10 Free Things To Do In London

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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 wildflowers and vines and looks absolutely amazing.  It has such an eerie feeling to it and I wouldn’t have 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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Postman’s 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 Paul’s.  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 in 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 houseboats and take some great pictures.


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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.


10 free Things to Do in London That Are Absolutely Free

Check out the Markets throughout London

London is famous for its 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 (East London).  They all cannot be missed!


free things to do in london

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!


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  • Reply
    October 11, 2015 at 11:03 am

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

  • Reply
    Mark Williams
    December 16, 2015 at 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.

  • Reply
    December 17, 2015 at 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. 🙂

  • Reply
    Svet Dimitrov
    December 18, 2015 at 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)!

  • Reply
    Restless Worker
    December 18, 2015 at 2:25 pm

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

  • Reply
    December 18, 2015 at 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!

  • Reply
    December 18, 2015 at 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)!

  • Reply
    December 19, 2015 at 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!

  • Reply
    December 20, 2015 at 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!

  • Reply
    Roaming Renegades (@Travel_Explore1)
    December 21, 2015 at 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.

  • Reply
    Julius from Traveltipy
    December 21, 2015 at 1:19 pm

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

  • Reply
    December 21, 2015 at 2:38 pm

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

  • Reply
    December 21, 2015 at 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!

  • Reply
    Elaine J. Masters
    December 21, 2015 at 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.

  • Reply
    NYC JetSetter
    December 22, 2015 at 5:48 pm

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

  • Reply
    Ynah CA
    December 22, 2015 at 10:31 pm

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

  • Reply
    heathrow to Brighton Taxi
    January 9, 2016 at 2:22 am

    Very nice tips .

  • Reply
    Steve Leahy
    June 16, 2016 at 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.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2016 at 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 🙂

  • Reply
    Ryan Biddulph
    September 12, 2016 at 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 🙂


  • Reply
    Nigel West
    September 19, 2016 at 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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