See the city through the eyes of a local with these cheap – and often free – social sharing ideas, which are part of an ongoing series aiming to help people travel sustainably and connect with communities
With more than eight million people of 300 different nationalities, London thrives through sharing. Use our guide to share your time, food, space and journey with a huge collage of lives and stories.
1. Share a bike: Brompton Bike Hire
One of London’s most – if not the – most reasonable bike sharing option is bromptonbikehire.com. While it doesn’t have as many bikes as the city’s main Santander bike sharing scheme, it has plenty of charm and is generally cheaper. Pick up a folding bike from one of four locations for just a few pounds a day. Leisurely explore the markets of East London, or pedal across town via the colourful canal network. If you fancy joining some locals on a jaunt, try one of meetup.com’s London cycling clubs.
2. Share a tour: Unseen Tours and Good Gym
Sock Mob’s Unseen Tours showcase street art, multicultural hot spots and more for around £10, with 60 percent going to the tour guide – someone who is homeless or was previously homeless. For something a bit more energetic, check out goodgym.org and share a jog around London neighbourhoods to help out community projects.
3. Share food: Grub Club and Bonnington Cafe
Get together with aspiring chefs and other food fans via grubclub.com for a one-off dining experience at random locations. There are also options for a group of strangers to bring a dish to share. And, founded in the 80s, vegetarian community co-op bonningtoncafe.co.uk gives budding chefs the opportunity to practice and offer a meal for a bargain price to a group of strangers.
4. Share experiences: Localoids.com
The place to link up with locals and travellers who want to hang out together and informally share skills, culture, language, experience and tips. After something more specialist? Want to try a drag queen rock night? You may well find someone who knows just the place to go!
5. Sharing space: compareandshare.com
Thousands of Londoners are offering their rooms or whole flats/homes to visitors in every kind of neighbourhood, from the hip and happening to the quiet, leafy areas overlooking beautiful parks. Compareandshare.com aggregates home sharing options according to your style, price range and desired dates.