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Top 10 Free Things To Do In London

6/09/2016Jake Ryan

When contemplating a trip to London, most people are under the impression that a big budget is a must. However, my many trips to the capital are proof that London doesn't have to be expensive!

So, whether you're visiting for a weekend break or a longer stay, here are my top 10 free things to do and see in London. Not only will they make the most of your trip, but even better, they won't break the bank.

Steeped in more than a thousand years of history, this Gothic masterpiece is a must see for any London visitor.
While visiting one of London’s most famous attractions will set you back £20 during the day, if you leave your visit until 5.30pm when ‘Evensong’ takes place every evening, you won't have to pay a thing! Not only will you be able to feast your eyes on over six hundred monuments and memorials within the church, you will also be serenaded by the Abbey's world class choir.
☻ Visit me: 5pm
£  I Cost: Free 
✈ How to get to me: Westminster Station (tube) and bus no: 11, 24, 211, N44
The Southbank along the River Thames is one of those unsung heroes of London and one of my favourite ways to experience the culture and eclecticness that embodies the city.
Day or night, go for a walk from Westminster Bridge along the River Thames towards Tower Bridge and you can take a tour of the city’s top attractions without spending a thing. Stretching along the Thames from Lambeth Bridge to Blackfriars Bridge, you can take in iconic sights like the Houses of ParliamentBig Ben, the GherkinSt Paul's Cathedral, the Tower of London and the London Eye; All for the grand old price of £0!
☻ Visit me: All year round
£  I Cost: Free
✈ How to get to me: Westminster Station, Embankment Station (tube) and bus no: 211, 77 and 381

London is a real treat for gallery and museum lovers. Boasting hundreds of huge venues and some of the best collections in the world, any visitor to the city would certainly be sorry to miss these; especially as nearly all of them are free!
Favourites of mine include the British Museum, the Saatchi Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Tate Galleries. For a complete list click here.
☻ Visit me: 10am-5.30pm daily
£  I Cost: Free
✈ How to get to me: See individual museum websites for transport details

At the north east end of Hyde Park near Marble Arch is Speakers' Corner. A patch of land where every Sunday, anyone  and everyone can stand on an old box and voice their opinion on any subject that takes their fancy and spectators gather for free. Embodying everything that is great about London, free speech is welcomed and encouraged with subjects ranging from the traditional religion and politics all the way up to the zany free hugs and alien invader news. Crowds of people will gather and you can either take part in the discussions or hang back and enjoy the fun. Past speakers have included Karl Marx and Lenin so you could actually see history in the making.
☻ Visit me: Every Sunday 1.30pm-7.30pm
£  I Cost: Free
✈ How to get to me: Marble Arch (tube) 

One of the most popular parts of any visit to London is the Changing of the Guard ceremony which takes place every day at 11.30am outside of Buckingham Palace.
Dating back to 1500, it is the official shift change of the Guards of the Household Regiment, who protect Buckingham Palace and the Queen. With it being so popular, you will need to arrive early to get a good view. If you can't get a place at the Buckingham Palace Gate, you can always wait for the Horse Guards to pass St James's Palace and follow them from there.
☻ Visit me: 11.30am daily
£  I Cost: Free
✈ How to get to me: Victoria, Green Park, Hyde Park Corner (tube) and bus no: 11, 211, C1 and C10

This is one attraction that even native Londoners seem to be unaware of. However, it is true, you can actually climb Big Ben for the bargain price of £0!
All you have to do is write to your local MP for a ticket and you will get your own tour. The guide will take you up the tower to see the clock mechanism, clock faces and even let you stand in the belfry when the bell tolls. Make sure you plan in advance though as tickets are only available at least 6 months in advance.
☻ Visit me: 9am, 11am and 2pm Monday-Friday except Bank Holidays. There is also a tour at 4pm during May-September
£  I Cost: Free
✈ How to get to me: Westminster Station (tube)

Whenever I plan a trip to London I always try to get a free ticket to a TV show. I have been lucky to attend quite a few of these tapings. Although ranging from the truly sublime (Mock the Week) to the truly awful (The King is Dead), they always make for a great night out.
There are different companies that offer free tickets to attend TV show tapings all over London but my favourite remains the BBC. Make sure to apply for tickets well in advance and if you're selected to be in the audience, arrive at the studio early to ensure you get a seat! 
☻ Visit me: Various times. Click here for latest taping information.
£  I Cost: Free
✈ How to get to me: See individual websites for transport details 

Although most people's minds jump straight to Hyde park when you talk about large green spaces in London, perhaps the most underrated and arguably the most beautiful of them all is the Kyoto Garden in Holland Park.
Designed and built in 1992, the  Japanese-style Kyoto Garden in Holland Park provides an escape from the normal hustle and bustle of pulsing London. Get lost in the peaceful atmosphere and feel yourself being transported by the relaxing surroundings. With its small stone paths, petite shrubs, waterfall, pond and colourful flowerbeds, you will actually feel like you have awoken in Japan. 
☻ Visit me: daily: 7.30am - 30 mins before dusk
£  I Cost: Free
✈ How to get to me: Kensington High Street Station (tube) 

The Ceremony of the Keys is the traditional locking up of the Tower of London which has taken place every night without fail for the past 700 years at precisely 9.53pm. With the normal admission price to the Tower setting you back £22, this event is unbelievably free to attend!
As it takes place after hours, group numbers are very limited so you must apply for a ticket a few months in advance. What you are treated to however is seeing a few of the most famous locations for free including the Traitors Gate, the Bloody Tower and the White Tower. Amazing! 
☻ Visit me: 9am, 11am and 2pm Monday-Friday except Bank Holidays. There is also a tour at 4pm during May-September
£  I Cost: Free
✈ How to get to me: Westminster Station (tube)

Save yourself the price of a flight on the London Eye and climb to the top of Primrose Hill in North London to experience breath-taking views of the British capital for absolutely nothing.
I love to come up here at night with friends and take in the fantastic skyline of the city all lit up. It is truly a spectacular site and one you are not likely to forget.  
☻ Visit me: All year round
£  I Cost: Free
✈ How to get to me: Regent’s Park (tube) and bus no: 2, 13, 18, 274, C2


If you have bought a travel card for the underground, you can score a free sightseeing tour via the number 11 bus. Grab the front seat at the top, and wave at those on the ridiculously priced open-top buses as you follow a very similar route past many of the city’s famous sights.
If you get on near Westminster Abbey you’ll pass the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Downing Street, Trafalgar Square, the Royal Courts of Justice, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Bank of England to name a few. As your travel card is also valid all day for unlimited rides, you can hop off at whatever sites take your fancy for a closer look and hop back on to continue your tour. 
☻ Visit me: 
£  I Cost: Free with a £12 travel card
✈ How to get to me: Westminster Station (tube)

What are your favourite free things to do in London? 
Drop me a comment below.

Photo Credits
Westminster Abbey photo credit: Jim Nix / Nomadic Pursuits via photopin cc

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