Category Archives: Free Things to Do in London

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)

Brick Lane

brick lane opening times

Brick Lane is a long street in the East End of London popular with London visitors and locals and famous for its Sunday Market.

Brick Lane is located  in the heart of the Bangladeshi community, and the area is affectionately known as Banglatown. It is one of the most vibrant areas of London. In recent times it has become one of the trendiest areas of London. At the north end of  Brick Lane is arty bohemian Shoreditch.

Brick Lane  is lined with fantastic curry houses, hip boutiques and cool bars.
At the north end of the lane is the 24 hour Brick Lane Beigel Bake which is a East End institution famed for its cream cheese and salmon beigels.

Brick Lane is also very popular with street artists and cool graffiti can be found on many walls and shop shutters.

Brick Lane Market

Every Sunday there is a market located at the north end of the street. Almost anything can be found on Brick Lane, from antique books to vintage clothes and old 78rpm records. For many years it hosted a stall selling nothing but rusty cog wheels. A large part of its charm is the possibility of such strange discoveries. Bargain hunters from across London value it greatly. Brick Lane market hosts a cornucopia of delights and is a photographers dream – although beware not all the stall holders want to be featured in your London art project, so its best to seek permission before snapping.

Brick Lane Market Opening Times

Brick Lane Market runs from 8am to 2pm every Sunday.
Location: Brick Lane, London E1

Nearest underground tube stations:
Aldgate East (Distric Line) Liverpool Street (Central Line)

Trafalgar Square

No visit to London is complete without a visit to Trafalgar Square. The capital’s largest and most iconic square.

Trafalgar Square is a large open space dominated by Nelson’s Column – a 145 foot tall stone column, that has on its top, a statue of one of Britain’s greatest military heroes, Admiral Horatio Nelson.

Admiral Nelson led the British Navy to victory in a the naval sea battle against the French and Spanish fleets in 1805. Although the British won the battle Admiral Nelson was killed during it and hence the column and the square itself commemorate his life and contribution to British history.

At the base of the column are four large bronze panels that depict some of Admiral Nelson’s many naval battles. Surrounding the column are four huge lions that tourists can be seen attempting, and often failing, to climb.

Heritage wardens are on duty in Trafalgar Square to provide help to visitors including answering queries about local attractions and the square’s heritage.

Opening Times:  Always open
Nearest Underground Tube Station: Charing Cross
Admission:  Free

Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath is a large, ancient park in North London covering 320 hectares (790 acres) and just 6 miles from Trafalgar Square. Hampstead Heath is the wildest of London’s parks and a fantastic place to escape the city and return to nature. During the summer it is a fantastic place to sunbathe, picnic and cool off in the refreshing freshwater swimming pools. While in winter it’s a great place for a bracing walk and to while away an afternoon feeding the ducks and exploring the lush woodland, meadows and bogs, much of which is designated as areas of scientific interest by English Nature.

Londoner’s Local Info: The Western side of the Heath is a popular gay cruising area. George Michelin in particular has been a vocal admirer of its nocturnal charms.

Hampstead Heath Highlights

Parliament Hill
This is one of the highest points in London and its summit provides a fantastic view of the city. St Pauls, the Canary Wharf tower and the London Eye can all be viewed from here. It’s a popular spot for kite flyers and lovers.

london park

Hampstead Heath has 3 three open-air public swimming ponds (Men only, Ladies only and Mixed).
Running along the Eastern Perimeter these freshwater ponds are a fantastic place to cool off on a hot sunny day. Or can give you a racing swim in winter.
Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds Opening Times:
The swimming ponds are open every day of the year from 7am.

london swimming

Kenwood House
In the North East corner of the park is Kenwood House one of London’s most beautiful period houses. It has a lovely café where you can have cream teas. It also hosts a superb collection of paintings, including masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Turner and Gainsborough, as well as the Suffolk collection of rare Elizabethan portraits.

kenwood hampstead london