Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Free days out in London

Recently, I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed by the prospect of a long summer holiday which we plan to spend mainly in London. Looking back, I realise that there are so many London based activities so I plan, partly for my own benefit, to post about activities in London. The first post is about free days out  and I hope to follow this by posts about cheap activities in London, other London activities and ways of reducing the cost and last, a post about reducing ancillary expenses such as travel and food.

These are activities that we have done but please comment with other recommendations.
  • Parks-London has so many parks and they are free. Some are more child friendly than others. I know the South London parks better than those in the North but feel free to make other recommendations. Particular favourites are Coram Gardens (central), Princess Diana Memorial Park (central),  St James' Park (central-the playground is quite small and can get very busy), Dulwich (South), Battersea (South-parking is very expensive best to go on public transport), Danson (South-boating lake),Ladywell Fields (has a zip wire). 
  • Adventure playgrounds. There are a few around including Peckham Rye. Adventure playgrounds tend to have odd opening hours so do check first: we have been caught out!
  • Museums-some of the largest museums are free. In some ways, though, they can be a bit uncomfortably full in school holidays. We have found that this particularly applies to the Science Museum. Other free museums include the Victoria and Albert, the British Museum (look out for their children's Gallery Backpacks. These are only available in school holidays and at weekends.), The Natural History Museum, the Maritime Museum in Greenwich, the Imperial War Museum
    and the much smaller Horniman Museum in South London.
  • Art Galleries. Some of the major galleries are free: The National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Tate and the Tate Modern.
  • Other Green spaces. Wild London manages many spaces including the enormous Walthamstow Wetlands
    and the tiny Centre for Wildlife Gardening.
  • Swimming. Southwark and Tower Hamlets have free swimming on certain days of the week for residents. It is necessary to register. Hackney under 18s can swim free.
  • The Thames path-a great place to spend a day and free.
  • Central London-it is easy to put together a day touring the sights. This could include climbing on the lions in Trafalgar Square, changing of the guard, seeing Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament. Alternatively,if your children are older, then going round the famous shops is an amazing experience-just make sure that the children know that you won't be buying everything you see! Fortnum and Mason and Liberty are particular favourites. 
Please comment with any free activities for children that you recommend in London.

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