11 Free And Cheap Things To Do In London This Week: 31 October-6 November 2022

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11 Free And Cheap Things To Do In London This Week: 31 October-6 November 2022

Things to do this week for £5 or less.

Artist Sophie Green sitting next to a canvas with a hyper-realistic painting of a tiger.
Sophie Green's artwork goes on display.

1. Ponder the horror of premature burial

It won't have escaped your notice that it's Halloween — and here's a free event that'll have you creeped out for days afterwards. Head to Guildhall Library for a free talk about the horrors of premature burial — or being buried alive, to put it bluntly. It still happens, apparently, and City Guide Robert Stephenson gives recent examples of people who were "saved from the brink".

The Horror of Premature Burial, free, 31 October.

2. See photos of Londoners on the tube

Most of us do it every day — multiple times, perhaps — and now someone's gone and created an exhibition about it. London Underground: Private Worlds in Public Spaces is a display of photos of Londoners riding on the tube. The images, which are on display at Barbican Library, were taken over a five-year period and celebrate the capital's diversity, and the everyday activity which unites us.

Londoners Underground: Private Worlds in Public Places, free, 1-23 November.

3. Grab yourself a £1 cup of Blank Street coffee

A montage of Blank Street coffee shops and punters

NY-founded coffee company Blank Street is opening not one, but two, new stores in London — in the City (2a Eastcheap) and Holborn (86 Kingsway). To entice you to come try their caffeinated wares, both new stores are offering £1 coffees on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week. Just walk in and ask for the £1 brew.

Get your coffee at the Holborn or City of London branch of Blank Street, 2-4 November

4. Admire wonderful wildlife art

Artist Sophie Green sitting next to her hyper-realistic painting of a lion's face and mane

Sophie Green is a talented environmental artist, as you'll see if you go to her latest exhibition, Impermanence. It's a show of 14 of her hyper-realistic paintings of endangered animal species, which she created by referencing photos she took of the creatures in their natural habitats. It's at gallery@oxo, and aims to raise awareness of, and money for, environmental causes — though it's completely free to visit.

Sophie Green: Impermanence, free, 2-13 November

5. Catch Turner on Tour

Here's a real treat for art fans — two rarely seen works by JMW Turner, back on display in the UK for the first time in a century. 'Harbour of Dieppe: Changement de Domicile' and 'Cologne, the Arrival of a Packet-Boat: Evening' haven't been in Britain since they were bought by American industrialist Henry Clay Frick in 1914, but now they're on temporary display at the National Gallery.

Turner on Tour, free, 3 November-19 February

6. Be among the first to visit Science Museum's new gallery

Architect's sketch of the entrance to Technicians The David Sainsbury Gallery at the Science Museum
© JAC Studios

South Kensington's Science Museum opens a new — and free — permanent gallery. Technicians: The David Sainsbury Gallery offers an insight into the role technicians play in various sectors, from creating special effects in Hollywood films to fixing wind turbines, or analysing blood samples. It's a hands-on gallery, with interactive activities including the chance to pilot a remotely operated vehicle on the ocean floor.

Technicians: The David Sainsbury Gallery, free, from 3 November.

7. Ogle historic and treasonous documents

Aptly opening on Bonfire Night, The National Archives' new exhibition, Treason: People, Power and Plot, looks at the changing nature of justice through history. The Guy Fawkes plot features, with the original Monteagle Letter — which alerted those in power to the Gunpowder Plot — on display, but it also tells the stories of Anne Boleyn, enslaved Baptist preacher Samuel Sharpe, and others.

Treason: People, Power and Plot, free, from 5 November.

8. Cheer on vintage vehicles on the Veteran Car Run

Image: The Veteran Car Run

The Veteran Car Run involves more than 100 pre-1905 cars winding their way through central London in the early hours of Sunday morning, as they set off towards Brighton. It's free to watch them setting off, though you'll need to forego that lie-in — they depart Hyde Park at 7am, heading down Constitution Hill and The Mall, crossing Westminster Bridge and pootling through Brixton, Streatham and Croydon, en-route to the coast.

Veteran Car Run, free, 6 November.

9. Experience Indonesia without leaving London

Need a holiday, but got a budget that's more Acton than Asia? Yeah, us too — so head to Vinegar Yard near London Bridge for Indonesia Day, part of a three-day festival by the Indonesian Embassy in London. It claims to offer 'a glimpse of living as a native Indonesian', with live music and performing arts, prize draws, games and giveaways, including the chance to win a holiday to Bali and Labuan Bajo. There's also an artisan market and food stalls, if you've got a few quid to spare.

Indonesia Day, free, 6 November.

10. Step into Wes Anderson's world

A bright yellow building with a stunning snowy mountain backdrop
Image by @matthijsvmierlo

There's still time to see the Accidentally Wes Anderson exhibition at One Hundred Shoreditch. It's an immersive exhibition of photos from the Accidentally Wes Anderson Instagram account, which posts images replicating the pastel hues and striking symmetry seen in the kooky director's films. 3D model recreations of picture perfect scenes invite you to step inside.

Accidentally Wes Anderson, free, until 13 November.

11. See a snapshot of current-day Kingston

Local history and preservation group The Kingston Society celebrates its 60th anniversary with a free  photographic exhibition highlighting how its members have helped shape the borough since the group was founded in 1962.

As well as highlighting big moments in Kington's history, Right Here Right Now displays photos of Kingston in 2022, submitted by the public and designed to act as a snapshot of what the borough looks like now, for future generations.

Right Here Right Now, free, until 13 November.


Looking for more free things to do in London? Here are 102 of em!

We've also compiled this epic map of free stuff in London.

Last Updated 31 October 2022