By LAUREN KELLY BROWN, JULY 2017
London is a great day out, whether you visit every day or you’re taking a trip from afar. It can also be a great place to do something at little to no cost at all! For those on a budget, activities in London do not have to be costly – There are many cheap and even free things to do, most of which apply to all ages.
And you know what? Free is good. I love free things!
Here’s a short run down of my favourite (and free!) things to do in and around the wonderful capital:
MUSIC AND COMEDY
The capital is a hub for all things creative. Musicians, artists and performers alike flock the streets, cosy cafes and dimly lit bars to offer you a free sample of what they have to offer. Almost every corner boasts some sort of creative establishment and music is no exception. Students at the Royal College of Music perform free lunch time and late afternoon shows across London whilst the Union Chapel hosts tea and cake afternoons with free live music to truly ease you in to a lazy Saturday. If upbeat rhythms are more your thing, Hootananny Brixton offers lots of free gigs across the capital, you can check out their timetable at the below link. I’ve been to a couple of their free ska shows, I highly recommend!
I am a massive fan of comedy and will take absolutely any opportunity to watch live stand up, both from established and up and coming comedians. The best place for this is without a doubt Angel Comedy Club, just down the road from Angel Station. They host a free comedy show every night of the week and I can honestly say that I’ve not seen a bad performance there! Hosted above a pub (which does some great food!) this cosy little venue really sets a great mood, even if the seating is a little crammed. I recommend heading down there for just before dinner time, as the place fills up pretty quickly. Their sister venue The Bill Murray, which is just down the road, also hosts comedy nights for a small fee – you can catch some already well-established acts here who are trying out new material. I’ve been on a couple of occasions to check out Simon Amstell and it’s been a great night!
Top Secret Comedy club is another one to check out, with free improv comedy every Tuesday evening!
MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES
One of my favourite things about London is the amount of free access exhibitions, both artistic and historical – It’s amazing! Whether it be a dinosaur artefact at the Natural History Museum, or a classic Rembrandt painting at the National Galley, there’s so much to see and all for not a single penny.
British Museum – Egyptian mummies and the Rosetta Stone, to name just a few of the cool things on display here!
Imperial War Museum – Over 400 exhibits including a Spitfire and Harrier fighter jet. Awesome!
Wellcome Collection – Located on Euston Road, this place hosts an array of weird objects, including an ancient mummy and Darwin’s walking stick!
Bank of England Museum – They let you hold a genuine bar of gold. Enough Said.
Sir John Soane’s Museum – Former home of Sir John himself, this collection boasts over 20,000 architectural drawings, antiquities and works by Turner, Canaletto and Piranesi. As well as all of that, you can also see two sets of paintings by William Hogarth and the Egyptian Sarcophagus of Seti! Pretty neat.
National Gallery – Some of the world’s most famous artwork can be discovered here, from Leonardo da Vinci to Turner and Rembrandt to Van Gogh.
National Portrait Gallery – An eclectic collection of some of the world’s most famous faces. Politicians, Royalty, musicians and film stars can all be found, depicted in various mediums in this fantastic space of creative works.
Tate Modern – Picasso, Warhol and Pollock are just some of the amazing artists whose work is housed under the roof of the Tate Modern. I’d definitely recommend a visit here to witness some true masterpieces in the flesh!
The Wallace Collection – Displayed in a luxurious and historic town house located just off Manchester Square, this superb collection of 18th century paintings, furniture and porcelain boasts some hugely famous pieces, many owned by such figures as Madame Pmpadour and Queen Marie-Antoinette. My favourite amongst the collection has to be Hals’ ‘The Laughing Cavalier’. The subject of the painting has a gaze which appears to follow you around the room, it’s both eerie and awesome! There is also a courtyard restaurant, which, when lit up, is absolutely stunning!
Many other events take place in our capital throughout the year. They are fun, action-packed and of course, FREE! Ones to look out for are:
Chinese New Year – Celebrated in the heart of London’s Chinatown. Pretty lights, music and great food!
Pride in London – This colourful and amazing parade celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual community. Honestly so much fun!
Notting Hill Carnival – London’s biggest street party, fun and frolics full of Caribbean colours, music and flavours. The costumes and parade alone are worth the attendance.
Summer Festival at Alexandra Palace – Live music, silent disco, film screening and a giant water slide. Need I say more?!
In case you missed how many times I’ve said it, all of the above activities are free!
ENJOY FREE LONDON