A famous English writer once said that if you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life. In other words, it is impossible to get bored in this great city! I have lived in London my whole life, but every week I learn or discover something new. It is truly a city full of surprises, so here is a list of my top ten free things to do in London…
1. The Sky Garden
Close to the Tower of London is one of the city’s most famous modern buildings – the so-called “walkie talkie”. You have to book a place two weeks in advance, but you can travel to the top of the building, have a drink at the Sky Garden bar and enjoy the impressive views.
This quiet area of southeast London is full of interesting history. There is a small film studio here, as well as the excellent Mayflower pub. The Mayflower was the name of the ship that first transported English emigrants to America in 1620. Supposedly, they had a final English beer at this pub before they left!
3. Postman’s Park
This quiet park near St. Paul’s cathedral is the home of a very sad but interesting monument – a memorial to hundreds of ordinary men and women who died saving other people throughout London’s history.
4. The Imperial War Museum
London has many free museums, but this is probably my favourite. Located in Lambeth, near Waterloo station, the IWM provides a fascinating history of Britain’s involvement in warfare. It also has two highly recommended exhibitions about espionage and the Holocaust.
5. Greenwich Park
Greenwich is a beautiful and highly fashionable area, and the park provides visitors with one of London’s finest views of the city. The park is also the location of Greenwich Observatory, the exact point of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
6. Speaker’s Corner
This is located in Hyde Park, where public speakers gather to share their opinions about the world to anyone who will listen. In can be quite an entertaining experience!
7. Borough Market
If (like me) you like your food, then this busy food market near London Bridge is highly recommended. The market is open from Thursday to Saturday, and is a great place to find a quick breakfast or lunch.
8. The Guildhall
This beautiful and ancient building in the city of London is home to both a free art gallery and the remains of a 2,000 year-old Roman amphitheatre.
9. Highgate Cemetery
This huge cemetery in north London is a fascinating place for a quiet walk. It is famously the location of Karl Marx’s grave. The nearby Hampstead heath is also worth visiting for its fine views of London.
10. The Monument
This stone column (near Monument tube station) was built to commemorate the victims of the Great Fire of London in 1666, which started in nearby Pudding Lane. If you have the energy, you can climb the stairs to the top and enjoy the view. Interestingly, only six people died in the fire. In fact, more people died building the monument!