How to save money while traveling around the United Kingdom: Main Tips

a red double-decker bus in London

The United Kingdom is not a particularly economical destination, especially if the objective is to travel to London, a capital whose cultural and leisure offer is incomparable. However, beyond the metropolis, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, the four countries that are part of Great Britain, have interesting cities, landscapes, and corners of great beauty.

If your objective is to visit it without your pocket suffering too much, take note. Here are some tips to help you save during your trip. The most important thing, however, is to plan ahead.

Advance purchase

Buying in advance is often a guarantee of better prices, so check out the online shop of VisitBritain, the UK’s tourism portal. Here you’ll find attractions, tours, trips, tickets to cultural and sporting events, and a host of other promotions.

Advance booking is also rewarded for train journeys, which often offer discounts when purchasing tickets. This is the case, for example, with the Explore Wales pass, which allows unlimited travel on all rail services and most local buses in Wales. Purchases can be made at train stations and travel agencies.

Heritage Passes

If you’re planning to visit a number of historic sites, it’s best to take a heritage pass, such as Historic Scotland or English Heritage, offered by the National Trust, which gives access to landmarks such as Stonehenge, abbeys, museums, or castles. They will allow you to get much lower prices than if you buy each ticket individually.

Photo of Stonehenge

Find What’s Free

The United Kingdom offers multiple possibilities without spending a single pound. Unlike Spain, where paying for a ticket is the order of the day, there most of its museums are free. If you visit London, you will discover that the permanent exhibitions of large galleries do not require payment. And not only that, but in the capital, you will be able to do and see countless things without scratching your pocket.

In September, thousands of historic buildings usually closed to the public open their doors. The London Open House offers fantastic views from The Shard, the highest skyscraper in the European Union, or a visit to buildings such as 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister’s residence. In addition to the capital, it is also possible to benefit from the Heritage Open Days throughout England; the Doors Open Days in Scotland; the European Heritage Open Days in Northern Ireland or Wales.

Online offers

Track the network for promotions if you’re clear about which sites you want to visit. Websites such as Kensington Palace and Hampton Court can be half-price if you book in winter. In these places, children under the age of 16 can enter for free.

It is advisable to download some applications before traveling, such as Citymapper, which tells you the price of travel and has a wide range of means of transport on offer. Others, such as Hostelword, can also help you find cheap accommodation.

Free for children (or almost free)

There are many more special offers for children. Some regional rail companies offer great discounts for families. When traveling by train to Dover, Canterbury, or other places in Kent and East Sussex, children only pay £1. Each adult can travel with up to four children in the low season with Southeastern Railway. Scotrail, for its part, allows two children to travel for free per adult, in addition to facilitating free entry to the main attractions.

Also interesting is the proposal for its 15 national parks. In addition to free admission, children have many activities to keep them entertained. One example is the Brecon Beacons mountain, with ideal trails for the youngest and incredible views.

Brecon Beacons Park view

Theatre: last minute

London’s theatrical and musical offerings are the most attractive. If you want to get half-price tickets for the same day or for the next two days, you must go to the official stand of TKTS, operated by the Society of London Theatre, in Leicester Square.

Also at the Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square, we can find nightly tickets for £10. The number of tickets is limited to eight, so if you are interested, do not waste time, is attended in strict order of arrival.

Eating at a low price

Food is a real handicap for some travelers. If this is your case, take note: Monday is the quietest day, as British people don’t usually leave home. For this reason, restaurants tend to be quite empty, which translates into interesting offers, such as those of Bristol Prego, for example, which charges only £6.95 for a pizza, or other places with promotions of desserts or free starters.

If you are disoriented in gastronomic matters, make use of Travelpouncer, a portal that allows you to benefit from restaurant tables that have not been filled, so that among all of them, you can choose the one you are most interested in the same day or the next day…

Beyond these ideas, there are many more options, it’s just a matter of having fun looking for them. Are you in the mood?

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