Things to do for free in London This Summer
Picnic on Primrose Hill
You can never truly appreciate the magic of Primrose Hill unless you have been there. When I first started working in the city, all everyone kept banging on about going up to Primrose Hill in the nice weather. All I kept thinking was ‘alright mate, I’ve been to loads of hills, what’s so special about this one?’. The special thing about Primrose Hill is the view. Once you get to the top you have a panoramic view or near enough the whole of London. Pack a picnic basket and some prosecco, and bask in the sunshine. You can also do a cheeky bit of celebrity spotting. The only thing missing from such a glorious place is a waiter bringing around alcohol.
Notting Hill Carnival
People always have such mixed reactions when I tell them I go to carnival every year. Yes, there is a little bit of trouble, but it is honestly so well policed, it has never affected me and I’ve been loads of times. You don’t have to spend money to actually attend the carnival, and a lot of the time they will open the gates up at Notting Hill Gate station because of the sheer amount of people. You really won’t find an event as vibrant as carnival in London this summer. The performers are spectacular, and super friendly. When my Nan was alive, she always said she would love to go, but it would’ve been far too much for her. So, while a bit tipsy I decided to gatecrash the procession, and instead of telling me I was a tit, three wonderful ladies from Guyana made a video message for my Nan, and gave me a flag that was about 7ft tall that she kept on her shed for the rest of her life. Although you don’t need to spend money to go, it will be hard resisting the glorious jerk chicken, so pack some pennies if you plan on spending a full day there rather than just popping along.
Notting Hill Carnival takes place on August Bank Holiday Weekend.
Visit the Southbank Centre Market
If you are like me, and you do not remotely resemble a ‘proper girl’ and would prefer to go wandering around looking at unique things and nice food rather than clothes, then head on over to the Southbank Centre this summer and waste some time at the market. The Southbank Centre food market is open every weekend in July and August, and even if you don’t go to eat you can stroll along the river in the sunshine taking in the intoxicating smells.
Hackney City Farm
I know Hackney sounds like a bit of a weird and wonderful place to have a farm, but nestled among the hustle and bustle, there is actually a farm in Hackney. Also don’t go thinking just because it is free it is rubbish. The rotate animals with a farm in Kent, and there is loads to see and do. The ginger pigs are probably the star attraction, not only because of their beautiful colour but also because they are named Pepper and Pearl. Animals with human names are my absolute favourite.
The Sky Garden
You would think that anything as remotely posh as the Sky Garden would charge for entry, but they actually don’t. You don’t need to go up there and necessarily buy food and drinks, so if you just want to potter up there to take in the breathtaking view you can. Make sure you get an Insta pic and a Snapchat while you are up there though, it really is a great photo opportunity.