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Five days, five new (and wallet-friendly) ways to explore classic London, by Shaney Hudson
From a pint in a pub to a West End show, there are some classic London experiences you just have to indulge in, no matter what your budget. However, the best thing about London is that it is constantly evolving, and so too are the ways to enjoy its classic, essential experiences.
Below are five new ways to tick the London box.
The classic experience: Seeing a show in the West End.
London’s theatre scene is second to none. While you can still pick up a reduced price ticket from the TKTS booth in Leicester Square, a West End show can be a hit to the hip pocket.
The new way: Get along to the Prince Charles Cinema in the West End. Currently hiding under heavy scaffolding, visitors can catch a quirky sing-a-long cult movie session, with plenty of classics on offer, including sing-along Frozen, aca-along Pitch Perfect, quote-along The Big Lebowski or bitch-along Mean Girls, with many people dressing up (and performing) in character.
The classic experience: Having a pint in the pub
There’s generally a pub on every corner in London, making this an easy box for most visitors to tick. However, a fair few central London pubs are run by chains, and not all of them are showcasing London’s exploding craft beer scene.
The new way: There are now about 50 microbreweries located within the London limits, with many featuring tasting rooms, brewery tours and pub grub.Crate Brewery, in East London, runs weekend tours of its brewery and also has a popular pizzeria, while Duke’s Brew and Que offers ribs and craft beer from Beavertown Brewery.
It’s easy to feel hustled amongst the bustle of busy London. The best way to keep sane is to head into one of London’s Parks, which act not only as a green belt for the city but as a cultural melting pot for Londoners from all walks of life.
Pack a picnic lunch and people watch in one of the eight Royal Parks in London, many of which are home to key monuments and sights including the Albert Memorial, Kensington Palace and the Horse Guard Parade. Often overlooked, Richmond Park is home to hundreds of free-roaming deer and is popular with cyclists, while Hampstead Heath remains a local favourite for its views of the city.
Also worth a look is London’s newest parkland, the 560-acre Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London, which has been modified and redeveloped as a community space after the 2012 London Games.