More Free Things To Do In London
We all like to make our money stretch further, especially when travelling, so finding free or less expensive activities can be very satisfying!
The Sky Garden
This is London's highest public garden, housed at the top of 20 Fenchurch Street. A visit has to be booked online one week before you want to visit and is totally free! The sky garden has observation decks and an open air terrace giving you great views across the City of London and beyond. There is no limit to the amount of time you spend there. You'll find a cafe and bar, with places to sit and enjoy the views. It can be a bit pricey, but having a coffee or tea won't break the budget and the view is priceless!
Roof Terrace at One New Change
One New Change is a shopping mall. It has free entry, public roof terrace, open seven days a week. You will get spectacular views of St Paul's Cathedral and the London skyline. There is a bar and restaurant on the terrace too, if you want to relax and stay for awhile Opening hours are 06.00 to 00.00. 1 New Change, London EC4M 9AF
South Bank Walk
Across Westminster Bridge on the South side of the Thames you will find the South Bank. From Westminster Bridge follow the river eastwards past the London Eye. This is a popular place and gets busy, although there are plenty of places to see along the way.
The South Bank Centre is a place that has plenty going with exhibitions, concerts and festivals.
If you like books you will love the second hand book market situated under Waterloo Bridge. It's open everyday and is a lovely spot to stop and browse, you may even find a treasure to take home with you!
Further along past Blackfriars Bridge you will find the Tate Modern Gallery, which is free to enter, although specific exhibitions are ticketed. The Turbine Hall has a vast dramatic entrance, usually featuring an art installation - it has hosted some of the world's most memorable and acclaimed works of modern art.
You have the choice of crossing the Millennium Bridge across to St Paul's Cathedral or continuing along the South Bank passing the Globe Theatre, the Golden Hinde ship to Tower Bridge and then Borough Market and Southwark Cathedral. There are plenty of pubs, restaurants and cafes to stop and refuel along the way. If shopping is what you enjoy, you'll find plenty of opportunities for that too at places like St Gabriel's Wharf and Hay's Galleria.
The walk from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge is about 2 miles. You can either walk across Tower Bridge and get the Underground from Tower Gateway back to Westminster on the District Line, or continue on to Borough Market and Southwark Cathedral, getting the Underground from London Bridge Station back to Westminster on the Jubilee Line.
Temple Church is situated between Fleet Street and the River Thames, built by the Knights Templar in 12th Century. It's an oasis of calm in the city, packed full of history. DaVinci Code fans will remember Professor Langdon’s clue gathering in this historic house of worship. You could also go to a service of Choral Evensong or a concert after you’ve solved your own mysteries. Check out the church website for more information.
Churches in the City of London
The City of London is actually only one square mile in size. The historic financial district, home to both the Stock Exchange and The Bank of England. It also packed with historical churches, open to the public. The obvious one is St Paul's Cathedral, which has an entrance fee of £18.00 per adult or £16.00 if you book online. If you don't want to pay for entry to a church you could visit other churches within the City of London, here a few of my favourites
St Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside EC2V 6AU
The church of Bow Bells and the architecture of Sir Christopher Wren
open Monday – Wednesday 07.30 – 18.30, Thursday 07.30 – 18.30, Friday 07.30 – 16.00
Cafe Below is situated in the crypt open Monday – Friday 07.30 -10.00 for Breakfast &
Monday – Friday 11.30 -14.00 for Lunch. Take away Breakfast & Lunch also available.
St Mary Aldermary, Bow Lane EC4N 4SJ
This was formally a medieval church, largely destroyed by the Fire of London in 1666, it was rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren's master craftsmen. It's the only surviving late 17th Century Gothic church in the City of London.This is also home of Host Cafe for coffee and cake. The outside area of the church has street food market stalls for a quick lunch.
St Vedast- Alias -Foster, Foster Lane, EC2V 6HH
This church is close to St Paul's Cathedral named after a French saint. This is a wonderful little church with modern stained glass windows and is a quiet haven in the city. Another church rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren after the Fire of London, it was then damaged during WWII and rebuilt in the style of Wren.
For more free and cheap ideas in London check out our other blog here