Free And Cheap London Events: 22-28 September 2014

By Silvia Baretta Last edited 41 months ago
Free And Cheap London Events: 22-28 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.

Enjoy free fitness classes at the London Aquatics Centre this week. Details below

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

BOOK FESTIVAL: Pimlico Library hosts a free book festival, with a series of authors presenting their new books. All events are free and the first 20 attendees of each event get a gift. Free, various dates until 3 October  

STAY FIT: The London Aquatics Centre in Stratford offers free outdoor fitness this month. Activities include: boot camps, women's running club and postnatal exercises for new mums. See website for full programme. Free, prebook, until 1 October

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

CREPUSCULAR ART: The crypt beneath St Pancras church hosts Crepuscular, a collection of eclectic and innovative contemporary artworks in various media created by a collective of 11 artists. Free, until 28 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 22 September

TENNESSEE WILLIAMS: In today’s National Theatre Platform, John Lahr talks to Nicholas Hytner about playwright Tennessee Williams, as Lahr’s biography of Williams, Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, is published. Followed by a book signing. £4/£3, prebook, 6pm

ANDREW MARR: King’s College has a new series of events in which journalists talk about a novel which changed their lives. First up is Andrew Marr, talking about Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, interviewed by Mary-Kay Wilmers. £5, prebook, 6.30pm

LEONARD COHEN: Head to the Underbelly in Shoreditch and celebrate Leonard Cohen's 80th birthday. During the night, solo singer Lail Arad launches her new single: 1934 (A Song For Leonard Cohen). £5, prebook, 7.30pm

COMEDY: The Loft Tickler Free Comedy Night takes place at The Loft in Clapham. Tonight's headliner is Joel Dommett from BBC3's Impractical Jokers plus Gary From Leeds, Jenny Collier and Ian Lane. Free, just turn up, 8pm

Tuesday 23 September

FREE TALK: In 1956 at the age of 15, Roy Hamilton began his career as a compositor at the Windmill Press. He narrates his experiences of working in this dying trade and talks about typefaces, typesetting and page production, at the Artizan Street Library in Whitechapel.​ £1, just turn up, 12.30pm

GUILDHALL LIBRARY: Dr Gavin Dixon explores brass instrument manufacture in early 20th-century London, particularly focusing on instruments made for military use during the First World War. The event takes place inside the historical Guildhall Library in the City. Free, prebook, 6pm

MUSEUM OF LONDON: Professor Vernon Bogdanor from Gresham College is at the Museum of London tonight for a free lecture about the general election in 1945. This specific election saw the return of the first ever majority Labour government. Free, just turn up, 6pm

BOOK LAUNCH: Dr Huw Lewis-Jones is at Stanfords in Covent Garden to launch his new book The Crossing of Antarctica. This book captures awe-inspiring landscapes, intimate moments with the team and action shots of this extraordinary journey through 150 photographs. £3, prebook by email, 6.30pm

CRAFT WORKSHOP: Join a free African textile workshop and create your own textile print. Start to design your fabric and have a chance to use mono printing techniques. The event takes place at Fablab London, close to Bank. Free, prebook, 6.30pm

Source: Southbank Centre

Wednesday 24 September

SOUTHBANK: Koestler Trust presents Catching Dreams, a free exhibition on display at the Southbank Centre. Ex-offenders give their personal insights of how arts can reflect and enrich the lives of people in secure criminal justice settings. Free, until 30 November

EGYPT LONDON: UCL's The Petrie Museum hosts James Kneale who introduces a guide to mapping alternate London and creating gates that link the imperial metropolis to real and imagined visions of Egypt. One for alternative maps lovers. Free, prebook, 6pm

THEATRE PLATFORM: Kika Markham is at the National Theatre to present her latest book Our Time of Day. The author reflects on her passionate and turbulent marriage to Corin Redgrave, and their shared love of acting, family and left-wing activist politics. £4/£3, prebook, 6pm

ART TALK: Psiche Hughes, Beryl Bainbridge's closest friend, talks about her contribution to the exhibition about the artist currently on show at King's College Cultural Institute. The talk takes place at the Inigo Rooms, inside Somerset House. £5/£3, prebook, 6pm

COMEDY: Join a live comedy podcast recording taking place at the Camden Head pub tonight. Expect stand up comedy, music and games: hosts are Paul Gannon and Eli Silverman. Free, prebook, 7.30pm

MUSEUM LATE: The Science Museum hosts its periodic late opening; this time the theme is magic and illusion. Expect magical trickery and live music, a pub quiz, comedy shows and a silent disco. Free, just turn up, from 6.45pm

Thursday 25 September

FREE WALK: Join CoolTan Arts CoolWalks for a free walk that focuses on the streets and buildings of Borough and Bankside that many familiar films have used as their backdrop. Meeting point is John Harvard Library. Free, just turn up, 12.30pm-3pm

MAPS TALK: Listen to unusual stories about the world of maps at The National Archive. Authors and map archivists Rose Mitchell and Andrew Janes explain who made the maps, why they were made, and what they tell us about the politics of the time. Free, prebook, 2pm

LIBRARY LATE: The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich dedicates an evening to explorer Thomas Cook. This talk will use a collection of prints and drawings, rare books and manuscripts to open a discussion on Cook’s voyages and their contemporary significance. £5/£4, prebook, 6.15pm

LONGITUDE TALK: Lord Martin Rees FRS and Dr Rebekah Higgitt are at The Royal Society tonight for a talk about longitude. They'll explore the history of longitude measurement methods. £5/£4, prebook, 6.30pm

POETRY EVENT: Poems in English and Arabic by British poet Jenny Lewis and Iraqi poet Adnan Al-Sayegh, will be launched tonight at Keats House. There will be a live music and reading performance as well. Free, prebook, 7pm

COMEDY: Stand Up Tragedy gig takes place tonight at The Dog Star in Brixton. The show is the comedians' performance at this year's Edinburgh Fringe. Free (donations welcome), just turn up, 7.30pm

LUNCH BREAK: The Grant Museum of Zoology hosts PhD researcher David Curnick who chooses one item from the museum's collection and talks about it. Free, just turn up, 1pm

FORTEAN SOCIETY: From aliens and monsters to ghostly paintings, listen to how Paolo Viscardi from the London Fortean Society interprets the unusual in our world according to what we find familiar in our culture. The event takes place at the Dirty Dicks pub in Liverpool Street. £3/£2, just turn up, 8pm

Friday 26 September

MALAYSIA NIGHT: Experience Malaysian cuisine and culture with an all-day celebration happening in Trafalgar Square. There will be food stalls, music and dances. Free, just turn up, 12pm-10pm

RESEARCH WORKSHOP: City of London Libraries has recently launched a discovery search, which means you can now use one search for all print and e-resources. This workshop taking place at the Guildhall Library helps you get the most out of this tool. Free, prebook, 2pm

SCIENCE UNCOVERED: Enjoy exclusive access specimens and items of the Natural History Museum as the museum throws open its doors for Science Uncovered. This annual festival of science is part of European Researchers' Night. Free, just turn up, from 3pm

MUSEUM LATE: The V&A hosts its regular late opening, the theme being visual culture in London. Expect an ever-changing, curated programme of live performances, cutting-edge fashion, film, installations, debates, special guests and DJs, with bars, food and late-night exhibition openings. Free, just turn up, from 6.30pm

Join London Dreamtime for a night of urban storytelling. Details below

Saturday 27 September

FREE WALKS: This weekend is Walk London Autumn Ambles Weekend. There are more than 40 free guided walks for you to explore the capital, see website for full programme. Free, 27-28 September  

ART TRAIL: This weekend and next, 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, 27-28 September

CHILDREN THEATRE: What happens when two mice go looking for their perfect loft-converted home in an old church? St John Church in Hackney hosts the first musical production of Hackney Children's Theatre. £5, prebook, 11am and 2pm

HARRINGAY PARTY: Live music, street food, bars, an art exhibition and lots more is going on at Harringay Block Party in Portland Gardens, N4. The area goes traffic free for the day to celebrate local producers and local talent. Free, just turn up, 12pm-6pm

PROTEIN PARTY: Head to the New Inn Yard in Shoreditch and enjoy the free Protein Block Party. There will be food, drinks, music and live entertainment. Free, prebooking essential, 12pm-6.30pm

FILM SCREENING: The Swedenborg Society in Bloomsbury presents a double bill of films by filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, known for his life-long interest in William Blake and more recent explorations of Swedenborg. Free, prebook by email, 5pm-10pm

NUMBER 90: Hackney's Number 90 bar hosts a free-entry evening of music to celebrate the end of the summer. There will be music, food and plenty to drink. Free, just turn up, from 5pm

LONDON DREAMTIME: Join professional storytellers Vanessa and Nigel in a secret location close to Nunhead for stories and songs to welcome the arrival of autumn. Wrap up warm and bring a candle — booking is essential to secure your place. £3, prebook by email, 5.30pm

Sunday 28 September

JUMBLE TRAIL: The area around Peckham holds a jumble trail. Locals set up jumble sales in their front gardens to get rid of unwanted belongings and make some money; as well as buying stuff you get to meet your neighbours. Free, just turn up, 11am-4pm

HISTORY FAIR: The borough of Bexley and Crayford Town Archive present a Local History Fair, where 12 local societies will be ready and willing to talk to visitors about their particular interests. Free, just turn up, 10am-4pm


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.

STEAM GIANTS: The newly refurbished Museum of Water and Steam in Brentford presents indoor and outdoor hands-on activities to learn about London's water through time and the amazing changes in technology to bring it to our taps. £11.50/£10, prebook, 27-28 September

GUIDED WALK: Follow guide Pete Smith on a guided tour starting from St Paul’s Cathedral. Follow the Thames as far as the Tower of London, encountering a wobbly bridge, a church dedicated to a former pirate and even the site of London’s first public lavatory. £7, just turn up, Saturday 27 September 11am

TIDE FEST: Learn new sport activities such as paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing and river dipping. TideFest free lessons take place today in different places across the capital. Check the website for venues and booking. Free, Sunday 28 September 8am-5pm


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

Last Updated 21 September 2014