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Things to Do In London That Won’t Leave You Penniless

A visit to London needn’t break the bank. There is a wealth of discounted and free attractions, cheap London travel options and low-cost accommodation to choose from to have a great time, even when on a budget.

Leave your cash in your wallet and give your credit card a rest by having some fantastic days out with these fabulous London freebies.

Museums

Natural History Museum

Come face to face with a T-Rex, take a virtual reality trip under the sea and see what you can discover in the 36 free galleries at London’s Natural History Museum. Although admission is free to all visitors, some temporary exhibitions by outside exhibitors sometimes have a small charge.

Bank of England Museum

This fascinating museum takes you on a journey through the history of The Bank of England since it was founded in 1964. There are gold bars dating from ancient times to the modern market bar (some of which you can handle), coins and a unique collection of bank notes.

Weird and Wonderful

Wellcome Collection

This is a free visitor attraction for the incurably curious. It explores the connections between medicine, life and art in the past, present and future with contemporary and historic exhibitions and collections. There is a bunch of marvellously weird objects including an ancient mummy, Napoleons toothbrush and Darwin’s walking stick.

Ragged School Museum

This museum is about the East End in canalside warehouses where the Bernados run school for poor children was housed. This museum holds information about housing, education and work in London’s East End during the 1800s to 1900 and also includes a reconstructed Victorian classroom.

Park Life

Wimbledon Common

Spend the afternoon relaxing in Wimbledon Common listening to the birds alongside the pond, following a nature trail and admiring the windmill. For some fun with family and friends there are football, ruby and cricket facilities that can be hired in advance for an action-packed afternoon.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park has something for everyone. You can enjoy swimming, boating, cycling and skating. There are games pitches, tennis courts, horse-riding treks and a children’s playground. Hyde Park is easily accessible from the Park Grand London Lancaster Gate hotel by a 15 minute walk. You can even enjoy an early morning jog or stroll when you wake up and see the lake and ornamental gardens.

Great for Kids

Mud larking along the Thames

The Thames River is now one of the cleanest rivers in the world, but throughout history it was treated as the rubbish bin of London. Thames mud is without oxygen and preserves whatever it consumes which makes the 95-mile foreshore of the tidal Thames one of the richest archaeological sites in the country.

Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground

Let the kids be pirates on Captain Hooks huge wooden Pirate Ship. Inspired by Peter Pan, kids will love playing in the tepees, on the beach and running between the sculptures. Take a picnic and make a day of it.

Must-Do London

Changing of the Guard

Head along to Buckingham palace at 11am to watch the daily ceremony. The Changing of the Guard is the process involving a new guard exchanging duty with a new guard. These guards are called The Queen’s Guards and their job is to look after Buckingham Palace.

Ceremony of The Keys

This ancient ceremony has happened every evening for 700 years and is the traditional locking up of the Tower of London. Even though there isn’t a Royal living in the Tower of London anymore, it still houses the Crown Jewels and other special items that need protecting. This ceremony is ticketed and although tickets are free of charge, they do need to be booked well in advance. This is because the ceremony is hugely popular and an allocated number of spectators are only allowed to watch the ceremony each evening.

Dramatic Vistas

Regents Park

Head along to Regents Park and climb to the top of Primrose Hill for one of London’s best views providing a fantastic panorama across the city. The whole family will enjoy this open green space in the middle of the concrete jungle with sports facilities, a playground and a boating lake.

Mission ‘Photo’

Travel around the capital on foot to take as many top photos as possible. Make a list of the top attractions to spot and make it a fun challenge for all to see who can spot each attraction first. Some of London’s top photo spots include St. Pauls Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace and Big Ben.

Great Walks

Richmond

Stroll through the lush riverside village of Richmond. Start at the White Cross pub and continue past the rural idyll of Petersham Meadows, until you reach Ham House.

Little Venice

Follow the towpath through London’s Little Venice, a peaceful canal area that is home to waterside cafes, pubs and eateries. Enjoy the tranquillity of the waterways that will make you feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the busy nearby roads and streets.

Other free things to do include:
•Walk along the Sherling high level walkway at the National Theatre and see the prop-makers and theatre designers working behind the scenes.
•Take a peek at London’s public and street art located all over the city, including works by famous artist Banksy.
•Visit the National Gallery and discover famous artworks by Botticelli, Leonardo Da Vinci and Van Gogh.
•Enjoy free comedy every night of the week at the Angel Comedy Club.
•Get entertained by students studying at the Royal College of Music with a free lunchtime or rush hour concert at various locations throughout the capital.
•Hear orators at Hyde Park’s Speaker’s Corner share theiropinions with the world.
•Pop along to St. Katharine Docks and admire the moored luxury yachts.
•Join London’s biggest street party, Notting Hill Carnival.
•Head into the basement of the Guildhall Art Gallery and see the remains of London’s Roman amphitheatre.

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