Things to do for free…
1. Changing the Guard for a display of British tradition and ceremony, watch the Changing the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace at 11am. This is where members of the Queen’s Guards exchanges duty with the previous guard. All guards are dressed in traditional red tunics and bearskin hats, and the ceremony is set to music.
Nearest tube station: Green Park, Victoria and St James Park. For further information visit: www.changing-the-guard.com
2. Big Ben is one of London’s best-known landmarks, and looks most spectacular at night when the clock faces are illuminated. It is located at the north-eastern end of the Palace of Westminster in London and is often extended to refer to the clock or the clock tower as well. Big Ben is the largest four-faced chiming clock and the third-tallest free-standing clock tower in the world.
Nearest tube station: Westminster. For further information visit: www.parliament.uk/visiting/visitingandtours/bigben
3. The Albert Bridge is one of London’s most ornate bridges. It is a Grade II listed road bridge over the River Thames in West London, connecting Chelsea on the north bank to Battersea on the south bank. Designed and built by Rowland Mason Ordish in 1873. It has featured in films such as Absolute Beginners, Sliding Doors and Stanley Kubrick’s much studied film, A Clockwork Orange.
Nearest tube station: South Kensington. For further information visit: www.touruk.co.uk/london_bridges/albert_bridge1.htm
4. The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design. Its permanent collection of over 4 million items spans 5000 years and every continent. It holds items such as costumes, ceramics, prints, photographs and drawings. It also houses the world’s largest collection of post classical sculpture.
Nearest tube station: South Kensington. For further information visit: www.vam.ac.uk
5. The Science Museum holds a real treasure trove of items including a working version of the first computer – Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine.
It is also renowned for its historic collections, awe-inspiring galleries and inspirational exhibitions.
Nearest tube station: South Kensington. For further information visit: www.sciencemuseum.org.uk
6. The Natural History Museum opened in 1881. It contains over 70 million items within 5 main collections: Botany, Entomology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology and Zoology. The most popular exhibits are the dinosaur skeletons. Many of the items were collected by Darwin himself on his various expeditions.
Nearest tube station: South Kensington. For further information visit: www.nhm.ac.uk
7. The National Maritime Museum is situated in the impressive buildings of the former Royal Naval School, part of Maritime Greenwich which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. The Museum comprises of three sites: the Maritime Galleries, the Royal Observatory and the Queen’s House. Together these constitute one museum working to illustrate for everyone the importance of the sea, ships, time and the stars and their relationship with people.
Nearest tube station: Riverboat to Greenwich Pier, train to North Greenwich, DLR to Cutty Sark. For further information visit: www.nmm.ac.uk
8. The Imperial War Museum is housed in a former psychiatric hospital, known as Bedlam. It includes memorabilia from both world wars. Items range from medals, weapons and ration books through to tanks and a fragment from the Berlin Wall.
Nearest tube station: Lambeth North, Waterloo and Southwark. For further information visit: www.nmm.ac.uk
9. Tate Modern is the national gallery of international modern art. It’s one of the family of four Tate galleries which display selections from the Tate Collection. Created in the year 2000 from a disused power station in the heart of London, Tate Modern has a fantastic and free permanent collection.
Nearest tube station: Southwark, Mansion House and St Pauls. Opening Times: Sun / Thurs 10am to 6pm & Fri / Sat 10am to 10pm. For Further information visit: www.tate.org.uk/modern
10. The National Portrait Gallery houses around 10,000 portraits of famous British people throughout history and still living. It opened to the public in 1856. Famous portraits include one of the best known paintings of William Shakespeare, a self portrait of William Hogarth and Branwell Bronte’s famous painting of his three sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte.
Nearest tube stations: Charing Cross, Embankment and Leicester Square. Opening times: Daily 10am to 6pm & 9pm Thurs and Fri.For further information visit: www.npg.org.uk
11. Green Park offers a convenient cut through from Buckingham Palace to St James and Piccadilly. Unlike many of the other royal parks in central London, Green Park has no lakes – rather, it is a number of meadows. It was established as an enclosed park by Henry VIII in the sixteenth century.
Nearest tube station: Green Park. For further information visit: www.royalparks.org.uk
12. Hyde Park - one of London’s finest historic landscapes covering 142 hectares (350 acres). There is something for everyone in Hyde Park. With over 4,000 trees, a lake, a meadow, horse rides and more it is very easy to forget you’re in the middle of London.
Nearest tube station: Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge, Queensway and Marble Arch. For further information visit: www.royalparks.org.uk
13. Regents Park was designed by John Nash in 1818 as part of a wider plan for the area, and was opened to the general public in 1845. It is not only used for general relaxation but is also the venue for many organised amateur sports such as tennis, cricket and hockey, and there is boating on the lake.
Nearest tube station: Regents Park, Baker Street, Great Portland Street. For further information visit: www.royalparks.org.uk
14. Hampstead Heath is only four miles from Trafalgar Square and has about 800 acres of lovely countryside. It is rich in flora and fauna. The landscape has woodland, meadows, heathland and many ponds along its valleys and features such as hedgerows and ancient trees provide links with the past. Kingfishers, reed warblers and all three species of British woodpecker breed, over 300 species of fungi have grown here and you can find many species of bats too.
Nearest tube station: Hampstead, Belsize Park. For further information visit: www.hampsteadheath.net
Did you know…
Travelodge, London’s biggest hotel chain, currently has 60 hotels across the capital and is planning to open a further four properties in the city later this year.
So why not check out the grade ll listed Travelodge hotels at: Waterloo, City Road or Kings Cross.
During the last 12 months, Travelodge has invested £57 million into modernising its hotels. This investment includes a new contemporary room design which has been created by Travelodge customers. The new fresh modern room includes a bespoke luxurious king size bed called the Travelodge Dreamer Bed. (This type of bed is normally found in four & five star hotels world-wide).
The room has also been decorated in sleep inducing calming shades of light blue and cream to help customers relax and have a good night’s sleep.
Also all refurbished Travelodge family rooms now have two truckle beds instead of a sofa bed so that children can sleep in their individual bed.
To date, 43 London based Travelodge hotels have been modernised in the new Travelodge brand look. To stay in a newly refurbished Travelodge room, just visit www.travelodge.co.uk. When viewing hotels details – it will state whether the hotel has been refurbished or is scheduled to. For example these London based Travelodge hotels have been refurbished: Covent Garden, City Road, Euston, Kings Cross, Bank, Waterloo and Bethnal Green, Clapham Junction, Balham, and Woolwich.
Did you know…
Travelodge is now offering free Wifi in all of its hotels for 30 minutes. For customers who wish to use a longer service, Travelodge has slashed its 24 hour Wifi rate to just £3.
Did you know ….
Travelodge has 35 hotels in London that have a Bar Café where you can start your day enjoying a full English breakfast from the buffet menu or enjoy a drink at the bar or a three course meal in the evening. To help your money go further whilst staying at a Travelodge hotel you can enjoy a two course meal and a drink for just £12.75 or a main meal and a drink for just £9.95.
The full English breakfast buffet is just £6.65 per person when booked online and children under the age of 16 eat for free. Making it great value for money for families.
The new Bar Café menu which has been designed by Travelodge customers includes favourite dishes such as: fish & chips, chicken tikka masala, burger & chips, sausage or mash and a wide range of Chicago Town pizzas.
The new menu also includes ‘A Lighter Bites’ range which includes a range of dishes at 600 calories or under. As well as a new bigger kids selection with traditional British favourite dishes such as Bird Eye’s fish fingers and chips, Chicken dippers and sausage and mash. For dessert, a new candy floss ice cream has been added to the menu alongside a cheeky choccy sundae with Beechdeans ice cream.