Struggling to find the motivation to study or just need a change of scenery? I’ve been there. This is why I’ve created a list of study spots around London that are not libraries or cafés, and on top of that, most of them are free!
1. Brewdog’s Desk Dog
Location: Multiple, see on their website
This is the only study spot on the list that is paid for but worth the price. Brewdog is a pub chain with locations all around London. If you come in and ask for “Desk Dog”, you can participate in an unusual co-working experience. As a student, you can get a “Daily Hot Desk Pass” for £7.50. In return, you get to stay in the pub from 12 to 5pm to work. Besides, you can order unlimited hot drinks included in the price, as well as a pint of beer at the end of the day.
While this might not be for every day due to the price, it is a reasonable value for money, and I recommend checking it out if you just want something completely different. The only thing to note, though, is that some of the pubs play loud music, so perhaps don’t come if you have to be super concentrated or bring some noise-cancelling headphones.
2. Southbank Centre
Location: Waterloo/Bankside, SE1 8XX
Southbank Centre is home to performance venues, the Hayward Gallery, and the National Poetry Library. It also has a bunch of seating where you can simply sit down and study. From what I have seen, it seems relatively quiet, too. What is great about this is that it is centrally located, close to campus and does not cost anything. It has a similar atmosphere to a café, just more open-plan.
3. The Barbican
Location: City of London, EC2Y 8BN
The Barbican is a cultural hub and shows theatre plays as well. It has a similar vibe to the Southbank centre. Personally, I have not explored much of the indoor seating, but there seems to be seating inside as well as in the café on the ground floor. The best part about the Barbican is the outdoor space. It is such a relaxing oasis in the middle of London. Sitting there and reading is especially great during summer. After your study session, you can even pop into the Barbican Conservatory.
4. City of London rooftop gardens
Location: City of London, EC3M 3BY, 20 Fenchurch Street (Sky Garden) and 120 Fenchurch Street (The Garden at 120)
When I went to Sky Garden, I immediately thought about sitting and reading there. While it can be quite busy at times, Sky Garden is free to enter and there is seating around. I personally have not attempted studying here, but it might be a good spot to do some reading. Equally, there is another rooftop garden that is free to enter just a short walk from Sky Garden – the Garden at 120. When I went, it was much quieter than Sky Garden. However, it is an open-air spot, so it only really lends itself to dry weather.
5. Samsung KX
Location: King’s Cross/Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4DQ
This is a very new spot that has only opened recently. It is a co-working space by Samsung just around the corner from King’s Cross station. It also seems to have lots of tech-related activities which could be fun to check out. I have not been here myself, but I have seen it on social media a few times recently. I wanted to include it in this list for another idea but cannot vouch for how loud or suited to studying it really is.