The capital of the United Kingdom is known for many things, from its pubs and rampant array of sports teams to its diversity and world-class collection of restaurants. Still, what many people think of historical London is the sheer opulence. Dotted with castles, palaces, and heritage buildings, London is certainly a city of the upper class over the years.
It also helps that almost everything in London is so much more expensive than anywhere else in the UK. Luckily, you don’t need to spend a penny to enjoy a great many of the most lavish destinations across London. To help you find these particularly posh locations and enjoy them as much as possible without cost, we’ve selected two themes based on our popular walks with buildings and surroundings that are particularly photogenic.
The finest of London’s entertainment scene
If there’s one form of entertainment that exudes opulence, it’s the theatre. Stage performances have long been a staple of the city for people of all social classes, but the best seats are always reserved for the rich and famous. In fact, the theatre scene is still a key part of the UK’s hotbed of acting talent, so catching a show in London may even have you a few seats away from one of Hollywood’s famous faces.
The Theatres walk takes you across some of the greatest venues in London. These include the Theatre Royal, Royal Opera House, Soho, and the famous Shaftesbury Avenue. To experience the full extent of London’s glamorous theatre scene, you’ll want to step before each of the many extremely eye-catching venues that are dotted all over the walk.
Houses at the top of the list for any theatre nut have to be the London Palladium, Dominion Theatre on Tottenham Court Road, and the collection of entertainment venues at Shaftesbury Avenue. As OLT details, it’s here that you’ll find the greatest set of theatres that the West End has to offer. Be sure to keep an eye out for Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Theatre, Sondheim Theatre, Gielgud Theatre, Lyric Theatre, and, of course, the Apollo Theatre.
Most of the time, those looking to do London for free will be there to take in the atmosphere and snap some pictures of the exquisite buildings. Once a year, though – taking place on the weekend of June 25 and 26 in 2022 – West End Live comes to town. WEL showcases performances of the greatest and best-known shows of the West End for free in Trafalgar Square to drum up some extra excitement for the full live shows. Of course, one of the shows that have continued to keep the West End so popular is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera.
While you’ll struggle to get a seat for free – with the low-end being £22.50 for tickets – now that the show has returned to its home, you can experience it with free stuff. With free spins and welcome bonuses to new players, Betway Casino offers a way to use free funds to play The Phantom of the Opera official slot. The Link & Win game is very high in volatility, reflecting the build-up to the grand finale in the show, and features everything that you’d expect to see on stage. And if you are a film fan, the 1925 version is free on YouTube.
Gawk at the majesty of the royal estates
One of the most famous things about the UK is the monarchy. If nothing else, they’re heralded as a kind of celebrity that’s above all other celebrities for their royalty. While they have little power over the common folk anymore – save a few long-shot deciding calls – they’re still a major draw for tourists, and their holdings attract millions of shutterbugs every year.
On the Royal walk, you’ll get to see Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, and Parliament Square. Of course, not all of the castles, palaces, and towers were built in the same place, so if you feel up for navigating the underground, you could go on a royal adventure to hit up a bunch of His Majesty’s landmarks.
Naturally, you’ll need to have Buckingham Palace on your list. The colossal administrative headquarters of the Monarch are huge, spanning 775 rooms – only 52 of which are royal and guest bedrooms. You’ll usually see near-endless queues to get in on any given weekend, but to save time and money, there’s plenty visible from outside of the grounds to check it off of your bucket list.
Next on the list is the Tower of London. Found opposite Tower Bridge, it resides within the original London walls. Still, there is an admission and often hefty queues, so a snap from the nearby road will suffice. Others that you may want to work out a route to find for some incredible pictures would be Kensington Palace – home of Will and Kate – the Palace of Westminster, Tower Hamlets, and Windsor Castle.
All of these castles, palaces, towers, and theatres hold a great amount of importance to the London area and epitomise the city’s opulence, but that doesn’t mean that you have to pay the ticket prices!