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5 Things To Do In London That Won’t Break the Bank

Vinnie is thrilled at the news that The GO Group is now offering a lower cost private car service in London, serving Heathrow, Gatwick, and three smaller airports. Fares are approximately 30% less than a taxi. To celebrate, the little guy is offering a few bargain sightseeing suggestions in a city where bargains are difficult to come by.

Food Hall at Harrods Department Store: Possibly the eighth wonder of the world, Harrod’s Food Hall occupies almost the entire first floor of the famous department store at 87-135 Brompton Rd., it consists of room-after-room of culinary treats—all displayed in lavish Victorian settings of gilt, stained glass and marble. The pastry displays are to die-for, and who knew meat counters could be so beautiful.

Speakers Corner Hyde Park: Located on the NE edge of Hyde Park, Speakers’ Corner has been the traditional site of public outcry since the mid 1800s. Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and George Orwell have been among its speakers. The right to free speech has been protected by government regulation at this location since 1852. Anyone can speak on any topic (and they do). On a given day you might hear from Communists, isolationists, anti-royalists and a wide assortment of certified wackos. The law equally protects hecklers, which makes for lively discourse.

Changing of the Guard: The changing of the guard is an elaborate, colorful ceremony that takes place at St. James Palace and Buckingham Palace and the Mall between the two locations. Starting at 11:15, the St. James “old guard “ marches down the mall preceded by a regimental band or drum corps. When they reach their destination they join the Buckingham Palace “old guard.” At 11:30, the “new guard,” accompanied by its own band, joins the two old guards in the palace forecourt. There’s a lot of pomp and circumstance before the Captains of the Guard ceremoniously hand over the palace keys, and everyone marches to their new posts. Schedules can change so its best to check on line before heading over.

Free Tours by Foot: While not exactly free, this tour company offers “name-your-own-price” London walking tours, provided by professional, freelance tour guides who lead walking, food and bike tours at no upfront cost. Among the choices are: Westminster Tour; City of London Walking Tour; A Six-Hour London-All-in-one Tour; LondonGraffiti and Street Art Tour; Camden Tour; and London Food Tours. Click here for more information.

Outdoor Markets London is home to a wide variety outdoor markets, offering antiques, food stalls, original art, clothing. And it doesn’t cost a thing to look. Some of the best known markets are Portobello Road (Saturdays from 8 to 6:30 and partially open Monday – Friday from 8-1) and Petticoat Lane (Mon—Friday 10-2 and Sunday 9-2) For a list of 20 markets click here.

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