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If you know where to look, you’ll find there are lots of amazing free quiet study spaces in London. I do love studying and working in coffee shops, from Shoreditch to Tottenham Court Road, but sometimes, the budget is just not there. Freelancer life, hello.
And given just how many students, freelancers, and digital nomads the new London is made up of, it’s quite crucial to be aware of the best places to study in London – at least in my opinion.
But sometimes, you just want to find a place where you can work for free, in peace.
Ever since starting my first blog in 2015, and becoming a full-time blogger in those last few years, I have been looking for study spaces to perfect my craft and write all the articles I love to share with you guys.
That’s when I realized how much of a free spirit I am, and how much time I was personally spending to find free places to work in London.
So today, no restaurants, no candles, no eyeshadow palette, and no lipstick. We’re going to focus on the best quiet study spaces in London; most of which are absolutely free to work in.
And if you’d like to discover amazing places to study in London, take a look at these guides as well:
- The Best Cafes To Study in Camden
- The Best Cafes To Study in Chelsea
- The Best Cafes To Study in Notting Hill
- The Best Cafes To Study in Bethnal Green
- The Best Pret Cafes To Work in London
- The Best 24 Hour Places to Study in London
15 Free Quiet Study Spaces in London To Work and Study
As I mentioned, there are lots of amazing quiet study spaces in London, and the ones we’ll see together today are mostly free libraries.
Who doesn’t like a free library to work without having to splurge on coffee that’ll set you back at least £3?
When I used to study to become a personal trainer (long story short, I’m not a personal trainer), I would always visit my favorite Starbucks study cafe on Charing Cross Road.
For some reason, I used to consider it one of the best cafes to work in London, until it shut down during the pandemic.
Today, we’re onto free quiet study spaces in London, and those will include some very famous libraries like the British Library and the Southbank Centre, as well as some really underrated libraries in London, like the Central Library in Islington, the Coombes Croft Library, and the Wood Green Library.
Now let’s get on with the best free places to work in London, study, and get some good productivity going!
To make this guide easier for you to read, I have split it into two parts:
- the largest contains all the best free libraries to study in London
- and three of the best quiet cafes to work in London
Best Quiet Study Spaces in London: Free Libraries To Study
Free Places To Work in London: Wellcome Collection Library
If you’re looking for free places to work in London, then I don’t think there’s a more fun library to study than the Wellcome Collection library, really close to both King’s Cross and Tottenham Court Road.
Wow – it’s clearly one of the most beautiful and most homely free libraries in London.
As a little bit of background, the Wellcome Collection is a museum about health and the body – and every one of its collections is accessible to all freely.
The Wellcome Collection Library is filled with super comfortable armchairs, power outlets, free WiFi, and a cafe.
That’s right, a nice little cafe to work in London almost for free. I guess that’s what we’re looking for when we search for quiet study spaces in London, and even though it can get quite busy, it still remains one of the best free libraries to study in London to me.
Especially when you know you want to focus but want to do so in a more chilled way. If you’re looking for libraries open on Sundays, that’s not it, and you might want to look at the British Library for that, since it’s located super close.
However, the Wellcome Collection Library is open every other day from 10 to 6 except on Thursdays when it closes at 6 pm and Saturdays when it closes at 4.
So, for people looking for quiet spaces to study in London around King’s Cross, this is perfect, since the Wellcome Collection is located at Euston, at the end of Tottenham Court Road.
Free Places To Work in London: Wood Green Library
Since I used to live in North Finchley, accessing the Wood Green Library was just a short bus ride away from home.
And even though it’s quite “far” from the center, the Wood Green Library is one of the best quiet study spaces in London for students, freelancers, and people willing to read or just get out of home and start a business from a quiet spot.
I used to visit the Wood Green Library a lot when I used to live in Seven Sisters, and I’ve seen quite a lot of students come here to write their papers, do their homework with their beautiful notebooks, and do, in short, all that’s required from you when you’re a student.
To me, the Wood Green Library holds a sentimental power, because I wrote a lot of the first guides to The London Rack there, back when I was starting my first website.
And that’s definitely one of the best free places to work in London.
The fact that The Mall, Wood Green’s commercial center, is located just two minutes away (not even) with one of the biggest TK Maxx in town makes it perfectly situated if you’re looking for good places to study in London before taking the afternoon off.
That’s something I often do – wake up super early in the morning, write and prepare articles plans for all the London study places I find (I like to switch up my location as much as possible), and then go shopping to treat myself a little bit.
One of the best stationery shops in London, WH Smith, has a store just a few minutes away from the Wood Green Library, so if you want to treat yourself before work, that’s the perfect spot.
Try the Wood Green Library, it’s so huge and quiet that I feel it’s really one of the best places to study in London and get some productive work done.
It’s one of the London libraries open on Sundays, and it’s open from 9 am until 7 pm almost every other day of the week.
There are coffee shops all around so you can get yourself a big coffee before you start the day, and that, friends, you can’t put a price on that.
Quiet Study Spaces in London: British Library
The British Library is one of the best free quiet study spaces in London for whoever really wants to feel that working and studying atmosphere.
It’s one of the London study spaces that is packed almost as soon as it opens, as many freelancers and students go there to work.
And why wouldn’t they? Like all the good places to study in London, the British Library has lots of tables and surrounding books that will make your level of focus spike up.
The British Library was one of the very first spots that I visited when I was looking for free places to work in London.
I first moved to London in 2019, and after some time working all kinds of jobs while trying to make it as a makeup artist and writer, I finally took the dive and became a full-time freelance writer in 2020.
Among all the best quiet study spaces in London, the British Library will always remain at the top. Free to access to anyone, long tables, power outlets, and even on-site cafes to help you be as productive as you can be. Anytime.
Quiet Study Spaces in London: Barbican Library
The Barbican Library is located inside the Barbican Centre, in Central London, and I feel it’s one of the very best free places to work in London if you like having an artistic atmosphere around you.
I find that I’m very productive when working in cafes, what with the hustle and bustle of life passing by helping me focus tremendously.
But I also think that good places to study in London are the numerous centers, where lots of events and exhibitions take place all year round.
The Barbican Centre has lots of exhibitions going on all the time, and admission is free to all.
Inside, you have the Barbican Library, a colorful place with lots of seats – one of the definitive best places to study in London with your earphones on.
The library is open most days until 5.30 pm, but on Tuesdays and Thursdays, it’s open from 9.30 am to 7.30 pm so I’d say those are the best days to come if you’re looking for libraries open on Sundays in London.
There’s also a garden at the Barbican Centre which offers one of the best views in London. Really nice to spend some time in, and in the summer, if you don’t need power outlets, it’s also a really cool study spot outside.
National Art Library at the Victoria & Albert Museum
Ask any student what some of their favorite quiet study spaces in London are, and high the chances that they’ll include the National Art Library at the V&A Museum.
I do personally think that the Victoria & Albert Museum is one of the best museums in town, to start with.
But if you’re looking for free places to work in London, the National Art Library will definitely serve its purpose.
The rules are a bit tighter here than in other free libraries in London. People willing to work at the National Art Library have to leave their bags in the cloakroom – in exchange, the staff will give you a transparent bag to put your books, laptop, and pens in.
No water bottles nor food are allowed there, and noise must be kept to a minimum.
As such, if you’re looking for the best places to study in London quietly, then that’s definitely a spot you’re going to need to check out.
There is also another spot within the V&A Museum perfect for studying, and that’s the Prints & Drawings Study Room.
Both of these are among the best places to study in London, with great WiFi, power outlets, and just an overall atmosphere such that you’ll only want to be productive.
Do keep one or two hours after you’re done working or studying so you can visit the V&A Museum, as it’s really one of the most extensive and interesting museums in London for toddlers (with the huge skeletons exhibited) and adults alike.
Quiet Study Spaces in London: BFI Reuben Library
The BFI Reuben Library is located close to the Southbank Centre, which is one of the best study spaces in London, and which I’m going to talk about later in this guide.
One of my favorite things to do alone in London is to hang around Southbank, even if it’s also now filled with locals.
The British Film Institute is one of the London spots made for movie lovers, with lots of reference books and a cinema nearby.
That’s one real hub for students, that’s for sure, but it’s also one of the best free places to work in London in my opinion, especially if you want to feel the work and hope atmosphere (if that even makes sense).
The BFI Reuben Library is huge, and there are lots of seats there, free WiFi, power outlets, and lots of restaurants and coffee shops nearby.
Since I seem to find myself at London Bridge quite often, it’s not rare for me to land at the Reuben Library when I’m looking for quiet study spaces in London.
Especially when I’m in a period of my life when I’m learning ever more about marketing, and studying new topics that I could write about.
Just a really lively place all around, but still one of the best quiet places to work in London, and close to everything, in my opinion.
Free Places To Work in London: Bishopsgate Library
The Bishopsgate Institute Library is located a few minutes’ walk away from both Liverpool Street station and the Old Spitalfields Market, which I love for all its vegan bakeries, street food and small designer stands.
That’s one of the best places to study in London because although it’s quite famous, I feel like it’s a bit too “outside” of Central London for many people to come.
Actually, I’ve seen many more people queue for quiet study spaces in London like the British Library than for the Bishopsgate Library.
All the more quietness for the people who actually travel to go there, although it’s still in fare zone 1.
There are lots of events and exhibitions taking place at the Bishopsgate Institute, and most of these are not free.
However, if you just want to use the library facilities, then admission is free, and you can come whenever you want during the opening hours.
It’s also close to some of the best cafes in East London to study and work if you ever want to switch up that work atmosphere of yours.
Just one of the really good work and study places in London for anyone, whether you’re a freelancer or a student, and there’s a big Tesco not too far as well as lots of cafes in Liverpool Street, like Pret a Manger and Caffè Nero, where you can get a cuppa before starting work.
Quiet Study Spaces in London: Central Library Islington
I’d just like to take a moment to highlight the fact that all those amazingly quiet study spaces in London I’m mentioning today in this guide are work and study spots I personally visit on a regular basis.
And one of the best free places to work in London, in my opinion, is also one of the most underrated libraries: the Central Library Islington.
Located on Holloway Road, the Central Library Islington neighbors a university and the Highbury & Islington station.
And if you’re looking for good places to study and make things happen for yourself, then that’s definitely one of the best quiet study spaces in London.
What I mostly love about the Central Library Islington is how big it is. There is one specific room I always go to, which is very large, and has lots of shelves in the background.
Lots of power outlets and free WiFi too, so that definitely tops any of the places you could come across in terms of free places to work in London.
Anyone can access this library, and its opening hours are quite extensive as well since it closes at 8 pm three days a week, and it’s also open on Sundays.
If you’re ever looking for the best cafes to work in London, think again and try this background for once – you’re going to love it.
Quiet Study Spaces in London: Kensington Central Library
The Kensington Central Library is located in West London, so if you ever feel like getting work done in the morning before checking out charity shops in Chelsea or taking a walk around Portobello Road, maybe, then that’s one of the best quiet study spaces in London right there for you.
First of all, it’s a huge building, and it really has this old-school slash English library vibe. All wooden, with big tables and bookshelves all around, it’s perfect for anyone looking for free places to work in London around Kensington and South Kensington.
Second of all, it’s open from 9.30 to 8 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, and closes at 5 pm on the other days of the week.
That means you have plenty of time for working, studying, revising, writing essays, and doing research.
Admission is free, so you can just go to any of the study areas to work, and get your projects going.
However, if you’re looking for libraries in London open on Sundays, that’s not the one.
Still one of the best places to study in London – especially given how huge it is, and how very free it is to anyone looking to read and work.
Free Places To Work in London: N4 Library Finsbury Park
Over time, I’ve found that the best quiet study spaces in London were probably also the most underrated spots.
We all have our favorites, and I guess that choosing free places to work in London doesn’t always come with the greatest variety. Doesn’t it, though?
After all, there are plenty of free libraries in London, and if you are just willing to take the bus for a while, the round-trip ticket will cost you less than £4.
Plus, even though some free libraries are quite dodgy, some others are in my opinion the best places to study in London.
Especially when they’re located close to uni, like the Central Library in Islington or the Idea Store in Whitechapel, if you’re looking for free libraries in East London (the latter is not too far from the London Metropolitan University).
One of my favorites, which dates back to the time I used to live in Seven Sisters, is the N4 Library in Finsbury Park.
It’s located in the same building as the City & Islington university, so there are students there at every time of the day.
I do feel this is one of the best quiet study spaces in London as there’s everything you need, from power outlets on the tables to free WiFi, and there’s always space there.
Twice a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays, the N4 Library closes at 8 pm, so you can really get some good work done there since it opens every day at 9.30 am.
However, if you were looking for London libraries open on Sundays, that’s not the one – but still one of the free places to work in London very much worth visiting, especially if you have a direct bus route to Finsbury Park.
Quiet Study Spaces in London: Southbank Centre
If you’re ever looking for cool London Bridge cafes to work in, then let me recommend walking down the river to the Southbank Centre.
Southbank is my favorite area in the city, and it’s also one of the best places to study in London if you’re looking for a young atmosphere.
It’s a huge building, first of all, and you can choose to work in the foyers at the Royal Festival Hall, or in the Poetry Library on the fifth floor.
Depends on what kind of vibe you’re looking for, but for sure, those are two of the best quiet study spaces in London.
Nearby, you have The Strand, just a short walk away, with all the best cafes to work around Covent Garden as well.
There are lots of amazing cafes and restaurants around the Southbank Centre, and there’s even a used books market almost all days of the week there, whether it’s sunny or raining.
I usually go to the Poetry Library, as I feel it’s one of the best study spots in London when I want to really be all alone, not meet anyone, and just get my work done.
Then, since there’s a Foyles bookshop nearby – one of the best bookshop cafes in London!, I’ll probably take a walk there after and browse the bookshelves looking for some new books, and walk up to either London Bridge or Warren Street to catch the bus back home.
One of the best free places to work in London all around, filled with people looking to make it just like us.
Best Quiet Study Spaces in London: Coombes Croft Library Tottenham
Before we jump onto some of the very best quiet cafes to study in London, I want to mention the Coombes Croft Library, which I have gotten to know a few weeks ago, when I moved in Tottenham.
I cannot believe no one has ever told me about this library, which boasts a few tables, is usually empty, and has both free WiFi and power outlets!
The Coombes Croft Library has quickly become one of the best quiet study spaces in London near me, and since I’m working most of the time, writing new articles for clients and The Working Line, I have found it is one of the best free places to work in London overall.
A pretty new and very decent free library to study whether you’ve got your laptop with you, or are just looking for a good, quiet study spot to read and write.
Best Quiet Study Spaces in London: Best Cafes To Work and Study
Quiet Study Spaces in London: Foyles Café on Charing Cross Road
If you’re looking for quiet study spaces in London, all the libraries I’ve mentioned above are really amazing for anyone trying to write a paper, read and revise, or just quietly get all kinds of work done.
But the last place I wanted to tell you about is actually not a library. However, it is one of the best cafes to study in London: the Foyles Café on Charing Cross Road.
Foyles is without a doubt my favorite bookshop in London, and the one on Charing Cross Road is definitely one of the biggest bookshops in London overall.
There are five floors there, and I’ve bought countless books there – especially the ones from The Secret series by Rhonda Byrne (that you should read if you’re big on productivity and the Law of Attraction!).
On the highest floor sits one of the best quiet cafes in London to work and study, the Foyles Café. The fact that it’s so centrally located but still perfect to study and get some work done will always blow my mind.
I do know that we’re straying from free places to work in London, but if you just get an Americano, then you won’t pay that much and you’ll be able to stay and work. Free WiFi on top of that just makes it one of the best quiet places to study in London, period.
Quiet Study Spaces in London: Kahaila
I discovered Kahaila a few months ago while roaming around the city in search of cool new coffee shops to work in. Kahaila is located in Brick Lane, near some of the best markets in Shoreditch and the cool charity shops in Bethnal Green.
Beyond an unassuming facade and rainbow cakes filling the window shop, you’ve got one of the biggest study spaces in London.
Of course, since it is a coffee shop, it’s not free, but the upside is that Kahaila is a cafe turned towards the community, and its prices are very reasonable.
The picture above is mine; a latte at Kahaila in Brick Lane is huge and scorching hot, meaning that it will easily last you for hours.
There is free WiFi in the coffee shop and lots of comfortable seats, armchairs, and benches scattered around near the walls, where you will also find power outlets to charge your devices.
One of the top study spaces in London if you’re looking for quiet cafes to work, aside from the end of the day, when Kahaila fills up with people catching up with each other.
- Beigel Shop Brick Lane
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Quiet Study Spaces in London: The Common E2
The Common E2 in Bethnal Green is actually located not too far from the aforementioned Kahaila Cafe and Quarantacinque, one of the best Italian cafes in London.
The Common E2 is everything you might wish for when you’re looking for amazing study cafes in London.
A pretty decently-sized coffee shop that also doubles as an architectural design studio and a coworking space, The Common E2 was first established in 2014, and for almost ten years now, it has been catering to students, freelancers, and digital nomads.
Lots of power outlets and great free WiFi, along with that atmospheric work vibe have made me choose The Common E2 to include in this guide to the best quiet study spaces in London.
In addition, if you’re feeling hungry, The Common E2 has amazing coffee and all-day brunch on the menu; salads, sandwiches, and fresh cakes to eat as you take a break from studying.
15 Free Quiet Study Spaces in London To Work and Study
So there you have them, the best free quiet study spaces in London, or work, if like me, you’re a freelancer and/or a start-up person.
Later on, I’ll write about the best cafes to work in West London, as this is something I personally do from time to time.
Although I do love finding amazing London study spaces, I do think that working in a cafe while other people are thriving and making it happen for themselves is uber-motivating.
Now that you have all the best quiet study spaces in London, it’s up to you to choose whether you’d rather visit some of the biggest libraries or just local libraries in London to get work done.
In any case, you’ll make it, I believe in you, you can do this!
Until next time!
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