Hi everyone, this is the second part of my cheap guide to London. As promised we’ll go through some interesting exhibitions and museums off the beaten path, but which are still very much worth visiting! With any free attractions, you can make a donation, but it is not compulsory.
I’ll start out with one of my favourite places in London, Sir John Soane’s Museum. This incredible collection is located at 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields (Closest Tube Holborn), and is run free of charge. This is an incredible collection of oddities that were collected by Sir John Soane (architect behind the Bank of England). Just go, that’s right don’t miss it, make sure you go! The highlight of the museum is the sarcophagus of Seti I, but even the architecture and history behind the building itself is outstanding. Open Tuesday to Saturday.
On the other side of Lincoln’s Inn Fields (35-43) is the Royal College of Surgeons and their museum, the Hunterian Museum. Not for the squeamish this one, but it is a fascinating look at the history of surgery and treating illness and disease, there are also some incredible specimens of animal skeletons. Open Tuesday to Saturday.
Another interesting museum to visit is Benjamin Franklin’s house. Franklin lived in a property a stones throw from Trafalgar Square between 1757-1775 (we even visit this building on the ghost walk)! See a replica Glass Armonica which he invented (a musical instrument with an eerie sound). And learn about the naked ‘air bathes’ he would take by his window in the mornings (I sure his neighbours had quite a shock)!
Underneath an art gallery in the heart of the City there is quite an interesting discovery. During construction of the Guildhall Art Gallery, archaeologists uncovered sections of the Roman Amphitheatre where gladiatorial combat took place! This exciting find is open to the public, free of charge, and is usually very quite. After this, take a short walk to the Bank of England and check out the free museum (entrance on St Bartholomew street). The history of the bank, our currency and our gold reserves is on display, but the most exciting part is being able (if you can) to pick up a REAL BAR OF GOLD!
Again, just a short walk from the bank you’ll find the Monument. We begin our 2.30 walk from here, and for just £4 and adult and £2 concessions you can climb to the top! The monument has 311steps and has some wonderful views. Compare this price to the London Eye, or the Shard, and you have a real bargain! You even get a certificate on your decent.
The Wallace Collection is an art gallery in Manchester Square near Oxford Street (closest tube Bond Street), and is famous for housing the Laughing Caviller and The Swing. It is a truly impressive collection in a stunning environment, well worth a visit, and is also free of charge.
In Shoreditch, near Hoxton tube, you will find the Geffrye Museum, this is a look at how the English middle classes have lived over the last 400 years. There are various rooms that have been created to show how people lived from different times in our history. There is a £2.50p charge to visit the restored almshouse, but everything else is free. Open Tuesday to Sunday, but is open on bank holidays.
The list of exhibitions, art galleries and quirky locations is numerous, and we’ll be focusing on many more in later blogs. If you have a questions while planning your itinerary, or want more information, please fill out our ‘contact us’ form and we will get right back to you.