Maybe sometimes the best things in life really are free!
London life is usually pretty expensive – that much we know already. But not everything costs and arm and a leg for entry and October/November are chock full of delightfully free events and giveaways.
Get your green fingers and plant a tree
If you’ve always fancied trying your hand at gardening but don’t know where to start, we’ve got a solution for you that’s doubly beneficial. The Mayor of London is determined to make London greener and healthier and, with the Woodland Trust’s support, he’s giving out 24,000 trees for Londoners to plant this winter. It’s free to enter the ballot to receive a pack of two trees including birch and field maple saplings. You can plant both in your garden or give one to a friend. Or, if you don’t have a garden, why not join in one of the tree planting community events taking place around the city? Not only is it a nice, wholesome way to spend a winter weekend, but you’ll also be doing your bit for the planet. Isn’t that great? For all of the details, click here. ⭐️Sponsored⭐️
Explore the city on a bike tour
It’s a long-standing joke that most people who live in London rarely take the time to explore the city beyond their commute route and their local area. So if you want to see the sights and make like a tourist for once, IBikeLondon is your best bet. The company organises monthly journeys around the capital at a relaxed pace. Each ride is between 15-20 miles long and is always accompanied by music to keep you motivated. People of all ages and abilities are welcome to come along. The only thing you’ll need to provide is the actual bike. All of the information here.
Learn some culture at museum lates
Live out your childhood dreams of exploring London after dark by going along to one of the city’s many museum lates. Visit the Natural History Museum after-hours to see everything from some oversized beasts to free entertainment, or take a trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum to dress up in costume and dance along to DJs. Tate Britain offers performances and fashion shows, while the National Portrait Gallery has become the place to go on Thursdays for everything from discussion and contemplation to screenings and workshops. If you’d prefer a spot of art, Whitechapel Gallery’s First Thursdays offer a guided tour of nearby galleries on the free Art Bus Tour. Check individual museums’ websites for times/dates and locations.
Sip on a fancy gin
Gin tastes even better when it’s free and Lidl’s House of Hortus is offering just that. This incredibly-Instagrammable pop up sold out its advance tickets but it’s welcoming guests to turn up on the door. Wander through the Pink Gin Liquor Lounge and sip on some Hortus Raspberry, Rhubarb & Ginger or Rose & Pomegranate drinks while you’re there. There’s also a sensory botanical garden to experience as well as, you guessed it, more gin in the form of a free-pour serve of some equally delicious flavours. Find out more here. October 26 and 27. 19 Greek St, Soho, London W1D 4DT.
Float around on a barge
“The Village Butty” might sound more like a communal sandwich rather than a free event but it’s actually a boat touring around London. Currently based in Tottenham, near the River Lea, you’ll find a free Apple Day taking place this Saturday (27th October). It features the likes of apple pressing and tasting, a cider and hedgerow bar, various competitions and more. Turn up later the same day (starting from 6pm) for “Jam on the Butty” where there’ll be more wholesome music-themed barge-side activities. 26-27th October, although the barge will be moving around the city with more events in the next few weeks. The Waterside Cafe, Tottenham Marshes, River Lea, Watermead Way, London N17 0XD.
Chow down on some pasta
This Thursday, October 25, is National Pasta Day – something we didn’t know we needed until now. And to celebrate, the team behind Emilia’s Crafted Pasta are giving away free pasta for the whole day. Choose from their seven signature pasta dishes and thank the lords that someone was bright enough to make NPD an Actual Thing. On the menu you’ll find pappardelle ribbons with Bolognese sauce, homemade curvy basil pasta, smoked salmon carbonara and a creamy walnut sauce with creamy mushrooms. So meat eaters and vegetarians alike will all be satisfied! 25th October. C3, Ivory House, St Katharine Docks, St Katharine’s & Wapping, London E1W 1AT
Listen to some Jamaican tunes
Bass Culture 70/50 is a four-week exhibition all about the influence of Jamaican music on British culture and a look back at the Windrush generation’s impact on society. Expect to see previously unseen artwork, a mini film festival, live performances and UK reggae label pop up showcases. And, of course, a hell of a lot of Jamaican music. There’ll also be a catwalk inviting people to come dressed as they were when they first went to a Jamaican-influenced music venue, so keep your eyes peeled for ska, reggae, jungle and grime fans. 25th October – 22nd November. 35 Marylebone Rd, Marylebone, London NW1 5LS.
Also published on Medium.