Londons’ Fantastic Freebies

Don’t let people put you off with tales of how expensive London is. There’s an incredible array of things to do throughout the city without spending a penny. I have selected fifteen free things to do and see while you are here in the capital.

Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy

Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy - Londons' Fantastic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

Sir John Soane was an architect and avid collector of antiquities and art. He merged three houses on Lincoln’s Inn Fields to be his home and museum which he left to the nation in 1837.

Expect to be stunned by the building itself as well as the exhibits, which include the sarcophagus of Seti I in the crypt and Hogarth paintings in the picture gallery. An absolute treasure trove and well worth a visit.

London Roman Baths

Roman Bath The Strand 1841 - Londons' Fantastic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

Down a side road, through a tunnel, press a button for a light and you too can find the well-hidden Roman Baths in central London. The first thing to note is that these baths are actually very unlikely to be Roman. Most likely date back to the 16th or early 17th century, but genuinely believed they were much older when discovered in the late 18th century.

Fake Houses

Fake Houses Leinster Gardens - Londons' Fantastic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

The Metropolitan Railway, world’s first underground railway began conveying passengers in 1863 with lines constructed using a method called ‘cut and cover’. As the name implies, this involved digging a deep hole to house the underground tracks, and then covering over.

The route of the line between Paddington and Bayswater required the demolition of 23 and 24 Leinster Gardens. It was decided to build a 5ft-thick facade which matched the houses either side of the break. The original locomotives on the Metropolitan and District Line were powered by steam. Although they were fitted with condensers, engines still needed open air stretches of track to disperse the fumes. Walk around to Porchester Gardens you will find a wall with some graffiti written ‘Our hearts are around us’. Look over the wall and all will be revealed.

Clowns Church Service

The Clowns Service - Londons' Fantastic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

The first Sunday in February is the annual clowns church service at All Saints, corner Haggerston and Livermere Roads, Hackney. Clowns attend a church service in memory of Joseph Grimaldi. The clowns usually perform for the public after the church service. Arrive early as the press photographers come out in force and take up a large section of the church. When the clowns leave the church, they are usually kind enough to perform for the waiting public in the adjoining church hall. The performance usually lasts around an hour and is great for families. The hall is always packed at the start, but the press do leave and then you can enjoy a family show for free.

Notting Hill Film Locations

Notting Hill Film Locations, Portobello Market -Londons' Fantastic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

The 1999 film “Notting Hill” is set in the district of London by the same name where a bookshop owner played by Hugh Grant meets a famous American actress played by Julia Roberts. From Notting Hill Gate Tube Station, 103 Notting Hill Gate you have the Print Room formerly the Coronet Cinema. Afterwards onto Bella and Maxs’ at 91 Lansdowne Road, Rosemead Gardens, Gina’s house and then Portobella Road Market. To finish off you have, The Travel Bookshop now a gift shop, the coffee shop now a hair studio and finally Tony’s Restaurant now a gift shop. To do this tour you would need to be a big fan of the film. All the Locations are close by and it takes about an hour to do.

Princess Diana Memorial Playground

Princess Diana Memorial Playground - Londons' fantastic Freebiees, Irish Rugby Tours

The Diana Memorial Playground is located next to Kensington Palace, the former home of Diana Princess of Wales. It’s a fabulous children’s playground for kids up to 12 years. There are loads for kids to do in the Diana Memorial Playground including playing on the enormous wooden pirate ship. Princess Diana loved children and this playground serves as a fabulous legacy for future generations. The Diana Memorial Playground opened on June 30, 2000 and is a clean, safe, fun place for children under 12 years to play freely.

Fulham Palace

Fulham Palace - Londons' fantastic Freebiees, Irish Rugby Tours

A London palace that’s free to visit? It does exist! Fulham Palace was never a Royal Palace, but it was home to Bishops who were treated just as well. Inside the palace is a simple museum and you can enjoy dressing up and colouring pictures. Take a picnic or grab something from the upscale café and lounge on the lawn. Afterwards head into the landscaped gardens at the far end and use your lunch box to collect fallen bits of ‘nature.’

Victoria and Albert Museum

Victoria And Albert Museum - Londons' Fantastic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

Without doubt the world’s best decorative arts museum, the V&A , as it’s generally known, has been open for over 150 years and contains an incredible 4.5 million items. The first floor focuses on Asian, Japanese swords, ancient Chinese ceramics and some European art. Also, you will find plaster casts made from Michelangelo’s David. You might like to note that the fig leaf created in the 19th century was to protect the sensibilities of Victorian visitors. The Ardabil Carpet in the Middle East-focused Jameel Gallery is the world’s oldest, dating from Iran in the 1500s.

The Crypt and Chapel at Saint Pauls Cathedral

St.Pauls Cathedral Crypt Chapel - Londons' Fantastic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

Although there is an entry fee to the cathedral itself you can still get to see something for free. Head up the cathedral’s main steps and enter on the left-hand side. Inside you’ll find the line to buy tickets but keep to the left and you can enter St. Dunstan’s Chapel for free at any time. This is open for prayers all day but is well-frequented by visitors too. The chapel was consecrated in 1699 and is named for St Dunstan, a Bishop of London who became Archbishop of Canterbury in 959. The Churchill screen/gates divide the refectory and the crypt so can be seen for free when visiting the cafe/shop/restrooms. The crypt is the largest of its kind in Europe and is the final resting place of a number of prolific Brits including Admiral Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and Sir Christopher Wren himself.

Sir John Soane’s Museum

Soane Museum - Londons' Fantastic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

Sir John Soane was an architect and avid collector of antiquities and art. He merged three houses on Lincoln’s Inn Fields to be his home and museum which he left to the nation in 1837. Expect to be stunned by the building itself. In addition you will find which include the sarcophagus of Seti I in the crypt and Hogarth paintings in the picture gallery. An absolute treasure trove and well worth a visit.

The British Museum

British Museum - Londons' Fantastic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

The British Museum opened in 1753 and has prided itself on remaining free for all that time. It houses more than an incredible 7 million objects and it would probably take a week to see everything. Also the collection of Egyptian and Greek antiquities is without a doubt amongst the largest and best known in the world. Part of the collection consists of the controversial Elgin Marbles. They were brought back from the Parthenon in Athens by Lord Elgin whilst he was serving as Ambassador to Constantinople. Subsequently they were bought for the museum by the English government.

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square - Londons' Fantastic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

Just around the corner from Covent Garden lies the centre of London, Trafalgar Square and its pinnacle attraction Nelson’s Column. Behind the column is the National Gallery, founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. Its collection belongs to the government on behalf of the British public. It is among the most visited art museums in the world, after the Louvre, the British Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Covent Garden

Covent Garden - Londons' Fantastic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

Just off Trafalgar Square, lies Covent Garden, a hotbed of modern cafes and restaurants. In the summer is the best time to visit as the place really comes to life. Street musicians and street artists of all genres turn up to show off their very best to entertain the passing crowds. Public participation usually happens when they are asked to help the artists with their performance.

Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard - Londons' Fantsatic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

Without doubt one of the best ceremonies in the city. The Changing of the Guard takes place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 10.30am outside Buckingham Palace. Dressed in full uniform, bearskin hats and red tunics, the Queen’s Guard stomp around in time to music in a display of awesome pageantry. Afterwards they switch responsibilities with one another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kick Jet Lag In To Touch

Aer Lingus - Irish Rugby Tours Blog

Kick jet lag in to touch with these tips before jetting off on the summer holiday of a lifetime which is one of the best feelings in the world. Spending the first few days battling jet lag not so much.

Also known as ‘desynchronosis’ and ‘flight fatigue’, jet lag is a temporary disorder that causes fatigue, insomnia and sometimes other symptoms. This is due to air travel across different time zones.

It’s caused by a disruption to your circadian rhythm the internal body clock that governs your daily sleep-wake pattern.

Besides fatigue and insomnia, unlucky travellers may experience a number of physical and emotional effects. This includes anxiety, constipation, diarrhoea, confusion, dehydration and headaches.

But can you avoid this one-way ticket to exhaustion?

Here are a few pointers to assist you for a comfortable flight.

1. Stay Hydrated

Water - Irish Rugby Tours Blog

Before a flight, it can be tempting to load up on wine and beer to calm your nerves or caffeinated drinks to keep you awake, but this could be doing more harm than good.

Hydration can be key. Your body recovers best when it isn’t depleted of fluids. Tea, coffee and alcohol can dehydrate you, depending on what type you have.

When it comes to choosing from the drinks trolley mid-flight, I would suggest sticking to plain water. This is due to the fact artificial stimulants will affect your ability to sleep and increase jet lag recovery time.

Drink enough water to make sure your urine is a pale straw colour. You might also find that you get more dehydrated when you’re flying and need to drink more than normally.

2. Turn Off Gadgets

Gadgets - Irish Rugby Tours Blog

When you arrive at your destination, it can be really tempting to start updating your social media channels and checking up on the day’s news. If you’re planning to get some shut-eye, this can really throw off your sleep schedule.

The blue light emitted by your device can trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime even when it’s not.

If you find yourself awake late in the evening, choose a light evening meal and stretch your legs outdoors instead.

Switch off electronic gadgets and read a book to help you fall asleep.

3. Bring Your Own Pillow

Pillow Sleep - Irish Rugby Tours Blog

Try to maintain your personal sleep routine while you’re away from home.

Make time to set out your bedtime stuff, such as your pyjamas and toilet bag, so that things will be ready when you return for the night.

Also, try to preserve your pre-sleep habits and routines. These are important behavioural cues for sleep, so make sure you pack any items which support these behaviours, like photos, books, blankets and consider taking your own pillow.

4. Adjust Your Watch

Irish Rugby Tours Blog

A simple but effective trick you can do during your flight is to change your watch, phone and laptop to match the time of your destination.

This will mentally prepare you for the new time zone you’re about to enter.

Imagine what you would be doing at your destination and try to mimic that as much as possible, especially meals and bedtime.

You’ll be amazed at how quickly shifting your mind’s perspective and small actions can help your body adjust to the changes.

5. Snack On Cherries

Cherries - Irish Rugby Tours Blog

Struggling to sleep in your hotel? Instead of ordering room service, try and find a local fruit vendor.

Montmorency tart cherries are one of the few natural sources of melatonin. This hormone is responsible for the regulation of the body’s internal clock and sleep-wake cycle.

Cherries can help improve sleep quality, including sleep efficiency, the number of awakenings at night, nocturnal activity and actual time spent sleeping.

To reap the benefits, have either a handful of cherries as a bedtime snack or swill down a small serving of tart juice.  Subsequently you might just find that it stops you from staring at the ceiling all night.

Tribal County Galway

River Corrib Cruise

Corrib River Cruise - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of a cruise onboard the luxurious all-weather 157 passenger boat, the Corrib Princess.

The Corrib Princess sails from Woodquay in the heart of Galway city. The journey takes passengers along the majestic River Corrib and onto Lough Corrib, Ireland’s largest lake.

It provides visitors with unsurpassed views and natural amenities that make this the most spectacular waterway in Ireland.

The Corrib Princess takes you past castles and various sites of both historical and cultural interest.

If you fancy a drink, apparently the Irish coffee is amazing from the boat’s bar.

Trad On The Prom

Trad On The Prom - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

MAY 2018 – OCTOBER 2018.

Under one roof performers who have captivated audiences from productions such as Riverdance, The Chieftains and Lord of the Dance have gathered on one stage. Here they present an unforgettable entertainment experience in Galway the City of the Tribes.

The music will touch your soul and the dancing will take your breath away. It’s a truly remarkable experience suitable for all ages and nationalities.

Trad on the Prom showcases the amazing talents of legendary trad musicians. In addition they are joined on stage by an amazing selection of guest musicians and dancers.

The show also features an outstanding array of World Champion Irish dancers.

Now in its fourteenth consecutive season, Trad on the Prom retains its position as Ireland’s number one music, song and dance experience.

Horse Riding

Horse Riding - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

Discover the natural wonders of the Wild Atlantic Way on this full-day horseback riding adventure from Galway.

Before heading off you will meet your guides and your horse for the day and the guides will make sure that you feel comfortable and safe.

Trek to Omey Island, where you can gallop across the beach and splash through the waves. You will also enjoy spectacular views of the Twelve Bens mountain range.

Suitable for all riding levels. hats and boots will be supplied by the riding centre. Make sure you bring appropriate rain and wind gear.

Pedal Power Pub Crawl

Pedal Power Pub Crawl - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

Taking in all the sights and sounds of Galway this is a great way to see the city.

The tour goes through Spanish Arch, The Long Walk and Quay Street, ideal for visitors looking for something different.

Available is a 15-seater bike called Big Berta which is great fun. It is the perfect vehicle to tour around Galway in addition to stopping at careful selected pubs.

There’s no party like a Pedal Power Party. Travel around Galway, playing all your own music on your blue tooth speakers.

Paddle Board & Kayaking Adventure

Paddle Board And Kayaking - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To GalwayArrive 15 minutes before time this will give you time to change into wet suit and buoyancy aid for the trip. You will then set off under the leadership of an experienced guide.

You will be provided with all the necessary equipment depending which pursuit you choose.

Your guide will take you to see magnificent scenery from a sea level view. Depending on which location is chosen for the day, this could include sea caves and arches and pristine white sandy beaches.

You might even catch sight of wildlife such as dolphins, seals, and the occasional basking shark.

Whiskey Tour

Irish Whiskey Tour - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To GalwayMeet your local guide in the infamous An Pucan Whiskey Bar. An Pucan is a very friendly, traditional Irish venue and the perfect setting for an intro to the history of Irish whiskey.

Here you will start the proceedings with two local Irish whiskeys. After this the venues are kept a secret which is part of the excitement.

Bar number 2 is a short walk away, your next whiskey bar awaits you for two more beautiful Irish whiskeys.

To finish off proceedings  you will be taken on a stroll through the historic streets to your last venue. Now it’s time to enjoy two more tipples of Irish whiskey.

From here who knows where the night will take you, but you’ll be sure to go home with a smile on your face as well as some great stories.

Galway Races

Galway Races - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

One of the greatest weeks in Galway, crowds in their tens of thousands flock religiously each year in August to celebrate this festival of horse racing.

Ladies Day is saved for the Thursday and here you will see the best of the best in fashion being displayed by all the ladies. A lavish prize is bestowed upon the best dressed lady on the day.

The race course dates back to 1869. What is unique about this course is that the last two fences are the closest together than any other race course in the world.

As part of his visit to Ireland in 1979 Pope John Paul 11 celebrated mass at the racecourse for two hundred and eighty thousand people. Afterwards the mayor of Galway then conferred the Freedom of Galway upon the Pontiff.

Walking Tour

Galway Walking Tours - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

What a great way to discover the rich history and cultural heritage of Galway city. The good thing about Galway is that it’s fairly compact and easy enough to get around on foot.

Whether you choose to go with a tour company or make your own way around the cobblestone streets, it’s a great way of being part of the hustle and bustle.

The advantage of going on your own steam is you can stop and start as you please without feeling you are delaying the group.

However, a tour company would have the advantage of a guide to answer those burning questions and also to add their personal touch with in-depth local knowledge.

Whichever way you choose to go and explore the city, the following should feature highly on your must-see list.

Oh, and don’t forget a good Galway map if you’re opting for a self-guided tour of the city.

InishBofin

Inishbofin Harbour - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

Come and discover Inishbofin or (Inis Bo Finne-Island of the White Cow in Irish), which lies seven miles  off Galway’s north-west coast.

The island is five by three miles long and the main activities on the island today are tourism, farming and fishing.

There are five villages: West Quarter, Fawnmore, Middle Quarter, Cloonamore and Knock.

Inishbofin has lots of interesting things to see and do, such as many species of birds, historical sites, white beaches, swimming, hill walks and shore angling. It is also a centre for traditional Irish music and song with its own Ceilí band.

With this tour you take a bus trip from Galway city to Cleggan Harbour, then a ferry trip over to the island to experience the unique life of this magical island.

Enjoy a delicious light lunch of local foods and craft beer, with a walk around the island before departing by ferry then bus back to Galway city.

Dunguaire Castle BanquetDunguaire Castle Banquet - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

An evening of superb food and wines along with renowned music, song and storytelling. Also there’s intimate bench seating, dim candlelight and long oak tables.

In the tradition of the medieval King Guaire you are welcomed to savour a delicious four course dinner at Dunguaire Castle on the majestic shores of Galway Bay.

Enjoy fine wines, stories and excerpts selected to lift the soul and lighten the heart. When you arrive on the Castle steps the Butler will welcome you and show you into the Castle.

Savour a goblet of mead in the inner quarter while mingling with the Ladies of the Castle.

After a brief history of the Castle and a musical introduction by the Castle Singers, guests climb the stairs to enter the Banquet Hall.

Let the castle’s superb artists inspire you with extracts chosen from the works of great literary writers such as Yeats, Shaw, O’Casey and Synge.