1. Free museums
Many museums in London can be visited for free. Some of the best known are the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Tate Gallery or the Science Museum.
You can find more information about accessibility on every institution’s official websites.
Keep in mind that most of them close between five and six, so it is recommended to visit calmly in the morning. In case of long queues, people with disabilities can approach the museum staff and request priority entrance.
Out of curiosity, we would like to let you know that the Wellcome Collection —also free— has one of the most accessible exhibitions in the world. If you are interested in the union between medicine and art, do not hesitate to visit it.
2. Changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace
As part of the itinerary in our London Accessible City Guide, we recommend you attend a changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Although Londoners are used to it, we find it a fun and curious activity to do as a tourist.
The ceremony is simply a “formal transfer of responsibilities.” Soldiers on duty are relieved by the New Guard arriving from Wellington Barracks. For its part, the New Guard is accompanied by a music band.
The change usually lasts about 45 minutes. Before attending, check out the date and time.
Another ancient tradition is the Tower of London’s Ceremony of the Keys. In fact, it has 700 years of history. Every day at 9:53 p.m., the Chief Warden of the Tower locks the door and hands the keys to the Resident Governor of the Tower for safekeeping overnight.
Photography is prohibited during the ceremony, so pay attention to details and enjoy the experience.
Until a few years ago, you had to send a letter to attend and admission was free. Now you have the option to book online, but you must do it well in advance. The price is £5.00.
3. Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens
Hyde Park, the largest royal park in London, is located in the heart of the city. The beautiful Kensington Gardens are adjacent.
Tourists and locals often relax in this green and accessible space. We also recommend visiting it.
To the northeast of the park you will also find the Speakers’ Corner, where on Sunday mornings some speakers present their views on any topic. It all started when in 1872 this part of Hyde Park was reserved for public speaking. It has now become more of a tourist spot, but occasionally you can listen to interesting speeches.
4. Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square is one of the most important squares in London and commemorates the victory of the British army in 1805. At the center, the imposing column headed by the British Admiral Horatio Nelson stands out.
5. Covent Garden
The Covent Garden is one of the most popular shopping districts in the city. It’s worth exploring, even if shopping is not on your itinerary.
As indicated on its official website, Convent Garden has some accessible paths for wheelchair users. It is recommended to arrive from Russell Street, where several ramps are installed, and under James Street. In addition, you can ask for help at the information booth located opposite South Wells.
6. Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Located half an hour by public transportation from central London, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is a spectacular Hindu temple with free admission.
There is a ramp located to the left of Haveli’s wooden portico, as well as an elevator that leads to the sanctuary on the upper floor. The exhibition is on the ground floor and has a level floor. In addition, wheelchairs are loaned (depending on availability).
7. Platform 9 ¾
All Harry Potter fans will want to take a picture next to Platform 9 ¾. You can find it at King Cross Station. There is also a shop dedicated to the famous J.K Rowling saga.
8. Abbey Road
We have all seen the famous cover where the Beatles crossed the Abbey Road zebra crossing. If you are a fan of the British group, you can visit it and snap a replica of the iconic funny picture.
9. Big Ben and the Westminster Palace
We think it’s worth paying to visit Westminster Palace. People who cannot enter through the steps must book in advance and notify the sales team. Access is granted through an alternative entrance.
While this post outlines some of the city’s free activities, we suggest visitors get to know the facade of London’s most iconic sites.
Tell us, what other free and accessible sites would you recommend we add to the list?
Sources: The New York Times, QverLonres, Historic Royal Palaces, Royal Parks, Covent Garden