London for Free – Many of the Historic London Houses and Sites are Free:
We often hear people complaining that London is an expensive city. But this does not have to be the case. Apart from your accommodation and food, it is possible to have a great time in London without spending a penny…well, maybe just a few pennies. If you love art, culture and the history and heritage of London, there is an incredible amount of things you can enjoy in London for Free. In addition to the raft of free London museums and splendid art galleries, many of the historic london houses and sites are free to visitors as well.
Listed below are some London historic houses and other free London attractions:.
|Historic Houses and Sites|
|Did you know that the word ‘hallmark’ originates from the 15th century practice when craftsmen in London were first required to bring their artefacts to the Goldsmiths’ Hall for assaying and marking? For anyone interested in learning about how precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, etc. are assayed and hallmarked, the Goldsmiths’ Hall is a fascinating place. The Goldsmiths’ Company has been responsible for testing the quality of precious metals and hallmarking since 1300. Whilst the Company still carries out this statutory function, these days it regularly holds exhibitions and events to promote contemporary jewellers and silversmiths, including an annual selling exhibition, Goldsmiths’ Fair. The Goldsmiths’ Hall is itself one of the hidden architectural treasures of London.|
Opening Times: Only open during exhibitions. Mon-Sat 10:00 – 17:00.
Open days and tours should be booked through the City of London office on tel: 020 7332 1456.
The Goldsmiths’ Company, Foster Lane, London EC2V 6BN
Tel: +44 (0)20 7606 7010
|Old Royal Naval College|
Greenwich has been occupied for more than 2,000 years and its local residents have included the Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Danes and Flemish monks. The area became popular with royalty from the 1420s and several grand houses and palaces were built next to the Thames. Henry VIII was born in Greenwich Palace as were his daughters Queen Mary I and Queen Elizabeth I. A Royal Hospital was built here between 1696-1751 as a refuge for woulded sailors. When the hospital closed in 1869, the building was transformed into a naval college. Visitors to the Old Royal Naval College can explore the incredibly rich in history of Greenwich. The Painted Hall, with its stunning paintings, is said to be one of the finest dining halls in the world. Look out for the plaque marking the spot where Admiral Nelson’s body lay in state for three days before his state funeral at St Paul’s Cathedral.
|Queens House||Queens House was commissioned by King James I for his wife, Anne of Denmark. Special features of the House are the Tulip Staircase, its cubic Great Hall and a logia and orangery opening onto Greenwich Park. The House now displays a series of historical paintings portraying the history of these Greenwich buildings and portraits of Tudor and Stuart kings and queens associated with its history.|
Opening Times: Daily 10:00 – 17:00
Queens House, Address: Romney road, Greenwich, SE10 9NF
Tel: +44 (0)20 8312 6565
|Hogarth’s House||A collection of Hogarth’s engravings assembled to record the artist’s life and evoke vividly the excesses and miseries of 18thC England. It is the most extensive collection on public display. These engravings are interpreted and exhibited to illustrate Hogarth’s life and work.|
Opening Times: Tue-Fri 13:00 – 17:00; Sat&Sun 13:00 – 18:00 (Closed Mon – except Bank Holidays. Closed Christmas & January)
Hogarth’s House, Hogarth Lane, Great West Road, London, W4 2QN
Tel: + 44 (0)20 8994 6757
|Kenwood House||Kenwood House is located in a tranquil leafy parkland in fashionable Hampstead, with sweeping views over London. In this elegant villa, visitors can view world-famous art collections by Vermeer, Rembrant, Turner, Reynolds and Gainsborough and rare Elizabethan portraits. The Adam Library is one of the highlight features of Kenwood House.|
Opening Times: Daily 11:30 – 16:00 (closed Dec 24-26, Jan 1)
Kenwood House, Hampstead Lane, London, NW3 7JR
Tel: +44 (0)20 8348 1286
|The London Wall|
London Wall is the remnant of the Roman wall, which once formed part of the eastern defences of Roman Londinium. The Wall was built in AD 200 and defined the shape and size of London for over a millennium.
|Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge|
|Built in 1543 for Henry VIII, this timber-framed hunting grandstand stands in a beautiful part of Epping Forest. The Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge overlooks the old hunting field for which it was designed. Legend has it that Queen Elizabeth rode her horse up the stairs!|
Opening Times: Oct-Apr Sat&Sun 13:00 – 16:00; May-Sep Wed-Fri 13:00 – 17:00; Sat&Sun 11:00 – 17:00
Rangers Road, Chingford, London E4 7QH
Tel: +44 (0)20 8529 6681
|Winchester Palace||Winchester Palace was built in the early 13th century as the London house of the Bishops of Winchester. Most of the palace was destroyed by fire in 1814. From the street you can see the remains of the great hall, including the striking rose window which adorns the west gable.|
Opening Times: Anytime
Winchester Palace, London Bridge, Southwark, London, SE1 9DA
Tel: +44 (0)87 0333 1181