With the last of the winter months stretching painfully ahead there are plenty of glum faces around the city at the moment as budgets become stretched and imaginations run dry. However, living in this fabulous city has one huge advantage and that is all the activities that you can get involved in that don’t cost a penny. It may not be warm enough to lounge in the park, or even spend more than an hour a day outside in the cold, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of free things to do in London in Winter.
Nowhere else in the country can you absorb so much information for absolutely nothing. Many of the museums in the capital are free and you can browse prehistoric dinosaurs, space stories, military displays and art and design exhibitions for absolutely nada. Check out the science museum if you want to blow your mind with science, head to the Natural History Museum to see specimens collected by Darwin on his very first exhibition, the V&A for the world’s largest collection of decorative arts and design or the Maritime Museum in Greenwich to see what made Nelson tick.
Some of the exhibitions within the museums you have to pay for but most are free. Being in London you also have access to lots of free speech, with free lectures at venerable institutions like the Royal Society, the Tate and UCL on everything from The Metaphysics of Concrete, to Picasso and the Ballets Russes. If you want to learn more about art then a huge number of London’s galleries are mostly free (other than the odd exhibition) – check out the National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and White Cube.
Whilst entry prices for clubs and gyms might be sky high, that’s not the only way to get your blood pumping and cut loose in the capital. One of the most attractive exercise options during the winter months is a bracing walk through one of London’s beautiful parks. Exploring Hampstead Heath is almost like being out in the countryside, Regent’s Park has a delicate regal beauty and a great lake, and Clapham Common provides the perfect spot for some football or an energetic game of Frisbee. There are also a number of organizations that offer free dance classes, so whether you’re looking to brush up on your ballet or sizzle with salsa this doesn’t have to cost you a penny.
If you are set on going clubbing then this doesn’t have to cost the earth. Whilst you’ll have to have some pretty special chat up lines to get yourself free drinks all night, at least with nights like ‘Free Fridays’ at 93 Feet East and venues like Café 1001, where entrance is free most nights, you have at least got the cost of admission covered.
Wander and browse
Ok so you may not have the funds to go spending a fortune but half the experience of visiting some of London’s best stores and markets is just drinking in the atmosphere. Portobello is a fashion institution where you can find lots of inspiration for customizing your own wardrobe and at Borough Market there are more than a few free samples of the mouthwatering produce on sale to keep you going until lunch. Camden Market is a hive of activity that has to be experienced at least once, and on a Sunday morning there is no better way to pass the time than to stroll around Columbia Road looking at exotic plants and blooms, some of which are more than a little reminiscent of Day of The Triffids.
If it’s designer goods you’re after then why not go and browse the big department stores like Selfridges and Harrods, which are an experience in themselves. Go and gaze at the Christian Louboutins you covet, try on some designer threads and get motivated to win the lottery!
Whilst the weather may be a little glum outside, that doesn’t mean that you have to be too. With a huge range of free things to do in London in Winter there is plenty to keep you busy here until the summer months roll around again. And if you’re willing to spend a little during winter in London you might find your money goes a lot further than in summer. While tourism is slow in the city you’ll find loads of London deals and discounts on things like spa treatments, restaurants and days out.