London Free Attractions - Top Ten
This hub is one of a series of hubs about free attractions in cities around the world.
We are all on a budget these days and so it is always good to find something free to do when you're in a new city. Here are my top ten for London, England - in no particular order of preference.
If you know of other great free attractions, please do post them in the Comments section below.
The British Museum
This is a real 'must see' museum. It is visited each year by over 6 million people. It contains many many artifacts from human history including the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon sculptures, and many Egyptian mummies.
Apart from the permanent exhibits, there are also regular temporary exhibits.
Address: Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG
This is your opportunity to recreate your very own version of the famous Beatles album cover! Abbey Road crossing is situated in St John's Wood. For directions see this URL:http://www.abbeyroadcrossing.com/
There is also a live webcam here: http://www.abbeyroad.com/crossing
Be careful! There are a number of Abbey Roads in London - be sure to go to the correct one!
The Tate is actually a collection of four art galleries, two of which are in London - the Tate British and the Tate Modern. Entry is free to both (except for special exhibitions). The Tate British houses art from 1500 to the present day. The Tate Modern houses international modern and contempory art.
Address: Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG
Address: Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG
Houses of Parliament
There are a variety of possibilites for visiting the Houses of Parliament (some tours are restricted to UK residents). For information please see this URL: http://www.parliament.uk/visiting/
Some tours are free of charge and others incur a charge. To climb the Clock Tower (which houses Big Ben) you must be a UK resident but the tour is free.
The National Gallery
The National Gallery is located in Trafalgar Square in a building specially constructed in 1838.
It houses the national collection of Western European painting from the 13th to the 19th centuries. It has over 2300 works including Van Gogh's 'Sunflowers'.
It is open 361 days a year, free of charge.
The Science Museum was founded in 1857 and was originally part of the South Kensington Museum. It gained independence in 1909. Today the Museum is world renowned for its historic collections, awe-inspiring galleries and inspirational exhibitions.
The Museum is located on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD. It is open every day except Dec 24th, 25th and 26th. It is free of charge.
Crystal Palace Park
Crystal Palace Park is a major London park. It is a Victorian pleasure ground and houses some lifesized models of dinosaurs and other extinct creatures created by sculptor Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins.
The park has also recently become home to many ring-necked parakeets.
Address: Thicket Rd, London, United Kingdom SE20 8DT
Horse Guards Parade
At 11:00am on Mondays to Saturday, and at 10am on Sunday, the Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place. This is a ceremony where by a new Guard, takes over a duty from an old Guard. the ceremony takes about a half an hour.
It takes place daily at a parade ground near Whitehall.
Address: Whitehall, London, SW1A 2AX
The Changing of the Guard can also be seen at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Palace on certain days. Check out this URL for exact dates:
Trafalgar Square is the largest square in London and is often considered to be the centre of London. It is owned by the Queen. The square, which is in the City of Westminster, was built around an area formerly known as Charing Cross.
At the centre of the square is a monument with Nelson's Column surrounded by four lions.
The square is used for community events and political demonstrations.
The square is named after the Battle of Trafalgar, which was a naval battle in which the British defeated the French Napoleonic ships.
The square used to be famed for its pidgeons and feeding them was the thing to do! Nowadays, however, it is outlawed to feed them and in fact there are trained birds of prey working the square to keep the pidgeons away.
Diana Memorial Playground
The Diana Memorial Playground is in Kensington Gardens, next to Kensington Palace. Over 750,000 children enjoy this playground every year. It is designed for children up to the age of 12.
At its centre is a large wooden pirate ship. There is also a sensory trail, teepees, toys and sculptures. the playground is inspired by the stories of Peter Pan and allows children's imagination to run wild! There is plenty of seating for the grown ups too!
It is open every day except Dec 25th, and has a cafe on site.