As part of my experimental August (when it comes to my blog) I am starting another new series: ‘Broke but Not Bored’, where I will explore cheap/free things to do with your friends, because let’s face it, we all wanna do stuff but we don’t always have money…
For my first edition I took to the most expensive city in England (and my hometown): Central London, to see what there was to keep me and my friends entertained for as little money as possible. Surprisingly in London there’s more free/cheap things that you’d think, so here’s my top pick for a fun day out…
1) West End Live: FREE
This one is a must for any musical lover and I try to go every year that it doesn’t interfere with exams! For one weekend every year in late June Trafalgar Square becomes the location of ‘West End Live’ – which is essentially a showcase of the current (and sometimes upcoming) West End Musicals, with a bunch of them coming to perform 1-3 songs in front of a crowd for free!
It usually takes place from 11-6 on the Saturday and 12-5 on the Sunday however you can leave whenever you feel like it depending on the acts. Last time I went I got there an hour earlier on the Saturday and we were pretty close to the front of the queue, so got a great view when we got inside. Earliness is key to make sure you get to see all the acts clearly, however you are able to come and go as you please all day, if you’re not as bothered about way you stand. Despite being free, you do have to stand all day, so be prepared to see the whole day on your feet!
2) Go Sightseeing: FREE
This one sounds like an obvious one, but as a native Londoner I sometimes forget how amazing the city of London is! Yes, you can hop on a bus tour, but bus tours cost money and on a nice sunny day (though, I understand they can be a rarity) you can get to more places than you think by walking.
My friend from Scotland came to visit me and we went full-on tourist! Go take pictures by the lions and fountains in Trafalgar Square, take a 10 minute walk down to South bank and check out the cool graffiti, busking and exhibitions. Also, their tends to normally be some sort of free sample being handed out… On the day that we went the Snog Bus was handing out free Frozen Yoghurt samples!
3) Find an Event at Hyde Park: FREE
Obviously you can always do free stuff in the park (such as picnics or just hanging out with your friends), but Hyde Park actually put on more free events than you’d think – and it’s not just Hyde Park!
With a little browse of the Royal Parks website you can find free events going on at Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Greenwich park and so many more. With events from Wildlife discovery days to Sculpture viewing, to Scottish Ceilidh Dancing, there’s something for everyone! They make it very clear which ones are free and which ones are paid for and I recommend giving them a little look.
4) Go and See Matilda: £5!
This is definitely my favourite thing on the list, because I am a lover of musicals but don’t always have the money to see them. However, what many people do not know (me too until recently) is that the Matilda Box Office has 16 tickets per performance, priced at £5 to be collected from 10am on the day of the performance (available for 16-25 year olds, bring a form of ID).
My friends and I were sceptical because a lot of forums said that you have to get there early, however we chose to go on a day that had both a matinee and an evening performance so we had double the chance of getting tickets. Even so, we were sat outside the theatre at 9am, and there were already 8 people in front of us in the queue (earliness is definitely key). However, as time with your friends usually does, the hour wait went past really quickly and we managed to get our tickets, sat next to each other as well! (Well… there were 8 of us and we were grouped in a 3, a 3 and a 2). Matilda itself was absolutely fantastic, and although we were high up, we could still see everything clearly, I would strongly recommend!
Honestly there’s way more to do in London than you’d think, this was just my top pick of the bunch! But there’s also a fine selection of museums, galleries, pop-up events and many discounts available online! Tell me what you think of this new series, I’m excited to try it with different places/categories. Hit me up if you have any ideas!
Lots of love,