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Springtime is a fantastic time of year to visit our national capital city. The summer crowds haven't yet invaded the streets and summer prices haven't kicked in, making it much more affordable - particularly important for those with families. 
 
If you've opted to stay at home for the school half-term holidays, it's still not too late to snap up a bargain break in London. You can choose from top-notch luxury hotels right through to cheap and cheerful hotels and guest houses, meaning that there's an option for every circumstance and every budget.
 
You don't have to spend a fortune to have a good time in London either, despite what you may have heard. The city is packed to bursting with free attractions, so with a little careful planning you could find that you manage to have an exciting and stimulating break without breaking the bank in the process.
 
Leicester Square is always a vibrant place to hang out, and you can usually pick up discounted theatre tickets here too, but head round the corner to Brewer Street Car Park and you can take in the surreal delights of award-winning artist Ryoji Ikeda's CERN-inspired light show. Best of all, it's completely free! 
 
Then head for Oxford Circus and the Getty Images Gallery, which is currently hosting a free exhibition of seriously large photographic prints. Meanwhile, the London Metropolitan Archives is currently exhibiting a series of photographs depicting the city during the Victorian era.
 
Many of the city's most iconic museums offer free entry, including the V&A and the Science Museum, both close to South Kensington Underground, the British Museum near Tottenham Court Road Underground and the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square. 
 
If you're not averse to spending some cash, Madame Tussaud's always features highly on the list of favourite visitor attractions, and if you go before December this year, then you can also take in the Star Wars exhibition, featuring sets from the latest film and a host of favourite characters from the franchise.
 
If fashion is more your thing, then you'll want to head for the Fashion and Textile Museum, close to London Bridge Underground. There you will find a lavish display of beach and resort wear dating back from its earliest years in 1900 up to the present day.
 
Foodies are spoilt for choice in May, with the Foodies Festival at Alexandra Palace offering the chance to meet some famous chefs, try your hand at some of the techniques on offer in one of the master classes or simply browse through over 200 exhibitors, with plenty of free tastings. Or if you have a sweet tooth, then you'll want to high-tail it to Hotel Chocolate on Grape Street (the nearest station is Holborn), where for £45 you can sample chocolate, make your own chocolate treats and enjoy a glass of bubbly into the bargain.

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