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Editors' Blog

Posted by Cass - 20 August 2014

10 Things To Do in My Local Area that are Totally Free of Charge.

Whilst I appreciate that I am very lucky living in Hammersmith because I have lots of free events taking place in my area. I am sure that if you ask questions and check on the internet, you will be surprised what you can find in your own backyard.

1. Guided Walks

I love walking and have found  free walks in my local area.  On the first Saturday in each month there is a free guided walk which commences at a tube station.  These are arranged by Hammersmith Council and if you register they send you a reminder.

The walks are lead by a Blue Badge Guide and usually have a theme.   

There are also free walks by the Urban Studies Group in Hammersmith and as I border on Kensington and Chelsea, I know they also do a free walk each morning at 10.30 based on a different area and theme.

2. Visit Your Local Museum

It always surprises me that we travel all over the world and visit museums but often miss out on the ones on our doorstep.

I am so luck to be surrounded by world class museums such as the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and the V&A.  These are still free of charge and long may that last.

3. Visit a Cemetery

This is not as morbid as you think.  Brompton Cemetery covers 39 acres which nurtures so much wild life.  It is an ideal site to go bird watching and to explore and find the graves of the rich and famous.

This Cemetery is the last resting place of Emmeline Pankhurst who we have to thank for getting women the vote. Richard Tauber the Austrian tenor and film star of the golden age of film rests there and there are many more to discover.

Beatrix Potter, who lived in The Boltons nearby, may have taken the names of some of her characters from tombstones in the cemetery. Names of people buried there included Mr. Nutkins, Mr. McGregor, Mr Brock, Mr Tod, Jeremiah Fisher and even a Peter Rabbett, although it is not known for certain if there were tombstones with these names.

It has been the film location for Sherlock Holmes, Finding Neverland and The Wings of the Dove.  It lends itself to the spooky atmosphere wanted by the film makers.

4. The William Morris House

This is open on certain days of the week and is situated in Kemscott House on  Hammersmith Terrace down by the river.  The staff are very helpful and the amazing display of wallpapers, fabrics and printing are representative of this amazing man's achievements.

The old printing press is a really interesting exhibit and when I visited it was being used and therefore I was able to ask questions.

5. Holland Park Ecology Centre

The Ecology Centre has now just opened in its new location.  An ideal place to take kids so that they can learn about the wildlife that abounds in the surrounding park and get up close to the stuffed animals and birds.

There are staff on duty who are very willing to answer any questions that arise.

6. South Bank Centre

A little farther afield is the South Bank Centre and they do lunchtime concerts in the foyer which are free of charge.  This gives visitors a taste of the type of music on offer and there is often an interesting exhibition on there.

The street theatre taking place around this area is amazing anything from statues of The Invisible Man, Cat in Box, A Frog on a Bike etc.

I also love to watch the kids doing tricks on their bikes in the area under the halls which is covered in graffiti but gives them chance to show off their amazing skills. Long may it stay where it is and not be moved to the back of the halls.  There are enough eating and shopping places but few areas that give kids the chance to shine.

7. The Lyric Theatre Hammersmith

People who live or work in Hammersmith & Fulham can get TWO FREE* tickets to the first night of all Lyric productions. Tickets are given away on the Friday and Saturday before the first performance. Simply arrive at Ticket Office from opening time with proof of your home or work address (e.g. a recent utility bill or wage slip. Driving licenses' are not accepted) to collect your tickets. Tickets are issued on a first come first served basis and cannot be reserved or held.

8. Visit your Local Church

During the 100 year anniversary of WW1 - many of the local churches have small exhibitions telling of the sacrifices made by the local people and the tragic loss of so many young lives.  There are people within the church who can tell you stories and point you in the direction of interesting events or happenings.

I was in All Saints Church by the north end of Putney Bridge and learned about the 25th Cyclist Battalion.  This group of eccentric men joined up with their bicycles which were adapted to carry their rifles and went to fight in the First World War.

I think many churches have interesting tales to tell about the parishioners who worshiped there.

9. The Royal Albert Hall

Discover the variety of free or cheap events taking place within this amazing building.  There is Jazz and Classical Music often on offer.  www.royalalberthall.com

10.  Your Local Library

There will often be free events taking place in your local library.  There may be talks or workshops going on, so check them out and get their advice.  They will also know about any other local events which can be done on a budget.

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