The best free workspace in London

From libraries and cafes to dedicated coworking spaces, we look into London’s best free office space for new businesses and freelancers...

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They say nothing in life comes free – and this seems especially true when it comes to finding a productive working environment in our bustling capital city.

For years, entrepreneurs and freelancers who can’t yet afford to pay for workspace have flocked to noisy coffee chains. And these haven’t exactly been ideal, thanks to their many distractions, unreliable wifi, and requests that you buy a new drink every hour.

But we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to settle for the local Starbucks. There are, in fact, plenty of London workspaces designed specifically for start-ups, entrepreneurs and freelancers that are completely free to use!

We’ve collated a handful of the best free workplaces in London below – read on to learn more about them and find the best space for you!

Campus London

Opening hours: 9am to 8pm, Monday to Friday

Closest stations: Old Street, Moorgate, Shoreditch High Street and Liverpool Street

What’s on offer at Campus London?

  • Free wifi
  • A cafe
  • Entrepreneurial workshops and events

Google’s Campus in Shoreditch is a buzzing space designed to encourage entrepreneurs in learning, collaborating and bringing their visions to life.

There’s a strong sense of community to be found here, and considering the workshops, talks and events available (benefits not typically offered in a free workspace), Campus London is arguably the closest you’ll get to full-blown coworking without having to pay for it.

Needless to say, Campus London is very popular among the city’s entrepreneurs – so be sure to get there nice and early to avoid missing out on a seat!

How do I join Campus London?

While membership is free, you will need to have signed up as a member beforehand in order to access the space. You can do this via Campus London’s website.

Visit Campus London’s website here.

The Coffice at Eagle House

Opening hours: 8am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday

Closest stations: Old Street

What’s on offer at The Coffice?

  • Free superfast wifi
  • Breakfasts and a range of hot and cold drinks available to buy

A merger between free office space and an artisan coffee shop, the aptly-named Coffice was launched to provide an attractive, relaxing and free place to work – without the distractions that come with a typical high street cafe.

Run by workspace provider The Brew – which also operates paid coworking space and offices at Eagle House – the French-style space has both indoor and outdoor areas, and is home to a collaborative community of entrepreneurs, freelancers and creatives.

How do I join The Coffice?

There’s no formal membership at The Coffice, so you’re welcome to just turn up – however, The Brew does ask that visitors buy something from the cafe while accessing the free wifi and electricity.

Visit The Coffice’s website here.

While free workspaces can be perfect when you’re running a brand new business, they’re not sustainable in the long-term. As you grow, you’ll need to find a coworking space with a more scalable, reliable offering.

To explore your options here, take a look at our article on the best coworking spaces in London. Or, take two minutes to fill out our coworking space form to receive tailored quotes from the coworking spaces that suit your needs best.

TY Seven Dials

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Opening hours: 8am to 6pm on Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm on Saturdays, and 10am to 6pm on Sundays

Closest stations: Leicester Square and Covent Garden

What’s on offer at TY Seven Dials?

  • Free wifi
  • Artisan food and drinks available to buy
  • Bookable meeting space
  • Bookable event space

Looking to challenge the traditional cafe (and how they can make workers feel like they must buy a new drink every 20 minutes), TY Seven Dials is a purveyor of both free workspace and speciality teas and coffees.

Aimed at creatives in particular, TY Seven Dials is a bright, airy and refreshing space. And with a private bookable boardroom and a media room – both of which can fit up to 12 people – it could be a great option for entrepreneurs who’ll need to meet with clients or carry out presentations.

How do I join TY Seven Dials?

TY Seven Dials doesn’t have a membership scheme and welcomes everyone – so just turn up and get to work!

Find out more about TY Seven Dials here.

Camden Collective

Opening hours: 24-seven

Closest stations: Camden Town and Camden Road

What’s on offer at Camden Collective?

  • Free wifi
  • Free meeting rooms and a boardroom
  • Event space
  • Kitchen facilities
  • Subsidised private offices

Providing 24-seven hot desking, this collaborative work environment is run by Collective, a regeneration charity that turns abandoned, disused buildings into fun, free workspaces for creative start-ups and entrepreneurs.

While Camden Collective – also known as Auction Rooms – is based in the heart of Camden Town, Collective also runs BaseKX in King’s Cross.

How can I join Camden Collective?

You’ll need to apply for membership before you can work at either space. You can do this via the website. There are entry criteria: Auction Rooms only accepts start-ups who are pre-trade or within their first six months of trading, while those joining BaseKX cannot have been trading for more than five years.

Rather than charging money, Collective instead asks that its members spend two hours per month contributing to the growth and development of the charity.

Visit Camden Collective’s website here.

The British Library’s reading rooms

Opening hours: These vary depending on which section of the library you’d like to work in.

Closest stations: Kings Cross, St Pancras International, Euston, Euston Square

What’s on offer at The British Library?

  • Free wifi
  • A choice of different reading rooms
  • Access to helpful resources and services
  • A programme of events

As the largest national library in the world by number of items catalogued, The British Library and its reading rooms immediately come to the fore as inspiring, quiet places to get work done.

Specifically, the library’s business and IP centre is a reading room designed for entrepreneurs and business owners. It's packed with free resources, including market reports, company data, start-up books, business directories and patents.

The business and IP centre also runs a programme of workshops, talks and one-to-one advice sessions.

How do I join The British Library’s reading rooms?

In order to access the reading rooms – including the business and IP centre – and all the resources they contain, you’ll need to register for a free Reader Pass. You can start this process online on The British Library’s website.

Learn more about the British Library’s reading rooms here.

The Barbican Centre

Opening hours: 10am to 8pm on Monday to Saturday, 11am to 8pm on Sundays

Closest stations: Barbican, Moorgate, Farringdon, St. Paul’s

What’s on offer at The Barbican Centre?

  • Free wifi
  • A programme of free arts and cultural events

The largest performing arts centre of its kind in Europe, The Barbican Centre is also an excellent place to get work done – with plenty of spots throughout the mammoth complex, including a library and a cafe, in which to get your head down.

Fancy a stimulating break from work? You’ll find free events and installations on offer in the famous Level G section. So, if you’re a fan of the arts and cultural events, The Barbican Centre could be your dream workplace.

How do I join The Barbican Centre?

You don’t need to officially join any scheme to work here – you can simply arrive, sit down and get started.

Visit The Barbican Centre’s website here.

Ace Hotel

Opening hours: 24-seven

Closest stations: Shoreditch High Street, Old Street, Hoxton

What’s on offer at Ace Hotel?

  • Free wifi
  • Hot drinks, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages available to buy

Located in creative and contemporary Shoreditch, this stylish hotel’s lobby is a popular hotspot among entrepreneurs, freelancers and creatives.

Whether you like to socialise and collaborate or get your head down independently, this space will have something for you. While a long communal work table forms a hive of activity, you’ll also find seating that’s partitioned into plush separate zones.

And if you like a drink of an evening, you’re in luck – the lobby comes equipped with a full bar.

How can I join Ace Hotel?

There’s no booking or membership required here – simply find a seat and get to work!

Visit Ace Hotel’s website here.

The Hoxton (Holborn)

Opening hours: 24-seven

Closest stations: Holborn, Tottenham Court Road, Covent Garden and Chancery Lane

What’s on offer at The Hoxton?

  • Free wifi
  • Hot drinks, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages available to buy
  • Bookable meeting rooms

At The Hoxton’s boutique Holborn hotel, you’ll find a large open lobby that welcomes local workers. This cosy mid century-style space is decorated with dark wood, cushioned seating and artwork.

The hotel also offers six beautifully-designed meeting rooms which are available to book at a cost. Those using them are also given access to a fully-stocked pantry kitchen, from which visitors can help themselves to drinks and snacks.

NB: The Hoxton also has a hotel, complete with open lobby, in Shoreditch.

How can I join The Hoxton?

No need to book any space – simply turn up and find a space in the lobby!

Visit The Hoxton’s website here.

Finding a workspace: What’s next?

As ideal as free workspace can be when you’re just starting out, it isn’t designed for sustained long-term use.

As your business grows, you will need access to a space where you’ll have room to scale, you can tap into resources and amenities designed for growing businesses, and importantly, you can be sure you’ll get a seat every day. In short, you’ll want to join a paid coworking space.

If this sounds right for you, answer a few questions about your business using our custom-built coworking space form, and we will send you tailored quotes from the coworking spaces that best suit your business’ needs.

Julia Watts
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