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Things to do in London

Cruise the Thames to see the iconic London Eye, Tower of London and Tate Modern. Breathe deeply on Parliament Hill, after visiting Kenwood House. South Kensington's Museum Mile offers decorative art at the Victoria & Albert Museum (and afternoon tea in Art Nouveau surrounds), while Bloomsbury is home to the British Museum. In Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery displays European art from the 13th century. Most museums are free, and tend to open daily 10am-5.30pm/6pm.

Royal London

A leisurely amble through London’s royal heritage

Show themed tour
Canova's The Three Graces (1814-1817) at the V&A, London. Courtesy V&A Images, ARTFUNDED 1994, © Daniel McGrath
1

Victoria & Albert Museum

Decorative arts

London's Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington is the world's largest and most influential museum for the decorative and applied arts. Explore the magnificent permanent collection, ranging from ancient Buddhist sculptures to Canova's exquisite Three Graces.



Cost

Free; temporary exhibitions charge

Opening Hours

Sat-Thu 10am-5.45pm; Fri 10am-10pm

Address

Cromwell Rd, London SW7 2RL

Telephone

+44 (0) 20 7942 2000

Transport

South Kensington Tube

Website

Victoria & Albert Museum Website

A prehistoric Londoner in the Museum of London. Courtesy of Museum of London
2

Museum of London

History of the capital

The Museum of London in the City traces London's history, from marshland to capital of the world. Seven galleries host temporary exhibitions. Don't miss the Temple of Mithras' marble sculptures, among the finest art works of Roman Britain.



Cost

Free

Opening Hours

Daily 10am-6pm

Address

150, London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN

Telephone

+44 (0) 20 7001 9844

Transport

Barbican Tube

Website

Museum of London Website

Inside the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London. © National Gallery
3

National Gallery

European art

The pedestrianisation of Trafalgar Square has created an even grander forecourt to one of the world's finest art collections. The National Gallery houses European paintings from the 13th to the 20th centuries, and a visit is free of charge.



Cost

Free; temporary exhibitions charge

Opening Hours

Daily 10am-6pm (until 9pm Fri)

Address

Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN

Telephone

+44 (0) 20 7747 2885

Transport

Charing Cross Tube

Website

National Gallery Website

Great Court, British Museum, London. Courtesy of British Museum, © Dennis Gilbert
4

British Museum

World-class collection

World-class collections from civilisations across the globe are exhibited at the British Museum in Bloomsbury. Its mission is to "illuminate the histories of cultures for present and future generations", with popular galleries devoted to the Assyrians and the Ancient Greeks.



Cost

Free; some special exhibitions charge

Opening Hours

Galleries: daily 10am-5.30pm Great Court: Sun-Wed 9am-6pm; Thu-Sat 9am-11pm

Address

Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG

Telephone

+44 (0) 20 7323 8299

Transport

Russell Square Tube

Website

British Museum Website

Tate Modern, London. Courtesy of www.britainonview.com
5

Tate Modern

Contemporary art

The industrial Bankside Power Station on the south bank of the Thames houses the Tate Modern gallery's world-class 20th-century and contemporary art collection. Catch temporary exhibitions too, or take tea overlooking the River Thames.



Cost

Free; special exhibitions charge

Opening Hours

Daily 10am-6pm (until 10pm Fri & Sat)

Address

Bankside, London SE1 9TG

Telephone

+44 (0) 20 7887 8888 (tickets & membership) / +44 (0) 20 7887 8008 (recorded information)

Transport

Southwark Tube

Website

Tate Galleries Website

The Wallace Collection, London. Courtesy of The Wallace Collection
6

The Wallace Collection

18th-century artworks

Twenty-five galleries exhibiting French 18th-century paintings, furniture and porcelain make up The Wallace Collection, housed in a central-London town house. After browsing the old masters, sit out in the tree-dotted courtyard for lunch at the museum's modern French brasserie.



Cost

Free

Opening Hours

Daily 10am-5pm

Address

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN

Telephone

+44 (0) 20 7563 9500

Transport

Bond Street Tube

Website

The Wallace Collection Website

Kenwood House, Hampstead Heath, London. Courtesy of English Heritage
7

Kenwood House

Idyllic mansion

Kenwood House is an idyllic cream mansion on north London's Hampstead Heath. View paintings by Rembrandt, Turner and Gainsborough left by the first Earl of Iveagh in 1927. A walk across the heath provides spectacular views of London.



Cost

Free

Opening Hours

Daily 11.30am-4pm

Address

Hampstead Heath, Hampstead Lane, London NW3 7JR

Telephone

+44 (0) 20 8348 1286

Transport

Archway or Golders Green Tube, then bus 210.

Website

English Heritage Website

London Eye, London. Courtesy of Visit London Images/Britain on View
8

London Eye

Look down on London

The giant London Eye wheel on the Thames riverbank is a magnet for visitors to the capital. A ride provides panoramic views over the river, Big Ben, St Paul's Cathedral and even the distant countryside. Booking ahead is strongly advised.



Cost

£8.75-£17.50

Opening Hours

Daily 10am-8pm/9pm/9.30pm

Address

Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7PB

Telephone

+44 (0) 870 990 8883

Transport

Westminster Tube

Website

London Eye Website

Tower of London, London. Courtesy of Tower of London
9

Tower of London

Kings' castle

Since William the Conqueror in 1066, English kings have slept, eaten and executed rivals in the Tower of London on the River Thames. Find primitive Norman toilets in the White Tower and the Crown Jewels in the Jewel House.



Cost

£9.50-£17

Opening Hours

Daily 9am/10am-5.30pm

Address

Tower Hill, London EC3N 4AB

Telephone

+44 (0)20 3166 6000

Transport

Tower Hill Tube

Website

Tower of London Website

Royal Observatory Greenwich, Greenwich. Courtesy of VisitLondon/Britain on View
10

Royal Observatory Greenwich

Contemplate time

Home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian Line, the Royal Observatory is part of the Greenwich UNESCO site. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1675, its striking domed building can be admired from across the park.



Cost

Free; some special exhibitions charge

Opening Hours

Daily 10am-5pm

Address

Blackheath Avenue, London SE10 8XJ

Telephone

+44 (0) 20 8858 4422

Transport

Cutty Sark DLR

Website

Royal Observatory Website

St Paul's Cathedral, London. Courtesy of Visit London
11

St Paul's Cathedral

Architectural masterpiece

The famous dome of St Paul's Cathedral, in the City, is a London icon. Test the acoustics in The Whispering Gallery and visit the tombs of Nelson and Sir Christopher Wren, the cathedral's architect, in the crypt.



Cost

£11; concessions £8.50-£10; children £3.50

Opening Hours

Mon-Sat 8.30am-4pm

Address

St Paul's Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD

Telephone

+44 (0) 7246 8350/7236 4128

Transport

St Paul's Tube

Website

St Paul's Cathedral Website

The exterior of Dennis Severs' House, London. Courtesy of Dennis Severs' House
12

Dennis Severs' House

East End curiosity

Dennis Severs' House in Spitalfields is a unique installation preserving scenes in daily life from the early 18th century in a Huguenot silk-weaver's home. American artist Dennis Severs froze the movements of imaginary inhabitants in ten rooms with period decoration.



Cost

£5-£12

Opening Hours

Every Mon eve (times vary); Sun 12pm-4pm & Mon following 1st & 3rd Sun of the month 12pm-2pm

Address

18, Folgate Street, London E1 6BX

Telephone

+44 (0) 20 7247 4013

Transport

Liverpool Street Tube

Website

Dennis Severs' House Website

Horse Riding in Hyde Park, London. Courtesy of Britain on View
13

Horse Riding in Hyde Park

Green escape

What better way to explore one of London's largest green spaces than on horseback? Hyde Park Stables (near Lancaster Gate tube) organise group or private lesson-rides along Rotten Row, passing the Serpentine lake. Hats and boots are provided without charge.



Cost

£59-£95 (per hour)

Opening Hours

Daily 7.15am/9am/10am/1pm-12pm/2pm/5pm

Address

63, Bathurst Mews, London W2 2SB

Telephone

+44 (0) 20 7723 2813

Transport

Lancaster Gate tube

Website

Hyde Park Stables Website

14

Kite Flying on Parliament Hill

Unbeatable views

Parliament Hill, one of the highest points on north London's Hampstead Heath, offers unbeatable views of the city. Join kite-flyers and make the most of the wind and the thrilling backdrop, featuring St Paul's, Canary Wharf and other prominent landmarks.



Cost

Free

Address

London NW3 7JR

Transport

Hampstead Tube

From Tower Bridge to the London Eye: looking over to the Thames' South Bank, London. Courtesy Visit London Images / Britain on View
15

Boat Ride Along The Thames

River cruise

Hop on and off a Thames Clipper boat along the river for a close-up view of London's major attractions. A River Roamer ticket takes you past sights such as the Tate Modern, the London Eye and the Tower of London.



Cost

Single £5; River Roamer £12

Opening Hours

Daily 6am-1am

Address

Victoria Embankment, London

Transport

Embankment Tube

Website

Thames Clipper Website

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