Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 26 February-3 March 2024

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Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 26 February-3 March 2024

Budget-friendly things to do in London this week for £5 or less.

A capsule on the London Eye
People born on 29 February can get a free ride.

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.

Dive into a free exhibition on London's famous fish market

Black and white photo of porters at Billingsgate
A-fish, a-fish, a-fishy, ooooh! Dive into the story of Billingsgate at a free exhibition.

Officially established at the end of the 17th century, Billingsgate Fish Market now sells an average of 25,000 tonnes of fish and fish products each year. Guildhall Art Gallery is giving you a chance to dive into its storied past, with a free exhibition featuring ancient documents, designs for Horace Jones' Victorian market, and photos of stallholders and porters at work.

Free, until 16 May.

Immerse yourself in the London art world

There's a lovely community of London art-lovers over on our Urban Palette newsletter - with free weekly reads sent out every Monday rounding up some of the biggest news, reviews, interviews and insights from London's art world and plenty of (also free!) opportunities to meet up at exhibitions around the city. Sign up at the link to become part of the community.

Free, ongoing

Hear about recent research into autism

This Wednesday's Gresham College lecture — part of the Neurodiversity series — delves into how our understanding of autism has changed over the last four decades. Professor Francesca Happé discusses how the autism spectrum is far wider than previously believed, how the historical under-diagnosis of women and girls is being addressed, and what future research might uncover.

Free, 28 February.

Get a first look at the new banknotes

A £5, £10, £20 and £50 note, each depicting King Charles III.
The full collection of King Charles notes are on display for the first time © Bank of England

The Bank of England Museum opens a new exhibition, The Future of Money, which gives us a first chance to see what the new banknotes featuring King Charles III will look like. More widely, the exhibition looks at how money is likely to evolve in the future, including moves towards digital currencies and a cashless society.

Free, 28 February-September 2025

Get a free ride on the London Eye

The London Eye is offering free tickets on Thursday this week, with one very large caveat — they're only available to people born on 29 February. If that's you, take proof of your date of birth (passport/birth certificate/driving licence) along to the ticket hall on 29 February to claim your free ticket. Only 100 are available, so get there early to get in the queue ahead of your fellow leaplings.

Free, 29 February.

See previously unshown photos of the Rolling Stones

A black and white photo of Keith Richards

A new exhibition of photos of the Rolling Stones opens at J/M Gallery in Notting Hill. The 27 pictures in 'Elegantly Wasted' were taken by  'Spanish Tony' (Tony Sanchez, the Stones' photographer friend), and include a black and white shot of Keith Richards sat behind a sound mixing desk, smoking (natch).

Free, 29 February-5 March.

View an exhibition of David Bowie photos

It's a double whammy for music photography fans this week. In addition to the above, a free exhibition of photographs of David Bowie is unveiled, in the aureate setting of Fitzrovia Chapel. They were snapped by photographer Kevin Davies in a single day in 1992, as Bowie was preparing for the release of his 18th studio album, Black Tie White Noise, and though a few made it into the mainstream press, most of the images were never seen again... until now.

Free, 1-20 March.

Visit London's Sewing Machine Museum

A room full of sewing machines
Sew then... been to this museum before?

It's only once a month that London's little-known machine of sewing machines opens its doors to the public — and this Saturday is one such day. Hundreds of sewing machines of various ages and makes are on display, from the personal collection of sewing machine salesman Ray Rushton, including one which belonged to Queen Victoria's daughter.

Have a read about our visit, for an idea of what to expect.

Free, (though donations to either The Royal National Lifeboat Institution or Leukaemia Research are appreciated), 2 March.

Learn about the Women of the RNLI

Greenwich's National Maritime Museum opens new exhibition Women of the RNLI, celebrating the bicentenary of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. It features 42 photographs taken by Jack Lowe, photographer on the Lifeboat Station Project, each depicting women who volunteer for the RNLI. It's one of our picks of Women's History Month events in London, and is included with your museum entry ticket (free, though donations are encouraged).

Free, from 2 March.

Celebrate the frontline women of Covid

A woman largely hidden behind red feathers
Meet 10 special women who were on the frontlines of the Covid pandemic.

10 women — whoe worked in everything from the NHS to funeral services during the Covid pandemic — are the centre of Elizabeth Okoh's Women on The Frontlines exhibition, on at Buckle Street Studios by Locke near Aldgate East. The show is free, and the studio's open from 8am-7pm, giving you the opportunity to nip in before or after work. There's also a free panel talk and guided tour of the exhibition from Elizabeth Okoh on 6 March.

Free, 2-31 March.

Get a last look at the Horniman walrus

A large taxidermy walrus on a plinth in the middle of a museum gallery.
Not quite sure where you hide something this big, but it'll be hidden until 2026. Photo: Horniman Museum

At the end of this week, the comically-overstuffed walrus at the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill is being taken off display until 2026, so get down there to have a last gawp. Its temporary disappearance is due to a refurb of its home, the museum's Natural History Gallery. The Victorian taxidermists responsible for stuffing and mounting the walrus had never seen a real-life one, and weren't aware that the wrinkles were normal. So they stuffed it silly.

Free, until 3 March.

Finish your week on a soulful note

Head to Boxpark Wembley on Sunday for Soulful Sundays, a free-entry live music event with DJs and live musicians providing the soundtrack to your afternoon.

Free entry, 3 March.

Last Updated 27 February 2024

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