Attractions

Monday 21 August 2017, 08:50 AM

Philip Pulling
Client Support , LifeSearch

Our grey and most often rainy country wouldn’t be top of the list when thinking of places to enjoy the summer holidays,

but our country has a plethora of stunning attractions to be taken advantage of. After all Britain is the home of Free museum entries and galleries. Our exciting list will feature free and low cost attractions that are on offer across our beautiful capital.

Now London isn’t always the first place that springs to mind when planning a ‘free’ or ‘low cost’ day out with the family or partner, however, you’d be surprised at the abundance of attractions in London that are not only completely free to the general public, but also completely fun too. Don’t miss out, read our list of the best free attractions in London. Did I mention they’re completely fun?! 

Natural History Museum (Opened 1873)
Now… If you haven’t heard of this place you must have been living under a rock for the past 144 years, who knows you could be old enough to be an exhibit. I digress, although this place is known to all, the fact that not many of us know it’s free is mind boggling. Housing specimens personally collected by the godfather of natural history Charles Darwin, the Natural History Museum really is an attraction steeped in splendour and wonderment.

Interesting things to see when you’re there include:
- the new for 2017 exhibition on the world’s largest mammals that includes a 25 metre 136-year-old blue whale skeleton suspended from the main hall ceiling.
- the Dinosaur gallery with its animatronic T-Rex, bound to impress the kids
- Earth Hall, with its dramatic escalator ride and earthquake simulator.

Notable mentions: the stuffed polar bear, first edition of Charles Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Pompeii Casts, the real life 8-metre-long squid.

Nearest Tube: South Kensington Tube Station
Open: 10 am – 5:30 pm every day
Details: Admission is free, although there is a charge for some temporary exhibitions. nhm.ac.uk

The Science Museum (Opened 1857)
This spectacular building features 7 floors packed full to the brim with education, entertainment and excitement. With new exhibitions popping up all over the place this museum never gets boring and thus even those of us with the shortest attention span will stay entertained for hours on end. I’ll always remember my first visit to the Science Museum, there was something phenomenal about seeing a man encase himself in a human sized bubble at the age of 8 that I am still yet to recreate at home… my day will come. This is an excellent place to bring your young kids or even teenagers and who knows, they may even learn something whilst having fun.

Interesting things to see when you’re there include:
- For young kids head straight to basement garden play area
- What Am I? gallery, which allows you to discover what your voice sounds like as the opposite sex, and shows you what you’ll look like in the future.
- The Black Arrow Rocket, from Britain’s early space programmes.
- Space Gallery

Notable Mentions: Mathematic: The Winton Gallery, Robots, Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery, Journeys Through Medicine and much, much more.

Nearest Tube: South Kensington
Open: 10 am – 6 pm every day
Details: Free, though there is a charge for the IMAX Theatre and flight simulators. sciencemuseum.org.uk

Ragged School Museum
This museum isn’t just an exhibit but actually teleports you back in time. Visit and let your kids experience exactly what school was like 150 years ago. We all know the crazy tech and gadgets that the kids have become accustomed to today but why not take them on a trip back to Victorian Britain and show them how we lived… Okay this may be an exaggeration but it’s what most of us feel like, right? … just me!

Interesting things to see when you’re there include:
- on the first Sunday of each month children and adults can dress up and experience a Victorian class for themselves

Notable Mentions: Ragged Children, Manded Lives: exposes the experience of a nineteenth-century East London childhood with images, materials and objects.

Nearest Tube: Mile End 
Open: Wednesday and Thursday 10 am – 5 pm 
Details: Free, raggedschoolmuseum.org.uk

National Gallery (1824)
The national gallery is located in the very heart of Trafalgar Square which is one of the most visited places by tourist in London, so why not kill two birds with one stone with this visit. Probably aimed at the artier kids and more interesting to teenagers, the National Gallery features some of the world’s most prolific artists’ pieces with over 2,000 works. Why not show the kids the real life paintings of the art they see in books at school?

Interesting things to see when you’re there include:
- Claude Monet
- Rembrandt
- Van Gogh
- Michelangelo
- Raphael
- Da Vinci

Notable Mentions: Also great for younger ones, download The Trail here to fire your child’s imagination and inspire them to think about art, after all ‘Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up’ - Picasso. 

Nearest Tube: Charing Cross
Open: 10 am – 6 pm every day  
Details: Free, nationalgallery.org.uk

V&A Museum of Childhood (1872)
Winner of Timeout London’s ‘Love London’ award 2015 and 2016 the V&A Museum of Childhood hosts the world’s finest collection of children’s toys, games and doll’s houses.  This museum is very hands on and since it is one specifically aimed at young children, is sure to keep them entertained, amused and eventually (fingers crossed) exhausted. For the toddlers and babies, be sure to check out the Sensory Pod, which has a variety of water- and bubble-filled columns and mirrors creating a dazzling space where your baby will be surrounded by a medley of colours and movement.

Interesting things to see when you’re there include:
- Outdoor Summer Games - Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays 22– 31 August
- Rachel Whiteread’s tiny community of working Doll’s Houses
- Choose a family Welcome Card from the Information Desk. It will point you to an Object to visit and suggest some ways to explore the art together.
- Good Time Galleries, with deck chairs, a Punch and Judy show and a sandpit.

Notable Mentions: Clothing collections, construction toys including Lego, mechanical toys

Nearest Tube: Bethnal Green 
Open: 10 am – 5:45 pm every day  
Details: Free, vam.ac.uk/moc

I hope you all enjoyed our wonderful list of attractions. Please do let us know if you visited any of the places and share your experiences, pictures and memories with everyone. Though our country may not be one of the hottest places on earth to spend the summer, it most certainly is one of the most interesting.







 




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