Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 16-22 July 2018

All week

Life's a beach at the Royal Docks.

BANKSY'S GREATEST HITS: You might be surprised to discover the work of the undisputed king of contemporary street art adorning the walls of a Mayfair gallery, but Banksy and Lanzic co-founder Steve Lazarides actually go way back — with the latter having photographed the elusive artist in '97. This new exhibition brings together an eclectic array of Banksy's work; from stencilled canvases, to unique paintings, limited edition prints and more. Lanzic (Mayfair), free, just turn up, 12 July-25 August

JUST BEACHY: Grab your sunnies and get ready to catch some rays at the Royal Docks urban beach. There's tonnes of golden sand, an outdoor pool and a floating sun deck —best of all, though, entry is free. Royal Victoria Dock, free, just turn up, 10am-6pm, 18 July-2 September

EVOLVING LANDSCAPES: From abstract imagery to urban snaps, contemporary landscape photography boasts a wide spectrum of interpretations. See how the genre has grown over the last 25 years in this exhibition featuring the work of over 20 photographers. gallery@oxo (Oxo Tower Wharf), free, just turn up, 11am-6pm, 18-22 July

Monday 16 July

Laugh your socks off with Alex Edelman.

GO BANANAS: Experience the decadence of a central London taxi ride without the eye-watering fare. Simply grab a Chiquita-branded banana and keep your eye out for their yellow cabs stationed around Covent Garden Piazza. If you manage to flag one down, you'll be ferried to wherever you like in Zones 1 and 2 for free. Covent Garden Piazza, free, just turn up, 9am-5pm

SLEEPING TREES: From scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, to trekking the ancient Inca trails of Peru to, er...dogging in Blackpool — the comedy troupe Sleeping Trees have done it all. Now, the trio of tricksters return to Islington with an adventure so daring they promise it'll make Indiana Jones look like Emmerdale. The Bill Murray (Islington), £5 to reserve a seat/pay what you want OTD, book ahead, 6.45pm-7.45pm

ALEX EDELMAN: Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Alex Edelman takes on jigsaw-loving Nazis and tribalism in his third solo show. See the Boston native perform live ahead of his return to the Fringe. Pleasance Theatre (Islington), £5, book ahead, 9pm

Tuesday 17 July

A swimming gala for dogs makes a splash in Hackney.

DOG SWIMMING GALA: Yep, you read that right — a pool party for your loyal hounds is coming to Hackney. There's canine-themed inflatables, icy dog treats and even a game of pooch polo for your four-legged friends to enjoy, courtesy of Rover.com. West Reservoir Water Sports Centre (Hackney), free, book ahead, 4pm-5.30pm

MUSIC AND MORALE: From hymns at church parades, to satirical concert parties, music was a vital spirit-lifter for servicemen fighting in the first world war. At this lecture, you'll learn about the tuneful pastimes that became a staple of RFC and RAF life from 1914 to 1918. Museum of Croydon, free, book ahead, 6pm

LOST IN THE MANOR: Hear Aussie singer-songwriter Ben Salter perform for free at the Finsbury Pub. Having toured with the lies of Cat Power and Counting Crows, his work ranges from acoustic ballads to avant garde soundscapes. The Finsbury Pub (Harringay), free, book ahead, 7pm-11pm

Wednesday 18 July

Discover emerging photographic talent while raising money for charity.

A DISSONANT HARMONY: What happens when two artists with two completely different painting methods collaborate on the same canvas? Find out at this exhibition from Robinson & McMahon. One Paved Court (Richmond), free, just turn up, 12pm-5pm, until 28 July

GUANGZHOU LIWAN YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: London's amateur youth music festival for choral, orchestral, instrumental, and dance ensembles presents a free concert in Southwark Cathedral. Entertaining your ears today are the Guangzhou Liwan Youth Symphony Orchestra, all the way from China. Southwark Cathedral, free, just turn up, 3.30pm

PLATFORMS PRESENTS: Promoters of underground artists, Platforms, presents a night of photography and vinyl spinning, with the aim of engineering collaboration. All the proceeds from tonight's event go to youth mental health charity Happy Space. Gallery Cafe (St Margaret's House), £1, just turn up, 7.30pm

Thursday 19 July

Discover That Old Black Magic with Cathi Unsworth.

SARNIES IN SOHO: A fiver for a sandwich might not sound like much of steal, but considering these ones are being rustled up by two of the world's best deli chefs, Hellman's new pop up should be worth your dough. Try Mogg's iconic salt beef, or plump for the Sandwich of the Year — the Menage a Trois — from San Francisco institution Ike's. Hellman's Deli Exchange, 3 Bateman Street (Soho), £5, just turn up, 10am-5pm, until 21 July

FEELING CHILLI: Spice up your lunchtime with the help of Radical Kitchen — the Serpentine's series of lunch time talks. Today, it's the turn of researcher and east African supper club founder Fozia Ismail, who'll be considering the story of the humble chilli. Serpentine Pavilion, free, just turn up, 1pm

CATHI UNSWORTH: If you're a sucker for an unsolved mystery with a whiff of the supernatural about it, Cathi Unsworth's pop cultural crime novels might just be your new addiction. Discover her latest work, That Old Black Magic, which interweaves the true stories of the Hagley Woods mystery of 1943 and the trial of the last woman to be prosecuted for witchcraft in the UK. Conway Hall (Bloomsbury), £5, book ahead, 7.30pm-9pm

COMEDY SHOWCASE: Forget pricey train fares and booked out B&Bs, Piccadilly Comedy Club is conjuring up the spirit of the Edinburgh Fringe in the heart of the Big Smoke. Basically, it's a free entry comedy show with a collection at the end. Tonight you'll see Daisy Earl (The Scotman's Scottish Comedian of the Year), Sunil Patel, and many more. The Comedy Pub (Piccadilly), free, just turn up, 8pm-10pm

Friday 20 July

Those three magic words: free cookie dough.

FREE DOUGH DAY: If you were (or still are) the kid that preferred licking the mixing bowl to the actual cake, we've got your dream event. Naked Dough are giving away free scoops of their cookie dough all day to celebrate the launch of their new Camden cafe. Naked Dough (Stables Market), free, just turn up, 11am-8pm (or until the dough runs out)

FEMINIST LIBRARY ON LOAN: Curl up with a good book or three from the Feminist Library's collection. There's comfy seating, kids' activities, and everything you need to make a decent cuppa. The Showroom (Marylebone), free, just turn up, 12pm-6pm, until 11 August

LUNCHTIME HARP RECITAL: Three of Europe's most exciting classical musicians are coming to Spitalfields for a concert of music for the voice and harp. Soprano Héloïse Werner, mezzo-soprano Lucy Goddard, and Official Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales, Anne Denholm performing celebrated works by women composers beats your date with a supermarket meal deal any day. Draper's Hall (Spitalfields), £4/£5, book ahead, 1pm-1.50pm

KATE HUTCHINSON: Broadcaster and music journo Kate Hutchinson takes over the decks at the Tate Modern as part of her summer DJ series. She claims to have got stoic C4 newsreader Jon Snow shimmying, so she's bound to get you onto the dance floor. Terrace Bar, Tate Modern (Bankside), free, just turn up, 7pm-11pm

Saturday 21 July

Boogie with your babies at a family dance day.

FAMILY DANCE DAY: From face painting to a pop up ping pong performance, there's plenty to keep your tots entertained today at The Place. You can even pick up a racket at have a go bouncing some balls yourself. The Place (Euston), free, just turn up, all day

ELSYNG PALACE EXCAVATION: Take your  tiny Tony Robinsons to find out what archaeologists have dug up at Elsyng Palace this year. On this kids' picture trail your 4-11-year-olds will learn all manner of fun facts about these royal hunting grounds that once hosted Henry VIII. Forty Hall (Enfield), £3/£5, book ahead, 11am-3pm

CIDER DOG: Normally, you'd have better luck looking for a needle in a haystack than finding a pint of decent cider for less than four quid in Zone 1. But for one day only, Ciderdog is bringing over 100 British ciders and perries to London Bridge for just £3.50 a pop. The Solid Steel Band will also be there to get you grooving. The Miller (London Bridge), free entry, just turn up, 12pm-1am

SLIP 'N SLIDE: Fingers crossed for decent weather this weekend, because an epic Slip 'N Slide event is coming to Lambeth Country Show. So pack your swim stuff and prepare to plunge 50 feet down Vita Coco Coconut Water's inflatable slide. Lambeth Country Show (Brockwell Park), free, just turn up, 12pm-8pm, until 22 July

BENEATH THE SURFACE: Join our very own visual arts editor Tabish Khan for an evening chat with artist Thomas J. Price. They'll be discussing Price's figurative sculptures, which draw on observed individuals, media archetypes, and ancient, classical, and neo-classical sculptures to create psychological portraits of imagined subjects. Under the Leadenhall Building, free, book ahead, 8pm-9pm

Sunday 22 July

Dig in to the history of Fulham Palace.

MINDFULNESS IN NATURE: Wrap up the week with a moment of calm amid the natural beauty of Springfield Park. Mel Sutton will show you a mindful approach to every day living at this Mindfulness in Nature walkshop. White Lodge Mansion, Springfield Park (Clapton), £5, book ahead, 11am-12.15pm

JAMES OSTRER: It's your last chance to see James Ostrer's latest exhibition in collaboration with African curator Azu Nwagbogu. See his unpacking of racism, greed, self-loathing, and the cultural context from which they arise, through his installations, bawdy sculptural works, and video. Gazelli Art House (Mayfair), free, just turn up, 11am-7pm

FULHAM PALACE ARCHAEOLOGY: Get stuck into the rich history of Fulham Palace — from Neolithic settlement to medieval manor and beyond — at  hands on archaeology tour suitable for all ages. (Fulham), free, just turn up, 1pm-3pm

ROB AUTON AND STEVE BUGEJA: Comedian/thespian/spoken word artist Rob Auton is ready to talk about talking in his aptly named Edinburgh preview The Talk Show. He's followed by BBC New Comedy Award Winner Steve Bugeja. Pleasance Theatre (Islington), £5, book ahead, 7.45pm

Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing...

Lost London Walking Tour


London is a city of incredible transformation. With structural remains that date back to ancient history still in existence, this unique walking tour takes in Lost London in all its former glory. From the Titanic booking office to the graveyards of man's best friend, you'll discover the weird and wonderful places that used to exist in the capital but are now only committed to memory. Using old photographs, newspaper cuttings and stories from the past, you'll be amazed at what has largely been written out of our history books...   Get tickets

Forgotten Old London


Have you visited London's Roman ampitheatre? What about London's Medieval market places? Hear weird and wonderful tales of our beautiful city as you take a walking tour, seeing everything from centuries-old churches to the hanging place of William Wallace. Whether you've lived here all your life or are visiting for a few days, you're sure to learn something new about London. Get tickets

A Secret London Tour


How well do you really know London? Visit the streets that inspired Harry Potter locations and see London's most superstitious hotel. On Matt's tour you will explore hidden places and discover stories unknown to even the most knowledgeable of Londoners. Get tickets

Paddle Boarding in East London - Beginners


Take to the waters and glide about in this beginner paddleboarding session. By the end of it, you'll be standing up and paddling solo, and there's plenty of help on hand to improve your technique. Change of clothes required.  Get tickets