What to do with a free afternoon in London without spending money

Travel is fun but can be expensive

If you're like me, you love to travel. So, let's say you have a free afternoon in London, you want to make the most of your London experience, but you've got a tight budget. You want dinner tonight so how can you spend this free afternoon without spending too much money?

Some of the best sights are free

Well some of the best sights are free but without completely wearing out your trainers where are you going to start? Let me share with you one of my favorite walks in London that takes in so many of the major sights.

Get your walking shoes on

This is a great leisurely afternoon walk and it actually has an official name and a website, so download the page to your smartphone before you leave so you have a 'local tour guide' with you at all times.

We are talking about 'The Queen's Walk' - yes, not just any old walk, the Queen's Walk. For the website, click here.

Finding your way there

Now, you can start this walk at either end - the website starts at Westminster Bridge, but I started at St Paul's Cathedral. Either way you can get the London Underground (the Tube) to either Westminster (District and Circle lines) or St Pauls (Central line) - check out your route to either of these via the Transport for London website - click here.

The regal view

What I love about this walk is that you start on the north side of the River Thames but most of the walk is on the South side, which means, of course, you get to cross the river - twice.

I love the photo opportunities you get from the bridges. I especially love the Millennium Bridge because you can quickly go from one side to the other (it's a pedestrian only bridge). Looking east, you get great photos of the famous Tower Bridge, and you can see The Shard (London's tallest building) breaking the skyline as it pierces upwards.

'Culture' Everywhere

So the sights are varied and exciting - there's a real buzz as you walk along the south bank of the Thames - street performers, hot dog carts, amusement parks. But, there are also those cultural sights that you've come to London for.

  • Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
  • The Tate Modern Museum
  • The South Bank Centre
  • The London Eye
  • Big Ben
  • The Houses of Parliament

The River never sleeps

There is always activity on the river so that never gets boring - just watching the river life flow past you. And there are loads of watering holes and eateries and even little boutique shops if you have a few pennies (actually more like pounds) you can spare.

Take your camera

You won't want to leave your camera at home for this great afternoon (or morning) outing. I put some of my best shots on my photoblog - you can view them by clicking here. It wasn't the greatest of days, in terms of weather, but it actually was a great day in terms of fun. And totally free.

Other Essentials

It's London so it may get cooler, so take something warm as you are on the river.

Even though it was cloudy when I did this walk it was summer so sunscreen is a must.

And finally, take a sense of adventure - wander up those little alleyways and see what you can find. I often have the best experiences when I am just open to the wonders of everyday life and not following the timetable to the letter.

 

So, I wish you well and let us know how you liked this walk if you end up spending a free afternoon doing it.

And just because summer is heading our way (in the Southern Hemisphere) we have a great sunscreen that you can order - the non-greasy formula protects both face and body from harmful UVA and UVB rays so you feel confident that your day in the sun will not lead to suffering from sunburn in the evening.

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