10 Free Things To Do In London

10 Free things to do in london anitahendrieka.com travel-blog

London can be an expensive city if you head to all the tourist traps.  I am the master of finding something free to do in this city (could be to do with the fact I usually have no money in my pocket and I’m Dutch which means I’m basically a tight arse!).  Here’s a great guide to London that’s absolutely FREE!  All you need is a travel card that will reach London Zones 1-6 and you are set!

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Hampstead Pergola and Hill Gardens | Tube station: Hampstead

The pergola was built in 1906 and was one of Lord Leverhulmes ideas.  He wanted to build a legacy, so decided that the pergola was a great idea.  Over the years there were many extensions of this fantastic structure but sadly after his death the Pergola was forgotten.  This place is now overgrown by wild flowers and vines and looks absolutely amazing.  It has such a eerie feeling to it and I wouldn’t of thought this secret place would still exist in London.

 

Listen to the protests in the speakers corner in Hyde Park | Tube station: Marble Arch

I went to Hyde Park a couple of months ago and wondered why everyone was yelling about different issues, and then I found out that it’s a speaker’s corner.  Every Sunday, people come here that want to voice an issue and debate with one another.  It’s been happening every Sunday since 1866!

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Postmans park  |Tube station: St Pauls

This park is simply amazing.  It was opened in 1880 and is dedicated to all the people who died while trying to save someone else’s life.  You can read the plaques on the wall about how they died, and pay your respects.  Spend a few moments remembering these amazing people who are no longer with us.  They deserve remembrance.  You can get here by taking the tube to St Pauls.  It’s only a couple of minutes walking distance from the station.  It’s a sanctuary amongst a concrete jungle.

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Kyoto gardens at Holland Park | Tube station: Holland Park

If you fancy a peaceful afternoon then head to Holland Park where you can sit, relax and enjoy the Kyoto gardens.  It’s only a short walk from the Holland Park tube station, you could definitely spend a sunny afternoon here!

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Little Venice | Tube Station: Warwick Avenue

Little Venice is so dazzling!  The bright colour of moss growing on the canal might not sound glamorous but it does look amazing.  I suggest you start from Warwick Avenue tube station and walk along the canal until Paddington station.  You will get to see some very quaint house boats and take some great pictures.  It’s not quite Venice but thumbs up for trying!

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Goodwins Court |  Tube Station: Leicester Square

It is a little hard to find but it is the cutest, tiniest alleyway I have seen.  It looks like a set out of Harry Potter with old school lanterns hanging all the way down.  This alleyway is off St Martins Lane , make sure you look carefully because there is no sign saying the street name!  It’s strangely quiet as well.  My friend and I just sat there in silence and we couldn’t hear the chaos of London that surrounded us.

Do a free walking tour

Yes, there are still free walking tours these days!  I can recommend doing the Free London Walking Tours.  There is more than one tour to choose from so make sure you check out their website.

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Oldest street sign in London – Tavistock St |  Tube station: Covent Garden

Tavistock Street has a hidden gem that not many people know about.  It is home to the oldest recorded street sign in London dated back 1636!  It’s very hard to find though so keep your eye out.  It is located at the very top of the buildings numbered 34-38.  You will see a blue plaque at number 36 saying  ‘In 1821, Thomas de Quincy(1785-1859) wrote ‘Confessions of an English Opium Eater’.  When you see this you’re not looking high enough!  Stand on the other side of the road and you will see a white plaque.  It’s very hard to see in direct sunlight and quite hard to get a photo of but mind-blowing when you see it and think about when this was dated back to.

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Check out the Markets throughout London

London is famous for it’s bustling markets, there are so many to choose from.  If you’re in London on a weekday then check out the Camden Markets, Covent Garden and Brixton Markets.  On a Saturday check out the Borough Markets and Portobello Road Markets.  On a Sunday you have to check out Upmarket and Bricklane markets in Shoreditch.  They all cannot be missed!

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See the view of the city at Primrose Hill | Tube Station: St John’s Wood

A great view of the beautiful city of London is Primrose Hill.  Buy some food from the markets and come up here to enjoy the afternoon, eat and drink a bottle of wine!  It’s not far from the London Zoo so if you are heading that way then make sure you stop over!

 

There are always free things to do in a city you just have to do a little research and be prepared to get lost.  As my mother used to say “The best things in life are free” and I have to say I agree with her!  Here’s  25 of the BEST things to do in London that you need to check out!

If you need accommodation in London the best place to look is Hotels.com or Agoda, they have amazing deals that are worth a look.

 

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10 free things to do in London

10 free things to do in london

 

 

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21 Comments

  1. October 11, 2015 / 11:03 am

    Great post and stunning photos, bring back memories of when I used to live i n London. Cheers Debz

  2. December 16, 2015 / 10:33 pm

    It is always great to get some tips on free stuff to do. London especially as it is over the top expensive. On our last trip through London we were just bleeding money. But like you we found some really cool free things to do and also some great stuff in Oxford as well.

  3. December 17, 2015 / 5:23 am

    We loved! Soon as our bank says that we can go back to London (Haha, we needed this post some months ago 😛 ) we will check this out! It’s always good to visit some non-mainstream-touristic places. 🙂

  4. Svet Dimitrov
    December 18, 2015 / 3:50 am

    Thank you for this informative and thorough post! The Kyoto Garden and Little Venice’s moss look amazing really! I should book a trip to London. I have never been to the UK (shame on me)!

  5. December 18, 2015 / 2:25 pm

    Little Venice looks so cool, I’ve heard so much about it, would love to get out that way one day 🙂

  6. December 18, 2015 / 3:16 pm

    I love off-the -beaten path destinations! And I gotta say, the places you listed here look beautiful and the best thing about is, they are free. The Little Venice looks amazing!

  7. Oyster
    December 18, 2015 / 4:56 pm

    Great pictures! I have yet to visit London, but this seems like a good list to keep handy (and to save to some money)!

  8. December 19, 2015 / 10:03 pm

    London is my home away from home. I know it really well and I have my favorite areas too (love love love Whitechapel and Chiswick). My fav thing to do there is just roaming around! I love the choice of Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park. I totally love them too!

  9. December 20, 2015 / 5:39 am

    London is where my daughter has lived in the past three years. The newest attraction in London is Sky Garden and it is also free!

  10. December 21, 2015 / 10:05 am

    Great post, London can be expensive but as we found last year it can still be amazing on a budget and in many ways you get to see some of the unsung gems of the city too.

  11. December 21, 2015 / 1:19 pm

    Great tips, Anita! And the pictures are very nice. You transferred me to London for a while! 🙂

  12. December 21, 2015 / 2:38 pm

    Good to know there are some cool free things to do in London

  13. December 21, 2015 / 5:50 pm

    Thanks for the suggestions! I’m going to London in May with my mother, husband and daughter. We’re definitely going to Hyde Park and had plans to go to Camden Markets but it’s pretty far from the other things we want to see so I think we’ll shop and Covent Garden instead. Silly me, at first I thought it was an actual garden! Ha!

  14. December 21, 2015 / 6:25 pm

    Great tips but the Free Walking Tours aren’t necessarily free. I’ve been told that while advertised as free they’re usually more a pay what you can. The guides depend on getting tips in the least.

  15. December 22, 2015 / 5:48 pm

    Great tips. I am a budget traveler so I always appreciate these kinds of posts!

  16. December 22, 2015 / 10:31 pm

    Such an informative read! Great to know that there ate such a budget friendly things to do in London!

  17. Steve Leahy
    June 16, 2016 / 12:12 pm

    Great stuff here. Thanks! While not free, the London Walks are very inexpensive, interesting, and fun. We did a couple of them when we were in London last Fall. Agree about the outrageous cost of the place, though. Makes NYC look downright affordable.

  18. September 11, 2016 / 7:34 am

    London can definitely be very expensive, but it’s so easy to see lots of the city for free and you’ve come up with some good suggestions. I’ve lived in London for 5 years and I’ve never actually heard of Goodwins Court before, so thank you! Primrose Hill is still my favourite place 🙂

  19. September 12, 2016 / 2:36 am

    Totally new to Little Venice Anita. Never heard of it. The moss intrigues me as does the cool, laid back scene.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Ryan

  20. Nigel West
    September 19, 2016 / 6:24 am

    Most of the museums and art galleries are free too! If you want to visit St Paul’s Cathedral, go on a Sunday Morning when there is a service on (even if you are an atheist!) The services have great music and you can admire the building.

    Beware: don’t drink alcohol in the Royal Parks, its illegal and people are arrested for doing so.

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