Free London- June 2007 Travel Diary
London hotels at discount rates
Burlington Bertie's Top Tips

A Night 'On the town'
While in London, treat your partner to a superb evening out 'On The Town' with OfftoLondon's theatre and dinner package.

Choose your Hotel
Use OfftoLondon's hassle-free and secure booking facilities to obtain the best internet prices for your overnight, 'City Break' or longer term accommodation requirements; from de-luxe 5-star hotels to comfortable hostels.

Book your tickets online
Book before your visit book all your tickets with This way you will ensure best seats and best prices at the events, exhibitions and shows of your choice without the hassle of price bargaining and queuing on the day.

London Transport Oyster Card
The Central London congestion charge zone for visitors driving in London now covers all main areas of attraction. It makes sense to travel by the safe London Transport bus or Tube. Buy a multi-journey Oyster Card before you arrive, (you can top this up at will), and you will save money, time and hassle.

Something for the Weekend, Sir?
Add spice to your London visit with a Paris or Rome "Weekender". These city gems are now within your reach, thanks to cheap speedy travel. Enjoy a Day Trip to Paris via Eurostar for shopping, sightseeing and dining while you are in London. Let Offtolondon's associates, Travel Specialists OfftoParis and OfftoRome take care of all your travel, accommodation and sightseeing requirements at best price.

Discovering London - Full Day London City Tour
8.5 - 9 hours - Drive to Westminster, past Downing Street, home of the Prime Minister, and on to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Stop for a visit inside Westminster Abbey, site of many royal coronations. Visit Poets' Corner and the tombs of many well-known scientists and monarchs. Also see the Chapel of Henry VII.
Stop near Buckingham Palace to see the colourful ceremony of the Changing of the Guard before driving through busy streets and past peaceful parks to Piccadilly, home of London's Theatreland. Pass Trafalgar Square with its impressive Nelson's Column and fountains, before reaching a traditional London pub for lunch.
The afternoon starts with a cruise on the River Thames, during which a Thames Waterman will point out the places of interest along the way. Disembark to visit the Tower of London where you will meet the Beefeaters clad in Tudor uniforms, hear the legend of the ravens and some spine chilling tales from the Tower's 900 year history. You will also see the Crown Jewels, magnificently displayed in the new Jewel House.
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Free London in June, 2007
Shophound Alexia's Free London diary. June highlights for free concerts, art exhibitions and museums.

Fine Art & Cultural Exhibitions

Permanent collections in London's public art galleries and museums are entry free. Individually mounted temporary exhibitions within specified rooms of the gallery or museum normally carry a ticket charge however. This is bookable online, (recommended) or at the door if tickets are still available. See Burlington Bertie's London Diary for current ticketed exhibition highlights.

Free Range - Art & Design; Degrees Shows
Venue: The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL. Tel: 020 7770 6100.
Dates: 31 May-23 July, 2007. Opening Thursdays 6pm-10pm & Show Days; Fridays-Mondays 10am - 7pm.
Tickets: FREE
London Transport: Liverpool Street Station.
Dress: Casual.
Description: This is Europe's largest graduate art and design show and a wonderful opportunity to see new work and buy if the mood takes you. Over the 8 week period thousands of students from the UK's top art and design colleges will exhibit to some 100,000 visitors.

Courtauld Gallery
Venue: Somerset House, Strand, WC2R ORN. Tel: 020 7848 2526
Dates: Closes 3 June, 2007. 10am-2pm, Mondays only, exc. public holidays
Tickets: FREE on Mondays.
London Transport: Nearest Tube: Temple.
Description: A selection of drawings by Rembrandt, the first in a series of displays designed to complement the exhibition programme and to increase awareness of the Courtauld's exceptional collection of c. 7,000 drawings. Mostly executed during the 1630s and 1640s, this rich group gives insight into Rembrandt's creativity at the height of his career and an opportunity to compare the work of Guercino (1591-1666), sometimes known as 'the Rembrandt of the South', with that of his Dutch contemporary. Coincides with the exhibition Guercino: Mind to Paper.

James 'Athenian' Stuart 1713 - 1788: The Rediscovery of Antiquity
Venue: Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7. Tel: 020 7942 2000
Date: Until 24 June, 2007.
London Transport: Nearest Tube: South Kensington .
Description: The first comprehensive retrospective of Stuart's work as designer, artist and taste-maker, setting his work in the context of 18th century design culture. Widely recognized for his central role in the development of Neo-Classicism, James 'Athenian' Stuart is a compelling figure in English design history. The creation of the 'Greek Style' and its impact on English design during the late 18th century is largely due to Stuart's landmark publication 'Antiquities of Athens'. The scope of Stuart's highly influential career spanned the fields of architecture, interior decoration, furnishings, sculpture and metalwork.

New York Fashion Show
Date: Until 2 September, 2007.
Venue: Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7. Tel: 020 7942 2000 London Transport: Nearest Tube: South Kensington .
Description: This special temporary V & A exhibition displays the latest work of the New York Fashion Designers. It brings together designs by 20 of the most talented and innovative designers from the numerous independent fashion labels launched between 1999 and 2004 including Duckie Brown, Cloak, Derek Lam, Mary Ping, and Zac Posen.

Tate Britain
Venue: Tate Britain, Millbank, SW1P 4RG. Tel: 020 7887 8888.
Opening Times: Daily. 10am-5.40pm.
London transport: Nearest Tube: Pimlico.
Description: Tate has the world's finest collection of British Art 1500 - 2007, presenting an unrivalled picture of its development from the 16th century to present day. Special attention is given to Blake, (1757-1827), Constable, (1776-1837), and Turner, (1775-1851), the three outstanding British artists from the Romantic age who have dedicated spaces within the gallery, while the unique Turner Collection of some 300 paintings and many thousands of watercolours is housed in the specially built Clore Gallery. The gallery also holds rich collections of Hogarth, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Stubbs, the Pre-Raphaelites, twentieth century artists Stanley Spencer, Henry Moore, Francis Bacon and young British Artists of the 1990s. There are free lecture tours of the gallery's various collections daily. An entrance charge is made for some temporary exhibitions which may be mounted in association with other galleries.
The gallery is a good example of Edwardian Grand Manner architecture by S.R.J.Smith, (1897-1900).

Tate Modern
Opening Times: Daily. 10am-5.40pm.
Venue: Bankside, SE1. Tel: 020 7887-8008.
London Transport: Nearest Tube. Embankment.
Description: Britain's national gallery of international modern art. A converted power station on the Thames embankment, Tate Modern houses work from the 1900s Fauvists to today's Arte Povera. The collection can be interactively explored online. An entrance charge is made for some temporary exhibitions which may be mounted in association with other galleries or sponsors.

The National Gallery
Opening Times: Daily 10am-6pm. Weds 10am-9pm.
Venue: National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN. Tel: 020 7747 2885.
London Transport: Nearest Tube: Charing Cross, Leicester Square.
Description: The National Gallery houses one of the greatest permanent collections of European painting in the world, suitably catalogued and illustrated on the gallery website. These range from 13th century altar-pieces to the work of modern artists such as Tim Gardner. There are free guided tours and lectures daily. See website for details. Admire the Greek Classical revival facade which faces onto Trafalgar Square, (William Wilkins, 1834-38). An entrance charge is made for some temporary exhibitions which may be mounted in association with other galleries.

National Portrait Gallery
Opening Times: 10am-6pm. Thurs/Fri 10am-9pm.
Venue: National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin's Place, WC2 0H3. Tel: 020 7312 2463.
London Transport: Nearest Tube. Charing Cross, Leicester Square.
Description: The National Portrait Gallery has some 92,000 portraits of great and famous British men and women in its unrivalled permanent collection, some 51,000 of which can be researched online. A selection is on permanent display here together with others which are shown for shorter periods due to their fragility. An entrance charge is made for some temporary exhibitions which may be mounted in association with other galleries.

Performing Arts

Lunchtime Concerts at the Royal Opera House
Venue Crush Room, ROH, Covent Garden, WC2.
Date: Mondays through June/July, 2007. 1pm. Exhibitions daily Mon-Sats.
Venue: Tickets: FREE Tickets available on morning of the performance only.
Description: A range of chamber music presenting members of the Orchestra of the ROH, Jette Parker Young Artists Programme, and the Royal Opera Chorus.
The Royal Opera House has a programme of changing exhibitions of material from the Royal Opera House Collections and touring exhibitions from other organisations. The exhibitions are throughout the House and can be seen, free of charge, Monday to Saturday.

London Television Shows
Date: Various throughout the year.
Venue: Various BBC and ITV studios
Tickets: FREE. Online download
Description: Free online tickets to some of the best entertainment TV show recordings in London. Register, choose a show, print an e-ticket, then, go to the show! Most studios prefer their audiences to be at least 16, so check the age limit before you book. Expect to be sat in the studio for between 1.5 and 2.5 hours. The website has some useful FAQs for those who have never been to a live TV recording before.

Environmental Festivals

Camden Green Fair and Bike Fest
Venue: Regent's Park.
Dates: 3 June, 2007.
Tickets: FREE
London Transport:
Nearest Tube. Baker Street.
Dress: Environmentally supportive casual hemp garments.
Description: Show your 'green' credentials and support the 140 stalls selling everything from organic herbs to windmill-powered electricity.

World Naked Bike Day
Venue: Hyde Park Corner-Piccadilly Circus-Trafalgar Square-Big Ben, etc.
Dates: 9 June, 2007.
Tickets: FREE
London Transport: On yer bike!
Dress: Extremely casual!
Description: Join an expected 1000+ cool riders on a Full Monty tour of Central London including, probably, Buckingham Palace. Cheer them off or welcome their return at Hyde Park Corner as they promote a greener lifestyle.

Free Museums

British Library
Venue:St. Pancras, 96 Euston Road, NW1. Tel: 020 7412-7332.
Opening Times: Mon/Wed/Thurs 9:30am-6pm. Tues 9:30am-8pm, Fri/Sat 9:30am-4:30pm, Closed Sun London Transport: Nearest Tube: King's Cross/St. Pancras, Euston and Euston Sq.
Description: An exhibition of antiquarian maps and views from the Library's collections bring the city's transformation from medieval to modern life.

British Museum
Venue: Great Russell Street, WC1B. Tel: 020 7323 8299.
Opening Times: 10am-5:30pm. Thurs/Fri 10am-8:30pm.
London Transport: Nearest Tube. Tottenham Court Road.
Description: One of the world's greatest collections of Human History and Culture artefacts dating from the dawn of civilization. Ancient Civilizations, Elgin Marbles, Rosetta Stone, Sutton Hoo Burial, etc. An entrance charge is made for some temporary exhibitions which may be mounted in association with other museums. Very popular with children.
Sir Robert Smirke's main frontage, (1823-47), embodying a giant Ionic colonnade with pedimented portico is London's finest example of early 19th century Greek Classical revival, a fitting entrance for visitors to the Elgin Marbles taken from the Athens Colosseum.

Freemasonry Library and Museum
Venue:60 Great Queen St. WC2B 5AZ. Tel: 020 7395 9257.
Opening times: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm.
London Transport: Nearest Tube: Covent Garden.
Description: Free Mason's Hall has been the center of Freemasonry for 230 years. It is the meeting place of over 1000 Masonic Lodges and is the headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England, the oldest Grand Lodge in the world. It is a Grade II listed Building, by architects, H. V. Ashley, and F. Winton Newman. The interior of the building is richly decorated.

  Geffrye Museum
Venue:Kingsland Road, E2 8EA. Tel: 020 7739 9893.
Opening Times:Tues-Sat 10am-5pm, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays 12- 5pm, 2007.
Tickets: FREE.
London Transport: Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street, Old Street.
Description: The Geffrye Museum is one of London's best loved museums. It depicts the quintessential style of English middle-class living rooms, with collections of furniture, textiles, paintings, and decorative arts displayed in a series of period rooms from 1600 to the present day. The museum is set in elegant 18th century almshouses with a contemporary wing surrounded by attractive gardens, which include an award-winning walled herb garden and a series of period gardens.

Hunterian Museum
Venue: 35-43 Lincoln Inn Fields, Holborn WC2A 3PE. Tel: 020 7869 6560.
Date: Reopening 23 May, Mon-Sat. 9:30am - 5pm, 2007.
Tickets: FREE.
London Transport: Nearest Tube: Hillhead.
Description: Founded by William Hunter, Anatomist, the Hunterian Museum is celebrating 200 years in 2007. Works of art by Chardin, Fergusson, Pissaro, Gavin Hamilton, and The Mackintosh House.

Museum of London
Venue: London Wall, EC2Y 5HN. Tel: 0870 444 3851
Opening Times: Mon-Sat 10am-5:50pm. Sun 12pm-5:50pm.
London Transport: Nearest Tube. St. Paul's.
Description: London's urban history backed by a remarkable collection of artefacts dating from prehistory to present. Ongoing programme of free temporary exhibitions and projects, archaeological digs and surveys. This is a superb museum imaginatively laid out to take the visitor through 3000 years of London's history. Very popular with children.

Natural History Museum
Venue: Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL. Tel: 020 7942 5000.
Opening Times: Daily 10am-6pm.
London Transport: Nearest Tube. South Kensington.
Description: A remarkable world collection of flora, fauna, minerals, mammals, dinosaurs, etc., housed in Alfred Waterhouse's superb Romanesque building, (opened 1881). The museum also houses a fine collection of original Victorian book illustrations by pre-photography bird illustrators such as J.G.Keulemans, (1841-1911). Very popular with children.

The Wallace Collection
Venue: Hertford House, Manchester Square, W1. Tel: 020-7563-9500
Opening times: Open daily 10am - 5pm. Free guided tours daily weekdays 1pm, Suns 3pm. Also 11.30 am Weds and Sats.
Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. The use of buggies is not permitted within the building.
London Transport: Nearest Tube. Baker Street; Bond Street.
Description: The Wallace Collection is both a national museum and the finest private collection of art ever assembled by one family, bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, widow of collector Sir Richard Wallace, in 1897. Among its priceless treasures so majestically displayed in the historic Hertford House are an unrivalled collection of European fine Art dating from 14th - mid 19th century; Dutch and Flemish 17th-century paintings; one of the finest collections of French 18th-century pictures, porcelain and furniture in the world; an important collection of 18th and 19th century miniatures; some 500 marbles, bronzes and other sculptures, (16th - 19th century European schools); a definitive collection of Renaissance Italian maiolica and 18th century Sevres porcelain; and the finest collection of Tudor, European, Indian, Persian and Turkish armour in UK.
Painters represented include Rubens, Rembrandt, Hals (The Laughing Cavalier), Velazquez, Poussin (A Dance to the Music of Time), Canaletto, Gainsborough, Lawrence, Bonington, Turner, Gericault and Decamp, together with French artists Watteau, Boucher, Fragonard (The Swing), Decamps and Meissonier.

Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art
Venue:53 Gordon Sq. WC1H OPD. Tel: 020 7387 3909.
Opening Times: Mon-Fri. 10-12:30 and 1:30-5:00pm. Closed Bank Holidays and weekends.
Tickets: FREE.
London Transport: Nearest Tube: Covent Garden.
Description: The Percival David Foundation exists to promote the study and teaching of Chinese Art and Culture. Its unique collection of Chinese ceramics and library of East Asian and Western books related to Chinese Art were both presented to the University of London in 1950 by the collector and scholar Sir Percival David.

The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology
Venue:University College London, Malet Pl., London WC1E 6BT. Tel: 020 7679 2884.
Date:Tues-Fri, 1pm-5pm; Sat 10am-1pm, 2007.
Tickets: FREE.
London Transport: Nearest Tube. Euston Square.
Description: Part of the University College London teaching faculty hidden away on campus, the Petrie Museum houses one of the greatest collections of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology in the world with c. 80,000 objects illustrating some 6,000 years of life in the Nile Valley from pre-history through the time of the Pharaohs to the Islamic period. Notable exhibits are one of the earliest pieces of Linen, (c. 5000 BCE), two lions from the Temple of Min at Koptos from the first group of monumental sculpture (c. 3000 BCE), a fragment from the first Kinglist or calendar (c. 2900 BCE), the earliest example of Metal from Egypt, the first worked iron beads, the earliest example of glazing, the earliest 'cylinder seal' in Egypt (c. 3500 BCE), the first 'wills' on papyrus paper, the oldest gynaecological papyrus, and many more firsts. No concession is made to spectacular display techniques and you will not see any fabulous treasures from Tut's tomb, (you'll have to pay to see those at the Millenium Dome from November), but if you have interest in Ancient Egypt and an outline of its historical background you will find your visit to this teaching resource memorable. Created by the bequest of the Victorian enthusiast Amelia Edwards (1831-1892).

Science Museum
Opening Times: Daily 10am-6pm.
Venue: Exhibition Road, South Kensington, SW7 2DD. Tel: 0870 870 4868.
London Transport: Nearest Tube. South Kensington.
Description: Comprehensive record of scientific, technological and medical change since the eighteenth century. Though rich in British material, this is a worldwide collection. Very popular with children on account of the sometimes interactive hands-on touchy/feely/smelly displays, (fossilised Dino dung is a popular exhibit).

University College London Collections
Venue: Malet Pl., London WC1E 6BT. Tel: 020 7679 2884.
Opening times: Tues-Fri, 1pm-5pm; Sat 10am-1pm, 2007.
Tickets: FREE.
London Transport: Nearest Tube: Euston Square.
Description: These collections of Art, Archaeology, Medicine, Anthropology, Geology, Anatomy, and Science Collections, are scattered over the UCL campus. Obtain a map of the campus when you get there and let it be your guide to the Collections used by the University as teaching resources.

Victoria & Albert Museum
Venue: Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL. Tel: 020 7942 2000.
Opening Times: Daily 10am-5:45pm, Fri 10am-10pm.
London Transport: Nearest Tube. South Kensington.
Description: 3000 Years of Art and Culture. Permanent Collection collected from the four corners of the Globe from the days of Empire. An entrance charge is made for some temporary exhibitions which may be mounted in association with other museums.
Admire Aston Webb's eclectic design of the building, (1891). He is better known for his Neo-Classical facade of Buckingham Palace, (1912-13) and Admiralty Arch leading from Trafalgar Square to the Mall.

V & A Museum of Childhood
Venue: Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9PA. Tel: 020 8983 5200.
London Transport: 10am-6pm. Thurs/Fri 10am-9pm.
London Transport: Nearest Tube. Bethnal Green, Central Line, Zone 2.
Description: UK's national collection of childhood related objects from 1600. Toys, dolls, teddy bears, games, costumes, childcare, etc. A superb Collection. Very popular with children.

V & A Museum of the Performing arts
Venue: Russell Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 7PR. Tel: 020 7943 4735.
London Transport: Nearest Tube. Covent Garden.
Description: British Theatre and performing arts history from 1600. Costumes, designs, manuscripts, posters, etc. Permanent Collection of memorabilia and theatrical history that will fascinate anyone involved with, or interested in, the Theatre.
CLOSED until August, 2007.

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