Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 8-14 July 2024

Last Updated 03 July 2024

Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 8-14 July 2024

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

Performers in wide black skirts dancing on stage
Performers from GDIF take over the River Stage this weekend. Photo: David Levene

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.

Catch up on the Wimbledon action

We're in the second (and final) week of Wimbledon 2024, with plenty of places around the capital showing the tennis action on large outdoor screens — for free. Paddington, Covent Garden, King's Cross, Spitalfields and Belgravia are just some of your options, though be warned that they operate on a first-come, first-served basis and are likely to get busy as we enter finals weekend.

Free, until 14 July.

Get lost in a psychedelic maze

Claremont Park in north London's Brent Cross Town is home to a psychedelic-looking maze this summer, inspired by the New London Fabulous art movement. It's free to check out/get lost in, and what's more, it's evolving as the weeks go by thanks to guest artists. We've written more about it here.

Free, until 29 September.

Two girls explore the maze
Get lost in a psychedelic maze between now and the end of September. © Belinda Lawley

Go to free film screenings, live music and theatre shows in Hyde Park

Until Thursday, BST Open House continues in Hyde Park. The free-entry equivalent of BST Hyde Park offers entertainment in the form of live music, outdoor cinema, Wimbledon screenings and children's theatre. It's open to everyone, whether you have a ticket to the main festival weekends or not.

Free, 8-11 July.

Watch the Doggett's Coat and Badge race on the Thames

One of those quirky London traditions we love, the Doggett's Coat & Badge is an annual boat race taking place on the Thames between London Bridge and Chelsea, which anyone can watch for free. It's been going for over 300 years, with up to six young watermen participating each time — here's the course, so you can pick a viewing point.

Free, 9 July.

People sitting in deckchairs watching tennis on a large screen
St James's Market is one of the places offering free Wimbledon screenings

Learn how to make your home more energy efficient

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Libraries offers the first in a series of free events helping you to lower your energy costs. The online workshop, by National Energy Action, talks about where your energy goes, and offers practical strategies to save on energy around the house, from simple habits to energy-efficient appliances.

Free, 9 July.

Watch dragon boats racing in the docks

Head over to South Dock in Canary Wharf on Thursday for an afternoon of dragon boat racing in support of Water Aid. The deadline to enter a team has passed, but anyone's welcome to watch as teams of between 11 and 17 people go head-to-head on the water, with prizes for the best dressed and top fundraising teams, as well as the speediest.

Free, 11 July.

View some relics of old London

London Metropolitan Archives offers an illustrated talk about photos from the Society of Photographic Relics of Old London's collection. Between 1875 and 1899 the society was commissioned to create a record of 120 buildings under the threat of demolition in a rapidly-changing city.

£5, 11 July.

See a free display of shortlisted artworks

The shortlisted artworks for the Herbert Smith Freehills Portrait Award go on display in a free exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from Thursday, with the winner due to be announced a couple of days before. The works on display were chosen from 1,647 entries from 62 countries.

Free, 11 July-27 October.

Dance the night away at the Beautiful Octopus Club

People dancing on a colourfully lit dance floor

Apparently London's 'most inclusive club night', The Beautiful Octopus Club takes over Wellcome Collection for a night of DJ sets, creative activities and live performances. Run by  and for people with learning disabilities and autistic people, the event includes a silent disco, a special appearance from the Heart n Soul Choir, and a chance to explore the current exhibitions. If you can't make it in person, the event will be livestreamed.

Free, 12 July.

See Greenwich + Docklands International Festival take over the River Stage

Ahead of Greenwich + Docklands International Festival returning to London later this summer, the people behind the festival take a turn at curating the National Theatre's River Stage this weekend.

Across three days, the free-to-watch open-air stage hosts street theatre, dance and circus acts, including dance performance Black Victorians, which looks at the complex and often forgotten Black presence in pre-Windrush Britain.

Free, 12-14 July.

Celebrate this museum's first birthday at a free festival

It's been a year since the rebranded Young V&A museum opened its doors in Bethnal Green, an anniversary that's being celebrated with a free birthday festival, open to all ages. Activities include workshops led by fashion accessory designer Clara Chu and political cartoonist and puppet animator Zoom Rockman, as well as live performances by locals.

Free, 13 July.

Get down to the Whitecross Street Party

A crowd gathered watching a musician live on stage
Photo: Kash Bashir

Though it hosts a lively street food market most week days, Whitecross Street near Barbican really comes alive for the annual Whitecross Street Party. This year there's a focus on the radical communities which have called the area home, and the event opens with a multicultural parade, followed by short film screenings, panel talks (author Malorie Blackman is scheduled), with live painting and street art, a words stage, music, family activities, food stalls and more.

Free, 13-14 July.