’t pick Hamlet!”

Suggested by Alex Friend on Facebook

4. Stroll around Camden Market

Flickr: ashlourey / Via Creative Commons

Budget: Free

“Walk around Camden Market. It’s completely free but it’s one of my favourite places in London, just a great, interesting place to visit and see even if you don’t buy anything. A lot of the food is cheap too, I had a lovely mixed Thai curry for just £4 when I was there.”

Suggested by Jack Hessey on Facebook

5. Go for a nature walk

Flickr: annafdd Creative Commons

Flickr: janie_easterman Creative Commons

 

Budget: Free

“The Pergola and Hill Garden near Hampstead Heath, Kenwood House (not free) and grounds (free) on Hampstead Heath, Richmond Park, walking along the riverbank from Richmond to Teddington, grabbing a cheapish lunch in Broadway Market and walking along the canal back to Angel. Plenty of options.”

Suggested by Jo Bromilow on Facebook

6. Buy a snack at Borough Market

Flickr: pablokdc Creative Commons

Flickr: aguichard Creative Commons

 

Budget: Free

“One of my favourite things to do in London, on a Saturday morning, is wander around Borough Market. It can be a little crowded in peak tourist season but the atmosphere is great and if you can resist the temptation to buy all of the Turkish delight, cheese and brownies (something that I’ve never accomplished) then it’s free! That’s true of so many great markets in London.”

Suggested by Louise Brain on Facebook

7. Or find hidden treasures at Maltby Street Market

Flickr: kotomi-jewelry Creative Commons

Flickr: 55935853@N00 Creative Commons

 

Budget: Free

“I love Borough market but it is so crowded so I go to Maltby market just round the corner instead now. if you haven’t been then it’s worth checking it out.”

Suggested by Paul Bee on Facebook

8. Climb the Monument

Flickr: dungodung Creative Commons

Flickr: belowred Creative Commons

 

Budget: £4

“Climb The Monument (£4) and enjoy the amazing view!”

Suggested by jenniferp4536f2b7e

9. Pick up a new read at Books For Free, Stratford

Books For Free

Books For Free

 

Budget: Free

“Go book ‘shopping’ at BooksForFree in the Stratford Centre – they have hundreds of books and you can take up to twelve at a time for you to keep.”

Suggested by 20s0mething

10. Snuggle up at the British Library

Flickr: pakitt Creative Commons

Flickr: chrisjohnbeckett Creative Commons

 

Budget: Free

“The British Library. Could spend days there.”

Suggested by reneed49e0b5534

*Note: The photo on the left is of the reading room at the British Museum, which is another lovely option. It is currently closed.

11. Go window shopping in Covent Garden

Flickr: gcwest Creative Commons

Flickr: stchou Creative Commons

 

Budget: Free

Suggested by emilyg47e5692de

12. Snoop in cabinets at Grant’s Museum

Flickr: leff Creative Commons

Flickr: 97938415@N00 Creative Commons

 

Budget: Free

“Free and amazing.”

Suggested by emmaaliceg

13. Feed the ducks in Hyde Park

Flickr: nasose / Via Creative Commons

Budget: Free (if you have some bread at home)

“Buy a loaf for bread for £1 and feed the ducks at Hyde Park.”

Suggested by /michellec42b0862af

14. Soak up the sun at Dalston Roof Park

Flickr: bqw Creative Commons

Flickr: maureen_barlin Creative Commons

 

Budget: £5

“Dalston Roof Park is a place with great views, and movie screenings, music and art all summer long. It costs just £5 for a membership that is good the entire season. Also, just around the corner is Dalston Eastern Curve Garden. It’s a (free!) urban oasis. You can relax with a cup of coffee or tea, attend a workshop or simply stroll the garden.”

Suggested by joem45ac45347

15. See what’s happening on the South Bank

Flickr: 33459161@N06 Creative Commons

Flickr: lewishamdreamer Creative Commons

 

Budget: Free

“Walk along the South Bank, there’s always something going on, even if it’s skateboarding, same as Covent Garden (although a cup of tea will probably set you back over a fiver!). There’s several art trails through the City too and I love paying a visit to the book sellers by Waterloo – they always have some crazy things.”

Suggested by becik

16. Take a trip on the Emirates Cable Car

Flickr: steveph Creative Commons

Flickr: carltonbrowne Creative Commons

 

Budget: £3.40

“Me and my mum went on the Emirates cable cars yesterday! £3.40 single ticket and we had some amazing views of London.”

Suggested by nataliec47a92351e

17. Soak up some culture at the National Portrait Gallery

Flickr: joeywan Creative Commons

Flickr: joeywan Creative Commons

 

Budget: Free

Suggested by hibahn

18. Say hello to the animals at Hackney City Farm

Flickr: yukino Creative Commons

Flickr: spektrograf Creative Commons

 

Budget: Free

Suggested by @no1cheesecake

19. Go the the top of One New Change

Flickr: raphaelchekroun / Via Creative Commons

Budget: Free

“Wellcome Collection is good, also the view at the top of One New Change is beautiful!”

Suggested by emmag4509041ca

20. Visit the Sky Garden

Flickr: dgeezer Creative Commons

Flickr: davebass5 Creative Commons

 

Budget: Free

“You can also book a day to go to the Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street, also free!”

Suggested by emmag4509041ca

21. Have a pint outside.

Flickr: jacobsurland / Via Creative Commons

Budget: The price of a pint.

“Order a pint, sit outside.” Stuck for ideas? Why not start here.

Suggested by kelseyrivera

If you want to be featured in similar BuzzFeed posts, follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter.

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/ailbhemalone/london-for-under-ps5


London Commuters Are Blown Away By A Little Girl Playing A Street Piano

London is famous for having street pianos dotted throughout open spaces, parks, malls, and waterfront areas. They act as a musical canvas to inspire and produce spontaneous creativity.

Recently, a nine-year-old Icelandic girl named Ásta Dóra Finnsdóttir came across one such piano at the Crossrail Place Roof Garden in Canary Wharf. The unusual and quirky-looking piano, decorated by a local artist, called out to her. She simply couldn’t help but sit down and play “The Turkish March.” Her rendition of the classical song was so breathtaking that commuters stopped in their tracks to take in the beautiful music.

What a talented young lady. I just love how her performance was greeted with such a generous applause and even high fives from the passersby.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/street-piano-girl/


26 Books To Read Before You Move To London

Or after, if you’re already there.

Daniel Dalton / BuzzFeed

There are thousands of books set in London, here are just a select few of them. For books set across different parts of London, I’ve highlighted one place in particular.

1. Constitutional by Helen Simpson

 

In the title story from this collection of shorts, a teacher spends her lunch hour on Hampstead Heath, taking in both the view and the conversations of passers-by.

Recommended for: People watchers.

2. Brick Lane by Monica Ali

Black Swan

 

Monica Ali’s Booker shortlisted debut takes its name and setting from the street at the centre of East London’s Bangladeshi community, as 18-year old Nazneen moves to London from Bangladesh to marry an older man.

Recommended for: The culturally curious.

3. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

BBC Books

 

When young businessman Richard Mayhew saves the life of a girl named Door, he finds himself catapulted into the subterranean world of London Below, a city under the city, filled with fantastical creatures and places at once familiar and yet utterly bizarre.

Recommended for: Daydreamers.

4. A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo

 

Experimental in form, the story follows a young Chinese girl sent from her rural home to London to study English. She renames herself “Z”, and meets an English boyfriend – a 44-year-old bisexual vegetarian who lives in Hackney. The language barrier, as it turns out, is the least of their problems.

Recommended for: International students.

5. Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe

Penguin

 

Nina Stibbe moved to London in 1982, hired as a nanny to the sons of London Review of Books editor Mary-Kay Wilmers and her ex-husband, director Stephan Frears. Cue candid encounters with some of London’s literary elite, as neighbours such as Alan Bennett popped round for dinner.

Recommended for: Budding writers, nannies.

6. The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon

 

A beat novel focusing on poor West Indian migrant workers in 1950s London, as they live and work around Notting Hill and Bayswater.

Recommended for: Beatniks.

7. The Night Watch by Sarah Waters

 

Moving backwards from the post-war lives of four characters, and ending in with their wartime exploits in 1941, The Night Watch moves around London and gives both a compelling account of the city in wartime, and of those forced to traverse it in secret, not for war, but for love.

Recommended for: Those who have ever felt the need to hide themselves.

8. Tunnel Vision by Keith Lowe

MTV Books

 

On the eve of his wedding, Andy makes a drunken bet that he can travel through every single Tube station in a single day. Fail the bet and he won’t be able to collect the Eurostar tickets he needs to get to his wedding in Paris.

Recommended for: Train enthusiasts.

9. White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Hamish Hamilton

 

Zadie Smith’s startling debut, chronicling the lives of two families in a multi-racial North-West London suburb.

Recommended for: Fans of British social satire.

10. Babycakes by Armistead Maupin

Black Swan

 

Predominantly set in San Francisco as part of Maupin’s Tales of the City series, Babycakes contains a London sojourn featuring depictions of the 1980’s gay scene through the eyes of American Michael Tolliver.

Recommended for: Anglophiles.

11. Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Penguin

 

A day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway as she prepares to host a party in her affluent Westminster home, and contemplates issues of class, society, sexuality, politics and love.

Recommended for: Feminists.

12. Londoners by Craig Taylor

 

Taylor interviewed 80 Londoners to paint an oral portrait of the city as told by those who live and work here – from the tube train announcer to the Buckingham Palace guard.

Recommended for: The incurably curious.

13. The Ballad of Peckham Rye by Muriel Spark

 

A Scottish migrant arrives in London and wrecks havoc with the staid existence of Peckham’s working class inhabitants.

Recommended for: Plucky Scots.

14. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

 

Probationary Police Constable Peter Grant is a bit useless at his job, until he discovers a supernatural London hidden amidst the regular one, filled with ghosts, witches, and vampires, and finds himself assigned to the branch of the Met that polices them.

Recommended for: Supernatural fans.

15. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

 

A suburban ghost story set around Highgate Cemetery, as American twins move into a flat bequeathed to them by an aunt they never met.

Recommended for: Literary horror fans.

16. London Fields by Martin Amis

 

A literary murder mystery set in the heart of Hackney, where a teminally ill writer stumbles across both a funeral-crashing young woman, and the plot that will kill her.

Recommended for: Those suffering writer’s block.

17. Damage by Josephine Hart

 

A married MP engages in an affair with his son’s fiancée in this poetic and brutal study of sexuality and human nature.

Recommended for: Politicians.

18. Absolute Beginners by Colin MacInnes

Allison & Busby Classics

 

A young photographer traverses the world of West London cool; rock and roll music, Italian motor scooters, coffee bars and sharp clothes – what would come to be known as Mod culture.

Recommended for: Fans of the swinging 60s.

19. Second-Class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta

 

A Nigerian woman moves to the UK in search of a better life for herself and her children, only to be faced by the grim realities of 1960’s London.

Recommended for: Young parents who think they’ve got it tough.

20. King Rat by China Miéville

Macmillan

 

After the death of his father, Saul Garamond meets the mysterious King Rat, who takes Saul under his wing and pulls him into a centuries old war with the dangerous Piper.

Recommended for: Fans of grown up fairy tales.

21. Notes on a Scandal by Zoë Heller

 

A teacher begins an affair with a troubled student at a North London comprehensive school, risking her job and her family in the process.

Recommended for: Incorrigible gossips.

22. Saturday by Ian McEwan

Vintage

 

Much like Mrs. Dalloway, Saturday takes place over the course of a single day, as the neurosurgeon narrator prepares for a dinner party, navigating post-9/11 terrorism paranoia and pondering the assumed safety of the middle class life he has built.

Recommended for: Existentialists.

23. City of the Mind by Penelope Lively

 

Divorced architect Matthew Halland sees London past and present all at once, as streets and buildings peel back layers and facades before him, offering up both the history of the city and a fresh perspective on his future.

Recommended for: Architecture buffs.

24. Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Random House

 

Regarded as Dickens’ best novel, Bleak House features vivid descriptions of Victorian-era Central London, particularly Chancery Lane and Holborn.

Recommended for: Downton Abbey fans.


15 Bottomless Boozy Brunches In London

Start your day the right way.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed/ New Street Grill/ B&H Buildings

1. New Street Grill at Old Bengal Warehouse

New Street Grill

New Street Grill

 

Whether it’s a sausage, bacon and maple-syrup waffle, or a full English, add free-flowing prosecco to your order and settle in.

Price: From £12, plus an additional £15 per person for prosecco refills.

Nearest station: Liverpool Street

2. Forge and Co

Forge and Co

 

Pick up a veggie full English (above, left), or maybe some bubble & squeak, and wash it down with endless prosecco. Splendid.

Price: From £4 plus £10 for a glass of prosecco with refills.

Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street

3. Flesh and Buns

Flesh and Buns

Flesh and Buns

 

Fancy a feast? How about steamed Japanese buns with steak or pork belly? How about Korean friend wings and sushi? And dessert? And unlimited beer, wine or prosecco? Truly a marvel.

Price: £39/£46 per person, including: a cocktail on arrival; chips, dips, and edamame; unlimited hot and cold dishes; signature “flesh & buns”; unlimited prosecco or red or white wine; and dessert for the table.

Nearest station: Covent Garden

4. Bunga Bunga

Bunga Bunga

 

If you’re over a traditional brunch, branch out to Bunga Bunga. Antipasti, pizza, and unlimited Bellinis. Wow.

Price: £38 per person from 11.30am–1pm (£48 per person afterwards), including pastries, bread, antipasti, pizzas, pudding, and unlimited Bellinis.

Nearest station: Battersea Park

5. Lima Floral

Lima Floral

 

For a Peruvian twist on brunch (check out the sea-bream ceviche, above left), pop along to LIMA Floral. And bottomless prosecco is nice too.

Price: From £18 per person, plus £10 for prosecco refills.*

*Launches Saturday 21st February

Nearest station: Covent Garden

6. The Great Exhibition

The Great Exhibition

The Great Exhibition

 

Delicious and pocket-friendly. Grab eggs as you like them, and refresh yourself with bottomless Bloody Marys or mimosas.

Price: £20 per person for bottomless mimosas or Bloody Marys, bottomless tea or coffee, bottomless toast, and a main.

Nearest station: East Dulwich

7. Karnavar

 

A bounty of delicious Indian food for brunch, plus unlimited Duval Leroy champagne and live music? Delightful.

Price: £25 per person (£45 per person including unlimited champagne) for unlimited items including dhokla, sambar vada, soup, roasts, and desserts.

Nearest station: South Croydon

8. Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings

B&H

B&H

 

Settle into a comfy armchair and chow down on an eggs Benny, washed down with unlimited Bellinis and Bloody Marys. Simply delightful.

Price: Food from £3.50, £15 per person for bottomless Bloody Marys, £16 for bottomless Bellinis.

Nearest station: Farringdon

9. The Gaslight Grill

Gaslight Grill

Gaslight Grill

 

Ditch the eggs and have an early roast. And to really put some spring in your step, there’s an unlimited DIY Bloody Mary bar (above right) featuring home-infused vodka, gin, tequila, and whiskey.

Price: Roasts from £10.50, and £20 for unlimited Bloody Marys.

Nearest station: Battersea Park

10. One Canada Square

One Canada Square

 

Whether it’s soft shell crab Benedict or ox cheek hash, what makes this boozy brunch stand out is the choice. Choose from endless raspberry Bellinis, Bloody Marys, prosecco, white wine, red wine, or rosé.

Price: Food from £7.50, and £15 for bottomless drinks.

Nearest station: Canary Wharf

11. Aqua Kyoto

 

This option is pricy, but the selection is amazing. Think luxury sushi and sashimi, yakitori, noodles, and mochi ice-cream, as well as unlimited house wine and beer.

Price: From £55 per person, including a cocktail on arrival, a wide range of dishes, and unlimited house wine and beer.

Nearest station: Oxford Circus

12. Avenue

 

Whether you fancy a burger or a pancake stack, add unlimited Bloody Marys or prosecco to get your Saturday on the right track.

Price: Food from £14.50, and £15 per person for unlimited prosecco or Bloody Marys.

Nearest station: Green Park

13. Villandry St James’s

Villandry St James’s

A slightly more expensive option, but with unlimited quality fizz (Frerejean Frères Champagne).

Price: £40 per person, including a range of brunch items, as well as a pastry, a cake platter, and unlimited coffee, orange juice, and champagne.

Nearest station: Charing Cross

14. W Hotel, Leicester Square

Tim Winter

W Hotel

 

The brunch menu is incredible (including a smoked haddock and salmon Scotch egg) and the unlimited drinks are 10/10 (including a Belvedere Bloody Mary and bottomless Tanqueray 10 Red Snapper).

FYI, we inquired and you are able to order the unlimited drinks menu on its own (just make sure to eat at home first!).

Price: Brunch from £25 per person, and brunch bevs £25 per person.

Nearest station: Leicester Square

15. Rita’s

Rita’s

Rita’s

 

It’s not unlimited, but Rita’s deserves a shout-out for its amazing value brunch combo, which includes a main, a Sriracha Bloody Mary or mimosa, and unlimited refill filter coffee.

Price:: £16 per person for a brunch combo.

Nearest station: London Fields

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/ailbhemalone/bottomless-boozy-lunches-in-london