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England

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In spite of Great Britain’s recent departure from the European Union, London as the melting pot of races, religions, cultures, lifestyles and foods is expected to remain one of the continent’s top tourist draws. Unlike what other people think, London is not as expensive as how it is portrayed in the media. As long as you have an idea of where to stay, how to go around and where to eat ahead of time, the city can be a haven for the usually budget-conscious backpacker.

Your backpacking adventure to one of the busiest cities in the world would not be complete without trying some of its famous and affordable gastro treats. Below are some of the backpacker must try’s while in London.

Bao of Central London

Located along Lexington in Central London’s SOHO community, this Asian fusion restaurant used to operate along the streets of the business district until its popularity amongst locals and travelers prompted owners to open a casual service restaurant.

The name was derived from the Taiwanese “gua bao”, which means white and fluffy buns. One must not underestimate Bao’s signature slider dishes though. These soft Asian breads are stuffed with some of the most well-loved Asian favorites like braised pork with peanut powder. Other of Bao’s famous sliders include chicken marinated in soymilk, wrapped with burger baps with kimchi and Sichuan mayonnaise.

For as low as $5, you can have a serving of these deli buns to get you through lunch or dinner.

North London

Up north, you can head down to Franks Canteen in Highbury Park. The best time to go is during breakfast and lunch when you can try their kedgeree, a spiced rice served with smoked haddock and poached egg.

East London

In East London, Chick ‘n’ Sours is making a name for being a party place for locals and travelers. The best time to go is during the weekends after sunset. Their famous Southern style, buttermilk-marinated fried chicken is easy on the pocket, you can even order one cocktail drink to complete your night’s fill.

South London

If you are in the mood for affordable yet filling street food, you can head on to the South at the Brockley market. With more or less $10, you can either have Luardo’s meat burritos, Spit and Roast’s fried chicken or Van Dough’s authentic Italian pizza. Most travelers are advised to visit right before closing time at two in the afternoon to get a good bargain on full meals.

Tea Rooms

Your London experience would not be complete without engaging in the country’s favorite pastime – tea drinking. While there are probably hundreds of tea rooms in London, you would want to try a lazy afternoon at the Highness Café and Tea Room while sipping a hot tea and a dessert for your side.

Located in Highbury Park, you have the option of having your tea at the cozy and quiet mezzanine level of the café, or you can head downstairs to experience the amiable buzz of Englishmen drinking their favorite tea. An herb-infused tea and a slice of a traditional carrot cake would only cost a little over $6.

 

 

 

When you think of England, you think of the Royal Family, the Big Ben and the London Bridge. You also think of city tours, double decker buses, and other famous city landmarks that tourists frequently visit. What you probably don’t know is that England also has some of the greatest adventure tours that you have to experience.

The Coast to Coast walk/cycle/ride is an event that thousands of people from around the globe flock to England to participate in. Alfred Wainwright was the genius behind this exciting journey that takes you through the off beaten paths around England. Back then, Wainwright just walked around England.

Today, people take on Wainwright’s path by walking and cycling. The 5-day event meant that people had to use the path that Wainwright created long ago and stick to the path as closely as possible. This is a challenge because England isn’t the same as it was during Wainwright’s time. There are new buildings and new roads that have been created that could make following the original path a bit tougher. Participating in this event meant you get to go see the England that tourists don’t often see.

England doesn’t have a lot of diving spots, but there are some places that you can still go to in order to have your underwater adventure trip. At the Scapa Flow in the Orkneys, you can go on a diving expedition and explore the warships and destroyers that sank off this coast during the World War I. Marine life had taken over the sunken ships so you can see the beauty that sprung up after the devastation. There are beginner courses that you can take for less than £100. There are also longer expeditions that can set you back £500 or more.

If bungee jumping is your thing, you can go to the Transporter Bridge in Middlesborough to get your fix. This is the only bridge in the UK that allows bungee jumping. Satisfy your bungee jumping craving with this 200 feet high jump that lets you fall head first to the Tees. The freefall won’t lend you any picturesque views as you go down but it is still worth it. Not many people can say that they bungee jumped in England.

Sailing is another way that you can explore England from a different point of view. From the Tower Bridge you can sail through to Devon, north Cornwall, Isle of Man, the Scottish Islands, Edinburgh and then come on back to the Tower Bridge via the east coast. Sailing through all these places can take more than 2 weeks so plan your vacation accordingly. You can opt to sail through only a few of the 60 stops that this tour offers or you can go on a limb and go through all of them.

These and other lesser known adventure tours in England are steadily gaining popularity as people are recognizing the need to really discover what else England has to offer other than the city tours and normal tourist attractions. Let your wanderlust take over and book a tour and find out more about England’s hidden gems.

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