London Hotels Articles

June 7, 2010

Free things to do in London, England

London, as with so many large cities and Capital cities can be an expensive place to visit. Especially if you are a student vacationing in London money will be tight. You will probably find that your newly converted pounds and pence will disappear all too quickly. However there are some free things to enjoy around the capital.

Have a walk along the embankment and drink in the atmosphere. The edge of the Thames has many sights to see. Along here you can view many of London’s quirky bridges, watch pavement artists or just get a feel for the place .

Visit one of London’s parks. Hyde park in the centre of London is a lovely vast green area. It’s a great place to stop for a packed lunch, especially on a Summer’s day. There is the fairly recent memorial to Princess Diana to view and much more.

With your trusty map of London, possibly all you have had to pay for, unless you downloaded it from the Internet, see the sights. If you divide London into segments you can safely walk to many sites. My Hubby and I walked for miles when we visited London when we were younger.

If you pick an area such as that which has Buckingham Palace in it, you will find there are many other sights nearby. You can watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace and then mosey on along to the Mall, to Downing Street, The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Architecturally you will be able to view one free show after another. Take a look at Trafalgar square with Nelson’s Column and Piccadilly Circus with the famous statue of Eros.

There are many markets around London, such as the one at Camden Lock or Petticoat Lane, where the atmosphere alone is fabulous without even needing to spend any money. Have a look at Covent Garden. Why not take a stroll down Carnaby Street and the Kings Road which are both still the height of fashion. Just strut your stuff as you go.

Many museums and art galleries still have free entry, or at the very least reduced fee for students, children and older folk. The Natural History and Science Museum, which are housed on the same site are free and take a day, easily, to see everything. Nearby is Harrods if you want a browse. The National and Tate galleries are free and so is the British Museum which is a fascinating place. All of these buildings house world renowned artifacts.

I am not sure if St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey are entirely free entry these days but you can sit outside and eat your snack whilst surveying the grand architecture.

If you are traveling to London on a tight budget research the Internet or tourist informations so that you know what is available free when you visit. Various different activities are on offer at different times of the year. It may be that there are some free music offerings during your visit or temporary exhibitions.

I love window shopping and London’s great for that. There are so many quirky, offbeat shops that you can mooch around without ever spending a penny.

If you like walking you could find an organised trail or make your own before you travel. Some visitors like to follow Jack the Ripper’s old trail of his haunts and murders but that’s a bit too creepy for me so I declined.

On the whole, though, as long as you do not wander off the beaten track, and walk during a sensible time of day, you should be very safe walking about. When you are doing so you will probably come across all sorts of unexpected surprises, from statutes, to small museums, to public gardens, to fountains, or even maybe Abbey Road, where you can take your photo on that zebra crossing made famous by the Beatles.

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