There are several anarchist squats in London that would (most likely) be happy to let you crash for a few days.


By law Restaurants, Pubs and Clubs are not allowed to refuse the request of tap-water.

Many Churches also have the Alpha scheme of providing free meals on occassion. Look around.

Pret-a-manger throw away sacks of food every day ... plenty of good stuff from cakes to salads and smoothys. Its always bagged in it's original packaging, so not as skanky as it sounds.

Medical Care

All I can say is, got to love the NHS.

Legal Aid

ACLU, free legal aid/counseling, pro bono attorneys, etc.

Armed Forces/Deployment Avoidance Counseling

Legal aid, resources, etc.


See Free Play section, include details for this city.

Beaches, Swimming Pools, Parks, Sports, Museums, Music, Theatre, TV shows, Movies, etc.


General weather, traffic, news resources, etc.

Underground Papers



Any other freebies

Public Transit

Subways, Buses, Ferries, Shuttles, etc.

Free Tube / Overland Rail Travel / London Buses

Many a time when you don't have a topped up oyster card or hard earned cash to spend on the over-used, over-priced, and over-glorified London transit system, you can get it for free! There are many tube stations (And now overland rail stations) that don't require you to pay to board. Also, do not forget the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) - I think only two stations have barriers. There are occasionally ticket collectors or 'Revenue Protection Officers', but they are quite rare as of my writing (March 2008).

There are many ways of doing it but the trick is to remember which stations have gates, and which don't. You'll find a lot of them on the fringes of Zones 2 out to Zone 5 that will have no gates. You should also remember that a lot of tube stations aren't manned after 10pm anyway, and you can simply slip under the gates or jump them without hassle. My best example of traveling using the London transport system for free would be to say, start your journey on the DLR (using Shadwell as an example) and then riding it to Bank. Once the train pulls into Bank, you are past the barriers and inside the tube station, and inside the tube network.

Now what? Exiting the tube. There are a few ways to do this. Places like Waterloo or Highbury and Islington have only "tap sensors" meaning that if you want to tap your card, you can. (Be aware, Waterloo only has this on the "Waterloo and City" line side of the station). Stations are still fantastic for 'bunking' trains as most do not have electronic gates or guards checking the tickets.

Another example from getting from across the city would be to get on the DLR, Go to Stratford, take a National Rail service from Stratford all the way to Willesden Junction, change to the overland to Clapham Junction (Which you can walk out of) and bingo! You've just gone from North East zone 3 to South West!

Buses are currently an odd situation in London right now. Whilst I don't have much advice for the standard double-decker buses, you may have encountered the "bendy" buses. These long saviours of money generally are put on long routes, such as Ilford (Essex) to Oxford Street. They very rarely have inspectors at all, and you can get on using any of the 3 doors they have. The more packed the bus, the better - RPOs won't get on or even try checking tickets. As you will see that 50% or so of the people using it don't 'tap their oyster' or pay to get on either!

Notable routes are:

  • Route 25 - Ilford, Stratford, Bow, Mile End, Aldgate, Bank + 'The City', St Pauls, Chancery Lane, Holborn, Tottenham Court Road, Oxford St

  • Route 38 - Clapton, Hackney, Dalston, Canonbury, Islington, Bloomsbury, Holborn, Tottenham Court Road, Westminister, Victoria

There are a lot of others too - Update this if you can!

Bunking Trains

A few things to remember - The RPOs are on commission, they will try and push you for tickets. If you are caught, be as apologetic and human to them as possible. They will probably just kick you off anyway, but some of the nicer ones will let you ride for free. "Sob stories" (My cat / aunt / child died) etc also work well. Hiding in the toilets works well, an old favourite. You get your privacy, have a sleep if needs be, and without the fear of getting caught. UNLESS you do it on a packed train. Don't use the large disabled toilets either, there are only a few and frequently in use. If you are using toilets, memorising the stations you stop at is a must. You don't want to get out too early or too late!

Pretending to fall asleep also works very well, quickly unpack all your items and look like you've been there a long time, then lie down and pretend to be sleeping - most RPO's won't want to disturb someone sleeping. This works best when you have two seats side-by-side to yourself, as you can lye down on your side without anyone seeing your face.

If you're not brave enough to completely bunk the trains, provided you are still youthful(!), you can always get a child's ticket, which is usually half the price of a standard ticket. If you're too old to pass as a child, and intend on getting a day travelcard for the tube, for instance, buy a child's ticket anyway and pull the "falling asleep" when the inspector comes.

London To Portsmouth

Journey time: Around an hour and a half

Waterloo - Ungated

Surbition - Gated from 8am to 6pm

Woking - Gated (Fence at the side you can jump though)

Guildford - Gated (However, there is a side door with the code "3524" and they let people just walk through - Blag it, say you were using the car park and now just leaving the station)

Farncombe - Ungated

Godalming - Ungated

Milford - Ungated

Whitley - Ungated

Haslemere - Ungated, Sometimes Guard

Liphook - Ungated

Liss - Ungated

Petersfield - Ungated

Rowlands Castle - Ungated

Havant - Gated one ONE side

Bedhampton - Ungated

Cosham - Ungated

Fratton - Ungated on ONE side

Portsmouth & Southsea - Gated

Portsmouth Harbour - Gated

(If you're looking to get off at Portsmouth, my advice is to get off at Fratton and walk - it's about a 15 min walk to Portsmouth Harbour)

Somerset To London (South West Trains)

Journey time: Around 3 hours Journey cost: Upwards of £40

Travelled this line a few times, Axminster, Crewkerne and Yeovil stations are all ungated as is London Waterloo, your destination. However, there is an average of 2 ticket inspectors per journey. I recommend falling asleep (or pretending to), although someone really dedicated could stay in the toilet.

London tips

Try bunking between two ungated stations at rush hour, the carriages will be too packed for the ticket inspectors to get on.

If your feeling thorough wait at the end of the platform where back of the train will pull up. As it goes past look in to see if there's any inspectors (easy to spot with stupid hats, lurching around in pairs). Now your sure the trains clear walk up to the front grab yourself a newspaper till the next stop, and then check that platform as the train pulls in. If there's any inspectors you'll see them, if there's not... rinse and repeat.

Waterloo doesn't have gates always ticket checkers though. Instead duck through the underground entrance on the platform ... this is sometimes blocked by yet more checkers if you come in from Wimbledon etc, maybe 1 in 10 times(platforms 1-4 in Waterloo). If this is the case then jump onto the train back to Vauxhall and switch to a train that pulls into a higher numbered platform (in Vauxhall walk down the steps and get a train to waterloo on the platform closest to the bus station and tube station entrances)... these aren't ever covered. Just go down the underground entrance on the platform which leads to a couple of different exits, and your within walking distance of central London.

Abusing Open Returns

In some cases Open Returns (tickets in two parts that allow outward travel on the day of issue and return travel within a month) are only a few pence more (or in some cases, cheaper)than the equivalent single and what's more can provide unlimited travel on the return leg for that month. The trick is not getting the return part dated either by a ticket barrier or by the stamp of a Revenue Protection Officer (Ticket Inspector). If you achieve this you can potentially save hundreds of pounds by reusing the return segment of the ticket for the full month of validity.

To avoid getting the ticket dated by an automated ticket gate insert it once or twice times with the metallic strip facing upward so that 'Seek Assistance' is displayed on the barriers LED display, then, acting confused, approach the Inspector supervising the gate, pass them your ticket for cursory glance and they should allow you on to the train. Do similarly at your destination station.

On shorter trains that normally have inspectors look out the window or listen to music and avoid surrendering your ticket when they ask for all tickets from your station. However on longer trains plying inner suburban routes where inspectors are not guaranteed, RPOs effectively 'sweep' the train from back to front in the direction of travel. Get on as near to the back of the train as possible. Also travel early in the morning or late at night when Revenue Inspectors are less likely to be on the network.

If a transfer is required between London terminals DON'T use your return segment in the Tube machines as again this will date your ticket. Use the same method as at the destination and original stations by presenting your ticket to the attendant RPOs for a cursory glance and they should open the gates for you.

Hopping the train between Cardiff and Newport, Wales, UK

This has become more difficult in recent times, due to the addition of electronic gates in both Cardiff and Newport stations, but if you are real determined (or even just slightly determined) it is still possible.

I found this trick when I started film school, commuting between Cardiff (pseudo-metropolitan, yuppie infested pit - pretty parks though!) and Newport (post-industrial townie infested pit - good alternative nightlife though!) and finding myself unwilling to spend the money for one stop.

Basically, in Cardiff Central train station, you would go up in the elevator, where there was no one collecting tickets, to platform 1/2 and hop on the Great Western London train on its way from Swansea. The train is real fucking long, and they don't usually bother to check tickets between Cardiff and Newport as it is only one stop. Sometimes though, they do, and then you gotta be on your toes and be ready to bail discreetly in the opposite direction.

Then, in Newport you would go out the front door. Easy Peasy.

Of course, the goldern era of free train travel between Cardiff and Newport is coming to an end. There are now gates on the elevator entrance in Cardiff, and on the front entrance in Newport. Bugger.

But wait! There's more!

Using my devious mind I have discovered a yet unfilled security hole. Basically, to get to Newport you have to get on a train at Cathys train station, a small stop in the student area of the city, right by the student union in fact. You then ride the train into Central Station (the train will stop at Queen Street station before getting to Central), switch to platform 1/2 and get on the London train there! In Newport just take the car park exit, unless the gates happen to be down, which they often are.

hopping from Newport to Cardiff you wanna get on the Swansea train. Its the same train going the other way. You can't miss it; its a real long, blue Great Western train with First Class up front.

Oh yeah, And if you like reading The Times you can grab a copy from first class.

Happy Hopping!

Free Clothing and Furniture

While not completely free, charity shops provide very cheap clothing. Not only is this a good place to get dressed by, it also allows for cheap materials, books and the like.

If you are desperate for free clothes and furniture, just visit a charity shop in the evenings, after they have closed. People keen to donate goods will often leave items outside, to be collected in the morning by the shop.

See Free Clothing and Furniture section, provide details for this city.

Assorted Freebies

See Assorted Freebies Section, provide details for this city, including other topics. Whatever fits and is useful.


Go to the Survive section and provide any city-specific details, including new topics.