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While London is full of popular world-renowned attractions, it has also many hidden gems that aren’t overrun by visitors. If you like traveling away from overly touristy paths and/or enjoy free activities, then check out some of these Free London Attractions that range from simple to splendorous and serene to educational.
While Buckingham Palace is one of the most famous landmarks in the world, Fulham Palace is older by almost exactly 1,000 years and has much easier access.
It housed bishops, not royalty, but you’ll find a wealth of architecture and art among its museum and gallery spaces. Access to the multitude of gardens is free as well, but it’s also worth treating yourself at the Drawing Room Cafe where you can take in the serene garden views and reflect on the palace’s 1,300 year history.
Where ? Bishop’s Ave, Fulham, London SW6 6EA, UK
The Savoy Museum
The Savoy Museum is part of the famed Savoy Hotel. However, don’t be intimidated by the business-like door staff. You don’t need to stay at the posh hotel to tour the museum.
Just make sure to dress neatly before stopping by. Some of the museum’s treasures include assorted old photographs and paraphernalia relevant to its history, a guest card from Marlene Dietrich, a lighter and cigarette case once owned by Noël Coward, and a first edition of the Savoy Cocktail Book (by Harry Craddock).
Since the museum is small, it makes for a perfect destination for visitors with a packed schedule.
Where ? Strand, London WC2R 0EZ, UK
Chelsea Physic Garden
Established in 1673, the Chelsea Physic Garden is one of the oldest botanic marvels in the area. It was founded by the Society of Apothecaries who tended to medicinal plants.
The garden’s initial purpose was to serve as a study ground for the society’s apprentices. Today, you can admire tender species, large olive tees as well as rare and medicinal plants spread out over four acres. Chelsea Physic Garden is also home to one of Europe’s oldest rock gardens.
Free tours are available, but keep in mind that the garden relies on donations to ensure its future potential.
Where ? 66 Royal Hospital Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4HS, UK
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (Neasen Temple)
Hindu temples with the same name exist globally. However, this one, located in the London borough of Brent, is extra special because it’s Europe’s first traditional Hindu temple built from stone.
Come here to appreciate the exotic marble designs, huge dioramas, ancient Indian art, diverse culture; or stop by just to enjoy the serene atmosphere. Visitors of all faiths are welcome, but you are asked to adhere to the smart casual dress code.
Where ? 105-119 Brentfield Rd, London NW10 8LD, UK
Saint Dunstan in the East
The City of London, back in 1967, made a brilliant move. It changed something not-so-pretty into something beautiful when it turned the grounds and remains of the Church of Saint Dunstan, which received heavy damage during the war in 1941, into a public garden.
This did not happen overnight, of course. Regardless, Saint Dunstan in the East opened to the public in 1970. The majestic windows and remaining ancient walls of the church, which has its origins around 1100, serve as a home to a plethora of native ornamental and winding plants. You’ll even find assorted exotic fauna here that thrives in the sheltered ruins.
Where ? St, Dunstan’s Hill, London EC3R 5DD, UK
All of these free attractions should be open year-round, but of course it’s always best to check ahead, especially when traveling from afar.