I have just returned from a day trip into Central London with my grandson (aged 10) and I just wanted to recommend a great place to visit for people visiting London this winter.
Somerset House (where they used to keep all the birth and death records) is such a great place to visit. At the moment it has a skating ring in its centre courtyard and even if you aren’t a skater is is a great places to drink hot chocolate and watch people gliding around the ice. There are always exhibitions there and on this occasion we went to see the Tin Tin exhibition. It was free and was showing lots of original drawings from the Belgian comic strip. There was also a shop where all the Tin Tin books were available and lots of Tin Tin merchandise. There are different exhibitions at different times of year and whenever you are in London it is worth checking what is on and visiting. Even if the exhibitions aren’t of interest to you, Somerset House itself is such a wonderful building it is worth visiting just for a look at the wonderful architecture.
Also at this time of year Fortnum & Mason have a Christmas shop in the building and they have decorated the hallways exquisitely and in each small room there are different things you can buy. There are excellent cafes and more upmarket restaurants but this is somewhere you could spend a whole morning or afternoon and it doesn’t cost you anything. In the summer they have an area outside that looks over the river Thames and although they have an outside cafe there they also don’t seem to mind if you sit there and eat your picnic lunch. I have spent many a sunny luchtime there watching the boats go past on the Thames.
It really is a great place to visit and it won’t cost you a penny! (Although some of the larger exhibitions may have an entry fee).