The number one problem all travellers will face is financing a trip. And it’s not just the actual journey there that will cost you, but accommodation, food and even activities. So many of us will shelve our travelling dreams – delaying them until they have been forgotten. So if you have ever caught yourself saying ‘I’ll go after I get a job’ or ‘when I’ve got enough money’ then maybe you should think about travelling around the UK.

When travelling with a budget, it is best to go by coach – which is much longer and lacks appeal, but is the cheapest mode of travel. If you insist on taking a train, make sure you’ve invested in a Railcard and book as far in advance as possible. The same goes for organising accommodation, where staying in a hostel is preferable for keeping prices down.

If you wanted to travel from the tip of the North down to the South it would take about 14 hours to drive with no breaks. Instead, some places where you can have an enjoyable time and not have to spend all of your savings are Bath, Oxford, Cornwall, Manchester, Edinburgh, and even London.

Out of all of these cities you might be questioning the inclusion of London, which as the capital and tourist hotspot of the UK, would lead common sense to suggest this would be the most expensive place to go. However, it is also home to a diverse range of museums, parks and other popular tourist destinations – most of which you can visit for free. The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square is home to pieces by Van Gogh and Monet, which you can see with no charge. Similarly, the British Museum is home to ancient artefacts from around the world and is a great place to spend a rainy day.

If the weather is good then walk over Tower Bridge and enjoy the spectacular city skyline, or visit one of the many beautiful parks: Hyde Park, Holland Park or Battersea Park – all of which have beautiful gardens and places to enjoy a picnic.

Manchester is known as the clubbing centre of the UK, but there are plenty of other cheap activities you can enjoy, like the National Football Museum (£8 with a valid student ID), the John Rylands Library or Platt Fields park.

Edinburgh might be more expensive, but once there you can save money by visiting the Scottish National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, or Gallery of Modern Art (all are free entry). In addition to this, you could visit the Forth Bridges, which is famous for being the largest suspension bridge outside of the USA when it was built in 1964.

So, next time you find yourself saying ‘I’ll travel when you have enough money’, have a look at some of the options available in the UK, you might get a pleasant surprise.

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Jess Trowbridge

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October 2021
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