After spending the last few years getting up close and personal with the glorious streets of her home town, travel writer Josie Sampson shares her inside advice on the best free things to do in London.
Yes, it’s one of the most expensive city’s on the planet, but armed with this insider knowledge, you can experience many of London’s best attractions without spending a single penny.
Stroll the South Bank and Get The Scoop
London’s Southbank in the ideal setting for a causal afternoon stroll, but if you’re looking for something a little more original, head on over to the Scoop.
A sunken amphitheatre that seats up to 800 people, the Scoop hosts free open air films, dances, shows, live bands and everything in between.
There aren’t any tickets bookable for these events, so you just need to show up, grab a seat and enjoy the show – and maybe bring a blanket and a bottle of wine along for the ride.
Nearest metro station: London Bridge
Laze Your Way Through Little Venice
If you can’t make it over to Italy for the day, spending an afternoon wandering the tranquil waterways of London’s Little Venice is sure to be the next best thing.
At the spot where Grand Union and Regent’s Canal cross paths, you’ll find a laidback neighbourhood lining the water’s edge, overflowing with quaint pubs and cosmopolitan cafes, independent bookshops and, of course, plenty of floating homes. It’s just perfect for a lazy Sunday’s stroll.
Nearest underground station: Warwick Avenue
Find Inner-City Peace with a Parkland Walk
Running between Finsbury Park and Muswell Hill, the Parkland Walk offers a magical way to spend an afternoon of exploring.
The walk follows the path of a long abandoned railway line, with old stations overgrown by trees and wildlife roaming free.
With the sun shining through the leaves and not another soul around, you’ll feel a million miles outside of London on this woodland escapade.
Nearest underground station: Highgate
Indulge Your Sences Broadway Market
Escape the thronging crowds of Borough Market and head on over to the east instead. When Saturday arrives, Broadway Market explodes in a kaleidoscope of smells, tastes, colours and sights that are sure to delight all who visit.
Whether you’re looking for an artisan cupcake, a freshly grilled burger or a smorgasbord of cheese, you’ll find it here among the hungry hordes busy hunting out their next treat.
Nearest undergorund station: London Fields
Relive Your Youth at Kentish Town City Farm
Whether you’re hoping to entertain the little ones or you’re still a big kid at heart, Kentish Town City Farm is fun for all the family.
A treasure trove of wildlife and cutesy farm animals, it’s the last thing you’d expect to find on the perimeters of central London – but that just makes it all the more special.
Kids can revel in pony rides and everyone can enjoy the picnic area on a sunny day.
Nearest underground station: Kentish Town
Get a FREE Culture Fix at the Horniman Museum & Gardens
We’ve all heard about the British Museum and the Tate being free (in fact, a whole host of London’s museums won’t cost you a penny), but it’s time to get out there and visit something slightly different. That’s where the Horniman Museum comes in.
Set in 16 acres of landscaped gardens, this free museum is an anthropological delight, with a giant stuffed walrus and centuries of history on offer. It’s certainly a place you won’t be forgetting in a hurry.
Nearest underground station: Forest Hill
Laugh Out Loud at the Angel Comedy Club
They might be free, but you’ll find no cheap jokes here. If you’re looking for a good laugh, there’s no better place to look than the Angel Comedy Club. Taking place seven nights a week at the Camden Head pub, there’s a satisfying mix of open-mic newcomers and top dollar household names on offer.
The comedians are often testing their new material before upcoming tours and everyone is out to have a good time. And yes, it’s all absolutely free.
Nearest undergorund station: Angel
Get Crafty at Drink Shop & Do
Crafty types will love an evening spent at Drink Shop & Do: a café bar, a hangout space and a free craft workshop all in one.
From painting to clay making, piñatas to party games, there’s a class for everyone to enjoy and none of it will cost you a penny. It’s a great place to kick back and spend an evening doing something a little different.
Nearest underground station: King’s Cross
Break FREE at Epping Forest
Want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a few hours? Make your way to Epping Forest, an ancient woodland sat on the borders of London.
Covering almost 3,000 hectares, this beauty spot is London’s largest open space and is beloved by walkers, mountain bikers and runners alike. With over 100 lakes inside, it’s a popular spot for fishing too.
Nearest underground station: Loughton
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