London is a majestic, wonderful place full of character and history – no one can deny that. However, if you visit the city in the winter months, you’re also almost guaranteed one of two things – rain and / or wind. Not ideal if you’re putting feet to concrete for a big day out. But not to worry – there’s certainly no need to stop sightseeing! Duck under cover, dry off and check out some of the best free things to do in London.
For knowledge seekers:
1. National Gallery
It goes without saying that The National Gallery is filled with stunning works of art from every painter you can think of! But that’s not all – daily guided tours, 10-minute talks, stunning exhibitions and interactive events make this venue a perfect stop for anyone visiting London.
The gallery is large enough not to feel too crowded, but not so small that you can’t spend a good afternoon reviewing each and every masterpiece. And for any questions you may have, staff at The National Gallery are always extremely helpful and full of advice!
Location: Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN
2. The British Museum
Not sure where to start at The British Museum? It’s not surprising – there’s so much to see and do! Even the building itself is beautiful.
Make sure you allow plenty of time to fully immerse yourself in everything available. We’re not kidding when we say there’s a lot to see – The British Museum is dedicated to human history, art and culture, housing a permanent collection of around 8 million works.
Despite the name, the British Museum contains history from all over the world, with items from many specialist fields of interest.
Location: Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG
3. Tate Modern
Modern art might not be to everyone’s taste, but this museum has become one of London’s most recognisable buildings, as well as an iconic venue for international modern and contemporary art.
The former Bankside Power Station is home to the works of several well-known artists, including Warhol, Dalí, Picasso, Rothko, Hockney, and more. If that wasn’t enough, the Tate’s rooftop platform offers a fantastic view of the London skyline.
It’s important to note that some pieces, although engaging, can have some graphic content, with gory and sexual themes, so some parts of the Tate might not be suitable for young children.
Location: Bankside, London, SE1 9TGBankside, London SE1 9TG
4. Science Museum
London’s Science Museum attracts millions of visitors every year and it’s not hard to see why. With six zones filled with interactive displays for both children and adults, this is one of the city’s best family-friendly attractions.
Exhibitions include an immersive VR descent from space with astronaut Tim Peake, space exploration with the Apollo 10 command module, a 3D Red Arrows flight simulator and even an IMAX theatre.
It truly doesn’t matter if you’re one or 100 years old, something in the Science Museum will amaze you!
Location: Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD
5. Bank of England Museum
Discover the history of money in the most appropriate of locations – the Bank of England itself!
The Bank of England is not only home to one of the world’s largest stores of gold, its museum tells the story of the Bank’s history and contains a unique collection of ancient coins and banknotes.
You can even hold a 13kg bar of gold during your visit… Under close supervision, of course!
Location: Bartholomew Ln, London EC2R 8AH
For the foodie:
6. Borough Market
If a combination of food and culture is your cup of tea, then you simply cannot skip a trip to London’s Borough Market. Located next to London Bridge, it is the city’s most renowned food and drink Market, showcasing home-grown produce and gourmet food from around the world.
Rain and wind getting you down? Shelter from the cold with warm smiles and even hotter spices. And if you have a bit of pocket money to spare, you can travel the globe through the medium of food, from focaccia to empanada.
Go forth and explore, gastronaut.
Breaks.com tip: if you’re visiting the London Bridge area, make sure to enjoy views from the top of the Shard. We have lots of discounted offers.
Location: Southwark St, London SE1 1TL
For the ‘Gram:
7. Platform 9 ¾, King’s Cross
Fetch your brooms Potterheads – you’ll want to be quick for this one! You can find the famous luggage trolley embedded in the wall of the station concourse at Kings Cross, as well as the Harry Potter Shop, styled to resemble Ollivander’s wand emporium.
Queues start building up early, and it can get very busy during the school holidays, so make sure you’re all set to take the perfect picture before flying off! If you’re looking to capture the perfect picture, a professional photographer is on hand daily between 9am and 9pm.
Location: Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London N1 9AL
8. God’s Own Junkyard
A neon wonderland with an in-house café, God’s Own Junkyard is an eclectic collection of neon lights of all shapes and sizes – AKA the perfect way to brighten up a gloomy London day.
The funky art store is the largest stock of vintage neons and signs in Europe, and will take you for a trip down memory lane, teasing your senses with not only eye-catching lights, but iconic 70s rock music. You can even enjoy a beer or two from The Rolling Scones Café.
Location: Unit 12, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall St, Walthamstow, London E17 9HQ
Shop until you drop:
Whether you’ve actually got the cash to splash or you love a good window shopping session, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Harrods! The world renowned department store is packed full of designer clothing, luxury gifts, food and fashion accessories, and is a great place to pass the time if the weather is less than ideal.
It’s not just a shopping spot, it’s an experience.
A word of warning however; Harrods can get extremely busy, so possibly not a hot spot for those with children or anyone who struggles around large crowd
Location: Brompton Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL
10. Camden Market
If it’s quirky, you’ll find it at Camden Market!
Camden is home to hundreds of independent retailers, offering all sorts of curios to all sorts of people that frequent the market daily. There are tiny shops and food stalls that offer something for everyone, and you’re more than likely to find yourself exploring for hours on end.
Keep your eyes peeled for the famous Amy Winehouse statue, and soak up the views around the Lock. There are also plenty of cafés and opportunities to people-watch if that’s what you enjoy.
Location: Camden Lock Place, London NW1 8AF
That’s one of the many great things about London – when the heavens open, there’s still plenty to see and do. If you’re worried about straying too far from where you’re staying, check out The Plum Guide’s favourite neighbourhoods to stay in for tourists.