Plan Your Gap Year Travel In London
A gap year can be one of the most exciting times of your life. You’ve finished your education and you’re taking a break before deciding what you want to do in terms of a career. That gives you 12 months to spend however you want to spend it, exploring a fantastic global city like London is probably as good as it gets. The following article is packed with gap year travel advice and ideas for things to do in a gap year in the UK.
One of the key plus points of gap year holidays is that they can be enjoyed on a budget. Indeed, many people find work to supplement their spending power when they’re enjoying a gap year, and our cheap hostels in London provide the kind of affordable accommodation that helps to make a gap year in Europe possible. Although our hostels are reasonably priced they don’t cut corners in terms of quality. They offer accommodation which is comfortable, clean and safe, as well as useful features such as a fully equipped kitchen and laundry room, free Wi-Fi and helpful staff on hand with tips and advice. Book yourself a room quickly and easily online and then start the enjoyable activity of planning the details of your gap year holidays.
Tips for Planning Gap Years in London
Prepare to spend
The cost of living in London can be high, which is why our cheap hostels in London as so popular. As well as saving money on where you stay you can buy an Oyster travel card which will cut the cost of getting around on public transport. When it comes to food and drink, stay away from tourist hot-spots and take advantage of the truly cosmopolitan feel of London. Areas like Tooting, Southall and Wembley, for example, are justly famous for the excellence and affordability of their Indian restaurants.
Plan in advance
Before arriving in London do plenty of research online. Find out about the museums, galleries and other attractions that interest you, including information on where they are, whether they charge entry and any special shows or exhibitions. Try to chat to people who’ve enjoyed a gap year in London before, as few things are more valuable than advice based on experience.
Invest in a very good rucksack
Although our youth hostels in north London offer a safe place to store your valuables, you’ll still want to carry plenty of things around with you on a daily basis. Making your own picnic food could save lots of money, for example, and you should always have plenty of fresh bottled water to drink. A good backpack will stay in one piece for the whole 12 months, keep your belongings safe and be easier to carry than a cheaper option.
Reasons to Visit London
Gap years in London are so popular because there are simply countless reasons to visit the city. These are just a few:
Walking the streets in London can be like taking the best history lesson ever. From the Palace of Westminster to the Tower of London and the government buildings of Whitehall, it’s almost impossible to turn a corner without stumbling across structures which have played a major role in the history of the UK and the world.
It doesn’t matter what kind of culture you enjoy, London will offer something to tempt you. Lovers of literature can visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum or the home of Virginia Woolf, popular music fans can head down to the clubs and venues of Brixton or Camden while theatre lovers are particularly spoiled for choice. From the bright lights of the West End to the serious drama of the National Theatre and the Globe, where the works of Shakespeare were first performed, there’s something for every kind of taste.
Food and Drink
London is packed with places to eat and drink, from world renowned Michelin starred restaurants to pop up stalls selling delicious street food. You can eat the cuisine of virtually every corner of the world if you do a bit of exploring, and few drinking establishments are more welcoming and enjoyable than a traditional London pub.
Things to do in London
Although London has an excellent public transport system, one of the best ways of exploring is on foot. Of course, it’s a very big city, so the best way to do this is to divide it into smaller areas – such as Soho, Islington, Camden, Oxford Street etc. – and explore them one at a time.
No matter what kind of budget you’re working with, you’ll find plenty of retail therapy on offer in London. At the top end of the spending range you have the famous department stores such as Harrods Liberty and Selfridges, while streets such as Bond Street, Jermyn Street and Dover Street are where you’ll find designer outlets selling items which are often created to order.
If you’re interested in antiques, on the other hand, head to Portobello Road, home to a huge and famous market, or take the time to explore Alfie’s Antique Market in St John’s Wood. Oxford Street is home to the flagship stores of some of our most famous brand names, and Covent Garden is the place to head to if you want to pick up some unusual souvenirs.
London is home to some of the best museums in the world, and the good news is that the majority of the exhibitions in them are completely free to visit. Examples include the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. If you love modern art then the huge Tate Modern on the South Bank has to be on your list, while the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery contain more traditional pieces of art.
If you want to make the most of London during your gap year then visit our website and book a stay in our youth hostel. Just seconds away from the nearest Tube station it will enable you to travel to the centre of London in just 20 minutes, and is the perfect base from which to make your gap year in London incredibly enjoyable. A warm, clean and comfortable bed, the chance to mix with fellow travellers in a shared lounge and facilities to clean your clothes and cook your own food make this the ideal place to stay.