How did the hotel industry (and the tourism industry in general) react in America when the country went through a recession (that is only just beginning to ease up)? Hotels reacted by cutting down on staff and getting guests to serve themselves in lots of ways. Britain has had the same recession as well. Travel to London right about now, and the city could be in the middle of a boom for all the evidence of belt-tightening you'll ever find. Everywhere you look, London overflows with new galleries, boutiques, hotels, snazzy balls and restaurants. Of course, they do not build all those for charity, you know. What do you do in London to take the best possible care of your wallet and still have the most fun? This is what you need to know.
People love to shop in London. Shopping experiences here tend to be like that scene in the movie Love, Actually where Rowan Atkinson drives a shopper crazy with his over-the-top Christmas packaging process. Shopping in London can be over-the-top luxurious. For that kind of experience, people head for Harrods, usually, which is the largest name in department stores in London. The store is kind of an institution and they take full advantage of it trying to sell you little souvenirs from the store for $ 50. Now if you really want to shop for great high-quality of London merchandise, fashion, furnishings, accessories and everything else, you really should head over to the much more reasonable and yet completely captivating Liberty store. Not that this is a cheap place at all; it's wonderfully upscale to look at and to shop in; except for when you get to the checkout counter.
When you set out the kind of budget you need when you travel to London, a reasonable part will usually have to go towards transportation. If you're not careful, transportation can be prohibitively expensive. A single subway ticket in London for instance, can set you back $ 10 (if you buy a day pass though, you could travel all day for just $ 15 or so.) If looking around London on one of those famous open-top double-decker buses seems like a nice thrifty way to gain your bearings in the city, think again. The bus lane can be notoriously slow, especially during rush hour. And traffic fumes are not going to leave you in a good mood either. Not when you're paying $ 130 for your family's way. London now has bicycle lanes (that they call the Cycle superhighway) that help you get all around. They have bicycle hire programs styled after the successful Velib scheme in Paris. This should be a far more pleasant way of seeing the sights around London. And cheaper too.
If you're in London, you absolutely have to take in Hyde Park, right? You get to go summer swimming, boating, playing bowling any get to have a nice cup of tea at a café somewhere. Well, Speakers' Corner is no longer the kind of place thoughtful people come to. And the place can be so crowded, Londoners do not come here anymore. For an experience of what Hyde Park used to like, try Richmond Park instead in southwest London. It is not so much a park as it is a kind of nature sanctuary with wetlands, ponds and lakes, beautiful gardens and actual wildlife like deer. And the kind of high tea you've always wanted to travel to London to, the Pembroke Lodge will be equipped to serve you.