Great Free Things To Do In London

February 12, 2013| United Kingdom | London| Cities

London always ranks highly in any cost of living survey of world class cities. However, for those in-the-know there is a host of free things to do in this vibrant city.

Museums do not have to be full of dry and boring exhibits. The Victoria and Albert Museum has seven miles of galleries ranging from historical costumes to Chinese ceramics. Like most museums in London it is free to visit so you can keep returning to see more! Join one of the free guided tours or attend the free lectures on Sundays afternoons. You may get to listen to an astronaut, a TV producer or an author whilst learning some interesting facts.

The British Museum has 7 million Egyptian and Greek antiquities in one of the largest collections in the world. The piéce de résistance in the Natural History Museum are the dinosaur skeletons. With a host of other museums such as the Science Museum and the Museum of London, there is something for everyone to enjoy on a rainy day.

Art lovers will find London's collections of artworks quite superb. The contemporary art in the Saatchi Gallery is free to visit and you can take photographs. The Tate Britain is the national gallery of British art from the 15th century onwards, while its sister, the Tate Modern, focuses on 20th century art. The National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square depicts British history in portraits and includes historic kings and queens as well as modern actors and rock stars.

The stately home of Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath has a fine collection of artworks by Rembrandt, Turner, Reynolds and Gainsborough and entrance is free.

Having had your fill of culture, take a stroll in one of the parks which London is famous for. Hyde Park stretches from Kensington Palace to Hyde Park Corner. Stroll beside the Serpentine or see the Household Calvary exercising their beautiful horses. Watch tennis, bowling and rugby matches and enjoy the Italian gardens. The Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain is a fun water play area for children.

The ceremonial Changing of the Guards takes place outside Buckingham Palace daily at 11.30 in the summer. The Corps of Drums leads the Queen's Guard down the Mall to the Palace. There is a ceremonial inspection, they present arms, hand over the palace keys and the new sentries are posted in a very colourful 30 minute ceremony.

From there wander into lovely St James Park with its wildfowl reserve and unusual ducks. There is an aviary on the southern edge after which Birdcage Walk was named.

Churches and Abbeys Westminster Abbey is one of the most beautiful buildings in London. It has been the setting for coronations and christenings, royal weddings and funerals and has been the burial place of British monarchs since the 11th century along with Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and others in Poet's Corner. Although there is a charge to visit St Paul's Cathedral, St James's in Piccadilly is free. It was also designed by Christopher Wren and offers free lunchtime concerts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. As you can see, London can be a great place to visit on a shoestring and the heritage, artworks and architecture are memorable.