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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.

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

Museums and Galleries

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  1. 1. The Wallace Collection - Museums and Galleries

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    The Wallace Collection, London. Courtesy of The Wallace Collection

    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.Show this on map

    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

  2. 2. Victoria & Albert Museum - Museums and Galleries

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

    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.Show this on map

    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

  3. 3. National Gallery - Museums and Galleries

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

    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.Show this on map

    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

  4. 4. Tate Modern - Museums and Galleries

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    The Tate Modern in London, England.

    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.Show this on map

    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 Modern Website

  5. 5. Museum of London - Museums and Galleries

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

    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.Show this on map

    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

  6. 6. British Museum - Museums and Galleries

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

    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.Show this on map

    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

Attractions

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  1. 7. London Eye - Attractions

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    A view of the London Eye and the South Bank of the Thames from Westminster Bridge. London, England.

    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.Show this on map

    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

  2. 8. Tower of London - Attractions

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    A Beefeater at the Tower of London. London, England.

    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.Show this on map

    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

  3. 9. St Paul's Cathedral - Attractions

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

    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.Show this on map

    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

  4. 10. Kenwood House - Attractions

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

    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.Show this on map

    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

    Kenwood House Website

  5. 11. Royal Observatory Greenwich - Attractions

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

    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.Show this on map

    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 Museums Greenwich Website

Special things to do

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  1. 12. Hyde Park Stables Horse Riding - Special things to do

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

    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.Show this on map

    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

  2. 13. Dennis Severs' House - Special things to do

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

    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.Show this on map

    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

  3. 14. Thames Boat Rides from Embankment Pier - Special things to do

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

    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.Show this on map

    Cost

    Single £5; River Roamer £12

    Opening hours

    Daily 6am-1am

    Address

    Victoria Embankment, London

    Transport

    Embankment Tube

    Website

    Thames Clippers Website

  4. 15. Kite Flying on Parliament Hill - Special things to do

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    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.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Address

    London NW3 7JR

    Transport

    Hampstead Tube

    Website

    City of London Website

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