Free And Cheap London Events: 6-12 October 2014

By Silvia Baretta Last edited 50 months ago
Free And Cheap London Events: 6-12 October 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.

Spitalfields Art Market takes place this week. Details below

All Week

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.

BUY DIRECT: Spitalfields Art Market covers many mediums, predominantly painting and photography, giving you a chance to buy direct from the artists, cutting out the middle man and letting everyone go home happy. 9-12 October

ART EXHIBITION: See Beware Wet Paint at ICA. This is a group show of individual works by artists for whom painting forms a single strand within a multidisciplinary practice. £1, until 16 November

Monday 6 October

EXILED WRITERS: The monthly gathering of writers exiled from their homeland takes place at Poetry Cafe, with featured performances. Hosted by Jennifer Langer. £4/£2, just turn up, 7.30pm

COMEDY: The Loft Tickler Free Comedy Night takes place at The Loft in Clapham. Tonight’s acts are Nick Helm, Dan Green, Lea Rose Emery, Paul Duncan McGarrity and Tony Dunn. Free, just turn up, 8pm

MORE COMEDY: Head to the Dirty Dick's Pub in Liverpool Street and enjoy a night of stand up comedy and open-mic. Some of the acts confirmed are Andy J. Wilson, Edward At Last and Njambi McGrath. Free, just turn up, from 8pm

Tuesday 7 October

GET INSPIRED: Noise Festival Exhibition opens today at More London. Take a stroll along the Queen’s Walk and enjoy this free outdoor exhibition. On display are works by 55 up-and-coming creatives selected by the festival’s curators. Free, until 7 November

FRENCH ART: >frenchartstudio gallery presents an exhibition dedicated to French street artist Tancrède Perrot, aka Tanc. The private view is tonight and the artist will be there: you can book your place in advance online. Free, until 5 November

MUSEUM LATE: Sir John Soane's Museum opens its doors after normal closing time and gets lit by candlelight. This is a free event but we suggest you get there early, as entrance is on a first-come first-served basis and always very popular. Free, just turn up, from 6pm

CINEMA NIGHT: Head to The Book Club in Shoreditch for an evening of short films and animations. The theme — not very jolly — is the end of the world and apocalypse. Free, prebook, from 7pm

LET'S DANCE: The Social in Oxford Circus hosts a music night called The Fix. Live acts from Nothing But Thieves, Secret Company and Stealth. Free, prebook by email, 7pm

POETRY: Burn After Reading is hosted by a community of emerging young poets, each month featuring the foremost voices of poetry and spoken word. This month is a transatlantic special featuring R.A. Villanueva and Paula Varjack, taking place in Seven Dials Club, Covent Garden. £3, just turn up, 7.45pm

Enjoy a free Shakespeare play in Exchange Square. Details below

Wednesday 8 October

LUNCH BREAK: UCL's Grant Museum of Zoology hosts its regular learning session Show 'n' Tell. PhD student Hannah Robson will talk about one object taken from the museum's collection. Free, just turn up, 1pm

FILM SCREENING: See Beryl's Last Year screened tonight at King's College Anatomy Lecture Theatre. This film is connected to the exhibition about artist Beryl Bainbridge. £5/£3, prebook, 6.30pm

FREE SHAKESPEARE: Enjoy a free outdoor performance of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice at Exchange Square, just off Liverpool Street. The show is brought on stage by London Contemporary Theatre company. Free, just turn up, today and tomorrow, 6.30pm

MUSIC TALK: Go to Ace Hotel in Shoreditch for a free talk hosted by Bill Brewster from Late Night Tales. He will be in conversation with Robert Raths from Erased Tapes, Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy from Classic Album Sundays and Robin Murray from Clash Magazine. Free, prebook, 7pm

FORTEAN SOCIETY: Head to The Bell pub in Liverpool Street for a talk about The Slendermen. Cat Vincent from London Fortean Society talks about this modern monster. £3/£2, just turn up, 7.30pm

Thursday 9 October

UCL LECTURE: Listen to cultural field specialist Dennis Rodwell talk about sustainable development and heritage conservation. The event takes place at UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage. Free, prebook, 6pm

LIBRARY LATE: The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich hosts a talk which explores naval war gaming from Fred T. Jane to the present. The talk is led by curator Andrew Choong. £5/£4, prebook, 6.15pm

FOREIGN LANGUAGE: Interested in learning a new language? Lingua Diversa Group offers an introductory lesson to Spanish at its offices in Holborn. £5, prebook by email, 6.30pm-7.30pm

UGANDA DAY: London's School of Uganglish opens its door to the public on Ugandan Independence Day. View the works by Uganglish community printers, create your own textile print to join their installation and sip on a cup of chaise — a traditional spiced tea. Free, just turn up, 7pm

FOLK MUSIC: Join folk singer and songwriter Nigel of Bermondsey and author Dave Arthur for a gig at The Old King's Head tonight. They will give their tribute to Albert Lancaster Lloyd, an English folk singer who was a key figure in the folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s. £3/£1.50, prebook by email, 8pm

Friday 10 October

ART TALK: Artist Nadia Kaabi-Linke, whose first UK solo exhibition is currently on show at The Mosaic Rooms, speaks with Lorenzo Fusi, director of Open Eye Gallery, about her art. The event takes place at the ICA. £5, prebook, 1pm  

PUBLIC LECTURE: The Royal College of Nursing in Cavendish Square hosts a public lecture in occasion of World Mental Health Day. The event is free but prebooking is required. Free, prebook, 6pm

LIVE MUSIC: Head to The Montague Arms in New Cross for an evening of free music. On stage will be Tweed & Hyenas, Little Liar, King Of Hearts and True Collectives. Free, just turn up, from 7.30pm

Explore Brixton Market with a guided tour this weekend. Photo by Cheylene on Flickr

Saturday 11 October

OPEN STUDIOS: For the first two weekends in October, artists currently working in the Wandsworth area open the doors of their studios to the public. Browse the website to discover the different art trails you can undertake. Free, 11-12 October

RIVER THAMES: Wilton’s & the River is a weekend of free activities dedicated to the River Thames, taking place at Wilton's Music Hall in Tower Hill. The line-up of events includes workshops, talks, family activities and of course drink and food stalls. Some of the events need to be prebooked. Free, 11-12 October

VISIT A CHURCH: For today only, St Paulinus Church in Crayford hosts an open day. Enjoy a variety of music including an organ recital, church choir performance and the worship band, try to ring its bells and have a tour of the old and new courtyards. Free, just turn up, 10am-4pm

OPEN DAY: Visit the historic Ilford Hospital Chapel for free and get a free guided tour if you fancy.  Free, just turn up, 10am-2.30pm

BOOKS ARE MY BAG: Dulwich Books celebrates this year's Books Are My Bag campaign with a day of events at the shop. The first 100 customers will receive a free Tracey Emin tote bag and free books, and authors and poets will be popping in throughout the day. Free, just turn up, 11am-3pm

AFRICAN CULTURE: As part of Black History Month, the Mayor of London's office has organised Africa on the Square, a celebration of African culture in Trafalgar Square. Expect live music, fashion, dance, stalls, food, plus fun activities for the kids. Free, just turn up, 12pm-6pm

STYLIST’S RAIL: The Stylist’s Rail gives the public a chance to browse and buy from the wardrobes of a selection of London’s top stylists and fashion folk, bang-on-trend vintage brands and up-and-coming independent designers. Plus live music and free cocktails, all at the Hoxton Hotel in Shoreditch. Free, just turn up, 12pm-5pm

BRIXTON MARKET: Explore Brixton and its popular market with Brixton Society. Tickets for this guided walk can be prebooked in advance by emailing, pay on the day. £3, prebook, 2.30pm

Sunday 12 October

ANTIQUES: Adams Antiques Fairs returns to the Royal Horticultural Halls in Victoria. Dealers specialising in antique linens, fine jewellery, silver, ceramics and paintings come from all over Europe to form over 140 stalls. £4, prebook, 10am

VISIT A BARN: Harmondsworth Barn is also known as the 'Cathedral of Middlesex'. The barn is now owned by English Heritage and today it opens its doors to the public. Free, just turn up, 11am-4pm

HONEY SHOW: Learn all about bees and beekeeping at Twickenham & Thames Valley Bee-Keepers Association's annual Honey Show at The Apiary in Twickenham. Free, just turn up, from 1pm

WARREN HOUSE: Enjoy the autumnal colours at the historical mansion as part of the National Garden Scheme. There will be free tours of the property by Vicky Good, author of The Warren House Tales, and tours of the historic gardens by head gardener Andrew Fuller. Tours are free after buying tickets to the house but prebook is essential, email to get your place. £3.50/free, prebook, 2pm/3pm/4pm

DRUMMING WORKSHOP: As part of AfroRetro's School of Uganglish month, there's a Busoga Drum workshop in Cambridge Heath. Listen to the sounds of the Busoga Drum and the Talenga Clan and learn to beat the Busoga style drums. Free, prebook, 3pm-7pm

COMEDY SHOW: The Camden Comedy Club hosts a stand up comedy show at Camden Head, about obscure people from history. £5, prebook, 4.30pm

PENNY READINGS: Head to The Clore Ballroom at Southbank Centre for The London Penny Readings. The event, which celebrates the triumph and struggles of human life,  follows on from the Victorian tradition where people could listen to literature being read aloud, all for the cost of one penny. Readers include writer and patron of The Reader Organisation Erwin James and Frank Heweston, Greenpeace activist. Free, prebook, 5pm

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 05 October 2014