There’s just so much to explore. I love it.
BUT I do tire of the scary London prices!
Scary London Prices
A few big family days out in London and your 200 quid down, before you know it!
And when I’m forking out like that I want my money’s worth.
I go into stressy-mum mode – we all must have an amazing time!
AND stay as long as we possibly can.
AND enjoy every last minute.
And that’s never a great recipe for success, is it?
The Secret to Successful Days Out
Curiously, we often enjoy the free stuff we do in London much more.
We pop in, pop out. Stay as long as we’re enjoying ourselves.
And don’t get in a stress about having the best time ever.
Which inevitably means we have a brilliant day out.
And stay for ages!
Finding Free Days Out in London
But are there really that many great free days out in London, you ask?
There are. There are. I promise you!
I’m a mum on a tight budget without cash for lots of fancy trips away.
So over the years I’ve hunted down every free day out in London I can.
And there’s a whole load of real gems.
Everything from big days out to quick trips.
And plenty for littlies and big kids as well.
This is a big old list of our fave free days out in London.
Plus some recommended by friends we’ve got on our bucket list for the year.
Do check it out. And do let me know your faves.
Pop over and join me on Family Fun London on Facebook, and tell me all about them.
101 Free Days Out in London
- Ride bikes around all 8 miles of Epping Forest (Waltham Forest)
- Go on a twilight tour of the spooky mummies in John Soanes Museum (Camden)
- Attend a Victorian school at the Ragged School Museum – sit up straight now!
- Look out over the city from the Sky Garden on Fenchurch Street
- See the baby deer in Richmond Park in the spring
- Delight in the medieval gem that is the Chapter House – then wander in the Westminster Abbey garden and cloisters (this bit of the Abbey is free) … there’s a handy small playground nearby in Victoria Tower Gardens
- Mudlark at Blackfriars or Wapping or Greenwich
- Visit the Brixton Windmill and buy some Brixton milled flour (Lambeth)
- Pop into the Guildhall and its Crypt which go back to before the Normans … (City of London)
- … then nip downstairs and fight like a gladiator in the Roman Ampitheatre buried below
- Ride your bikes on the BMX track at Brockwell Park (Lambeth)
- Battle the Saxons in Joydens Wood (Bexley)
- Sit by the Thames and paint the river at St Pauls or Westminster
- See owls, peregrines, harriers, herons & more in the wild at Rainham Marsh RSPB (Havering)
- Work in a Victorian workhouse in the Vestry Museum (Walthamstow)
- Follow in Paddington‘s paw prints around London
- Freak yourself out with all the weirdness of the Hunterian Museum (Lincolns Inn)
- Watch the lambing at the Woodlands Farm … (Greenwich)
- … then walk through Oxleas Wood to the top of Shooters Hill (one of London’s highest points)
- Explore Charlton House one of London’s finest old mansions – and MOST haunted houses!
- See King Harold’s grave at Waltham Abbey (Walthamstow)
- Rampage over Hampstead Heath like the highwaymen of old and then tell ghost stories over dinner at the Spaniard’s Inn – Dick Turpin’s old hangout and London’s most haunted pub!
- Introduce the kids to Rembrandt & co at Kenwood House then go wild on the Heath (Camden)
- Pick strawberries until you can’t eat another at one of London’s PYO farms … yes, you pay for the strawbs but less than the shops, so NOT just free, it’s money saving!
- Play for hours in Coram’s Field – London’s first ever playground – after a trip to the British, Grant, Petrie, John Soanes or Hunterian museums nearby (Camden)
- Climb trees in the ancient wild wood in Ruislip (Hillingdon)
- Pay tributes to David Bowie in Brixton then scoff yummy grub in Brixton Market (Lambeth)
- Check out the enormous medieval Harmondsworth Barn then explore the lakes and waterways and wildlife of Colne Valley Park (Hillingdon)
- Discover how we used to live at Geffrye Museum (Hackney) …
- … then scoot down the road to meet the animals at Hackney City Farm
- … and on a Sunday enjoy the blooms of Columbia Road Flower Market
- Ride your bikes along the River Wandle from Morden Hall Park … (Merton)
- …. to visit the farm animals, ferrets, owls & alapacas at Deen City Farm (Merton)
- Follow London’s history from the stone age to the sixties at the Museum of London (Barbican)
- Pick blackberries in London’s wonderful woods (August on)
- Enjoy the Egyptians – minus the crowds – at the brilliant Petrie Museum (just off Euston Road)
- Go wombling on Wimbledon Common …
- … before visiting Wimbledon Windmill (free in 2017)
- Hop into the cockpit of a real Spitfire at the Royal Airforce Museum (Hendon)
- Explore natural history galore – and more! – at the Horniman Museum … (Lewisham)
- … then cross the road to Sydenham Wood to build a den
- Day dream of the knights old in the armoury at Wallace Collection (just off Oxford Street)
- Entertain wannabe soldiers at the newly reopened National Army Museum (Chelsea)
- Join London’s traditional lavender harvest in Carshalton (Sutton)
- Expand your minds with eye opening exhibitions at the Wellcome Collection (Euston Road)
- Sail away to sea at the National Maritime Museum … (Greenwich)
- … then run around outside in Greenwich Park … head up the hill for the view …
- … and if you need more time inside explore the art – and cool stairs! – in the Queen’s House
- Visit the National Trust’s Petts Wood in spring to see the bluebells … (Bromley)
- Get crafty in William Morris‘ lovely old house …
- … then head out for a picnic and a play in Lloyd Park (Walthamstow)
- Head back in time to the Victorians and beyond at the beautiful old Forty Hall (Enfield)
- Go fly a kite on Blackheath, Primrose Hill or Parliament Hill …
- Discover how we used to live in the lovely Valentines Mansion & Gardens (Ilford)
- Enjoy English art at Burgh House … then wander in the gardens (Camden)
- Or checkout the modern art at Whitechapel Gallery … (Tower Hamlets)
- … then pop round to see Bayleaf the Donkey at Spitafields City Farm
- Be inspired by the soaring Southwark Cathedral (Southwark) …
- … then nip round to the towering Tate Modern
- Play hide and seek in the ruins of Lesnes Abbey (Bexley) …
- … then dig for fossils in Abbey Wood
- Take a pic of yourself at Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross (get there early) …
- … then go spotting kingfishers round the corner at Camley Street Natural Park
- Check out the toys in the Museum of Childhood (Bethnal Green) …
- … then visit the pagoda and check out the cormorants on the lake in Victoria Park
- See something other than the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum – go on explore!
- … then run around in Kensington Gardens
- Get all scientific in the Science Museum … (Kensington)
- … then climb the rigging on the pirate ship in the Diana Playground
- Paddle in the river Crane … (Twickenham)
- … and climb the old Shot Tower in Crane Park
- Visit the dinosaurs – if you dare – in Crystal Palace Park … RAAAWW!
- Explore the forgotten delights of 400 year old Boston Manor … (Hounslow)
- Start to explore one of the world’s finest art collections at National Gallery …
- … then have a run around and watch the street performers in Trafalgar Square ….
- … before enjoying a free lunchtime concert at St Martin in the Fields
- Soak in the atmosphere of the South Bank, then build sandcastles on the beach …
- Discover a 1,000 years of history at Fulham Palace by the Thames (Chelsea)
- Do what Londoners have always done and pick apples in Kent in autumn … (Bromley)
- Go and draw your own portraits at the National Portrait Gallery
- Delight in the Japanese Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park
- Explore London’s riverside past in Museum of London in Docklands …
- … then hop on the DLR for a few stops down to Mudchute Farm …
- Check out the planes, tanks and rockets at Imperial War Museum … but also the brilliant house showing how Londoners lived during the war
- Watch the planes take off at London City Airport from the Royal Docks … (Newham)
- Wallow in Turner and Britains other greats at Tate Britain …
- … then walk over Vauxhall Bridge to Vauxhall City Farm. (Lambeth)
- Follow local history from the Romans to today at Valence House (Dagenham)
- Picnic and play among the flowers and streams of the Isabella Plantation – a Victorian woodland garden in Richmond Park
- Head to Hogarth’s House in Chiswick and discover the artists paintings and prints … and enjoy the garden where he used to paint (Hounslow)
- Enjoy everything from bronze age swords to the opulence of the Rothschilds in the fascinating local history museum in Gunnersbury Park (reopens 2017) (Hounslow)
- Enjoy the Impressionists in the Courtauld … then splash in the fountains at Somerset House (the Strand)
- Party all day long at the Lambeth Country Show … (entry and all the shows are free)
- Ride your bikes on the Regents Canal towpath and uncover hidden parts of London …
- Check out an exhibition at the South London Gallery … then hop on a bus to the lovely Peckham Rye and picnic and play for the day (Southwark)
- Head up to Neasden and see the stunning Shri Swaminaryan Mandir hindu temple (Brent)
- See kingfishers, warblers and much much more at the Woodberry Wetlands Centre (Hackney)
- Watch the ceremony of the keys – the traditional locking up of the Tower of London – (but be warned it’s booked up until 2018!)
- Climb up to Hadleigh Castle and admire the view …
- … then watch the sun go down over a pint of prawns at Leigh on Sea (OK it’s not actually in London, but it’s what Londoners have done for generations!)
- Finally, pay tributes to London’s very own guardian giants Gog and Magog … what do you mean you’ve not heard of them! Go hunt them down 🙂
Do pop over to Family Fun London on Facebook and tell me all about them, and what you enjoyed most.
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