London for Free

During the year, there are loads of free events in London, e.g. St. Patricks Day, Chinese New Year, West End Live.

Walk in the Parks
When I lived in Oxford my favourite occupation during the summer was to jump on the bus or train to London with a picnic and spend the day in one of the parks. There are so many parks in London, Alexandra Park, Battersea Park, Blackheath, Brockwell Park, Bushy Park, Chelsea Embankment Gardens, Clapham Common, Clissold Park, Crystal Palace, Dulwich Park, Ealing Common, Green Park, Greenwich Park, Hampstead Heath, Holland Park, Kensington Gardens, Lee Valley Regional Park, London Fields, Pitshanger Park, Primrose Hill, Ravenscourt Park, Regent’s Park, Richmond Park, St Dunstan in the East, St. James Park, Victoria Park, and Wanstead Park. My favourites are St. Dunstan’s in the East and Ravenscourt Park.

St. Dunstan’s nearest tube: Monument or Tower Hill. It’s my favourite spot for lunch and to read for an hour in peace and quiet. It’s free entry.

Ravenscourt nearest tube: Ravenscourt Park or Stamford Brook (District). My niece lived close by, so it was a favourite spot for afternoon tea in the little Café in the park.

The British Museum

The Museum is free entry. There really is so much to see in the British Museum you really need to check out their website and plan your visit. One year I visited the museum every Saturday during the summer, and I still didn’t get to see everything. They have food trucks and an outdoor eating space that is quite nice.

Nearest Tube: Tottenham Court Road or Holborn or Russell Square or Goodge Street

The National Gallery

The National Gallery on Trafalgar Square is free entry. I go to room 43 first to see Bathers at Asnières by Georges Seurat. I sit there for a while, also I can see The Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh if they are not totally mobbed by people (in the same room, 43). Then I go to room 34 and sit in front of The Hay Wain by John Constable for a while in the really comfy chairs. Once upon a time you could eat your sandwich in the Gallery, but not any more, they want you to spend money in the café, not a good policy change.

Nearest Tube: Charing Cross or Leicester Square

London Open Houses 
This is a free annual event in September, check the Open House Festival Website for dates. There are over 750 buildings that are free to visit over a weekend, for example I took a tour of The Bank of England and tried to lift a gold bar!

West End Live

I’m in the audience somewhere in this clip above from 2016 West End Live. This is an annual free event usually hosted at Trafalgar Square. It’s a show case for London’s West End and features a taster from each of the Shows, live performances and Free. One year I stood in the lovely rain in Trafalgar Square and heard The Phantom sing (Love Never Dies), and then watched the children from Billy Elliot dance (Billy Elliot). I then went into The National Gallery to visit my painting Georges-Pierre Seurat’s Bathers at Asnières for a little while and when I came out, there was the cast of We Will Rock You murdering Queen’s songs. Poor old Freddie Mercury must have been spinning in his grave R.I.P. For more information visit the West End Live Website.