Cheap thrills and free entertainment

Book cover for London hidden walks bookSpring is on the way and the weather is finally, at long last, improving. Give it a few weeks and we’ll be venturing out into the sunshine, blinking, looking for cheap and free entertainment. Here are sixteen ideas for having fun on the cheap.

  1. Quiet London – a brilliant little guide book, Quiet London is all about peaceful places to enjoy amongst all the hustle and bustle, from music-less cafes and restaurants to tiny hidden gardens and parks. Grab a copy and spend the day exploring our capital from a completely different perspective.
  2. River walks – Many of our rivers, urban and countryside, have public footpaths running alongside them, a lovely flat walk without hills to struggle up. Riverbanks are great places for picnics too.
  3. Railway Walks – is there a disused railway line near you? The country is full of them and most have been made into gorgeous walking or cycling trails, again completely flat most of the time because trains don’t like steep gradients. Julia Bradbury’s book on railway walks is excellent.
  4. The London Town website is packed with free stuff to do in the big smelly, from outdoor and indoor events to comedy, street performance and free events at well-known venues.
  5. Free apps – In December 2013 The Telegraph featured a cool list of the 25 best entertainment apps. Excellent. Here’s a link
  6. Come to Brighton! If you’re in the south east, hop on a train or bus and visit Brighton. There are loads of free and cheap things to do or you could just window shop or hang out on the beach front with a beer and listen to free music. The same goes for most seaside towns – cheap and cheerful, loads of fun, loads to see and do.
  7. Got Netflix yet? It’s only £6 a month. We’re right in the middle of a free 3 month trial and we love it. If there’s nothing on TV or the weather’s awful, we settle down and watch an entire  crime mystery series.
  8. Get the letter habit – When was the last time you actually wrote someone a letter or sent a card just to say hello? It’s a real pleasure getting something through the post that isn’t a bill or junk mail. Why not get a bunch of you together and start writing to friends and family regularly. Or get a pen pal?
  9. PC Advisor has put together a bunch of ideas for hobbies and entertainment downloads
  10. Tripadvisor contains loads of free entertainment options for more or less everywhere on the planet.
  11. Apply for free tickets to TV and radio shows.
  12. Visit museums and galleries
  13. Try for great deals on tickets to all the major UK theme parks plus cheap cinema tickets and theatre ticket deals.
  14. Treat yourself to a bargain night in an hotel, somewhere great value like a Premier Inn, and just enjoy being away from your ordinary life for a night.
  15. Got Singstar, a computer or XBox karaoke game, or a dance game? Hold a DIY talent contest. Take photos and movies. Share them on Facebook. Give prizes…
  16. Play boules in the garden or head for the park to play rounders, cricket, baseball…

What’s your favourite cheap or free entertainment?