Friday, 18 May 2007

wombling free

So I've been thinking : what is your favourite thing to do for free in London?

If forced to pick only one, I'd have to say 'walking', which is a total cop-out, I realise, but is still true.

If forced to pick one route? (which is hard!) South bank downriver from Westminster to Tower Bridge, and back up the North bank. I do a part of that walk three, four times a week, and there's always something new to notice. (Yesterday I was not only spotting sculptures on the skyline, but also they've covered the NT in grass ...)

In fact - it's Friday. Let's make a meme.

Your favourite _______ in London.

1 -- free thing to do

2 -- cheap (ish) place to eat

3 -- one-off tourist splurge (say, £30?)


1 - Walking the river

2 - Mother Mash

3 - River boat either up to Greenwich or down to Hampton Court Palace.

(bonus tip - take the boat to HC with a picnic, and then get the train home, which is quicker and cheaper)


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Anonymous said...

Favourite thing to do for free in London?

Walking around Holborn and its environs appreciating the spectacular buildings.

It may be cheating because it involves buying a book - but Andrew Duncan's 'Secret London' is a great source for a structured walk, giving away some of the history of the route.

For places, Tate Britain for the art
Wallace Collection for the militaria (and if you like frou-frou art, the c18th paintings upstairs)
Pure international history - British Museum (obviously)
or for more local history - Museum of London.

Sadly, that's the closest I get to single most free thing.


Anonymous said...

My favourite free thing to do is the Greenwich Maritime Museum/Observatory. It's in a really beautiful part of Greenwich and you get fantastic views of Canary Wharf and the Cutty Sark and the Observatory is in the middle of a beautiful park.

Favourite cheap thing to do, during the summer, is go to a play at the Globe Theatre. You need stamina and comfortable shoes, but the £5 standing tickets are well worth it.

Favourite cheap(ish) place to eat is Zipangu in Chinatown. Next door to the much more famous 'Tokyo Diner', but I prefer the cheaper prices and (in my opinion) nicer food from Zipangu.

£30~ tourist attraction, for me would probably be something like London Zoo. Small and perfectly formed.

Claire Wain said...

Favourite Free Thing
1) Walking through Hyde Park. I try to take a different path each time I go through (depending on where I want to end up), and it's lovely to people-and-animal-watch. There are often interesting things to see outside the Serpentine Gallery, and the Albert Memorial is stunning in the sunshine.

2) The Victoria & Albert Museum. How wonderful to be able to see so much stuff for free! I suppose this applies to most of the galleries and museums, but the V&A is my personal favourite. I've been dozens of times, and still haven't seen all of it.

Favourite Food
I can't remember whether it counts as cheap, but I love Giraffe. ( I've been to the one in Kensington, and the stir fry "double happiness" beans are yummy.

Favourite Tourist Thing
London Zoo. I've never been, but I hope to rectify that this year!

Nick said...

My favourite free things to do...

Cycling or walking down the thames path, apart from when it becomes roads.

Walking about looking at the buildings.

Galleries and Museums, almost all of the major ones are free now, which is pretty amazing, although i'm rubbish and don't really go much.
Also mudchute wildlife park adn city farm, it's near canary wharf and you get to ride on the DLR there (always grab the front seats.....)

Exploring the south bank, especially in the evening with the blue lights everywhere.

Jo said...

Favourite thing to do for free - Walk round one of the smaller parks, such as Postman's Park, an odd little green space I love for its associations (some friends of mine got engaged there).

Favourite Cheap eats, one favourite of many - Takeaway sushi from Wasabi in Villiers Street and then sitting to eat in the lovely adjoining Embankment Gardens.

Favourite cheap thing to do - a film at the Ritzy in Brixton, followed by a drink and bite in their excellent bar. Service is slower than a dead thing, but the place itself is lovely and has tons of live music and small events.

Expensive tourist splurge? Hmm. Maybe head to Camden Market and spend too much money on silver jewellery and Cyberdog gear?

Tvor said...

Your favourite _______ in London.

I love London! Free is even better! I think any of the free museums and galleries are wonderful, and it all depends on what your interests are. Loving the city means i like the Museum of London a lot but the Wallace Collection is great too. I also enjoy the architecture, stained glass and history of a lot of the old churches. Sometimes you can happen upon a noon time concert or choir practice as a bonus.

I don't really know many cheap places to eat other than places like the food stalls in the markets.

Expensive touristy things... I like the Tower of London and i also like the London Eye. I haven't been up on a clear night but i bet it would be magical. Boat rides along the Thames are nice, too, night or day.

abishag +OO said...

Another good place to wander:
Smithfield Market with its amzing painted wrought iron, and the two St Bartholomew's Churches (Great and Less). The Less is inside the gateway to St.Bartholomew's Hospital (which must be one of the oldest continuously functioning hospitals in the western world (Founded in 12something). If you can, get to look at the Hogarths on the stairs to the Great Hall, and the Great Hall itself as well. (Periodic concerts enable you to do this for a modest entrance charge, with music and refreshments (next one is 2nd July).

Free lunchtime concerts in St Pancras Church, - amazing architecture inside and out - and you get to see St Pancras station and the new British Library on the way.

Finally go up to Kenworth House for the fantastic view over London and to explore the gardens and walk on Hampstead Heath. The House is good too, but I think you do have to pay to get in.