VisitBritain, the national tourist office for England, Scotland and Wales, recommends a house swap for visitors who want a bargain holiday in the United Kingdom. When combined with charter flights to Britain or frequent flyer mile tickets, a vacation home exchange is a travel bargain.
House exchange companies
Several companies allow visitors to arrange a 'homecation' in Britain by swapping houses. Intervac has apartments, country houses and cottages to swap in England, Scotland and Wales. Green Theme International Home Exchange Holiday Service arranges swaps of eco-friendly homes that have water efficient toilets and showers, solar panels, fluorescent or LED lighting and occasionally, bicycles and hybrid cars.
Besides house swaps, HomeExchange can arrange hospitality exchanges in Britain, whereby travelers can stay in UK homes with their host families at a time that's convenient for both.
Self-catering apartments, like Club Suites and Soho Square, as well as bed & breakfasts are other ways to have cheap holidays in England, Scotland and Wales.
At Home London books bed & breakfast for visitors in private homes in Belgravia, Chiswick, Kensington, Knightsbridge, Mayfair, Notting Hill and other central London locations. Coastal Cottages, in Pembrokeshire, operate holiday cottages on the British coast.
Farmers markets in Britain, including Brecon, Edinburgh, Haverford West, Pimlico, Stroud and Winchester, sell fresh organic produce.
Gastropubs are pubs that serve affordable British food. Visitors should also watch for prix fixe lunch and dinner menus in UK restaurants.
Tickets to stand in the pit to watch a Shakespeare Globe Theatre performance and prices for cushion rental to see a show at the Rose Theatre cost just £5 (about $10).
UK visitors pay £2.50 (about $5) to explore more than 3,000 privately owned gardens, open to the public through the National Gardens Scheme.
BBC offers free tickets to watch the taping of popular TV shows.