1. Discover Epping Forest.
Closest station: Loughton
Explore the expanse of Epping Forest on your own, or choose from the property's many attractions, museums, and tours to keep you busy throughout the day. Best practice: bring a book, a picnic lunch, and find an empty field to call your own for a few hours.
2. Walk in Darwin's footsteps.
Closest station: Orpington
Budget: £10.60 entry
Visit Down House where Charles Darwin lived the majority of his life, and where he wrote his iconic On the Origin of Species. On a sunny day, explore the surrounding land, where the great thinker used to wander and contemplate his ideas.
3. Take a dip in the Serpentine Lido.
Closest station: Knightsbridge
Budget: £4.60 entry
Cool off after a long walk in the park with a swim in the central London lido, or sunbathe on along the shore for a discounted price (£3.50). The facilities open for weekends and bank holidays in May, and expand to daily hours June through August.
4. Kick off with the Fulham Palace Parkrun.
Closest station: Putney Bridge
Start your weekend with a healthy 5k in Fulham. The free run through Bishop's Park is held weekly at 9:00am, and followed up by a well-earned coffee at a local haunt.
5. Visit London's jewellery quarter.
Closest station: Chancery Lane
For a taste of the finer things, window shop through Chancery Lane and Clerkenwell. Make a point to pop into the London Silver Vaults, the largest collection on antique silver in the world.
6. Walk from Riddlesdown to Farthing Downs.
7. Find hidden gems at Merton Abbey Mills.
Closest station: South Wimbledon
This historical old mill in Wimbledon hosts a variety of independent arts and crafts shops and a bustling weekend market. With the picturesque view from the William Morris free house overlooking the market and the river, it's the perfect place to while away a Saturday.
8. Explore South London's artistic side.
Closest station: Crystal Palace
Budget: £6 entry to Dulwich Picture Gallery
Follow in the footsteps off the Impressionist painter, Camille Pissarro, who lived in London in 1870 and was inspired to paint Norwood and Sydenham. See his blue plaque at 77a Westow Hill. From nearby Crystal Palace, take the number 3 bus to London's oldest art gallery, Dulwich Picture Gallery.
9. Tour the Fuller's brewery in Chiswick.
Closest station: Turnham Green
Budget: £10 tasting / £7 non-tasting
This tour of Fuller's 150 year old brewery is a steal at just £10 per person including a beer tasting. The hour and a half tour walks you through the brand's history and process, and once you're finished, wander along the Thames just beyond the brewery and enjoy a pint in one of the many riverside pubs in the area.
10. Walk on the wild side in Hainault Forest.
11. Explore a London market.
12. Go green at Chelsea Physic Garden.
Closest station: Sloane Square
Budget: £9.90 entry
The gorgeous and educational Chelsea Physic Garden is an excellent central London excursion, and if you're keen to learn about the unique plants throughout the area, a wander through will easily take all day. Don't forget to pop into the cafe, where tea and coffee are brewed from fresh specimens from the garden.
13. Explore French culture at Institut Français.
Closest station: South Kensington
Budget: Free entry / Films £10
If you've done the rounds of the South Ken museums, visit the Institut Français du Royaume-Uni . The lovely venue has the largest French language library in Britain, which is free to visit, as well as a busy foreign cinema schedule and regular art exhibitions.
14. Hunt for vampires at Highgate Cemetery.
15. Become a Globe groundling.
Closest station: Blackfriars
The Globe offers £5 standing tickets for all of its shows, with past productions featuring theatre juggernauts Stephen Fry and Mark Rylance. The opportunity to get up close and personal for a low price completely outweighs the long standing time, and there's something charming about experience theatre the way Shakespeare's original audience would have (on their feet).
16. Have a leisurely day out on a London Waterbus.
Closest station: Maida Vale / Camden Town
Spend your afternoon floating through London's canals on this unique boat trip between Little Venice and Camden Town. A one way journey costs less than ten pounds, and give you an an hour and a half to enjoy the view from the intimate streams that cross the city.
17. Have day out at the Fan Museum.
Closest station: Greenwich
Budget: £11 (yes, technically a pound over budget, but it's a two for one!)
Skip the Ritz for an equally charming but much more affordable afternoon tea at the quirky Fan Museum in Greenwich. For a full day out, see the museum's permanent collection for £4 and enjoy a full afternoon tea in the lovely banquet room, The Orangery, for just £7.