London 2012 Olympics
Free Things to Do in London
You've purchased your tickets for the Olympics, paid for flights to Heathrow, booked a hotel room, and put money aside for meals out, transport and souvenirs - the 2012 Olympic Games have cost you hundreds and you’ve still got a year to go! The good news is that there are plenty of excellent attractions in London that are completely free of charge. Combine that with discount hotels in London, and you may not have to spend as much as you thought!
Take Your Pick from Dozens of Art Galleries and Museums
A huge number of galleries and museums are open to the public for free. Two of the best are the Tate Modern, located on the lively Southbank stretch of the River Thames, a gallery which focuses on cutting-edge contemporary art, and Tate Britain, which houses a fantastic collection of british art from 1500 to the present day. The National Portrait Gallery, just off Trafalgar Square, opened in 1856 and displays portraits of historically important and famous British characters. The adjoining National Gallery houses a collection of more than 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century. The V&A (Victoria & Albert Museum) is one of the best museums in London - specialising in art and design, it displays furniture, photography, paintings, fashion, ceramics, sculpture and curiosities spanning more than 3,000 years, including a rich collection of British art and design from the 16th century onwards. The Science Museum, British Museum, and Museum of London are also excellent.
Watch the Changing of the Guard
The military tradition of Changing the Guard, or Guard Mounting as it is also called, at Buckingham Palace dates back to 1689 and can be witnessed every day during the summer months. The Buckingham Palace Detachment of the Queen’s Guard officially hands over at 11.30am at Horse Guards Parade with much pomp and ceremony, including music played by the Guards band. Get to the palace early for a top view through the gates.
Find Peace in History-Steeped Westminster Abbey
This church in the centre of London has seen countless coronations and royal weddings over its 900 year history, including most recently the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. A living pageant of British history, visitors share the awe-inspiring space with past kings, queens, politicians, soldiers, poets and writers. Rebuilt in 1840 on the site of important medieval remains, it remains an incredibly important, not to mention beautiful, example of neo-Gothic architecture. Try to time a visit with Evensong, during the which the hauntingly beautiful sounds of the Abbey choir can be heard.
Escape the City in One of the City's Parks
Pack a picnic, find a shady spot and relax in one of London’s many parks, before walking off your food with a wander around their many attractions. Breathe in the petal-perfumed fragrance of the beautiful Queen Mary’s Rose Gardens in Regent’s Park, rollerblade around vast Hyde Park, climb the steep slopes of Primrose Hill to be rewarded with an incredible panoramic view of the city, or sunbathe by the lake in St. James' Park.
2012 Olympics Dates
July 27th - August 12th
Olympic Resources Links
Latest Ticket News
Tickets will not go on sale until 2011 but the prices are finally out! Check out the London 2012 tickets page for more details.