Lockdowns and, for some, never-ending WFH has made co-working an even more attractive choice than in the recent past. We're desperate to get out there and work around other humans. Even smelly, strange-looking ones.
Paying for a desk in London isn’t always the right choice – and working from a chain coffee shop isn’t always the right solution. Luckily there are some superb free places to work in London that deliver an experience equal to, or very close to, that of a London coworking space (like Runway East!).
If you are a freelancer, entrepreneur or startup looking for free space that has that little bit extra then read on.
1. Hart Shoreditch Hotel – Shoreditch
Hart Shoreditch (or "Hart Shoreditch Hotel London, Curio Collection by Hilton" to give it its full name) is a chic, swanky hotel that also (slightly secretly) offers free workspace.
Community type: Secretive and high-class
Plus points about Ace Hotel:
Great food and drink
Check out Hart Shoreditch.
2. Barbican Centre – Barbican
You don’t need to pay extraordinary prices to work in extraordinary places. The Barbican centre offers a plethora of art-based entertainment and venue hire but it also provides a free workspace for those who love the buzz of central London.
Free WiFi and a multitude of cafes make this an exciting place to get your work done. It’s not very often that you might be able to enjoy an exhibition during your lunch break.
Community type: Freelancers, Artists, students
Plus points about Barbican Centre:
Central London location
Fantastic event and venue space
2nd floor library for quiet reading and relaxation
Opening hours: 9am-11pm (Mon – Sat) 11am-11pm (Sun)
See the Barbican Centre.
3. Southbank Centre – Southbank
The Southbank Centre provides a cultural setting for you to conduct your work and meetings with an opportunity to explore some of the capital’s finest art.
Located south of the river, the Southbank Centre boasts wonderful views of the Thames whilst you work on that next pitch, sipping on a coffee or a cocktail.
Community type: Artists, freelancers, startups
Plus points about Southbank Centre:
Incredible food choices that will impress your associates
Open until 11pm
National Poetry Library for quiet working
Opening hours: Depends on which part of the centre you wish to visit please see the full listing.
4. Look Mum No Hands! – Old Street
Looking for a cool place to work with friendly people and a great vibe? How about somewhere that could get your bike fixed at the same time? Well, this is the place for you.
OK, it's a bit small, and when it comes to coffee shops, there are plenty of competitors around here (including the superb Ozone Coffee Roasters). But there's something special about LMNH (our own abbreviation).
Community type: Bike nuts, cool kids
Plus points about Look Mum No Hands
A handy place to get your bike fixed
Opening hours: 8am-10pm (Mon-Fri)
5. The Reading Room, Wellcome Collection – Euston
Based within the Wellcome Collection, the Reading Room is a comfortable, inspiring space to browse books and objects, work or relax.
Community type: Freelancers, students, book-nerds
Plus points about public libraries:
The silence! Bask in it!
Plenty of useful books surrounding you and a knowledge-base you can’t beat
Opening hours: 10am-5pm
See The Reading Room.
6. Tate Modern – Southbank
To finish with, why not work amongst the most iconic art in London? The Tate Modern ticks a number of boxes to make it a great location to work in.
Excellent views of the city? Tick. World-renowned art exhibitions? Tick. Delicious food? Tick. Free WiFi? Nah... Just kidding, imagine somewhere without free WiFi! Sitting right by the river in the centre of the capital with a cafe and bar on the top floor, it's a fantastic location for big fancy meetings and great views over your laptop.
Community type: Artists and freelancers
Plus points about Tate Modern:
Free collection displays to explore during your work breaks
Impressive views of the city
Free WiFi (obvs)
Opening hours: 10am-6pm (Sun-Thurs) 10am-10pm (Fri & Sat)
...and last but not least: Runway East
So, you like co-working spaces, but you don't have the cash to fork out on a monthly membership? Don't worry, we get it. We may still be able to give you access to one of our famously sought-after sites.
Depending on availability, we can offer day passes at some or all of our sites – just use our live chat to ask our team.
Community type: Startups, growing businesses and freelancers galore!
Plus points about Runway East:
Free (decent) tea & coffee + meeting room access
Convenient locations right next to transport links
Top-notch service and stellar startup connections
24-hour building access
Cake Wednesdays, drinks trolley on a Friday and dogs on demand
Done with remote working?
Come and check us out.