Enjoy the oldest part of London without breaking the bank.
Even if you’ve only got a few days staying in short let serviced apartments in The City, you’ll want to fill your time with exciting things to do. Being in London can be an expensive business, but it doesn’t have to be. The capital is full of free attractions to suit every taste and weather forecast. Many of them are located within The City and we’ve put together a list of some of the best.
Museum of London
As well as permanent exhibits documenting the story of London right back from prehistoric times to the modern day, the Museum of London also has a calendar of events throughout the year. It’s a great place to pop in and find more about the capital’s history or indulge the kids in some fun hands-on learning activities.
Open daily from 10am to 6pm
Bank of England Museum
Finding out about the history of the Bank of England is fascinating. As well as displays about its role since opening in 1694, the significant people who have run it and its buildings, this museum brings visitors bang up to date with its workings. The definite highlight among all the coins, notes and other artefacts is a genuine gold bar, which can be handled.
Entry granted Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm
If the sun is shining, then it’s great to get out into the fresh air and Postman’s Park is the perfect place to do so. Wander the shaded pathway from east to west through the garden or take a look at the Watts Memorial. This incredible monument to acts of heroic self-sacrifice was constructed by George Frederick Watts in 1900.
Visitors are welcome all year round from 8am until 7pm or when dusk arrives, whichever is earlier
Mudlarking on City side of Millennium Bridge
If you haven’t heard of mudlarking, then it’s a term that was coined in the 18th century for scavenging around in the mud near the River Thames. It doesn’t require any specialist equipment, although a pair of wellies can be a good idea and it’s important to know the tide times. The spot next to the Millennium Bridge on The City side of the river is perfect mudlarking territory. You may even discover some pieces of history in the form of broken pottery shards.
Whether you wish to wander by the Thames, take in the most famous landmarks or connect together a series of green spaces, The City has the walk for you. Check out this post filled with more detailed instructions for some great routes around the Square Mile.
Even if the weather outside isn’t great, you can still enjoy the delights of nature at the second biggest conservatory in London. There are 2,000 species of exotic plants and trees under the large glass roof, providing an oasis of green in The City.
Open on selected Sundays between 12 noon and 5pm
Guildhall Art Gallery
It’s incredible to think that an art collection including masterpieces painted by the Pre-Raphaelites and spanning the period from 1670 to the present day can be seen without spending a penny. This is the case at the Guildhall Art Gallery, which also has a number of temporary exhibitions as well as its illustrious permanent displays.
Entry is from 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 12 noon to 4pm on Sundays
Much mystery surrounds the history of the London Stone and whether it was part of the altar found inside the temple constructed by Brutus of Troy. If so, how did it get to the capital of England and why? What is known, however, is that you can find it at 111 Cannon Street.
Remains of London Wall
Once upon a time The City of London was enclosed within a huge wall. While this structure no longer stands proud, there are remains of it scattered around, waiting for history buffs to come along. Sections that can still be seen include Tower Hill Postern Gate near the Tower of London; Vine Street to the western side of the thoroughfare; and in front of the church at All Hallows on the Wall.
While it’s true that window shopping can lead to actual shopping, it costs nothing to browse the wares at Leadenhall Market. What’s more, as well as the stalls and shops, this beautiful Victorian covered market often hosts free performances and events, so there’s plenty to see. Harry Potter fans can marvel at the fact that scenes for the franchise’s Philosopher’s Stone film were shot at Leadenhall Market.