Totally Free Things To Do In London
We’ve been indulging and galavanting on gorgeous holidays all summer - or lapping up the unexpectedly brilliant British sunshine at home - and money may now be feeling a little tighter. Those Aperol Spritz’s don’t come cheap...! So we’ve put our thinking-caps on to discover the best free things to do in London - if you want to get out and about, while getting those bank balances back in check. We can’t promise you won’t be tempted to buy a coffee or a drink as a reward for your exploring, but these are ticket-free activities that you can enjoy stress-free and without feeling ripped-off.
Flower Markets & Farm Yards
Every Sunday, the Columbia Road in East London comes alive with the most beautiful array of flowers and plants, the bellowing cries of the market-sellers, and the hustle and bustle of the crowds taking their pick of the best blooms in the city. Buying a bunch for yourself is always tempting, but you’re free to browse and lap up the atmosphere without. Don't miss out on the Hackney City Farm nearby, either. It has no set entry cost but encourages donations, and for a fun half hour you feel like you’re stepping back in time with all the farmyard animals. Then, round the corner you’ll discover part of the meandering Regent’s Canal, where you can take a stroll for however far your legs will take you, picking out your favourite Canal boats along the way.
Artwork & Artefacts
Some of the most renowned artwork and artefacts in the world can be seen for free in London. The British Museum, the Science Museum, Tate Britain, the National Gallery, the National History Museum, the V&A... their doors are all open to the general public so you can roam through their permanent exhibitions whenever the mood takes you. Just the architecture of these immense buildings is enough to marvel at... let alone the amazing treasures from history they house inside.
Skylines & Secret Gardens
From central city vantage-points to more rural parks and hill-tops, London offers some spectacular views and gardens - all for free. If architecture’s your thing, venture up to the top of the One New Change building in the city of London for the best view of St Paul’s. Or, if you’re looking for more open green spaces, head to Alexandra Palace, Richmond Park Hill, or Primrose Hill for stunning views. If you’re into your gardens, take a trip to the Phoenix Garden near Covent Garden if you’re central or Barnsbury Wood in Islington if you have longer to explore. The beautiful Kyoto Garden in Holland Park is perfect if you’re looking for a moment of tranquility - the waterfalls, sculptures, and its overwhelming serenity will take you completely by surprise.
Markets & Munchies
Take a stroll round some of London’s best markets for amazing food and discoveries. Borough Market is arguably one of London’s best-known (and oldest) food markets, dating back to the thirteenth century. Gorge on samples as much as you dare, from the delicious selection of breads, cheeses, cured meats, and pastries all on offer. As well as boasting it’s fabulous views, Alexandra Palace also hosts The City and Country Farmers Market most Sundays for amazing fresh produce every week. Maltby Street Market in Bermondsey, Kerb in Camden, Old Spitalfields Market in Shoreditch are all other options for taking a wander and for feasting your eyes on delicious treats, and other goodies. If you’re heading to Portobello market, be sure to persevere through the crowds at the beginning to get out of the tourist-trap. The real vintage gems are to be found nearer the end, where you can then head on up to Camden Lock to continue your exploring.
Get out there and get exploring! We'd love to hear about what you get up to so let us know your favourite discoveries.