London

Top 10 FREE things to do in London

London welcomes millions of visitors every year, and 2012 is sure to be a big year, with the Queens Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games drawing people to the capital. Some visitors may be here for specific events during the games, with a day or a few days in between to enjoy the other attractions the city has to offer, so we have compiled the lists below of free things you can do enjoy in London:

Art Galleries

Tate Modern, Tate Britain, National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery, Wallace Collection near Oxford Street, Whitechapel Gallery.

Museums

All are free admission, although there may be charges for special exhibitions and events. Museum of London, Natural History Museum, British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Geffrye Musuem, Horniman Musuem, Science Museum, Museum of London, Museum of London Docklands, RAF Museum, Bank of England Museum, British Postal Museum and Archive, The Old Royal Naval College, Sir John Soane's Museum.

The Houses of Parliament

UK residents can take a tour of Parliament including a climb up the clock tower or seeing the chambers - arrange with your MP. Overseas visitors can pay an admission charge and take a 75 minute tour - the tours are on Saturdays only. Cameras cannot be used, except in Westminster Hall.

Parks and Gardens

Regent's Park, St. James's Park, Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens (with Diana Memorial Playground), Hampstead Heath, Kensington Roof Gardens, Postman's Park, Lincoln's Inn Fields, Brown Hart Gardens (Mayfair), Richmond Park, Greenwich Park, Bushy Park, Green Park, Brompton Cemetery, Mile End Park, Primrose Hill, Russell Square, Thames Barrier Park, Victoria Park

The Changing of the Guard

Buckingham Palace 11.30 am daily during the summer, alternate days during the winter months.

Landmarks and Sightseeing

Big Ben & Parliament, St. Pauls Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Nelson's Column, The London Eye, Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London, 10 Downing Street, Piccadilly Circus, Cleopatra's Needle, Statue of Eros, Horse Guards Parade, Kensington Palace, Mansion House, Marble Arch, Monument, 02 Arena, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Courts of Justice, Royal Observatory, St. James's Palace, Thames Flood Barrier, Trafalgar Square, Wellington Arch, Westminster Abbey, City Hall, Admiralty Arch, Jewel House, Guildhall, Royal Exchange, The Gherkin, Lambeth Palace, Canary Wharf (note that some of the landmark buildings open to the public charge admission for entry)

A walk along the South Bank.

Take a walk along the South Bank starting from Westminster Bridge and take in all these sights: Westminster Bridge | South Bank Lion | County Hall | London Eye | Golden Jubilee Bridges | Royal Festival Hall | National Film Theatre | Waterloo Bridge | National Theatre | Hayward Gallery | South Bank Banners | Gabriel's Wharf & Bernie Spain | Gardens | Oxo Tower Wharf | Blackfriars Bridge | Stamford House | London Nautical School | Palm Housing Co-operative | 65-19 Stamford Street | Royal Waterloo Hospital for | Children & Women | bfi London IMAX Cinema | St. John The Evangelist Church | 1-72 Roupell Street | Young Vic | 1-29 Ufford Street | The Stage Door | David Grieg Department Store | Old Vic | Waterloo Millennium Green | Crown & Cushion | London Necropolis Station | Christchurch & Upton Chapel | Wellington Mills | St. George's Roman Catholic | Cathedral | Westminster Bridge | South Bank Lion | County Hall | London Eye | Golden Jubilee Bridges | Royal Festival Hall | National Film Theatre | Waterloo Bridge | National Theatre | Hayward Gallery | South Bank Banners | Gabriel's Wharf & Bernie Spain Gardens | Oxo Tower Wharf | Blackfriars Bridge | Stamford House | London Nautical School | Palm Housing Co-operative | 65-19 Stamford Street | Royal Waterloo Hospital for Children & Women | bfi London IMAX Cinema | St. John The Evangelist Church | 1-72 Roupell Street | Young Vic | 1-29 Ufford Street | The Stage Door | David Grieg Department Store | Old Vic | Waterloo Millennium Green | Crown & Cushion | London Necropolis Station | Christchurch & Upton Chapel | Wellington Mills | St. George's Roman Catholic Cathedral | Imperial War Museum

Trafalgar Square and Nelson's Column

Designed by John Nash, the square is one of the city's most popular attractions. There are plenty of sights to see, as well as 'people watching'. See Nelson's Column guarded by four lions at the base, and the National Gallery art museum. (Don't forget: Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square have a specific provision against photography for commercial purposes without the written permission of the Mayor of London and permission is needed to photograph or film for commercial purposes in the Royal Parks).

Westminster Abbey.

Admission to the Abbey which was founded in the year 960 is free - there is never any charge for visitors wishing to worship. Sightseeing visitors however are charged admission (£16 in January 2012), admission to the cloisters, the College Garden and St. Margaret's Church is free.