Traveling to the big city can seem like an expensive prospect, but when you head to London there are lots of things you can do that don’t cost and penny and keep you enthralled and entertained. In addition to many of the galleries and museums across London that are free of charge to enter, there’s a packed calendar of events that will have something to interest just about everyone.
1. The Brixton Windmill
An unlikely thing to find in the centre of London, Brixton is proud to boast that it has its own windmill that’s stood on the site since the early 19th century. Local guides offer tours of the building, which has a number of open days that are free to the public throughout the year.
2. The Wellcome Collection
Located on Euston Road in the heart of London, the Wellcome Trust has an on-going programme of free exhibitions that bring together art and science to explore our human interactions with the world around us. The collections on display are updated regularly and include art and scientific exhibits from around the world.
3. Ceremony of the Keys
Every night without fail for the past 700 or so years, the Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London have performed a ceremonial ritual, closing the gates to the Tower at sunset. Members of the public can attend the ceremony for free by applying in advance in writing to the Ceremony of the Keys Office.
4. Speaker’s Corner
In the north-east corner of Hyde Park sits Speaker’s Corner, which plays daily host to a range of religious and political speakers who stand and address passers-by on a whole host of topics. Anyone is free to speak on any subject, provided they stay within the laws of free speech. You might even decide you want to give it a go yourself!
5. The Barbican
This might seem like a strange recommendation, but the Barbican Centre is an oddity that bears further examination. Built in the 1950s as a vision of futuristic living, the oddly brutal architecture and pedestrianized centre is interspersed with hidden gardens and even a pond.
6. The Thames Tunnels
In the borough of Greenwich, two foot tunnels allow pedestrians to climb down a long spiral flight of stairs and cross under the Thames to get to the other side of the river. The Greenwich tunnel allows you to cross from the Isle of Dogs, bringing you out next to the Cutty Sark for a visit to the 19th century clipper.
7. The Greenwich Observatory
While you’re in Greenwich after your walk under the Thames, take the time out to visit the Greenwich Observatory. The place from which all time zones take their cue, Greenwich has the meridian that is beamed out from a laser and denotes the centre of GMT.
8. The RAF Museum
Set in North London near the Colindale Tube station, the RAF museum has a mind-boggling array of aircraft that have been on active service in the British Air Force. The sprawling museum has more than enough to keep you occupied for several visits and not see the same thing twice.
9. The Postal Museum
An oddity in West London, the Postal Museum has a collection of all things post-related through the ages in the UK. From vintage post boxes to old stamps, you can find out how the Post Office helped shape Britain’s communication with the rest of the world.
10. Abbey Road
In St John’s Wood, North West London, you can still see the crossing where the Beatles took their famous walk onto the cover of their album of the same name. Take a walk across with your family and a camera and capture a piece of your own musical history.
There is so much to do in London for free; there is hardly any need to spend a penny on things to do. This means you can save your money for something special.