As well as being home to the Queen, and to arguably the most expensive beers in the country, London also happens to be home to some of the most amazing landmarks and tourists attractions in the entire world.
No trip to London would be complete without a trip on the London Eye, a riverboat cruise down the Thames, or a look around the Tower of London. As wonderful as those things are, they certainly aren’t free, and remember, we’re talking London prices here. A day out in London may be one of the most enjoyable and memorable days you could wish for, but it will also likely be one of the most expensive.
If you’re not quite ready to re-mortgage your home just so that you can get some snaps of the best tourists attractions in London, why not think outside the box and do something a little different? London can be expensive, there’s no denying that, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of fun activities you can do in London that cost you absolutely nothing.
Here are se7en of the best free activities to do in London.
Become a politics expert at the Houses of Parliament
First off, no doubt there will be some of you that would rather boil your own heads than step foot in the Houses of Parliament. Regardless of your feelings about British politics however, the Houses of Parliament are synonymous with London and are also free to visit, which is unusual considering what goes on inside.
Home to Big Ben, who is currently enjoying a makeover, and some of the most stunning architecture in the country, the Houses of Parliament is a neo-Gothic marvel that was constructed in the middle of the 19th century.
Home to the House of Lords, and the House of Commons, it is an incredibly interesting place to visit. You can also gain entry on certain days, though you may in fact have to book ahead.
Take a stroll through Greenwich Park
If you’re visiting London in the winter, or any of the other 360 plus days of the year where it decides to rain here in England, a walk through Greenwich Park may not have very much appeal.
If you time your visit right and happen to visit on one of the rare days where we actually get some sunshine however, you’ll see why Greenwich Park is so popular. The park itself is ideal for a picnic, which will save you even more money, and it offers some truly amazing views of the city.
To top it all up, close by you can gawk for free at the perfectly reconditioned Cutty Sark, a British clipper ship built in 1869 – although climbing on board will you set you back a pretty penny. The historic Greenwich Foot Tunnel is just next to the ship, and besides being an awesome piece on London history, it’s also absolutely free.
To see what the Greenwich Park is famous for, just walk up the hill located in the middle of the park and you’ll get a stunning panoramic view of London and all it has to offer.
Visit the National Gallery
The National Gallery in London is another completely free attraction that also proves to be incredibly popular amongst tourists from all over the world.
Home to masterpieces by legends including Van Gogh, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and many more besides, the artwork on display here is truly stunning.
Each year, more than six million people visit the gallery, and we can understand why as well. It really is something special.
Wander around the British Museum
If art and paintings aren’t your thing, or if you want to do both, then after looking at the art on display in the National Gallery, take a wander over to the British Museum and take a look at what’s on offer there.
The British Museum is one of the main attractions in London, and amazingly, it is completely free. Packed full of artefacts from all corners of the globe, this is one of the most eye-opening attractions in the country.
Each day, the museum displays around 80,000 objects, yet it houses over 8 million. From Ancient Samurai Armour and the Rosetta Stone, to Anglo-Saxon burial treasures and Egyptian mummies, the British Museum really does offer a very diverse collection of artefacts that you can peruse at your own leisure.
Pro tip: Maybe you realised by reading so far: all major museums in London are free. Here’s a short list of the museums I can heartily recommend in London: RAF Museum, National Art Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Design Museum, Science Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural Science Museum, Tate Modern, Imperial War Museum, the Wallace Collection.
Hunt Wombles at Wimbledon Common
‘Overground, underground, Wombling free. The Wombles of Wimbledon Common are we’. There, now that we’ve given you that catchy earworm that’s no doubt stuck in your head, let’s talk about the real Wimbledon Common.
If you’re a fan of green spaces and the great outdoors, Wimbledon Common is a fantastic place to escape the concrete urban jungles that we so strongly associate with our nation’s capital.
Wimbledon Common during the summer is an absolute pleasure to visit, as it is home to a number of incredible plant species and all manner of bugs and insects, including the Stag Beetle.
For the ultimate weekend day out, why not enjoy a picnic here, before embarking on a leisurely nature ramble around the Greater London common. Who knows, maybe you will be lucky enough to see a Womble in action. Just remember to pick up your litter!
Look around the Wallace Collection
Here’s a personal favourite. If you’d like to escape from the huge crowds of tourists scattered around London, the Wallace Collection is ideal.
This small gallery is one of London’s best-kept secrets. Located in an inconspicuous spot just to the north of Oxford Street, the Wallace Collection provides an insightful look into life as an aristocrat in the 18th century.
Cleverly set up in a lavish and stylish Italianate Mansion, this gallery is full of stunning 17th and 18th century art that has to be seen to be truly appreciated.
Search for culinary delights at Borough Market
Yes, we know this is supposed to be a list of free things to do, but entry to the market itself is free, and you could snag yourself a fantastic culinary bargain in the process.
Borough Market is over 1000 years old and is precisely what London is in most people’s eyes. Located under a series of Victorian railway arches, you’ll find the freshest and most unique produce in the capital right here.
If you’re a foodie, or are just hungry, this is an essential place to visit. With traders offering everything from locally produced cheese and chutneys, to authentic Thai street food, you’ll be spoilt for choice when shopping here.
Seriously, there’s every kind of food, ingredient, and condiment that you could think of, and much more besides, so be sure to take a look.
And that’ll do it for today. See, London doesn’t have to be expensive, so get yourself down there and have a fantastic time!
Until then, stay curious and don’t stop wandering!