Free Things to Do in London

This year London will be under the global spotlight as it prepares to host the 2012 Olympics. As England’s capital city, London is a popular destination for tourists both from abroad and around the UK. However, its capital city status is often reflected in its prices, and many visitors are looking to experience the city while saving money wherever possible, particularly in the light of the recent economic downturn.

If you want to see London without the spending, check out some of these fun and free things to do:

Markets
You’ll find markets all over London, but to name just a few:

Borough Market is great for produce and foodstuffs both British and International. There are often events including demonstrations and themed evenings, and plenty of the stalls have free samples!

Columbia Road is most famous for its fabulous flower market, where you’ll see everything from bedding plants to 10ft banana trees. As well as this, the road itself is composed of sixty independent shops and is one of the most interesting shopping experiences to be had in London.

Broadway Market has over 100 stalls selling everything from lemons to lingerie, tucked away down a small street in the East End of London. A great place to people-watch among the trendy Shoreditch crowds.

Take a Sightseeing Stroll

Walk along the South Bank of the Thames, from The London Eye to Tate Modern and you’ll see all manner of London landmarks as well as some impressive street art and performances. You’ll eventually arrive at the Tate Modern, where you can explore 5 floors of contemporary art and design for free.

Walk the 2.5 miles by the canal from Little Venice, where the Puppet Theatre Barge and Cascade Floating Art Gallery are moored, to Camden Lock. You’ll pass by Regents Park and London Zoo and end up at Camden’s famous markets.

The Wellcome Collection

A fascinating museum described as a “free destination for the incurably curious”, the Wellcome Collection houses medical and scientific objects amassed by pharmacist and collector Sir Henry Wellcome. The exhibitions are always changing, and visitors can even take free guided tours.

Free Lectures

Gresham College in Holborn has given free public talks for over 400 years, on a range of subjects from art to politics and mathematics to film, often featuring up to five speakers a week.

Hampstead Heath

Escape the hustle and bustle of the big smoke in this 800 acre park which includes a zoo, swimming ponds and forests. With fabulous views of the city, the Heath is perfect for picnicking on the grass in the summer months and sledging in the winter snow!