Free And Cheap London Events: 15-21 September 2014

By Silvia Baretta Last edited 87 months ago
Free And Cheap London Events: 15-21 September 2014

Interesting and unusual things to do for a fiver or less this week. For more ideas have a look at our Free & Cheap page.

Preview of A Place Called Home. Source: The London Design Festival

All Week

BRIDGE EXHIBITION: Museum of London Docklands's largest ever art exhibition, Bridge, is now open. It consists of historical and contemporary depictions of London’s bridges in the form of artwork, film and photography. It also considers how bridges are used in London today. Free, just turn up, until 2 November

URBAN FOOD: Celebrate local food producers across the capital with Urban Food Fortnight, in association with Capital Growth. See our suggestions for the best things to do during the food celebration. Until 28 September

LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL: London’s celebration of design in all its forms kicks off this weekend. There are plenty of events to choose from, most are free: we’ve selected the top things to do during the festival. You can also browse one of these design-themed exhibitions connected to the festival. Until 21 September  

CITY HUNT: Join a free treasure hunt and discover the secrets of Blackfriars. Play the game in teams or on your own, suitable for all ages and abilities. You can play via the website or pick up a printed map from one of two start-points: full information on how to participate is on the website. Free, daily 10am-4pm until 21 September

PUB: Just want to kick back and relax with a pint and a packet of pork scratchings? Our pubs guide has information about all of the best pubs in London, organised by area for your convenience. Find a boozer near you, or see if your favourite made the cut.

Monday 15 September

PLAY READING: St George's Players is an amateur dramatic society based in Forest Hill. Tonight you can join them at The Honor Oak pub for the first in a series of play readings: they read Dinner by Moira Buffini. Free, prebook, 7.30pm

COMEDY: The Loft Tickler Free Comedy Night takes place at The Loft in Clapham. Tonight headliner is Aussie firecracker Damo Clark plus Martin Croser, Michael Stranney, Don Tran, Stephanie Laing and Nick Hodder. Free, just turn up, 8pm

WIENER LIBRARY: The historical library in Russell Square presents a special tour exploring the experiences of women within its archives. Researched and delivered by three volunteer tour guides, visitors will see and handle artefacts from the 1930s up to present day. Free, prebook, 2pm

BOOK LAUNCH: The Emma Press is launching its new poetry anthology, Homesickness and Exile: Poems about Longing and Belonging, at the Tea House Theatre in Vauxhall. Readers include Alex Bell, Cath Drake, Holly Hopkins, Rachel Long, John McCullough, Cheryl Moskowitz, Selina Nwulu, Rachel Piercey and more. Free, just turn up, 7pm

Tuesday 16 September

ART TALK: Guildhall Library hosts Alexandra Epps who looks at the wealth of modern and contemporary public art in the City. The talk is followed by an optional public art highlights walk — the cost is £5 and you can pay on the day. Free, prebook, 2pm

LITERARY TALK: Join a reading and panel discussion with authors and eminent literary critics Jonathan Gibbs, Joanna Walsh and Catherine Taylor at Slightly Foxed Books in Gloucester Road. Free, just turn up, 6pm

TEMPLAR POETRY: Keats House in Hampstead hosts an evening of poetry on behalf of Templar Poetry. Readings from prize-winning poets Nigel McLoughlin and Christopher James. Free, prebook, 7pm

CINEMA QUIZ: The touring quiz You're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat takes place at the Hackney Picturehouse tonight. Test your cinema knowledge and have fun with your pals. £4pp, prebook, 7.30pm  

Forest Hill Fashion Week starts this Thursday. Details below

Wednesday 17 September

OXO TOWER: To celebrate The London Design Festival, shops and galleries at Oxo Tower open their doors to the public. Mingle with designers and see design-themed exhibitions. See website for full programme. Free, all day

SCIENCE IN A PUB: PubSci presents UCL researcher Dr Paul Hellier who talks about fuels of the future. The event takes place at the Old King’s Head pub in London Bridge. Free, just turn up, from 6pm

MAKE FRIENDS: The Box Park in Shoreditch hosts an evening of social skydiving — the art of talking to strangers. There will be games and giveaways to help you break the ice. Free, prebook, from 6pm

CITY LANDSCAPE: London film-maker Patrick Keiller’s new essay collection, The View from the Train: Cities and Other Landscapes, is celebrated at Housmans book shop in King’s Cross. £3, prebook, 7pm

CRAP TIME LORD: Richard Tyrone Jones brings his Edinburgh show to The Star of Kings in King's Cross to explain why, since he has two hearts and a cancelled BBC series, he is just like Doctor Who. Also with Jackie Hagan. Pay what you like, just turn up, 7pm

CANARY WHARF: Join a free tour of Canary Wharf, lead by Occupy Tours. Meet outside Canary Wharf station and explore the surrounding area of the Docklands. Free, prebook, 7pm

SCOTTISH SHORTS: Short On Tap takes place at 93 Feet East in Brick Lane. Enjoy a series of short films and documentaries about the referendum for Scottish independence. Free, prebook, 8pm

FREE GIG: Singer and songwriter Susannah Austin launches her new EP at the Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen tonight. You just need to book your free place. Free, prebook, 8pm

Thursday 18 September

FASHION FESTIVAL: Forest Hill Fashion Week celebrates the borough’s creatively independent spirit and dedication to high street regeneration. There will be catwalk shows, designers on the high street, workshops, fashion parties and even family events — most of the events are free. Until 21 September

BEER FESTIVALS: Selected from our September Beer Festivals round-up, we suggest Eden Park Beer and Cider Festival and Craft 100 Beer Festival. Both start today, are very cheap to get in and promise plenty of artisanal beer and ciders.

DESIGN EVENT: To celebrate The London Design Festival, Material Lab in Oxford Circus hosts a design workshop. Learn the art of designing from innovative design practice Giles Miller Studio, wallpaper and surface designer Daniel Heath, textile expert Gemma Kay Waggett and many more. Free, just turn up, 12pm-2pm & from 5pm

PHOTO WALK: Join a photo tour of London starting from Artillery Architects in Mansion House. The walk is hosted by Damien Cranny and covers a selection of gardens in the city as it is an urban nature themed walk. Free, prebook by email, 5.30pm

EVENING LECTURE: Morley College near Waterloo hosts a lecture about London in the First World War. Listen to Professor Jerry White, who explores how the war utterly dominated the city’s life, changing everything. £1, just turn up, 6pm

WIENER LIBRARY: Listen to Dr Alexander Watson examining the experience of Jewish communities that were caught up in the Eastern War Zone between the Central Powers and the Russian Empire during WW1. Free, prebook, 6.30pm

Friday 19 September

EXHIBITION: Daniel Blau Gallery hosts the photography exhibition Other Portraits. On display are a selection of portraits and self-portraits by 22 of some of the most significant and celebrated photographers of the 20th century. Free, until 25 October

PLAYWRIGHT PLATFORM: Enda Walsh is the subject of today’s Platform at National Theatre. The writer and director discusses his new play, Ballyturk, followed by a book signing. £4/£3, prebook, 6pm

FILM CLUB: The Duke Mitchell Film Club celebrates the VHS tape, holding a special evening at The Phoenix Artist Club. Free, just turn up, 7pm

HASHTAG PARTY: Working Men's Club in Bethnal Green hosts Hashtag Party, a night of music and dance. £5 before 10.30pm, just turn up, from 9pm

Canary Wharf Crossrail station is part of Open House London 2014

Saturday 20 September

OPEN HOUSE: Yep, it's that time of year again when over 800 buildings, from skyscrapers to toilets, throw open their doors to the public. Some events need to be booked in advance. but others just let you turn up on the day — although early arrival is recommended as Open House is extremely popular and often results in queues. See this year's list here. 20-21 September

ART TRAIL: This weekend and next weekend, Merton Arts Trail lights up the South London borough. Emerging and established artists exhibit their latest work in homes, studios, galleries and shops throughout the area. There will be connected events taking place like film screenings and talks, see full programme on the website. Free, 20-21 September

STREET FESTIVAL: Live music, dance, arts, food and more take over the streets of Bermondsey for one day as part of the annual Bermondsey Street Festival. As part of the festival, artist and printmaker Norman Ackroyd will be unveiling a new sculpture, The Shared, at Tyers Estate Rain Garden from 5pm. Free, just turn up, all day

EDIBLE GARDENS: Visit your local food garden today! Join the Edible Gardens Open Day, an initiative connected to Capital Growth. Plenty of edible gardens will be open for public exploration, social fun and even for drinks. Find the garden closest to you on the website map. Free, just turn up, all day

VINTAGE WHEELS: Following on from a couple of successful outings on Southbank, the Classic Car Boot Sale heads to a new venue at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Rummage around for some vintage bargains (clothing, accessories, homeware) in the boot of pre-1989 classic cars. £5/£4, 20-21 September, 10am-6pm

POP-UP VINTAGE FAIR: The clue’s in the name for this one. For one weekend only, get your hands on vintage goodies at Spitalfields Market. There’s also a vintage beauty parlour, live music and tearooms. 11am-5pm, 20-21 September

DESIGNERS AND MAKERS: The Designers/Makers market is back at Old Spitalfields Market, giving young designers from across the UK a chance to sell their products. 11am-5pm, 20-21 September

ROYAL LONDON FINAL: The Royal London One-Day Cup Final takes place at Lord’s Cricket Ground, the culmination of  18 teams from across England and Wales who have been battling it out since July for a place in the prestigious final. Adult tickets start at £30, while children's tickets are just £1. Prebook. From 10.30am

FREE WALK: Everyone is welcome to join the free walk organised by CoolTan Arts, which focuses on the black history of Peckham and Denmark Hill areas. The starting point is Maudsley Hospital in Denmark Hill. Free (donations welcome), just turn up, 11.45am-4pm

AWARENESS WALK: The annual 10km Mouth Cancer Awareness Walk takes place in Hyde Park, aiming to raise awareness of the symptoms of mouth cancer. Free, prebook, 1pm

Sunday 21 September

RECRUITMENT DAY: South East London Search and Rescue (SELSAR) is holding a recruitment day to introduce potential new members to the organisation's work. The event takes place in Joydens Wood near Bexley and will be a fun action packed day with simulated searches to demonstrate what happens on a real search. To subscribe, send an email to and they'll provide you with full details.

EXHIBITION: The historical Hogarth's House in Chiswick hosts a free exhibition called The Small Self. The display commemorates the 250th anniversary of the death of the English painter and satirist. Free, until 11 January 2015

JUMBLE TRAIL: The area around St James Street in Walthamstow holds a jumble trail. Locals set up jumble sales in their front gardens to get rid of unwanted belonging and make some money, and other people buy their things and get to meet the neighbours. Free, just turn up, 10am-3pm

ANTIQUES FAIR: Adams Antiques Fair is on at the Royal Horticultural Society, with traders coming from all over Europe and the UK. This month there are dealers specializing in antique linens, fine jewellery, silver, ceramics and paintings amongst other items. £4/£2, prebook, 10am-4.30pm

WEDDING FAIR: The Foodie Wedding Fair is at Skinners Hall on Cannon Street, providing culinary inspiration to brides and grooms-to-be. Exhibitors confirmed so far include City of London Distillery, The London Tea Company and many more. £4, prebook, 11am-4pm

STREET FESTIVAL: A Perfect Day street festival takes place today in Avenue Road, close to Regent's Park. There will be a funfair, food stalls, professional stages, demonstrations, boutique and craft stalls, a dog show, games, interactive theatre, famous faces and much more. Free, just turn up, 12pm-5.30pm

GOLDEN KITE: The Lyceum Theatre hosts an evening of song, dance and spoken word performed by the cast of The Lion King and the orchestra, crew and staff of the Lyceum Theatre. Free, prebook, 7pm

COMEDY NIGHT: Laught Out London comedy club is at The Lion in Stoke Newington tonight. Acts confirmed are: Nish Kumar, Tom Craine, Eleanor Morton, Anna Morris and Matthew Highton. £5/£3, prebook, 7pm

SAMPLE SALE: Brixton Ritzy Cinema hosts a sample sale in its upstairs space. More than a merchandise mash up, there will be a hip hop karaoke and live DJ music. Free, prebook, from 7.30pm

Totally Thames

Londonist is proud media partner to Totally Thames, the river-based festival taking place throughout September. Each weekend, we’ll be bringing you our pick of Totally Thames events taking place on Saturday and Sunday. See individual events for prices and other information.

LONDONIST AFLOAT: Not got your tickets for Londonist’s very own river-based adventures yet? What’s stopping you? We’re running a series of talks covering every thing from river-based trivia. Members of Team Londonist will be onboard all weekend and we’d love to meet you. Tickets are £7.50 each, but if you’re having trouble choosing which events to go to (and who could blame you?) we’re offering day passes for £15. Go on, get your tickets here. 20-21 September

WORDS ON WATER: Wasafiri (an international contemporary writing magazine) celebrates its 30th birthday with six acclaimed contemporary writers sharing readings of their work, while aboard a boat on the Thames. £15 including a free copy of Wasafiri’s 30th birthday magazine, 21 September

Check out our map of free things to do in London for more frugal fun. Or pop over to who also have plenty of great ideas.

Last Updated 14 September 2014