Category Archives: Free Things to Do in London

Broadway Market

Broadway Market is one of London’s most vibrant street markets. Broadway Market is located in the heart of the East End of  London, not far from trendy Shoreditch, in a small street between the Regent’s Canal and London Fields.

Every Saturday this street comes alive with over 100 market stalls, boutiques , shops and restaurants to welcome you. Here can be found some of the best food and most original clothing in London. Have a pint of  beer in a traditional East End pub or try pie and mash at the historical  F Cooke’s. Come for organic meat, fruit and vegetables; fresh fish and smoked salmon and oysters; delicious bread, cakes and cheese. Or scour the clothes racks for vintage bargains – then head to the lingerie stall for something small and expensive to wear beneath.

london market visitors guide sightseeing

Broadway Market Opening Times:  Saturdays 9am – 5pm

Location:  Broadway Market E8 4PH

Nearest London Underground Tube Stations:
Bethnal Green (Central Line)  + 15 minute walk
or Haggerston (East London Line)

Bus:  No 55

Railway Stations:  Cambridge Heath  or  London Fields or Haggerston’,’

Camden Passage Antiques Market

Camden Passage in Islington is London’s most thriving antiques village.

Camden Passage is a pedestrianised alley running from Islington High Street to Islington Green Camden Passage is a vibrant collection of antique shops, vintage shops and antique stalls and funky restaurants.

Top Tip:  Even though it is called Camden Passage, this market is not in Camden – it is in Islington and should not be confused with the more famous Camden Market. 

opening timse london camden
Camden Passage antiques.

Camden Passage Antique Market Opening Times:
Antique Market days are Wednesday and Saturday and are the busiest days to visit with over 200 antique dealers but many of the vintage and antique shops open every day.

Nearest Underground Tube Station: Angel (Northern Line)

Admission: Free

 

London’s Antique Markets –  If you wish to visit an antiques market while in London, Portobello Road Market also has a very good antiques market.

Trooping The Colour

Trooping of the Colour is a spectacular annual event that showcases Britain’s pomp and majesty.  Trooping the Colour is a military ceremony held outside Buckingham Palace that features over a thousand British soldiers and 200 horses. It is held to mark the
Queen’s Official Birthday.

After the parade, the Royal Family gather on the  balcony of Buckingham Palace to greet the crowds and watch a fly-past of airplanes belonging to the Royal Air Force.

 

When: Every year in June  exact date changes each year

Where: Horse Guards Parade by Buckingham Palace

Tickets:   It is not necessary to have tickets as you can stand and watch for free  but if you wish to have a seat in the stands you need to apply by post in January by sending  a stamped addressed envelope to:
The Brigade Major
Headquarters Household Division
Horseguards
Whitehall
London SW1A 2AX
United Kingdom

The event is always oversubscribed so tickets are allotted by a ballot system.

Covent Garden

Covent Garden is one of London’s favourite tourist destinations, with the market and street entertainers attracting tourists from across the world

Covent Garden has some of the best street entertainment in the whole of Britain. The cobbled courtyard at Covent Garden is the only part of London licensed for street entertainers. Performers – jugglers, gymnasts, musicians – have to undertake auditions and sign up to timetabled slots. As a consequence the standards are very high.

sightseeing london visitors

From  the 17th century Covent Garden was London’s premier fruit and veg market and continued to be so right up to 1974 when traffic congestion forced the market to move 3 miles away to Nine Elms in South London.
Now Covent Garden is dedicated to boutiques shops and cafes and restaurants and is a lovely place to spend an afternoon.

Location: Covent Garden, London WC2E 8BE

Nearest Underground Tube Stations:  
Covent Garden station, but at peak times the station can become very busy so it may be easier to go to  Leicester Square station which is just a ten minute walk away.

Camden Market

opening times camden market

Camden Market is one of London’s most popular tourist destinations, especially amongst the younger crowd. Over 100,000 people visit Camden Market every weekend. The hundreds of stalls sell crafts, clothes (both new and vintage) and antiques. Camden market, also known as Camden Lock  is in fact a collection of interconnecting markets it is a popular hang out with the “alternative” crowd.

Camden Market Opening Times
Open from Monday through to Sunday, 10am – 6pm every day of the year, including all bank holidays except for Christmas day.

Nearest UndergroundTube Station: Camden Town (Northern Line)

Interesting Historical Fact: The escalator at Camden Town Underground station passes through a vast grave for victims of the Great Plague of 1665.

camden market london

Regents Park

Regents Park is one of London’s most beautiful open spaces. Situated in the north-western part of central London, the 166 hectare (410 acre) park is one of the Royal Parks of London and is  a mixture of open parkland, beautifully designed gardens, a lake, a boating area, sports pitches, and children’s playgrounds.

The south, east and most of the west side of the park are lined with elegant white stucco terraces of houses designed by John Nash. Running through the northern end of the park is the Regent’s Canal.  And at the north end of the park is London Zoo.

Regents Park is fun place to go boating.

 

 

The National Gallery

The National Gallery is one of London’s greatest art galleries. It houses a rich collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. And features key paintings by many of the world’s greatest artists, including: Van Gogh, Raphael, Vermeer and Titian.  The National Gallery is located at the north side of Trafalgar Square, and the best thing about it is that it is free to enter!

art gallery london sightseeing
Location: National Gallery
North side of Trafalgar Square, London W1

Admission:
Entry is free except for major exhibitions

National Gallery Opening Times : 
Daily   10am – 6pm
Friday 10am -9pm
Closed 1 january, 24-26 December

 

Nearest Underground Tube Station: Charing Cross

 

Portobello Market

london market notting hill

Portobello Market in West London is one of the most famous street markets in the world. It is a popular destination for Londoners and tourists alike.

Portobello Market is situated on Portobello Road. The market stretches for around two miles. On a crowded Saturday afternoon it takes quite a while to walk from end to end!

Portobello Road goes straight through the heart of Notting Hill, a trendy area of London made famous by the film of the same name.

Portobello market has a number of distinct sections:

Antiques – from Chepstow Villas to Elgin Crescent
Fruit and Veg – from Elgin Crescent to Talbot Road
New Goods – Talbot Road to the Westway
Fashion Market – all along the Portobello Road but in particular near the Westway
Vintage Clothes – Westway to Goldbourne Road.

Location: Portobello Market, Portobello Rd, London W11

Portobello Market Opening times:
General Market: Mon-Wed 9am-6pm, Thur 9am-1pm, Fri & Sat 9am-6pm
Antiques Market: Sat 9am-7pm.
Clothes & Bric-a-Brac: Fri 9am-4pm, Sat 9am-5pm.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park aerial

Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in London. It covers an area of 350 acres (4000 hectares) and is popular with Londoners and visitors, especially on a sunny day.  With a lake, 4000 trees, a meadow, horse rides and more, its easy to forget you are in the centre of London.

Opening Times of Hyde Park:
The park is open from 5am to midnight every day of the year

Nearest Underground Tube Stations:
Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch, Queensway

Attractions within Hyde Park

The Serpentine. A river and lake where you can go boating and even swimming.

london sightseeing park

Speakers Corner. Located in the North East  corner of Hyde Park this is an area famous for public speakers. Visit on a Sunday morning and you can be sure to see and hear all kinds of speakers.

london hyde park

Diana Fountain. A water memorial to Princess Diana.

hyde park london

Kensington Gardens. This is technically a separate park but it is located right next to Hyde Park.

 

 

Piccadilly Circus

picadily circus london

Piccadilly Circus is one of London’s most famous landmarks and sightseeeing attractions.

Situated at the junction of five busy streets in the centre of London, Piccadilly Circus is dominated by huge neon advertising signs.

At its heart is a bronze fountain topped by a figure of a winged archer. The statue is popularly called Eros, the pagan god of love, but it was in fact designed in the 19th century as a symbol of Christian charity – a monument to Lord Shaftesbury, a philanthropist.

Piccadilly Circus is often wrongly spelt as Picadilly Circus or Picadily Circus

Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus (Piccadilly Line)