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Surviving the UK on a Budget

UNITED KINGDOM | Wednesday, 4 July 2012 | Views [4096] | Comments [1]

In his latest guest post, Colm Hanratty of Hostelworld.com gives us tips on how to save money when travelling around the UK.

Afternoon tea, premiership football, fish and chips and pints of ‘bitter’ – these are just some of the things the UK is famed for. You couldn’t visit without enjoying at least one of these experiences. I personally recommend the fish and chips in London - you know you’re in the English capital when you’re munching on cod and chips before enjoying a pint in a typical boozer.

There’s only one catch about all the above – your budget. Spend your days in English cities scoffing meat pies and downing pints of Boddingtons and you’ll soon see you’re spending (and gaining!) quite a few pounds. There are ways to enjoy the UK without it being too painful financially. Read until I tell you how.

Free museums

Cities in the UK and Ireland have one extremely enjoyable common trait – free museums. In London it’s harder to pay into a museum than it is not to. The National Gallery on Trafalgar Square, the National Portrait Gallery just behind it and the British Museum in Holborn are all free. In Edinburgh the Royal Mile, Scotland’s most famous street, is dotted with them. In Glasgow you can visit Kelvingrove Art Gallery without paying anything, while in Manchester the Manchester Museum isn’t only worth visiting because it’s free, but also of its giant T-Rex and mummies.

Free walking tours of the captials

If London and Edinburgh are on your itinerary, good news – both capitals have free walking tours thanks to Sandeman’s New Europe Tours (they’re found in other parts of Europe too). It may sound like there’s a catch but there genuinely isn’t. The guides, who are usually a mix of locals, Spanish-speaking ones and Americans, are extremely knowledgeable and, more importantly, entertaining. At the end of the tour you’re asked to tip, but there’s no obligation to.  If you feel you should then offer them a few pound and be on your way. A great way to see either city. 

Stay in hostels and cook for yourself

If you’re planning a trip travelling around the UK make no mistake about it – staying in hostels will be kinder on your pocket than any form of accommodation. On top of that, you’ll be able to cook for yourself also, meaning spending endless pounds on dining out doesn’t have to be a worry. Then there’s the added bonus of meeting people – hostels are more social than any other form of accommodation so stay in one and expect to make lots of new friends. If you really want your own room though, don’t worry – over 80% of hostels have private rooms.

Free gigs

When I stay in hostels I see people staying in for different reasons. Either they’re devoid of energy after the night before, they’re the sort of person that prefers a quiet night, or they’re saving their pennies. The first two reasons are down to personal preference, but you don’t need to stay in to save money in UK cities. This is thanks to pubs and clubs dotted around the country hosting free comedy nights and gigs. Whistle Binkies just off the Royal Mile in Edinburgh hosts bands every night of the week. The Bell in Bath is another well-known live music venue, Ask hostel staff to find out the best places.


It may be a cliché when it comes to ways to save money, but you can’t deny the fact that if you want to entertain yourself without having to delve deep into your pocket parks and gardens are where to go. London is heaving with them – Hyde Park, Green Park and Regent’s Park are some of its top attractions. In Edinburgh you can’t leave without chilling in Prince’s Gardens for a while, In Bath there aren’t many places more beautiful than the Royal Crescent, and in Glasgow the Botanic Gardens are free to enter.

About Hostelworld

Hostelworld.com has hostels, budget hotels, guesthouses in more in destinations in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. You can keep up to date with everything they do by liking their page on facebook and following them on Twitter.

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Tags: budget, hostels, london, tours, travel, uk, united kingdom




  budget hotel in delhi Feb 27, 2013 4:38 PM

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