Posts Tagged "free attractions"

5 of the best London New Year’s resolutions

Conquer a fear of heights with a trip up The Shard


Happy New Year! After all the fun and excitement of Christmas and New Year’s Eve, it’s time to turn your attention to 2014. For many of us, that means making a New Year’s resolution; and London is the perfect companion to keep you on the right track.

I’ll detox…

Detox at the Mayfair Hotel SpaAfter all that stodgy Christmas pudding, brandy butter and too much roast turkey, it’s definitely time to get your body into shape. Many join a gym come 1 January, but what better way to start your new regime than by spending a leisurely detox day in one of London’s many spas? The May Fair Spa has a great range of treatments featuring everything from manicures and mud wraps to Moroccan steam cleansing – it’s open daily to guests and non-guests, so it’s easy to start the New Year on the right (newly pedicured) foot.

I’ll spend more time with my kids…

Spend some time with the kids at the Natural History MuseumHas the festive season made you realise you should spend

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more time with your kids? Make 2014 the year to do more parent-child bonding. There are plenty of family-friendly museums and activities in London for all ages to enjoy, from children’s theatres and city farms to hands-on experiments at the Science Museum and exploration at the Natural History Museum.

Delve into one of the many toyshops, from the world-famous Hamleys on Regent Street to the traditional and quirky Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop in Covent Garden. If you’re only here for a day, you can cram in a lot with our family day out itinerary.

I’ll conquer my fear of heights…

If you’re looking to banish your fear of heights this year, head up all 72 floors of The Shard. From The View – the observation area at the pinnacle – you’ll see all of London and far beyond with stunning 360-degree views. Reward your bravery with afternoon tea at Aqua Shard, which gives the phrase “high tea” a completely new meaning. And don’t forget to pick up a souvenir photo to prove you’ve been all the way up the vertigo-inducing 1,016ft-high (310m) structure.

I’ll save money…

Marvel at the National Gallery's famous artworkIf your resolution is to save money, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on a trip to London. As well as affordable accommodation such as cheap hotels and hostels, and affordable restaurants, London is jam-packed with free attractions, from some of the world’s best museums to lesser-known stop-offs unique to the city.

Among the major free-to-enter museums and galleries in London are the National Gallery which hosts one of the world’s most impressive collections of art, Tate Modern which satisfies those with a more contemporary taste, and the Victoria and Albert Museum that’s perfect for design lovers. For something more unusual, head to the Sewing Machine Museum or get your teeth into the British Dental Association Museum.

I’ll slow down…

Wander through Epping ForestLet’s face it, life is hectic these days and we all rarely get enough “me time”. After the last-minute hassles and family arguments of Christmas, take time to relax in one of London’s peaceful open spaces.

If you’re looking for a stroll, why not lose yourself in the gladed Epping Forest watched inquisitively by resident deer. On a more reflective note, London has many cemeteries that are the perfect places to contemplate the year ahead, including the large Brompton Cemetery with its elegant chapel modelled on the design of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Chelsea Physic Garden (closed until March) is another tranquil haven where you can relax with a book, a cup of tea and some cake nestled among medicinal plants.

What’s your new year’s resolution? Tell us in the comments below…