Free And Cheap Things To Do In London This Week: 16-22 October 2017

Kyra Hanson
By Kyra Hanson Last edited 15 months ago

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Free And Cheap Things To Do In London This Week: 16-22 October 2017
It's Apple Day at Borough Market on 22 October. Photo: Simon & His Camera

All week

140 YEARS OF SOUND: While we're all waiting for a time machine to be created, the next best thing is immersing yourself in the sounds of the last 140 years at the British Library's sound booth. It's no Tardis but it is damn interesting. British Library, free, just turn up, until 11 March

BLOOMSBURY FESTIVAL: There's something for everyone at Bloomsbury Festival, five jam-packed days covering arts, science, literature and performance. Browse the programme here. Free, book ahead, 18-22 October

CITY SCULPTURE: It's not SO cold that you can't spend an afternoon checking out this urban sculpture trail, featuring the work of big shot artists such as Damien Hirst. Various locations, free, just turn up, until 1 May 2018

Check out the flower and flea market at Flat Iron Square this weekend.

Monday 16 October

SEABIRD'S CRY: World seabird populations have reduced by a third since 1950. This talk looks at how scientists and writers can work together to turn that shocking stat around. The Royal Society, free, just turn up, 6.30pm (doors 6pm)-7.30pm

JOURNO TALK: Hear former FT journo Paul Lendvai discuss his latest book on the rise of Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán, who happens to be a big Trump and Putin fan. Waterstones Tottenham Court Road, £5, book ahead, 6.30pm

RIGHT FUNNY COMEDY: This Battersea-based comedy night is easily one of the best places to discover new hilarious acts and show off your material if you're a performer. Hawkins Forge, free, book ahead, 7.30pm

Tuesday 17 October

Little football fans can explore Emirates Stadium for free. Photo: Dave Pearce

EMIRATES STADIUM: Got a football fan in the family? From today, kids go free on all self-guided audio tours at Emirates Stadium, just quote "kids go free" at the Stadium Tours desk. (Valid for one child per paying adult). Emirates Stadium, £22 for an adult, book ahead, until 31 October

MATH TALK: You'll regret not listening more in GCSE maths after you've heard this talk on how maths can save your life. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 1pm-2pm

SHAKESPEARE: Will we ever run out of lectures to give on the old Bard? Probably not. This one tells the story of how and why Shakespeare loved the classics. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

LOLITICS: Finally, a comedy night where the stand up doesn't spend the first half of the show taking the piss out of the audience. Expect optimism, passion and hopefully a few laughs at this "friendly lefty political" comedy club. The Black Heart (Camden), £5, book ahead, 7.30pm

Wednesday 18 October

It's describing itself as the world's first Instagram travel agency and it wants to take you to Scotland.

LONDON PHOTO SHOW: All the best travel, culture, urban, architecture, landscape and documentary photography in one place from 30 people who really know how to work a camera. Strand Gallery, free, just turn up, 11am-6pm, until 23 October

INSTA TRAVEL AGENCY: You can now create your perfect holiday itinerary in Scotland via your fave Insta pics at this popup from the hipsters over at Visit Scotland. Have we reached peak 2017? Quite possibly. Woolff Gallery, free, just turn up, until 21 October

BOOK OF DUST: Join Caitlin Moran, Mark Grist and other guests for a fun midnight opening celebrating the release of Le Belle Sauvage, the first in Philip Pullman’s highly-anticipated Book of Dust trilogy. Waterstones Tottenham Court Road, £5, book ahead, 8.30pm-12.30am

Thursday 19 October

Spend the evening at Waterstones engrossed in poetry.

CASS ART FESTIVAL: An art-filled festival featuring five floors of fabulous artwork, installations, plus creative workshops using acrylic, watercolours, mixed media and more. Barge House, Oxo Tower Wharf, free, just turn up, until 22 October

PSYCHOPATH TALK: 'Why do some people become psychopaths?' is the intriguing question posed by this talk looking at why certain people lack empathy and guilt, and manipulate other people into violence. The Royal Society, free, just turn up, 6.30pm (doors 6pm)-7.30pm

BLOODY LATE: Not for the fainthearted, this one. Expect performances, music, talks and activities exploring the scientific and symbolic nature of blood. Horniman Museum (Forest Hill), £5, book ahead, 6.30pm-9.30pm

POETRY: A new poetry series pairing rising stars with established poets. Tonight, hear readings from Irish poet Daniel Roy Connelly and Penned in the Margins poet Melissa Lee-Houghton. Waterstones Tottenham Court Road, £5, book ahead, 7pm

SOHO SPEAKS: Soho might have lost its seedy speak but it's still good for shopping. Tailor Mark Powell talks about dressing the likes of David Bowie. Mark Powell (Marshall Street), free, just turn up, 7pm-9pm

Friday 20 October

A crowd at Mascara Bar during last year's music festival. © Stoke Newington Music Festival (2016)

STOKEY MUSIC FEST: Three days of live music spread out across Stokey's well-loved venues, including Ryan's N16, Mascara Bar, St Paul's Church West Hackney and others. Various venues, free, (£5 donation to Brook charity encouraged), just turn up, until 22 October

EXPERIMENTAL WRITING: If the classics don't cut it for you anymore, find out where all the contemporary innovative works are at this discussion featuring authors Eley Williams, David Hayden and Russell Persson. Burly Fisher Books, £4, book ahead, 7pm

LATE SHIFT: Get your culture fix at this weekly after hours event, where you can draw, see performances, hear talks or just relax with a drink at the Late Shift bar. National Portrait Gallery, free entry, just turn up, every Thursday and Friday, until 9pm

Saturday 21 October

Hear a talk on prostitutes in the Georgian era at the Foundling Museum. Photo: Matt Brown

FLOWERS & FLEA: Get urban gardening tips, pick up some plants and take part in free workshops on floral design, seed sowing, autumnal flower crowns and miniature gardens at Flat Iron's regular flea market. Free, just turn up, until 17 October

OPEN JAM: Bring your dance moves, instruments, drawing materials — whatever you like — to this open jamming session. Trip Space, free (pay as you feel), just turn up, 4.30pm-7pm

APPLE DAY: Bob, peel and press apples before filling your face with them. Plus, have a gander at local canal crafts or vintage frocks from the floating market with a cider in hand. River Lea, Stonebridge Lock, free entry, just turn up, noon-6pm

HISTORY CLUB: Leaf through old photographs, maps, newspapers and archival documents which collectively tell the story of the East End. Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives, free, just turn up, 2pm-4pm

INDEPENDENT WOMEN: A talk on the abuse and exploitation of courtesans and prostitutes in the Georgian era. The Foundling Museum, £3/£5, book ahead, 3pm-5pm

ITALIAN LITERATURE: Two days of discussion and readings with Italian, British and international authors, interspersed with DJ sets. The Print Room, free-£5, book ahead, until 22 October

Sunday 22 October

Browse vinyl at Hackney Record Fair.

RECORD FAIR: Spend your Sunday rummaging through crates of vinyl, discovering new labels and having your rare records restored. EPIC Dalston, free entry, just turn up, 11am-6pm

WITCH TALES: Head witch and professional storyteller Liz Fost leads a spooky story time session for little ones, in celebration of a new Enid Blyton collection. Foyles Charing Cross, free, book ahead, noon-1pm

BOROUGH MARKET: It's apple day at Borough Market, which means traditional games, Morris dancing and the famed apple peeling competition. Borough Market, free, just turn up, noon-4pm

FILM FEST: See award-winning short films by Bulgarian filmmakers, (with English subtitles). Bulgarian Cultural Institute, free, book ahead, 7pm-10pm

Last Updated 18 October 2017