Back in December, we published a list of seven must-visit free attractions in London, which included the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, Nelson’s Column, the National Gallery, Tate Britain, Imperial War Museum, Kensington Gardens and Abbey Road.
But with all of that, we only touched on the amazing free attractions that the UK capital has to offer, which is why we’re revisiting them to bring you a list of even more.
From museums to walking tours and from free tea and cake to magical locations, here are six more excellent free London attractions to discover:
1. Science Museum
London’s Science Museum in South Kensington houses a range of fascinating exhibitions, with one recent arrival the spacecraft that returned astronaut Tim Peake to Earth following his six-month stay at the International Space Station.
Other exhibits include an exploration of how robots have been developing over time and the role they could one day play in society. This exhibition covers the last 500 years, looking at the first attempts to make machines human, how we’re reaching ever closer to this goal and what this could mean for the world in the future.
Meanwhile, the Winton Gallery examines 400 years of mathematical history, bringing the once-dreaded subject of maths to life for kids and grown-ups alike. This exhibit explores how maths is used in all aspects of our lives from helping to programme computers to discovering new medicines, taking perceptions of the subject a world away from the stuffy classroom with endless algebraic formulae.
2. Platform Nine and Three-Quarters
London was used as a filming location several times during the creation of the eight Harry Potter movies. For instance, Leadenhall Street formed the basis of the scenes shot at the magical Diagon Alley, while the final installment of the franchise sees Harry, Ron and Hermione walking along Charing Cross Road.
But the ultimate photo location can be found at Kings Cross train station. In the Harry Potter stories, this is where the Hogwarts Express leaves at 11:00am on September 1st every year, setting off from the magical platform nine and three-quarters.
This is such a popular draw for tourists that having them all flocking to the wall between platforms nine and ten would cause an obstruction, so the magical platform has instead been positioned in the station’s large foyer, complete with a luggage trolley ‘disappearing’ through the wall.
3. Walking tour: Fire, Pestilence and Plague
There are countless free walking tours to enjoy around London, whether you’re taking in the street art of Shoreditch or tracing the steps of the mysterious Jack the Ripper. And of course, you can always make up your own to take in the sights you most want to see.
However, one of the best is the Fire, Pestilence and Plague walking tour that leaves from Monument Underground station at 2.30pm on Sunday afternoons.
The tour looks at the history of these three themes throughout London, with particular focus on the bubonic plague of medieval times, the Great Fire of London and the bombing of the World War Two Blitz. The walk will take you past St Paul’s Cathedral, Roman walls and mass graveyards from the plague, offering a fascinating insight into the UK capital’s past.
4. The Scoop
The Scoop open-air theatre close to City Hall plays host to free cinema screenings and theatre performances throughout the summer months, allowing visitors to sample some of the city’s culture without having to fork out for a ticket fee. The programme for spring/summer 2017 is yet to be announced, so keep your eyes peeled.
Ziferblat cafe on Old Street is a coffee shop with a difference. Visitors can enjoy all of the tea, toast, cake and biscuits they like without having to pay a penny; instead, all they have to pay for is their time.
Customers are charged for every minute they spend in the cafe, so this isn’t a totally free attraction, but with cosy armchairs, board games, Wi-Fi access and all the free cake you can eat, it works out much cheaper to come here for a few hours than to pay for a grande beverage in a high-street coffee chain.
6. British Library
The British Library is not your average public library. Contemporary books, CDs and digital archives sit alongside Beatles lyrics handwritten by John Lennon, an original copy of the Magna Carta and drawings made by the great Leonardo da Vinci himself.
Visitors will also get the chance to see William Shakespeare’s First Folio, as well as Lewis Carroll’s original manuscripts for Alice’s Adventures Underground, making the library home to some of the finest pieces of literature ever written and the place that houses all the world’s greatest stories.