London is one of the capital cities of the world that attract visitors by the millions. In 2011, according to ‘Visit Britain’ 30.6 million people visited the capital and stayed an average of one week a grand annual total of £17.9billion. You always hear people saying London is expensive but it really doesn’t have to be, there are many things that are free, accessible, and of interest to visitors and all it will cost you is the transport to and from the place.
1. ROYALTY CALLS
Buckingham Palace is definitely one of the must-see places of London. You can walk along the entire front of the palace gates and take photos with the Palace guards in their ceremonial red toy soldier outfits with their big black fuzzy hats. The best time to go is for the Changing of the Guard which occurs daily in July and on odd days in August. You will get to experience some of that pomp and ceremony always spoken about when the Foot Guards complete their duties, making way for new ones. They symbolically hand over the keys to the Palace as a way of transferring responsibility. The ceremony is a great way to experience the pomp and ceremony spoken about between the hours of 11am-midday but you can always check on line for up-to-date information.
2. ART, SCIENCE AND HISTORY BUFFS
The museums in London are all FREE! Its sounds hard to believe especially when you see the monumental buildings that house great relics of the past. The most impressive is the Natural History Museum in Kensington which is a German Romanesque building – a work of architectural art itself. The museum is open from 10am-6pm and welcomes visitors with a prehistoric life-size dinosaur skeleton in the lobby.
The Science Museum which is literally just around the corner from the Natural History Museum is chocked full of floors of interesting things to stimulate your mind. The rocket ships are amazing as they line the ceiling and walls of one of the exhibit halls.
The National Gallery is a phenomenal gallery boasting the greatest collection of Western Europe. It features world famous pieces such as Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh and The Entombment by Michelangelo. The gallery is located across from Trafalgar Square and is open daily from 10am-6pm.
3. ARTSY MARKET
Convent Gardens is a great place to take a seat and enjoy the food, performing arts and handicraft stalls in one place. This former fruit and vegetable market is now home to licensed performers who sing, play instruments, dance and even do mime. The handicraft market has souvenirs, handmade t-shirts, soaps, paintings, and so much more for sale. After taking part in these things, you can try food from across the world at the various café’s and bistros.
4. FREE COMPANION TICKET
What’s the best way to gain free entry to one of the many attractions in London? Visit the website Days Out Guide and pick up a free ticket for your companion. There are lots of places to choose from including popular attractions such as the London Zoo, Madame Tussauds (waxwork), and even the London Eye. To enjoy be with a friend or make a friend.
5. TRAFALGAR SQUARE
This is one of the most well known landmarks of London – where visitors flock to feed the pigeons and pose with the legendary lion statues. Located in the heart of London, it is overlooked by the statue of Admiral Horatio Nelson on a 200-ft column.
6. THE OLYMPIC TOWER ORBIT
One of the newest attractions in London, the Orbit, is a modern artistic sculpture consisting of a twisted red tower with existential disturbance is enhanced by the presence of large distorting concave mirrors. It does not resemble anything ever seen before which makes this tower unique. To gain entrance you will have to pay an entrance fee to go up in the elevator to the two viewing platforms at the top of the 377ft sculpture and walk down the spiral staircase. The Olympic Tower is definitely a sculpture worth seeing in person. So, if you are out shopping at Westfield Shopping Centre or on the outskirts of the Olympic Park, do take a look.
When in London, keep an eye on what’s happening through radio and print material. You can also download specific London apps and eBooks that will help you keep your finger on the pulse of the city. Finding something free to do isn’t as hard as you may think and the free attractions, activities and events can easily make a memorable vacation in England’s capital city.