Obviously this is not somewhere you can go for a giggle and a chat, because it's a deadly serious business, but watching a court case at the Old Bailey can be a real eye-opener.
This is real-life... but without the drama that you see on TV. You don't see barristers banging their fists on the table, people shouting out 'He's been framed!', and the judge shouting out 'Order! Order!' to calm things down -- that's all for the movies. It's very slow and methodical, with lots of detailed talk about things you probably won't understand. But if you have a genuine interest in law, or you just want to see the long arm of the law in action, then it's an interesting way to pass an hour.
Craig has never been to the Old Bailey, but he has been to see a court case at the Royal Courts of Justice. You might like to read his review on his blog before you go, to get a taste of the atmosphere inside a court (it's quite intimidating!). After it's all over maybe you could look around some of the landmarks in The City -- buildings like the Bank of England, Royal Exchange and Mansion House.
Note: Seats are very limited inside and there are no storage facilities whatsoever -- so make sure you leave your big bags, cameras and mobile phones at home, as you won't get them past security. You also have to dress appropriately, so men should forget the vests and shorts, and women should avoid low-cut tops and short skirts. Kids under the age of 14 won't get inside, either, and they may ask for proof of age if they look close.
Guest – “Why is it crucial to have ID for high profile cases. I am a law student having the right about old bailey and i wanted to include this. Thank you”
Admin – “that's something you'll ask the old bailey. they'll probably just say it's to do with security = high profile case, high security”
Watch a case at the Royal Courts of Justice – Mon to Fri – Why not try something a bit different -- how about going to the Royal Courts of Justice and watching a real-life court case?
Mansion House: The Lord Mayor’s Residence – Every Tue – Look inside the Lord Mayor of London's official residence at Mansion House and see the interior courtyard and famous Egyptian Hall.
Common Council meeting with the Lord Mayor – 18 Oct, 6 Dec 2018, 10 Jan, 7 Mar, 25 Apr, 23 May, 20 Jun, 18 Jul, 12 Sep, 10 Oct and 5 Dec 2019 – Attend a meeting of the Common Council at the Guildhall and see the Aldermen and Lord Mayor of London
Listen to a speech at Speakers’ Corner – Every Sun (around noon) – Visit Speakers' Corner on a Sunday lunchtime and hear orators discussing whatever they like in the name of free speech.
Listen to MPs in the Houses of Commons – 7 Jan to 18 Dec 2019 – Visit Parliament for free and watch MPs debating in the House of Commons and House of Lords.
Attend PMQs (Prime Minister’s Questions) – Every Wed – You can watch the Prime Minister get grilled by the House of Commons every Wednesday, at Prime Minister's Questions.
The World Exists To Be Put On A Postcard – 7 Feb to 4 Aug 2019 – An exhibition of artist's postcards that have been used to highlight political and social issues from the 1960s onwards
Here are some more free events in London if you want a cheap day out
|Political events in April|
|Political events in May|
|Political events in June|