Free And Cheap London Events This Week: 11-17 September 2017

By Jordan Waite Last edited 16 months ago

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Free And Cheap London Events This Week: 11-17 September 2017

All week

Totally Thames festival is a month long celebration of our river

WARHOL MONTH: RISEgallery hosts a month-long celebration of one of the biggest names in 20th century art — Andy Warhol. From walks, to lectures, to screenings and exhibitions, who knew there was so much to one man's art? Various locations and prices, 1-30 September

THIS IS ME: Did you know that 40% of young care leavers are NEET, and half are dealing with mental health issues? The brave individuals behind the statistics present their personal stories through self portraits and monologues. Waterloo Action Centre, free, just turn up, 11am-7pm, 11-17 September

WORKING RIVER: There's years of history in the Thames' boat construction yards. Explore the stories of those who have worked in them, and their legacy on the river today, at this exhibition. Climb Wherry Boathouse (Richmond), free, just turn up, noon-6pm, until 1 October

TOTALLY THAMES: If the above doesn't float your boat, there's plenty else going on this month related to the River Thames. Running throughout September, Totally Thames festival is a celebration of all things river related. Take a look at what's on. Various locations and prices, 1-30 September

Monday 11 September

Ditch the expensive cosmetics and make your own

CUSTOM COSMETICS: Fed up of splashing out on overpriced cosmetics? Learn how to turn household ingredients such as sugar, coconut and olive oil into hand cream, body butter and scrubs in this workshop session. You're free to keep everything you create, too. Poplar Union, £5/£3, book ahead, noon-2.30pm

EXCELLENT WOMEN: What was it about Anglican women that made them such fine novelists? From Charlotte Brontë to Elizabeth Goudge, who were these women and what inspired them to write? Reverend Canon Dr Judith Maltby investigates. Westminster Abbey, free, book ahead, 6.30pm-7.30pm

Tuesday 12 September

Learn more about the man behind Gresham College

MENTAL HEALTH: How do you ensure your mental wellbeing? Hear real life stories and celebrate the aspects of life that keep our brain healthy at this three-day festival of talks, debates and seminars. There's a great lineup of events, including a talk from Ed Balls. Various locations, from £3, book ahead, until 14 September

AGAINST ARMS TRADE: This week, one of the world's largest arms fairs is setting up shop at ExCel in east London. Art at the Arms Fair is hosting an exhibition to highlight the inhumanity of the event, in aid of Campaign Against Arms Trade. SET (East London), free, just turn up, 11am-7pm, until 15 September

GRESHAM TALKS: You've probably heard of Gresham College — you may have even learnt a thing or two from one of its free talks. But who was Sir Thomas Gresham, and why did he leave a large portion of his fortune to educating Londoners through this lecture series? Find out at this lecture and book launch at Barnard's Inn Hall (Chancery Lane). Free, just turn up, 6pm-8pm

BOY IN THE STATUE: Sir Erich Reich's autobiography charts his journey as a traumatised Jewish refugee boy, who arrived in this country from Nazi-occupied Europe three days before the start of the war. Hear from the man himself at his book launch. The Wiener Library (Bloomsbury), free, just turn up, 6.30pm-8pm

Wednesday 13 September

Who knew a road could be so interesting?

VIVID DREAM: Alessandro Roma is said to have an unwavering pictorial approach. We're not too sure what that means, but you can check out his art — he's had years of experience as a painter — and work that one out for yourself. Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix Gallery (Spitalfields), free, just turn up, 11am-6pm, until 7 December

WRITING FOR BREAD: Aphra Behn, born 1640, was one of the first women in the country to become a professional writer and earn a living from it. Learn more about her life on this free walking tour, with a second part to be held later in the Autumn. Holborn Station Kiosk, free, just turn up, 1pm

THE THAMES: Where else would you find a royal highway that doubles up as a common sewer? The Thames has had a big influence on the growth of London since the Roman times — discover more about the city's relationship with this vital artery. Museum of London (Barbican), free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

HACKNEY ARTS: Hackney Arts Season is jam packed full of experiences designed to bring your creativity to life. Check out the events schedule, or just have a good knees-up at the launch party (age 18+). Netil360 (London Fields), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-10.30pm

RYE HERE RYE NOW: Working as a creative can be a solitary affair. This new weekly event is a great opportunity to join others in the industry for drinks and discussion, and even share your projects with the group. Who knows what you could build with a little team work? John The Unicorn (Peckham Rye), free, just turn up, 7pm-10pm

WATLING STREET: It's just a road, right? Who cares? Perhaps its secrets hide in plain sight... now known by a myriad of other names, this is more than just a route across the country — it's an unexpected exploration of Britain and who we are today. Conway Hall (Holborn), £5, book ahead, 7.30pm-9pm

Thursday 14 September

Take on a Gladiator course in Merchant Square

FLEETING REFLECTIONS: Mike Curry is exhibiting his mesmerising building reflection photographs taken over the last four years on the Canary Wharf Estate. The Greenwich Gallery, free, just turn up, 9am-5pm, until 28 September

GLADIATORS, READY: Battle it out in a series of challenges based on 90s hit show, Gladiators — including cargo nets and stepping stones. You can take on the course with mates, and there's a £200 charity donation prize to the winner. Merchant Square (Paddington), free, just turn up, 11am-3pm

Friday 15 September

Explore the different ways soldiers have coped with the demands of war

FOOD MARKET:20 of London's most innovative and street food vendors pitch up for your lunch hour. Do you need any more encouragement than that? Courage Yard (Tower Bridge), free entry, just turn up, 11am-3pm

DEMANDS OF CONFLICT: War is tough stuff, so how do the soldiers deal with the demands of the job? From alcohol, to drugs, to lucky charms, Dr Fiona Reid explores the ways our troops have self-medicated over the years. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, just turn up, 11.30am

DISCO SOUP: Why let all that good food go to waste? 1000 people come together to take part in pop-up cookery sessions and workshops, all served up with a delicious soundtrack from the Ministry of Sound. Disco dancing is, of course, encouraged. Mercato Metropolitano (Elephant & Castle), free, book ahead, 3pm-11pm

Saturday 16 September

NAM OPEN HOUSE: It might not be top of your list for Open House weekend, but the National Army Museum occupies a newly refurbished building and they're running a series of free talks and tours to celebrate. National Army Museum, free, just turn up, 16-17 September

ALPHABET PEEP SHOW: This modern curiosity cabinet is glowing with 27 original signwritten works, as part of the Bankside Design District at the 2017 London Design Festival. Hilton Bankside (Southwark), free, just turn up,8am-8pm

NO PLACE LIKE HOME: This series of photographic portraits and audio stories explores the myriad of ways Londoners make their homes. From subways to mansions, you might be surprised at the diversity of living situations. Platform Southwark, free, just turn up, 10am-6pm, until 22 September

KEATS OPEN HOUSE: Keats House — once occupied by the Romantic poet John Keats — is offering a series of free guided tours throughout the day. The tours are first come first served, and as always with Open House, expect queues. Keats House (Hampstead), free, just turn up, 11am-4.30pm

CRAFTY FOX MARKET: You name it, they'll have it at this craft market. Well, as long as its art prints, textiles, cards, homewares, gifts or fashion. There's plenty of atmosphere to soak up too, with DJs and drinks. Bussey Building (Peckham), free entry, just turn up, 11am-5pm, repeated tomorrow

ORGANIC KITCHEN: It's not often you'll see anything Whole Foods related sitting on a 'free and cheap' page. Make the most of this organic kitchen pop-up, as chefs, bloggers and brands take over for a free day of fun cooking workshops. WholeFoods Kensington, free, just turn up, 11.30am-6pm

BERMONDSEY UPRISING: Bermondsey was transformed in 1911 by London's first female mayor, Ada Salter. Learn more about her achievements in transforming the area through slum clearance, new trees and planting flowers on this circular walking tour. Bermondsey Street Information Desk (Tanner Street), £5, just turn up, noon/4pm

HOUSE OF SOUND: Time-travel from medieval to present day London in this immersive sound experience capturing the changing sounds of the city, as heard by Chaucer, Dickens and Shakespeare. Expect live musician performances played through loudspeakers throughout the Square Mile. Sounds good to us (sorry...). Part of Open House Weekend. Guildhall Yard (City of London), free, just turn up, noon-5pm, repeated tomorrow

HYDROGEN FESTIVAL: Forget the food festivals, this is a hydrogen festival (although we are promised green popcorn to gorge on). It's a full on day of stalls, workshops and games — including a hydrogen powered car to jump into. UCL Main Quad, free, book ahead, noon-9pm

Sunday 17 September

It's the 50th anniversary of Horseman's Sunday

HORSEMAN'S SUNDAY: It's the 50th anniversary of the unifying protest against the closure of the area's stables, and a colourful horse parade will be making its way through the streets to celebrate. The festivities don't end there though: there's face painting, tombola, live jazz and food, too. St John's Hyde Park Church, free, just turn up, 10am

GALLERY TOUR: Take a tour of the Grade II* listed William Morris Gallery, before continuing into Lloyd Park, and the Lloyd Park Studios with local historian Sue Nisbet. William Morris Gallery (Walthamstow), free, just turn up, 11am/ 2pm

LAUDERDALE HOUSE: The recently refurbished Lauderdale House, built in 1582, is throwing open its doors for Open House, inviting you to come inside and experience the amazing architecture. Tours are available, and a free kids craft workshop too. Lauderdale House, free, book ahead, 11am-4pm

VINTAGE FASHION: Us Londoners are a fashionable bunch. The Yard sees 50 of the best vintage traders descend on Shoreditch for London Fashion Week, offering you a great opportunity to pick up some new threads. The Yard (Shoreditch), £4 entry, book ahead, 11am-5pm

DIY ART MARKET: Feeling crafty? Check out this art market, featuring art prints, ceramics, zines, independent publications and lots more. With more than 80 artists exhibiting, you'll be spoilt for choice. Epic Dalston, free entry, just turn up, 11am-6pm

Last Updated 12 September 2017