Top FREE Things to Do in 3 UK Cities: The Best Things in Life Are Free! 


It’s true what they say – the best things in life are free, and spring is on the horizon, calling us to the great outdoors!  

We’re all about living a colourful life now springtime is just around the corner, so we’ve listed the top free things to do in London, Edinburgh and Manchester. We’ve also included both indoor and outdoor options, because it might be spring, but we know the Great British weather can turn on a sixpence!  

Let's dive right in.  


Free Things to do in London 


Needless to say, we’re starting with the capital of England. London is absolutely chocka block full of amazing – and free – things to do, but we’re not about the ordinary, so read on to discover some seriously cool things to do that you may not have heard about before. 



Free Things to do indoors: 


1. Catch a Lecture at Gresham College: On the hunt for something that broadens your horizons? Do something totally unique and catch a free university-level lecture at Gresham College. With plenty of wild and wonderful topics, you’re bound to find something that grabs your attention. At the time we’re writing this, our eyes were drawn to Satirical Cartoons: A History and Dragons: A History.



2. Head over London’s Sky Garden: Perfect for a chilly day, head up to the Sky Garden for a tropical experience. OK, we know this one isn’t exactly a hidden gem – but it’s so often overlooked in favour of the attractions that get you up open up your wallet.



3. Visit Any Number of London’s Free Museums: London is really set apart by its sheer number of free museums. If we had to pick one, we think the British Museum is the choice to make. From its curated collections, artifacts and artwork, it’s pretty much unrivalled – just remember to wear something comfortable, especially on your feet – you'll be glad you did.




Free Things to do outdoors:


1. Stroll Down Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel: If you want a colourful experience (who doesn’t?) then take a stroll down the Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel – it's London’s only legal graffiti spot, and one of the coolest street art spots in the city. It’s a great place to escape to find contemporary art that’s busting with colour – guaranteed to spark your own creativity and give you a little uplift to your day. There’s also dining and entertainment spots nearby if you fancy splashing some cash and grabbing a bite.



2. View a Lunchtime Concert at St Martin in the Fields: At the corner of Trafalgar Square, you can find one of the city’s biggest musical hubs. During the weekdays, you can see a free lunchtime concert from St Martin in the Fields – there's nothing like a bit of live classical music to really make the everyday extraordinary.



3. Step into Nature at Hampstead Heath: One of London’s best walking spots, break away from the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the leafy greenery of Hampstead Heath. Don't forget to pop into Hampstead Pergola for one of the best free views in London!





Free Things to do in Edinburgh: 


Ah the lovely city of Edinburgh! Home to the Royal Mile, the Old Town and brimming with ancient monuments and history, of course this beautiful city makes the list! Here are our lesser known attractions you can do while still keeping the purse strings intact.  




Free Things to do Indoors:


1. Visit The National Gallery of Modern Art: Spread out over two venues, the Modern 1 and 2, the National Gallery of Modern Art is situated just outside of the city – but it’s well worth the short detour! Art really is for everyone, and modern art gives you the widest array of what people truly consider art to be, so naturally, this is the top of our list.



2. Find Your Take on Scottish Parliament: Known as a ‘marmite design’, the Scottish Parliament is free to enter. Some locals love the place, and some hate it! Designed to represent the keels of a fishing boat, the Debating Chamber is designed in a horseshoe shape to encourage discussion instead of conflict, and the windows are shaped to encourage transparency. What’s your take?



3. Visit the Museum of Childhood: Great for kids and big kids (that’s you!), The Museum of Childhood is not only the first museum dedicated to childhood, but it’s a treasure trove of nostalgic toys, books, games from the mid-19th century to present day. There’s even a doll that’s dated from 1740! Fill your boots with some feel-good retro fun.




Free Things to do Outdoors 


1. Explore Leith: Whether you’re on the hunt for some lunch or just want to see Edinburgh’s sights, Leith is a must-see location. In fact, it’s ranked 16th as one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world! Enjoy a walk along the shore on a sunny spring day – the area is also full of free things to do and has some of Edinburgh’s trendiest hangout spots. 



  2. Take some Holiday Snaps at Dean Village: While Dean Village isn’t exactly a hidden gem, it provides one of the most stunning gems that Edinburgh has to offer. With a stunning waterway and magical architecture, you’ll feel like you’ve instantly stepped back in time. Perfect for those who love a bit of whimsy, Dean Village is also the perfect Instagrammable location.  



 3. Book a Free Sandemans Walking Tour: Yes, you read that right. A lot of Sandemans walking tours are totally free and the perfect way to get into the history of Edinburgh. Why not plan your day around this tour and spot some cool places to go back to as you explore this city with an expert local guide? 




Free Things to do in Manchester 


We just love Manchester – the city’s super cool sprawling high street, its fab underground nightlife amid the hustle and bustle - and, of course - the style! Let’s explore everything Manchester has to offer, all for free! 



Free Things to do Indoors: 


1. Get Creative with a Free Galleries in Manchester: The Whitworth, Manchester Art Gallery and the ARTZU Gallery are just a few of the galleries that Manchester has – which provide a free couple of hours to browse paintings, sculptures and installations that change up regularly. 



 2. Enjoy a Lunchtime Concert by the Musicians of the Royal Northern College of Music: With Manchester’s rich history of successful musicians, it comes as no surprise that Manchester attracts aspiring musicians from far and wide, so find them at the Royal Northern College of Music’s lunchtime concerts. And yes, it’s absolutely free! 



 3. Window Shop at Affleck’s Palace: Are you really a Joe Browns fan without loving alternative style? Then window shop at over 60 Affleck’s palace independent stalls to find the most unique rock ‘n’ roll fashion. If you window shop only, you’ll have killed a couple of hours finding the best place to shop in Manchester, but if you’re dying for that military jacket – go on, treat yourself, and support local independent businesses too! 




Free Things to do Outdoors: 


1. Enjoy a Free Manchester Walking Tour: This collective is set up to promote free walking tours around this city to find out more about Manchester. Free Manchester Walking Tours meet up at the Alan Turing Memorial and covers Manchester’s top attractions as well as hidden gems known only by the local Mancunian experts. 



2. Explore One of the Many Parks in Manchester: A city break isn’t truly a break unless you escape the hustle and bustle and enjoy one of the many Manchester parks and gardens for a spot of tranquillity. From the Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens to the Reddish Vale Country Park, why not go one step further and pack a picnic for a fabulously free afternoon? 



3. Take a Walk Along the Manchester Canals: When you’ve hit the weather jackpot, you can’t pass up a walk along Manchester’s canals. Whether you seek a short stroll or multi-mile springtime walk, Manchester Canals have it all. Choose the Ashton Canal for a stroll that can be extended or decreased depending on time and fitness level and enjoy some seriously cool views and architecture. Alternatively, explore Bridgewater Canal to find a more historical side of Manchester.  



The best things in life truly are free, so whether you’re on the lookout for free things to do on your next city break, or you just want to explore more hidden gems in London, Edinburgh or Manchester, enjoy the little things in life – all for absolutely free!