London is probably our favourite city on the planet. Trouble is, with all the temptations on offer, and the girls’ fondness for shopping, well, let’s just say my wallet screams a little whenever they suggest yet another weekend in the capital of Blighty. Luckily, shopping isn’t their only interest. We all adore the British Museum and can spend entire days there, especially in the Egyptian section. That’s just one of the suggestions offered in today’s post, where guest blogger Edel Flood lets us in on five fun and fabulous things to do in London this summer that are FREE. Enjoy!

City breaks during the summer need not be expensive, especially when you book cheap London hotels. I used to worry that long weekends in the UK would end up costing me more than a week abroad, until I made the effort to seek out free attractions and activities.

Below are my top five free London attractions:

1. The parks

London might be a hustling and bustling city, but I was shocked as to just how many parks and green spaces it boasts. One of my favourites is Hyde Park, especially when the sun is shining, as I can relax in the peace and quiet with a small picnic. Whether you’re looking for a fun day out with family or friends, or you’re on a romantic break, Hyde Park provides you with 350 acres to discover.

Spend an hour or two strolling through its gardens and meadows, past glistening lakes and trees, while the Diana Memorial Foundation and The Serpentine Bridge are well worth a look. Time your London break right and you can participate in a number of events being held to celebrate the 2012 Games. Between July 28th and August 11th, you can also watch the sporting event on one of six large screens – and all for free!

2. The British Museum

Rosetta Stone inscriptions, British Museum
The British Museum is a fantastic day out for kids and adults alike, and I was surprised at just how many of the exhibitions are completely free. This summer, you can check out showcases such as Crowns and ducats: Shakespeare’s money and medals, as well as an exhibition about the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games medals, which closes on September 9th.
Free digital workshops for kids are also held every weekend, while youngsters might like to follow an activity trail.

3. Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant

london bridge HDR
The celebration of the 60-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II provides us with a four-day weekend, so make the most of your time off work by heading into the capital, where you can soak up the electric atmosphere. The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant is planned for Sunday June 3rd, so make sure you grab a good spot on the banks of the river. A flotilla will make a 7.5-mile journey along the waterway and will be greeted with a gun salute at London Bridge. To make sure you don’t miss a moment, there will be 50 large screens dotted along the bank.

4. V & A Museum of Childhood

Horses and Riders, 1940-70
This certainly provided me with a blast from the past and I was really impressed that the V&A Museum of Childhood was free. Childhood-related items are showcased here, dating back all the way to the 1600s. From puppets and teddy bears to dolls and photography, you’ll definitely spot several items you used to love when you were little. On June 9th and 10th there will be traditional Punch and Judy shows, while a Summer Games programme will run throughout August.

5. Science Museum

I’m not massively into the subject, but I found the Science Museum to be really interesting – and the fact it was free also helped! The Make it in Great Britain exhibition will run between July and September and is dedicated to the country’s manufacturing sector. You might discover items made in the UK that you didn’t think were. If you’ve any burning science questions, make sure you check out one of the interactive shows that are created to help visitors better understand the topic.

What other free London attractions do you think should make the list?

Photo credits: Sophie’s World, Sophie’s World, vistic, Kotomicreations.

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