Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 16-22 October 2023

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

Catch Londonist art critic Tabish Khan in conversation with artist Annie Trevorah.

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.

Check out a free Peckham photo exhibition

“Peckham is a place. Peckham is my home. Peckham is a place called home.” Christian Cross explores the interconnectivity of Peckham and its people via photography, with free exhibition Peckham is a Place Called Home. It’s on all week (all month, in fact) at Peckham Levels. Go have a gander before grabbing some food and drink from this hip venue — just remember, it isn’t open on Mondays.

Free, until 31 October, excluding Mondays

Enjoy a free lunchtime concert

Lauderdale House in Highgate offers one of its regular free lunchtime concerts, with resident pianist Stephen Hose performing live. It takes place in the Long Gallery, with views over Waterlow Park to enjoy as you listen.

Free, 17 October.

Get the lowdown on Christopher Wren

Photo: Matt Brown/Londonist

Guildhall Library offers a free online talk by City Guide Jill Finch, about the life and work of Christopher Wren. Follow his path from Wiltshire to Oxford and Cambridge to London, where he became a Professor at Gresham College, a founder of the Royal Society and the architect responsible for several buildings including St Paul’s Cathedral.

Free, 17 October.

Tuck into a £1 poke bowl

This for £1 on Tuesday (it’s usually quite a bit more).

Poke House opens its latest branch, in Mayfair this Tuesday — and to mark the occasion, it’s dishing up poke for just £1 a pop. Among the nutritious bowls are Sunny Salmon, Spicy Tuna, House Chicken, Very Vegan, Roast Beef and House King Prawn. Just get yourself to 32 Maddox Street between 11am-2pm (and probably be prepared to queue).

Free, 17 October.

Hear the stories of Untold Edmonton

The first in a new series of ‘Untold Edmonton’ talks takes place at Fore Street Library on Thursday. This one is hosted by the Enfield Caribbean Association and explores the impact of the Windrush generation in Edmonton. Free drinks and snacks are provided.

Free, 19 October.

Stay late at Science Museum

Stay late at Science Museum on Thursday. © Science Museum Group

Music is the theme of this month’s Science Museum Late, tying in with the new exhibition, Turn It Up. Head along to the museum after hours for a range of events and activities including a talk about the relationship between music and the brain, karaoke, a pub quiz and a silent disco — as well as a chance to explore the museum’s usual displays without the daytime crowds. Age 18+.

Free, 19 October. There’s a charge for the Turn It Up exhibition.

Slurp a free hot drink in Bethnal Green

For two days only — this Thursday and Friday — a pop-up cafe is at 133 Bethnal Green Road, doling out free hot drinks, courtesy of plant-based drinks brand Plenish, which is promoting a new ‘Barista’ range. Just show up on either day between 7.30am-3pm to claim your bevvy for nada.

Free, 19 and 20 October

Attend a subtitled talk about Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel

For visitors who are deaf and hard of hearing, the V&A Museum offers a subtitled talk about the life and work of French couturière, Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel — who is the subject of a current exhibition at the museum. At this event, the team who curated the exhibition offer an introduction to it.

Free, 20 October.

Step inside a Windrush front room

Horniman Museum has recreated a Windrush-era living room, using music, clothes and objects that were familiar to Windrushers of the 1940s-50s. Step inside the exhibit, handle some of the objects, and hear from Tony Fairweather, author of Twenty-Eight Pounds Ten Shillings: A Windrush Story, and Aunty Vie, who shares stories of life on board the HMS Windrush, and in London in the 1950s-80s. The event is for both adults and children.

Free, 21-22 October.

Set foot inside the Manolo Blahnik multi-sensory VR experience

Shoemaking brand Manolo Blahnik opens an immersive exhibition to offer an insight into the craftsmanship that goes into making its shoes. Manolo Blahnik: The Craft Room, at xydrobe in Mayfair, centres around a replica of the designer’s desk, along with photos and other content offering a behind-the-scenes look at the design process.

Free, 21 October- 5 November. Booking required.

Catch the final Day of the Triffids

Sunday is the final day of Pumphouse Gallery’s current exhibition, Triffids by Annie Trevorah, and Londonist art critic Tabish Khan is in conversation with Trevorah at the closing event. The exhibition is part of Chelsea Physic Garden’s 350th anniversary celebrations, and takes inspiration from The Day of the Triffids, to look at a sci-fi future where plants become the colonising species, posing a threat to human survival.

Free, 22 October (exhibition also free, 18-22 October).

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