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.

If you are a freelancer, entrepreneur or startup looking for free space that has that little bit extra then read on..

1. Google Campus – Shoreditch

Credit: Paul Miller

The grand-daddy of free coworking spaces in London, the Shoreditch-located branch of Google’s global campus project is built for those just beginning their startup adventure on a tight budget. Part-cafe, part workspace, in the heart of London’s startup world, there are ample opportunities and events to network and connect with others. Be warned though – this place is popular, and it’s not uncommon to see a queue form outside before it opens at 9am.

Community type: Founders, entrepreneurs and startups

Plus points about Google Campus:

  • Free weekly mentoring sessions from experienced entrepreneurs
  • Arranged campus ‘meetups’ to help you find like minded entrepreneurs
  • Google provide a team to help entrepreneurs and create a positive working atmosphere

Opening hours: 9am-8pm. Website to register for free

2. Ace Hotel – Shoreditch

An uber-cool space that is sure to put you in close proximity of entrepreneurs and startup founders is the Ace Hotel. Its large lobby room has a mixture of open and partitioned spaces available, making it a comfortable yet vibrant place to spend your working hours.

Community type: “A mixture of everything”

Plus points about Ace Hotel:

  • Open 24hrs
  • Jam-packed with events after you’ve finished working
  • Jaw-dropping views from the rooftop bar for your afterwork drinks

Opening hours: Open 24hrs – but don’t expect to get much work done at 2am when the bar gets swinging! Map

3. 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 makes 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) Map

4. Southbank Centre – Southbank

The Southbank Centre provides a cultural setting for you to conduct your work and meetings with an opportunity to explore some 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 click here for a full listing


5. The Brew Eagle House Coffice – Old Street

Located just north of the Old Street roundabout station, The Brew presents a blend of community spirit, culinary treats and entrepreneurial energy. This is no ordinary cafe, the space is buzzing with tech entrepreneurs and startups providing a truly practical workspace. The food and community aspects make it a great place to socialise too.

Community type: Small business owners, freelancers, creatives and tech entrepreneurs

Plus points about The Brew Eagle House Coffice:

  • Free superfast 200mb Wi-Fi
  • French wine bar open until 11pm
  • Tips and advice to help your business

Opening hours: 8am-6pm (Mon-Fri) 

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, world renowned art exhibitions, delicious food, free wifi. Tick. Sitting right by the river in centre of the capital with a cafe and bar on the top floor, it is a fantastic location for inspiration and meetings.

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

Opening hours: 10am-6pm (Sun-Thurs) 10am-10pm (Fri & Sat)

Runway East Opening New Locations in London Bridge & Soho

Hey there, while you’re here, you should know that Runway East is opening two brand new locations in bustling London Bridge and culture-rich Soho. Make sure you download the brochures to get the full scoop and a look inside the spaces!

Article written by James Twomey

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