Top 5 free locations to visit in London


Anna Reznick

Located on Carnaby Street, the pop-up Museum of Youth Culture aims to create a documentation of the experience of growing up in the U.K. While attractions like the Tower of London may be more iconically British, hidden locations such as the Museum of Youth Culture reveal London in its truest form.

Anna Reznick, Staff Writer

Attractions such as Buckingham Palace and Big Ben may bring people to London, but it’s the secret spots and discoveries that make the city special. Places that do not boast bustling crowds or recognizable names are often where quintessential London can be found, whether it’s hidden by busy streets or tucked underground. Luckily for visitors, places like these come with no price to pay, and the value they hold is up to the visitor’s personal experience.  

Many Graffiti Tunnel artists tag their work with signatures, social media pages or names, which helps viewers follow their favorite artists. (Anna Reznick)

Graffiti Tunnel

The Graffiti Tunnel, located on Leake Street, is often overlooked due to its proximity to the well-known tourist attraction the London Eye. One of the few locations around London dedicated specifically to graffiti, the tunnel is a designated studio for street artists. The Tunnel’s popularity grew when the renowned artist, Banksy, began using it as a workspace. Since all artwork within the space is legal, its usage has subsequently blossomed. Since graffiti in London is considered a criminal act, spaces like these where the artwork is legal are extremely popular. Therefore, works are typically painted over within a couple of hours. Given its ever-changing state, the Graffiti Tunnel ensures that every visit causes a new artistic discovery. The rare representation of street art in its truest form makes it a worthwhile visit. 


A skater lands a jump on a ledge in front of a late afternoon audience, April 19. (Anna Reznick)

Southbank Skatepark

Although the skaters may look intimidating from afar, spectators are not only welcomed, but encouraged at the Southbank Skatepark. Behind the aloof exteriors, a good audience is all anyone really wants. Not only is the environment accessible to onlookers, but skaters of all ages and abilities use the space. With the vast resources available, skaters can demonstrate an array of skills. Located on the south bank of the Thames river, the Skatepark is surrounded by restaurants and can be a quick stop for entertainment before or after grabbing a bite to eat. 


The St James’s Park pelicans enjoy an unusually sunny afternoon, April 25. (Anna Reznick)

Pelicans and Horses 

London may be known as an urban jungle, yet animals, with the exception of squirrels and pigeons, are hard to find. However, the pelicans found in St James’s Park and the Royal Horseguards are just a 15 minute walk apart from each other in the center of the city. Horseguards are a longstanding component of the British royalty, and their presence in the park shows the significance they still hold. Given their proximity to other landmarks, such as 10 Downing Street and the Churchill War Rooms, the animals are worth a visit while en route to other popular locations.

Badges, home videos and photos at the Museum of Youth Culture are compiled into a mini-exhibition showcasing the similarities of the teenage experience throughout generations. (Anna Reznick)

Museum of Youth Culture

Walking through the Museum of Youth Culture triggers a reminiscence you have never really had. The pop-up aims to find a permanent location by 2023 but is currently located on Carnaby Street. Comprised of  stories and photos submitted by the public, the non-profit museum focuses on celebrating the culture of people growing up in the U.K. from the 1940s to the 21st century. The current collection incorporates over 150,000 photos from over 400 photographers of varying ages. The familiarity of the strangers captured in film creates a sense of déjà vu, despite the decades that have passed.

(Anna Reznick)

Denmark Street

While Denmark Street may seem identical to its surroundings, the history of the street is far more significant than its unassuming appearance would show. Once the heart of music in the U.K., the presence of songwriters and music publishers has trickled down into music shops located on Denmark Street. The shops are well worth a browse purely for aesthetic purposes regardless of personal music experience. Although the storefronts lack the extravagant displays common on London streets, the elegant guitars displayed in the window more than make up for it. The street hosts a combination of new and vintage guitar stores, and storekeepers are friendly to all visitors, especially those who try out the instruments.