Cheaper alternatives to famous London attractions

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Although seeing famous attractions in London is one of the best things about travelling to the city, there are a lot of them to get around and it can be costly for both time and budget.

You can certainly do a whistle-stop tour around the different attractions, such as Buckingham Palace, the London Eye and all the galleries, but the trouble is that each of these can be prone to massive queues. This is particularly likely during peak times of year, such as half term and summer holidays.

All of these things are great to see however, so you should definitely make time to see them during quiet times in the season. But what if you’ve already had several trips to London and made your way around these in succession? The city still has lots to offer, but if you’ve got your heart set on seeing some more sights, there are lots of lesser-spotted alternatives that are cheaper, have less queues and are even more fascinating than you could imagine.

Highgate Cemetery

Although this might seem like a strange choice to begin our list, this is actually a great site to visit if you’re a fan of the London Dungeons, the Bloody Tower or Westminster Abbey.

Like the dungeons, Highgate Cemetery draws on the mystique of London and it has an allure for those who enjoy a bit of horror, whether you’re a fan of Gothic literature or a family looking for something to do over Halloween.

History aficionados are also going to get a kick out of going here, thanks to the guided tours and walks around the Terrace Catacombs and Egyptian Avenue.

The cemetery is less than an hour from The Shaftesbury Collection’s Grand Royale London Hyde Park Hotel, making it a great part of a day out. To get from the hotel to the attraction, head to Queensway Station on the Central line and take it to Tottenham Court Road Station, then swap to the Northern line and take it to Archway Station – the whole journey will take around 47 minutes.

Guildhall

This is a great alternative to the Houses of Westminster, which you should definitely go to see the first time you head to the city, as it’s one of the most important historical buildings in London.

However, it isn’t the oldest important building, as Guildhall in the City of London is a medieval site that is more than 400 years older than the Palace of Westminster. Some even say that the former is more impressive than the latter, having survived both the Great Fire of London and the Blitz.

Fans of classical music will appreciate that this was the venue for Chopin’s last ever concert and theatre, and literature lovers will enjoy the library that houses Shakespeare’s first folio.

Something that makes this a particularly popular stop for visitors to the city is that Guildhall is completely free, which is exceedingly impressive considering all that it has to offer.

The Liar Liar Tour

Walking tours are a great way to see the city, whether it’s a street art tour around Shoreditch and Brick Lane or a tour that’s also a game, such as the Liar Liar Tour.

This is something fun for all kinds of people to enjoy, from families to groups of friends, as it’s an unusual format for a walking tour. It will take you around old and new streets of the Square Mile, visiting the alleyways of Charles Dickens’ London, spotting old-fashioned street names all the way through to the Shard and the Gherkin.

During the tour, the guide will point out various features of the city, telling you three facts about each, and it’s up to you to decide which of these ‘truths’ is in fact a lie!

We highly recommend that you give this a try, particularly if it’s a clear bright day, so you see the best of the city and all of the different iconic buildings.

There are lots of other walking tours to choose from and, as we mentioned, they’re one of the best ways to see the city, because you’ll stumble across things that you’d never notice if you were on the Tube the entire time. Give your imagination and legs a stretch and take part in all of what walking around London has to offer you.

For more information on the different rooms and packages we can tell you about at Grand Royale London Hyde Park Hotel, contact The Shaftesbury Collection when you’re visiting this fascinating city.

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