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How to keep your group stay in London affordable

If you're planning a trip to London with a group, there's a lot to consider and it will probably involve more organisation than a solo trip. The reality is that London is a very sought after destination for tourists, workers and students which means that demand for everything is high. This is why London can turn out to be so expensive in terms of getting around, seeing things and eating. 

We've put together our top tips for saving money at every aspect of your trip from getting to London, finding accommodation, entertainment and food. 

Planning a cheap London trip for a group

Given London’s popularity and high costs for even a single visitor, a group city break could easily get very expensive, very quickly. Organising a London trip for a group of people may become stressful for everyone involved if the costs start to spiral out of control. But don’t let the prospect of expensive hotels and over-priced tourist attractions put you off. In this article we’ll tell you how to keep your group stay in London firmly on budget without compromising on how you experience the city and everything it has to offer. 

What is the cheapest month to travel to London?

In order to get the best overall deals on everything from tickets to accommodation you’ll need to book a time when demand for travel is low. Usually this tends to be February time -  the gap between the new year and the last few weeks of winter. Although the weather is not likely to be warm in this period, it offers you a chance to at least scope out the city. The downside to this is not experiencing London during the summer time which is wonderfully vibrant and exciting.   

Cheap tickets to London

One of the biggest expenses associated with any group trip is transportation and the cost of getting to the destination. Of course, this depends on how further afield you are traveling from, and what mode of transport you are taking. By being slightly savvy, organised and willing to compromise on routes and times, you can drive down the individual cost per-head and save a considerable amount of money on traveling to London as a group.  

Finding cheap train fares to London

Cheap train fares are sometimes hard to find but they can be achieved if you have the following: 

● Book with enough notice - Booking months early means that you can often secure much cheaper fares as there’s less of a clear demand forecast at that stage.
● Avoid rush hours - Tickets in the morning and late afternoon are highly sought after by those commuting in and out of London. Opting for times between these peaks will often be cheaper. 
● Avoid weekends - Again, weekends are a peak time to travel for tourists. Selecting Thursdays or Wednesdays will be more cost-effective.   
● Buy two non-flexible singles - Sometimes the cost of two singles will be slightly cheaper than a single return ticket. Fixed time tickets are also cheaper than flexi-tickets so as long as you are punctual, they are great money savers 
● Look at indirect routes to your London - It’s worth weighing up the cost of multiple tickets that end up in London rather than buying a direct route. Go to Split-ticketing for more information. 

Save money with budget flights to London

If you are flying to London from abroad you should abide by the principals mentioned above such as booking early, at off-peak times but also opting to use cheaper airlines that may fly from an airport close by to you. A great start is to use flight comparison sites such as:

●    Skyscanner
●    Kayak 
●    Travel Supermarket

How to enjoy cheap sightseeing in London

If you want to keep your group stay in London affordable for everyone, consider low cost or free things to do and see. After all, London has so many free tourist attractions to make the most of. 

At Stay Central, we think that you can have a great time without spending a penny. Here are some great ideas for cheap sightseeing in London. 

Cheap group activities in London

The great thing about arriving in London is that it is home to so many iconic locations and spaces immortalised by popular culture. Many of these places whether they are landmarks, galleries or locations don’t cost a penny to enjoy and will provide you with hours of fun and plenty of photo opportunities! 

See Platform 9 3/4 from Harry Potter

Is your group made up of some serious Harry Potter fans? If so, make sure to pay a visit to a film location that appears throughout the Harry Potter films. 

Platform 9 3/4 is tucked away in the back of King’s Cross Station. Visitors can take a photo as they push their trolley through the magical barrier to the other side.

Visit St. Paul's Cathedral

This costs a lot if you buy a ticket to go inside. However, it’s worth knowing that this historic church holds services on weekday evenings and throughout the day on Sundays. These services are free for the public to attend. Unfortunately, if you go to a service you can’t wander around the building but you’ll get to experience this incredible building from the inside. 
If your group wants the full tourist experience St. Paul’s Church does offer group discount prices for adult tickets. Adult rates for groups of 10 or more start at £17 with concession prices for groups starting at £15. 

Plan a Tate Modern visit

Take in some art at the Tate Modern. If your group loves art and culture The Tate Modern is a perfect place to visit at any time of day. The Tate is free to enter but audio guides are hired for a small cost. There are always paid-for exhibitions, but a great collection of artworks that you can visit for free. The giant turbine hall is also a great place to sit and relax. The gallery opens 10:00 – 18:00 Sunday to Thursday and 10:00 – 22:00 on a Friday and Saturday. 

Plan your trip to the Tate Modern for your group now. 

Visit Senate House 

This incredible building has appeared in several huge Hollywood blockbusters including The Dark Knight Rises, Nanny McPhee and even the upcoming Bond film, No Time To Die’. Senate House is another great place to visit with your group. A beautiful art deco skyscraper located in Bloomsbury, visiting Senate House provides a memorable stop off for any tourist trip in London. 

Enjoy a day trip to Greenwich

There’s so much to see at this historical and …spot. Why not walk through the Greenwich foot tunnel which crosses underneath the river Thames from Greenwich to Millwall. Don’t miss the Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park from where Greenwich Mean Time originates. And of course you can’t fail to miss the spectacular Cutty Sark, from which you can follow the Maritime trail to the Greenwich Peninsula with amazing views on the Millennium Dome. 

St Paul's Cathedral amongst buildings London
St Paul's Cathedral holds services that are free for the public to attend.

Find affordable group accommodation

At Stay Central we offer affordable central London accommodation suitable for large and small groups.

Affordable Group Accommodation

Free Museums in Central London

Museum-loving tourists are spoilt for choice in London. Museums and galleries are great options for entertaining large groups of people. Here are just a few of London’s many museums that are free to visit: 

If you want to visit a particular museum that doesn’t appear on this list be sure to check its website to see if discounted group tickets are available. Stay Central’s group accommodation is ideally located near several museums including The British Museum, the Grant Museum of Zoology and The Cartoon Museum.  

Visit the beautiful parks in central London 

What better way to spend a sunny day in London than to enjoy one of the city's green parks. These grassy areas can be found throughout the city, providing bright, colourful and natural spaces for locals and tourists alike. 

If you’re looking for a fun group activity outside discover one of London’s many famous and picturesque parks together.  Perfect for groups of any size, these parks have something for everyone. Whether you want to kick a football around, see stunning city skyline vistas or even spot deer, London’s parks have got it covered. 

Here’s a list of some of London’s best free parks:

  • Crystal Palace Park - check out the amazing dinosaurs amongst the undergrowth.
  • Victoria Park - Visit London's most visited park. It attracts approximately 9 million visitors every year and is 175 years old! 
  • Hampstead Heath - sitting atop one of the highest points in London, Hampstead Heath offers unrivalled views of the city. 

For more outdoor inspiration check out some of the more well-known parks of London at The Royal Parks website

London’s best markets to visit

If any of your group members like the idea of some bargain hunting or even sampling the local street cuisine, one of London’s many markets might just be what you are looking for. Here are some of the best markets in London to visit: 

Bloomsbury Farmer’s Market- a Thursday highlight for the Bloomsbury neighbourhood, this weekly food market appears at the back of Senate House between 9am and 2pm. Fresh, organic produce, and all from farms or produced locally and sustainably. 

Portobello market - a mix of antique dealers and local food stalls make this mile-long street market a must see. 

Camden market - famed as one of London’s most hipster spots, `Camden Market has a wide range of stalls including jewellery, clothes, arts and crafts and much more.  

Spitalfields - A market that specialises in vintage antiques, clothes, books, and furniture. It’s close proximity to Brick Lane is also a great reason to head east and visit this market. 

Borough Market - London’s oldest food market (it’s been there for 1000 years) is a must visit if you want to eat like the locals. Enjoy everything from bubble and squeak to oysters.  

Visiting a market is a great activity for groups as there is so much to see and experience. Local markets will also give you a flavour of the area itself and the people that live there. 

Senate House Entrance Landmark
Senate House is an iconic building located in Bloomsbury and fantastic for a group visit

Affordable group travel in London 

Traveling around London is often an expense that gets missed. It’s also one that can push daily spending beyond what you expected. One of the first things you should consider is how you’ll travel around the city as a group. 

London is a surprisingly walkable city, especially if you base yourself somewhere central. Walking is a great way to get a real feel for a city too.  

When you do need to use some form of transport, we recommend budgeting accordingly.  It’s a smart decision to budget for travel first before thinking about what you’ll do and where you’ll go as a group. There are lots of affordable options, especially if you plan to stay in central London. 

  • Buses and tubes - London is well known for its network of buses and rail links. Most people find moving around the city is very easy as a bus stop or tube station is never that far away, wherever you are. Travellers have the option to pay-as-you-go or buy a ticket in advance. Travelling during off-peak times will cost less for individual tickets. The bus is a very affordable way to travel in London, even when buying tickets individually. However, the best option for groups (if there are ten or more of you) is a Group Day Travel Card. 

If you want to learn about the geography of London and where things are in the city, download a tube map or a bus-route map. Google maps, apple maps and the Citymapper app are also great tools to use on mobile devices too. Knowing where you are in relation to where you want to go will ensure that you don’t take a bus or a train to somewhere you could easily walk to. Avoiding unnecessary transport costs will help to keep costs down.  

  • Bicycles - Bicycles are a fun and cheap way to travel around London, especially in the summer months when the weather is sunnier and warmer. London has lots of cycle paths and lanes that connect the different districts and areas without having to use busy roads. 

There are lots of great group or individual hire options for bicycles in London. Here are some helpful links:

Uber taxis - London has lots of Uber XL taxis in service throughout the city. The XL cars are able to transport up to 6 people so if you’re trying to organise a day excursion to an area of London that doesn’t have good public transport links, the XL could be a useful option. London’s Uber XL taxis tend to be cheaper than black cabs. The smart phone app even allows a group to split the fare between them. Learn more about Uber XL taxis now. 

Affordable Accommodation

Don't miss our affordable B&B and self-catered accommodation located in the heart of London.

Find out more about our Self-Catered and B&B accommodation

Eating for groups in London 

Local markets are also a great place to find an affordable snack or even some lunch. However, finding the best group dining experiences in London can be difficult. You’ll want big restaurants that can accommodate lots of people, establishments that don’t get booked up in advance, a varied menu with high quality dishes and, most importantly, are affordable and offer great value. 

Group Dining in London

At Stay Central, we have a lot of experience in recommending the best places to take large groups for dinner. Here are our five top picks for evening group dining in central London:  

Changs Noodle - Bloomsbury - a spacious and well-priced restaurant in the heart of Bloomsbury

Homeslice Pizza - central London locations - delicious 20” pizzas served in restaurants perfect for large groups.  

Temper - Covent Garden - meaty treats fresh from an open BBQ. Located in Covent Garden, Temper is perfect for pre-theatre dining. 

Tayyabs - White Chapel - experience fine traditional Punjabi cuisine in London’s east end. 

The Blues Kitchen - Brixton - if your group wants to go to a gig after eating out, why not just go to one place where both can happen? The Blues Kitchen in Brixton is a great place for inexpensive group dining and musical entertainment.  

Group ticket discount websites for London attractions 

There are of course lots of London attractions that charge to get in. Buying individual tickets when you’re in a large group is not a great way to save money. Instead, take advantage of the many offers and deals available online. This will ensure your budget goes a lot further. 

Here are five of the best group discount websites for London attractions to explore. You’ll find everything here, from cheap theatre tickets to discounted group entries to popular tourist hotspots: 

  1. The London Pass
  2. Visit London
  3. The London Eye
  4. Westend Theatre
  5. Daysoutguide
group eating out in London
There are many great eateries in London suitable for groups

Affordable group accommodation in London

When organising your group trip, finding comfortable, well-located and affordable accommodation in central London is likely to be your biggest challenge. If you are trying to tick all three boxes then let Stay Central help you.

There are lots of budget hotels, simple Bed and Breakfasts and youth hostels in Central London, but they usually compromise on quality and comfort. However, the chances of finding a solution that meets everyone’s needs will be slim. Compromising comfort to keep costs low isn’t the answer if you want your group to have a great trip to London. 

 Stay Central group accommodation is just what you are looking for. 

Group Bookings at Stay Central

Here at Stay Central we have a range of affordable group accommodation options in the fantastically located central area of Bloomsbury. Bloomsbury is in touching distance of so many London landmarks, shopping centres, parks and so much more. 

Transport connections to Bloomsbury are also fantastic, making it an easy place to get to from airports and train stations like Kings Cross St. Pancras. Stay central group accommodation is also located near Russell Square Tube Station and popular areas such as Oxford Street, Covent garden and the West End. 

Stay central accommodation offers well-equipped and spacious apartments in beautiful Georgian buildings perfect for large groups. Within our B&B accommodation, we have smaller flats too if this type of accommodation suits you more than self-catered apartments. 

Whether you’re planning a school group trip, a business visit or a holiday with friends, our accommodation is a fantastic option for comfortable and well-priced group-trips. 

Simply fill out the form at the bottom of our Group Bookings page to help us find the perfect solution for you. 

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