Get a Lot out of a Little | Backpacking through the UK | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Get a Lot out of a Little | Backpacking through the UK

Travel writer Phoebe Christofi tells us how to backpack in the UK on a budget

Before I arrived in Birmingham, I devoted August to become acquainted with the UK. My friends back home couldn’t understand the attraction and would have much preferred their Instagram and Facebook feeds being clogged of shots from Paris or Barcelona. Alas, it was green fields and the occasional cow that awaited them. Every traveller is different which means that every traveller has different priorities. Some are foodies and spend all their money on the trendiest meal of the week, which would often involve avocado. Others prefer to spend their money on the finer things in life such as a city's local beverage. I, however, prefer to save my money when it comes to food and drink and instead spend it on activities. Backpackers are not unknown to a good old budget. You can only get so far in discovering a city when you start to feel the tightening of your purse strings - whether you intend to or not. If like me, you’re interested in cities festivals, exhibitions and events, then you may have to sacrifice the odd pint or gourmet meal.

London has an oasis of activities, and luckily for the public, many exhibitions and galleries are free to view. All the same, one can’t go to London and simply not see a show. Last minute tickets can be pricey, but if you go to enough websites, it’s quite simple to find a cheap ticket with an average seat. That’s exactly what I did, allowing me to see Les Miserables and Wicked for under £40 each. For the following days, I lived off of £1 Tesco sandwiches and a packet of almonds, but my, was it worth it.

I wholeheartedly believe that the best things a city can offer are free, and most of the locations and events I wanted to discover in Edinburgh were just that – meaning I could indulge in a pint or five and possibly some avocado if I felt especially daring. Arthurs Seat: an extinct Volcano which upon climbing, enables you to see the best view that Edinburgh has to offer; the city in its entirety. Likewise, during my travels in Edinburgh was the iconic Fringe Festival. This event draws thousands every year and thankfully, they have hundreds of free performances for poor students like you and me. By taking advantage of the free events within a city, you don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything.


10th October 2017 at 12:00 pm

Images from

Phoebe Christofi and Magnus Hagdorn