12 March 2024 • 6 Mins Read

What Are The Best Free Things to Do in London?

London’s heritage spans thousands of years, making it one of the most enriching places for students of all subjects to visit. Whether you’re looking to learn more about art, finance, politics or simply soak in some famous sights, this city has it all. Those on the lookout for free things to do in their spare time won’t be stuck for choice here either; there’s a range of cost-free options for both students and teachers. Take a look at our handy list of tips and tricks for free things to do on your school trip to London.

History school trips to London

One of the most famous cities in the world, London receives over 20 million international visitors each year. It’s home to iconic landmarks and awe-inspiring attractions, as well as a multitude of cultures, sights and sounds. Here are some of our top free picks for history students visiting this amazing city.

Imperial War Museum

Covering British conflicts from WWI right through to modern day, the Imperial War Museum continues to be one of the most enriching visits for history students to embark on. Featuring new First World War galleries, the IWM is great for learning more about the events that shaped our country into how we know it today.

Visits to IWM are free for everyone, and opening times are each day from 10am – 6pm.

London Transport Museum

Those interested in learning more about the role that transport played during the World Wars need look no further than the London Transport at War exhibition at the London Transport Museum. Find out how the city kept moving, the role that women played, how the London Underground provided shelter during the Blitz and so much more at this fascinating exhibition.

Plus, admission is free for those under 17 years of age.

Art school trips to London

Tate Modern

The most visited modern art gallery in the world, the Tate Modern houses works by artists such as Cézanne, Bonnard, Matisse, Picasso, Rothko, Dalí, Pollock, Warhol and Bourgeois.

Art students visiting here can take inspiration from the awe-inspiring Turbine Hall which runs the length of the entire building, displaying various works of modern art from all over the world. What’s more, it’s free to visit a whole host of exhibitions and displays, although those looking to view limited exhibitions may have to pay an admission fee.

Victoria & Albert Museum

Often referred to as the world’s greatest museum of art and design, the Victoria & Albert Museum represents thousands of years’ worth of creativity through fantastically diverse exhibitions and collections. Head to the Medieval Renaissance galleries to see some of the period’s greatest surviving artefacts or visit the William and Judith Bollinger Jewellery Gallery and the British Galleries to see the history of Britain through art and design. 

Entrance to the museum is free, but those wishing to visit one of the special exhibitions will have to pay a small fee.

National Gallery

Standing tall amongst the hustle and bustle of London’s Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery houses the works of some of the most famous artists in the world. Art students can take inspiration from Reubens and Van Gogh, to Turner, Da Vinci, Monet and Rembrandt; it’s the national collection of Western European painting from 1250 onwards.

What’s more, admission to see these awe-inspiring, world-famous works is completely free.

Science school trips to London

Natural History Museum

With hundreds of exciting and interactive exhibits throughout its walls, science students will be fascinated by the dinosaur exhibition, human biology area and the new hands-on Science Centre project, ‘Investigate’.

There’s also lots of free workshops that can be booked for school groups, young children or those a little older.

Science Museum

Introduce children to science through a series of fun activities, exhibitions and interactives at the Science Museum. Spread over seven awe-inspiring floors, the Science Museum covers all kinds of topics, from space and travel to food and medicine.

Entrance to the museum is free for everyone and features an educational programme where teachers can plan visits and get resources for back in the classroom.

More free things to do in London

Houses of Parliament

Sitting along the banks of the Thames is one of the most important buildings in British democracy – where important issues are debated, and new laws are passed.

Schools can embark on a free guided visit to the Houses of Parliament by booking in advance. Plus, there are a variety of workshops and activities that children aged 5-18 can take part in, as well as resources for teachers to apply during lessons back at school.

M&M World

For a fun and free trip for school kids, head to M&M World on Leicester Square. With numerous floors dedicated to the chocolate sweets, it’s the largest candy store in the world. Here, students can see how M&M’s are made, get their picture taken with giant characters and even get their faces printed on their own sweets.

It’s completely free to wander around, and students are sure to have a great time here.

Need even more inspiration? See what other free things are available for your London school trip

  • Bank of England Museum
  • British Museum
  • Supreme Court
  • Hunterian Museum
  • Wiener Library
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • Saatchi Gallery
  • Buddhapadipa Temple
  • Central Gurdwara
  • Westminster Cathedral

Tailor your London School trip

If you’re planning a school trip to London, our team of specialists can help organise itineraries bespoke for any subject.

We’ll arrange everything from educational tours and workshops to accommodation and travel to ensure your trip goes smoothly.