10 Fun, Affordable Things to do in & around London

At last, exams are finally over or you’re taking a break from work, and summer is here!  😎
If you are stuck for ideas of what to do with your newfound freedom then worry not, we have got you sorted. Here’s a list of 10 free or cheap, but most importantly fun things to do in and around London (including plans for staying in!)
Tower Bridge


At Home or Nearby


Picnic in the park

Get in touch with an old friend, grab your backpack, a picnic rug, a rusty bike from the shed and head down to your local park for a yummy lunch.
We’ve rustled up the perfect affordable picnic for less than £15 and have devised a shopping list so you can head down to your local supermarket and try it out for yourself:

  • Protein source: this could be anything from chicken skewers, halloumi sticks, homemade burgers and hotdogs, or for a delicious vegetarian option try falafels with hummus.
  • Veggies: choose your favourite vegetables for dipping and crunching. We love cucumber, peppers and celery.
  • Dips: hummus is essential, and even better if you are skilled enough to make your own to impress your friends!
  • Crisps and crackers: these are a must for optimal dipping and snacking.
  • Something sweet: buy your favourites from the shops, or check out our Flavour of the Month breakfast bars or banana bread, which are both very easy to make.

Click here for other simple picnic treats to make and take.

Movie night at home

Going to the cinema can be super expensive, so why not enjoy movies from the comfort of your own home. Convert your living room or bedroom into a cosy cinema room with fairy lights, popcorn and chocolate for a movie night to remember. Record a film you’ve been dying to watch for ages, borrow a DVD from a friend, or dive into the wonders of Netflix and Amazon Video to unwind with a loved one.Coffee shop

Coffee shop dates

Try out your local independent coffee shop to support a family-run business and expand your knowledge! There are tons of lists online showing all the best spots to visit, or simply open Google maps and browse for yourself.

Come dine with me

Compete with friends for the title of ‘Ultimate Dinner Party Host’. All you need is some foodie friends and a few free Saturday nights. If you want to really spice things up, establish your winnings by all paying a fee for the winner to pocket at the end. Simply send some menus around, invite your friends over and pull out all the stops with a beautiful table setting, free flowing beverages and nicely presented plates of food. Check out our Flavour of the Month recipes for some inspiration e.g. Chinese Pineappley Prawns, Asparagus, Pea & Feta Salad and Plum & Blackberry Crumble.
Hire a boat

 Hire a boat and sail the Thames

This is easy to do if you live close to the river, as there are lots of locations where you can hire paddle and rowing boats for hours on end. Those looking to put some extra effort into their waterborne experience can hire a rowing boat instead to really get a sweat on! Lined with greenery, the Thames can make a beautifully scenic date to be enjoyed with friends and family. Be sure to pack some safe food such as spare veggies or cooked rice to feed any ducks around you.
Go boating
British beefeaters

In & Around London


Dive into some British culture

Whether you fancy watching the skateboarders take to the ramps outside the Southbank Centre, or unleashing your inner royal with the Changing of the Guards outside Buckingham Palace, there is plenty to do for free in London. The iconic Abbey Road Zebra Crossing is always a good place to start, or try following the towpath through Little Venice. If you fancy something more chilled, just enjoy the various free lunchtime performances at the Royal College of Music.

Spend the day at a museum or gallery

There are plenty of free museums and galleries to visit in London; some of of our favourites include the Saatchi Gallery with its stunning collection of contemporary art, the Natural History Museum – home to Earth’s creatures from the tiniest insects to enormous dinasours, the Imperial War Museum, which tells the history of modern conflicts, the Science Museum with its spectacular interactive exhibits, and the V&A, which hosts multiple exhibitions throughout the year.
You may have already been on educational trips before, but going back of your own accord with friends or family creates a day of fun and learning.

Borough Market

 Try food from somewhere new

Dive into a sweet or savoury pancake at My Old Dutch for as little at £5.50, or venture to the various food stalls at Borough Market from £6 for a true taste of the multicultural city. If you fancy something sweet on a hot day, then head down to Snog for a mouth-watering frozen yogurt from £2.45.

Re-live your childhood

You are never too cool for some old school games with your friends.
Spice up your Friday night by heading out for some retro bowling at Bloomsbury Lanes, you may surprise yourself at how good (or bad) you are!
Bar Kick
is a great place to battle your friends at table football and also an ideal location for watching live sport, with a large screen TV located on each floor!
Alternatively, challenge your friends to an hour of ping pong for just £8 at Bounce in Farringdon – the place where table tennis originates from!
If you fancy a giggle, check out the Angel Comedy Club and the Top Secret Comedy Club for affordable, worthwhile nights to enjoy with your nearest and dearest.
And if you don’t fancy travelling out, then bring out the beers and board games and have a cosy, competitive night in!
Monopoly board games
Kew Gardens

Immerse yourself in the wonderful outdoors

If you would prefer a calm, relaxing day surrounded by London’s nature, be sure to check out the amazing power of plants and fungi at the world-leading botanic Kew Gardens.
Or head to the Greenwich Observatory to experience the breath-taking view and discover the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
Take a stroll, ride or run in the royal parks Primrose Hill and Richmond Park – the largest city park in the world!

Richmond Park
If you have any great suggestions of affordable things to do in London, or your favourite city, please get in touch at hello@hellograds.com.  We’d love to hear from you!
Information & prices correct at time of publication, but please check before purchasing any products or services