Whilst some of our course mates have jeted away to Mallorca for the perfect beach getaway, some of us have not been as fortunate. I for one am glad to be spending my reading week in London. There is lots to see in lovely London, and the weather has been exceptional this year. For those of us not voyaging to a fabulous port city, here are five fabulous quick getaways in central London. That’s right, they are all within Zone 1 travel fare regions and are FREE to access. I’ve chosen spots that are within close proximity to campus because sometimes we miss the real gems that lie close to us in search of what’s out there in the great unknown.
- The Wallace Collection (Tube Station: Bond Street / Marble Arch)
So you’ve probably been to or at least heard of the V&A Museum, the Tate Modern and the National Gallery. Trust me when I say that the Wallace Collection will blow your mind. It feels like stepping into an alternate world, in contrast to the busy Oxford Street just a couple blocks away. The art collection is just remarkable and definitely worth a visit. They even run a daily guided free tour of the collection.
- Kensington Gardens (Tube Station: Lancaster Gate)
Truly picturesque and a great outdoor space that has a little bit of everything to offer. It is studded with intricate monuments, a café, a little pond and even a gallery. My pictures do no justice to this lush space. It can get a little busy with tourists coming by to catch a glimpse of Kensington Palace, but there is always enough space for all. A little sharing can’t hurt right? I’ve never felt it to be packed, I mean nothing is in comparison to Oxford Street on a Saturday evening.
- Daunt Books (Tube Station: Baker Street / Bond Street)
Oh, the irony! I couldn’t help myself but include a bookstore. Why read when you’ve been reading all week right? Well, I guess you could say not all reading feels like work and on a side note it is reading week after all. If you’re going to be doing some reading, it might as well be for pleasure. With an interior like that, I could spend the whole day reading the draft legislation for the new copyright directive.
- Camden Market (Tube Station: Camden Town)
Camden. If you asked any tourist in London what’s on their to-do list I’m pretty sure nine out of ten times Camden is going to come up. But I felt that I had to include it in my list anyway. It has got some of the most unique foods and Street Art, two of my favourite things. Camden Market has got such a great vibe, and lots of free events like Coffee House sessions that I recommend checking out for some free music.
- Royal Albert Hall (Tube Station: South Kensington)
From The Beatles to Adele, this building has housed some of the greatest performances. Although getting into a show would cost you a little bit, there is a free exhibition open to public on weekends for a few hours. Yes, it comes with a little inconvenience, but the rich history and intriguing architecture of this Grade I listed building are worth it.