Summer is festival time, without doubt. Even better than a festival, however, is a free festival.
London is brimming with free things to do. If you want to save a bit of money when you’re visiting, or even if you live there, you have to seek out the free activities. And summer is when there are even more of them because you can get outside and enjoy then sunshine (sometimes).
There are some excellent free festivals this year and every other year too. Check out these upcoming events and the best places to stay nearby.
Walthamstow Garden Party – 18th-19th July 2015
Head to Lloyd Park in Walthamstow for a free event withh something for everyone. There’s live music, arts and crafts, dance, theatre, film, spoken word and plenty of family fun. Even your pooch is welcome. There’ll also be stalls with things to buy from local designers and makers, as well as a range of street food. Last year, 34,000 people turned up!
The park is half a mile from Walthamstow Central overground and underground – right at the end of the Victoria Line.
Stay at the Travelodge by the station for budget accommodation, or head in the opposite direction to the park to stay at the Ibis Styles London Leyton. Alternatively, stay closer to Central London and catch the tube in.
Canary Wharf Jazz Festival – August 14th-16th
Jazz can be a pretty polarizing genre of music. Many people love everything about it, while others just don’t get it at all. But whether jazz is your life or you don’t mind a slice of it now and then, you’ll probably enjoy Canary Wharf Jazz Festival. It’s free, so you have nothing to lose.
Held in Canada Square Park, there’s evening entertainment on the Friday, then more music in the afternoons and evenings on the Saturday and Sunday.
If you want great value accommodation, Tune Canary Wharf is just a stone’s throw from the park. Anyone looking for something 5 star swanky can try the Four Seasons at Canary Wharf.
Mint Street Music Festival – July 18th
Head to Mint Street Park in Southwark for a family-friendly one-day festival.
There’ll be a wide range of choirs and bands, plus plenty of family activities. You’ll find baby signing sessions, a children’s dance class, musical storytelling and more.
For a nearby hotel that’s just as family-friendly, try The Mondrian. There are closer hotels, but none of them have the Kids on the Southbank package that you can find at The Mondrian.
Camberwell Fair – July 25th
Camberwell Fair celebrates Camberwell’s music, culture and people. There used to be a long-running fair on the green from 1279 to 1855, and it’s been revived (albeit in a more modern way) in recent years. The new incarnation of the fair features two music stages, dance workshops, games, pop-up stalls run by local businesses, food and drinks, and a farmers’ market.
You’ll find Church Street Hotel just a hop, skip and a jump away from the green. It’s perfect for summer, with its hacienda feel, Mediterranean restaurant menu and its very own hot sauce, which every guest gets a jar of.
London’s free festivals are a great way to venture out of the centre and explore the city at large. There are plenty more festivals celebrating music, food, art, and more for you to experience this summer.
Photo credits: Eva Rinaldi, Ibis Style London Leyton, Tune Canary Wharf, The Mondrian, Church Street Hotel.