London is filled with things to do in the summer… but they can also be expensive af. Fortunately, there’s still a ton of free events over the next few months – all you need to do is pay for the travel! Read on for 20 fun things to do in London this summer!
1. West End Live
Love musicals? Then head to Trafalgar Square on the 24-25 June and catch the shows you’ve always wanted to see, including ‘Mama Mia’, ‘Wicked’, and ‘School of Rock’. All for free – and how often does that happen?
2. Dulwich Picture Gallery Lates
Spend a Friday night at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, where they’re running various events including live music, films and workshops. It runs until the end of July, and admission is completely free! All you need to do is reserve a space here. Each event finishes at 10, leaving you with plenty of time to still go out and enjoy the rest of the weekend.
3. London Bridge Summer City Festival
It’s London’s biggest free festival, and it’s running until the end of August, so there’s no excuse not to go! Check out what’s going on here – I recommend giving Massaoke Fridays a go, but if that’s not your thing, they have so much more, including live music, dancing and comedy.
4. Festival of Love
Head to the Southbank Centre and find out what’s going on in their annual Festival of Love, including gigs by international DJs, a food market, and their very own beach. Find out what’s going on at the Southbank here.
5. Covent Garden Street Performers
Covent Garden has a rich history of street performance, going as far back as the 1660’s. Find everything from musicians to dancers to escapologists, and be wowed.
6. Notting Hill Carnival
It’s one of London’s biggest events, and definitely one you should see at least once. Spend the weekend dancing to fantastic music and making memories you’ll never want to forget.
7. Find an Outdoor Gym
Bored of running the same old route? Mix up your workout on the rare sunny days and find your nearest outdoor gym here. Each of them have been tested and it’s completely free to use.
8. Richmond Park
Richmond Park is beautiful, and probably one of the few places in London where you’d be able to eat your lunch surrounded by herds of deer. It’s completely free, but if a packed lunch isn’t for you, then there is a café on-site.
9. Skate through the streets of London
Got a pair of roller blades? Then head down to the London Friday Night Skate – “weekly marshalled skates through the streets of London” and, most importantly, completely free. It always kicks off from the Wellington Arch on Hyde Park Corner, but the actual routes are always changing. More of a beginner? No problem – the Sunday Stroll at 2pm is much more relaxed, and starts on Serpentine Road in Hyde Park. Look here for more information.
10. Angel Comedy Club @ The Camden Head
If you’re looking for a cheap and fun night out, go to the Camden Head for their free comedy nights – all you pay for is your drink! Check here for what’s going on each week.
11. Pop Brixton
Created as a project to help independent businesses thrive, Pop Brixton also offers a series of free events, including Free Music Fridays, and weekly yoga and tai chi classes. Find out what’s going on here.
12. Sky Garden
Spend some time with a spectacular view of London in the Sky Garden, surrounded by beautiful plants, handpicked to maximise the beauty. You do need to book tickets in advance here, and it’s only for an hour.
13. Sherling High-Level Walkway @ The National Theatre
If you’re a theatre geek, then head onto this walkway and take a behind-the-scenes look at the National Theatre’s production workshops. See the shows before they actually happen!
14. The Phoenix Garden
Surround yourself with wild flowers and wildlife in the Phoenix Garden, one of the West End’s best kept secrets.
15. Have a picnic (or barbecue!) in a park
Take advantage of the hot weather, grab your friends, and have a picnic in one of London’s many parks. Some, like the ones here, may even allow a barbecue, although it’s best to check beforehand and find out what the regulations are.
16. Seven Dials Spotlight Festival
Head to Seven Dials, in between Covent Garden and Soho, on the 19th August for a free one-day festival filled with music, comedy and arts. Find out what happened last year here, and keep an eye out here for more information.
17. Museum Lates
Dulwich Picture Gallery isn’t the only place to extend closing times – many London museums have been doing so for ages, including the ever-popular Natural History Museum, British Museum, and Science Museum. It’s often a fun evening, and you can fit going out and other things around them.
18. Find a city farm
London isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think ‘farm’, but there’s plenty in the city – and you’d be hard pressed to find one that isn’t free. Spend an afternoon with sheep, pigs, and maybe even horses in Kentish Town, Pimlico, Spitalfields and the Isle of Dogs, amongst others.
19. Portobello Film Festival
Say goodbye to the summer and bring in the autumn with the Portobello Film Festival, taking place from 31st August-16th September. Perfect for anyone who loves indie films, with everything from drama to horror. Find more details here closer to the date.
20. Go somewhere you haven’t before
The one thing I’ve learned from living in London is that you’re never done discovering new things. Sometimes, just wandering around can lead to finding something amazing. So, find a part of the city you’ve never been to, and let the adventure find you.
Do you know any other fun things to do in London this summer? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured image source: pinterest.com
I've just completed a Creative Writing degree at the University of Roehampton. When I'm not writing, I'm often exploring the city, or nerding out over something.