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25 January 2023 by Lydia
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No-one can deny at the moment every penny counts but it is still nice to enjoy a day out with friends, family or alone for a break in routine so here at MPI we thought we would share some fun and free things to do at the two cities closest to our two main offices, London and Birmingham.

London and Birmingham are two of the most vibrant and exciting cities in the UK, offering a wealth of free things to see and do for visitors of all ages and interests. Whether you're looking for culture, history, or just a good time, these cities have something for everyone.

​Lets start with London. There are so many free things to do in London it is hard to know where to start!! One of the best free things to do in London is to explore the city's many museums and galleries. The British Museum, for example, is home to some of the world's most famous artefacts, including the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles. The National Gallery is also a must-see, with its collection of over 2,300 paintings from some of the world's greatest artists. The National History Museum and Science Museum also have plenty to see, and interact with, and are round the corner from each other which with all the walking inside is probably for the best!

Another great free thing to do in London is to take a walk along the South Bank, which offers stunning views of the River Thames and the city's iconic landmarks. This area is home to several street performers, buskers and food vendors, although obviously the food would not be free. The area is also home to the London Eye, which is a must see for anyone new to London.

The Changing of the Guard ceremony, which takes place at Buckingham Palace, is also a must-see event that is free to watch. On paper it is just a change of shift , however, rather than a simple sayonara, which is the best you get from most of us as we breeze out of the door at 5pm, there’s a whole ceremony complete with brass bands, marching and a hell of a lot of tradition. You can see the ceremony in a couple of places, but we recommend Buckingham Palace – because it’s easily the most impressive location. And who knows you may catch a glance of our new King!

​If you would like another indoor activity you could consider the Sky Gardens, it is free to attend but you do need to book in advance so they can control numbers. With stunning views across the London skyline and beautiful greenery year round it is another incredible sight to behold and one of the only free ways to see London from up high.

There are many more exciting things to see and do for free but we hope we have given you enough to start.

So onto Birmingham, unfortunately the most popular free activity in Birmingham, the museum and art gallery is closed for refurbishment until 2024 but there are still plenty of other treats. If you would still like to enjoy some art then why not try the RBSA Gallery. It is owned by the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, making it one of a rare few galleries to be owned by artists and run for artists. It has a changing programme of exhibitions on two floors, ground floor cafe and a craft wall so each visit could be a unique one.

Another great place is St Philips Cathedral, a rare and fine example of elegant English Baroque architecture. Fascinating both inside and out, the cathedral is home to some remarkable treasures (not least the inspiring stained-glass windows designed by Edward Burne-Jones) and amazing stories, If architecture is your thing then just walking around Birmingham will not disappoint. Even the train station is a work of art!

And to finish off why not head to the canals. Birmingham has 35 miles of canals, meaning it has more miles of canals than Venice!! . Now regenerated with waterside bars, cafes, little bridges and new landscaped areas, the canals are a great place to escape the city centre.

In conclusion, London and Birmingham are two of the most exciting and diverse cities in the UK, and there is no shortage of free things to see and do. Whether you're interested in culture, history, or just having a good time, these cities have something for everyone. So, next time you're planning a trip, think about London and Birmingham and take advantage of all the free things these cities have to offer