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12 Things to do in London for free this summer holiday with friends and family

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For most of us, the easing of lockdown over the past couple of months has made quite a dent in our pockets. Not to mention all the money that was spent celebrating England’s most successful Euros run since 2012.

Now the summer holidays are around the corner and while global travel rules are still up in the air we’re tasked with thinking of inventive (and cheap) ways to enjoy our staycations.

Luckily, the capital city is full of fun free activities that the whole family can enjoy. Below are 12 top picks of places around London that you can explore this summer, without spending a single penny.

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1. Tate Modern

Peruse Tate Modern’s ever-changing collection of art exhibitions and installations or take part in participatory activities such as Uniqlo Tate Play – a programme of creative activities for the whole family, inspired by the Japanese Gutai artist group, where scribbling on the floor is encouraged.

2. National Gallery

The National Gallery

If classical art is more your style you can browse the work of Van Gough, Monet and other world famous artists completely free of charge.

3. Natural History Museum

Marvel at the wonders of nature and learn about everything from the wonders of the sea to carnivorous plant life because the Natural History museum has it all. They even run a Dawnosaurs drawing event, where neurodiverse children are invited to an early morning dinosaur sketch session.

4. British Museum

Explore two million years of human history and culture in over 50 galleries at the British museum.

5. Crystal Palace Park

The Crystal Palace dinosaurs have been living in Crystal Palace Park for 157 years now

The Crystal Palace dinosaurs have been living in Crystal Palace Park for 157 years now

Visit the world’s first-ever dinosaur sculpture or picnic by the pavilion at one of South East London’s most popular parks

6. Wellcome Collection

What began as 19 th century collector, Henry Wellcome’s selection of medical antiquities is now London’s most eclectic museum and library, connecting science, medicine, life and art. Visit to check out this season’s exhibitions on happiness.

7. Horniman Museum and Gardens

The Horniman museum and gardens is a South London space known for its innovative cultural exhibitions. This summer you can enjoy displays on Afrosurrealism and London’s Black music spaces or take a stroll through Animal Walk to study the sweet farm animals.

8. Bushy Park

1 Deer Bushy

A deer relaxes in West London’s Bushy Park

As the second largest of all of London’s eight Royal Parks, Bushy Park offers over 1000 acres of green space just waiting for you discover. Be sure to bring your camera, the iconic Richmond park is a well-known site for deer spotting.

9. Wimbledon Common

Why not take an idyllic walk up Wimbledon common’s nature trail, relax for a picnic in view of the windmill or go bird-watching is this lovely South London green space?

10. Vauxhall City Farm

Bound to be a winner with the kids, countryside meets the urban jungle at Vauxhall City Farm where you can take a self-guided tour and meet the animals (from a safe distance of course) or learn about the benefits of organic food at the community garden.

11. Parkland Walk

0 The Parkland Walk

The ruins of the old train stations still remain

Running from Finsbury Park to Muswell Hill, The Parkland walk is a disused railway line that’s become a flourishing wildlife trail. At just over 3 miles, it is London’s longest and most treasured linear nature reserve.

12. Sky Garden

Enjoy the city from above in the Walkie Talkie’s Sky Garden. Though booking is advised, the spectacular views from the Sky Garden are completely free. Fingers crossed you visit on a clear day!

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