Reading Week - Don't just read, see some of London too

Once you've studied hard, see some of London

After the task of getting up for 9:00am lectures, constant reading and the dreaded thought of those fast approaching essay deadlines, reading week is a welcome relief. Make it one of relaxation and not just reading and exam preparation, as we show you some great things to do in London. The best thing is that many of them are free! 

You might expect us to kick off with a visit to Buckingham Palace or Trafalgar Square... They are iconic British sites but you may well be bored of all the obvious spots so why not take a trip to Camden Market (Camden Town stop on the Northern Line) instead? It’s full of interesting and unusual stalls selling handmade jewellery, unique clothing and bits and pieces from all over the globe. Even if shopping’s not your thing then you can always take a walk by the canal or visit nearby Regent’s Park. If you’re still in the area in the evening then check out live music at The RoundhouseJazz CafeKoko (which is also a nightclub) or the Barfly. If you fancy browsing antiques and ceramics for a special bargain then Portobello Market in Notting Hill may be more your thing. In all there are around 85 markets in London and plenty of them will offer you a unique experience - no two markets are the same!

If you don’t feel like being outside for the whole day then there are countless art galleries and museums within London. The British Museum is a must – here you can go on a journey from the prehistoric period right up to the modern day, and take a whirlwind tour of the world’s history all under one roof. Many of the world’s greatest treasures from the Egyptian mummies to the Parthenon sculptures can all be found here, and entry is free. There are also always a range of exhibitions, and while some require paid admission there are usually discounts available for students.

If you’re looking for art galleries to visit then you won’t be disappointed. The Tate Modern is host to contemporary art from Salvador Dali to Damien Hirst, and the National Gallery’s permanent collection contains iconic art stretching back to the thirteenth century. So whether you’re a modernist or a traditionalist there’s something for all, and entry to the galleries is free! If you’re looking for art a little closer to home then the First Thursdays website is a great way of seeing what’s nearby. The First Thursdays initiative also means that you can visit over 100 east London galleries and museums until 9pm on the first Thursday of each month.

Although not a free option, we can’t leave out London Zoo. It’s now Winter season, so the admission prices are slightly lower, and remember to present your student card to receive a concession rate! Get face to face with a gorilla, see a Komodo dragon – the world’s largest lizard, and don’t forget to pay a visit to the rare pygmy hippo.

Whatever you choose to do in your reading week make sure you balance your work with a little fun. Even if you don’t use our suggestions we’d still love to hear what you get up to, so let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Scape – the place to be! 

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