Hackney Marshes is the spiritual home of Sunday league football, with over 50 matches played between dozens of amateur teams every week.
The quality of football is usually quite high... but even if you end up watching a duffer, you can simply walk over to the next pitch and watch that instead. There are so many games being played each week that you're bound to find a good one. You can even watch a couple at once if you don't mind swivelling your head around.
This place is for real football aficionados. Going to one of the big Premier League or Championship games is great, but there's nothing like standing pitch-side and hearing the bone-thumping tackles coming in, seeing the mud flying, and supporters getting irate every time they miss a kick. This is real football. And it's free!
The area of Hackney Marshes where the games take place is huge. There are an incredible 82 pitches in total (that is how large it is!), but the matches are spread across three separate venues: Hackney Marshes Centre (also known as The South Marsh), Mabley Green and Victoria Park. Check out their website at hackneyandleytonfootballleague.co.uk for details about how to reach each of the three sights. That website also provides a fixture list of upcoming games.
You can ask some questions and talk about Hackney Marshes on the forum.
Admin – “The fixture list is still up for Sunday, so it all looks okay. If you want to check before you set out, to be safe, then you can always give them a ring. There are a few different locations for the pitches, but all the telephone numbers can be found here — hackneyandleytonfootballleague.co.uk/pitch-directions/4578170785 The fixtures for Jan 5th can be found here — hackneyandleytonfootballleague.co.uk/january-2014/4581703500”
Guest – “do leigh utd from tottenham still play other there from 1964 era”
Get a closer look at the Albert Memorial – First Sun of the month (Mar to Dec only) – Go inside the Albert Memorial's railings and see one of London's finest looking monuments from up close
Listen to a speech at Speakers’ Corner – Every Sun (around noon) – If you visit Speakers' Corner at Sunday lunchtime you can listen to orators discussing whatever they like in the name of free speech.
Be a zoo keeper for a day at London Zoo – Mon to Fri – Sign-up to be a zoo-keeper at London Zoo for a day and get close to the animals and help to feed them and muck them out
Volunteer to help out at Spitalfields City Farm – Every day – Spitalfields City Farm is a nice place to take your kids, but did you know that you can volunteer to help out on the farm?
Hire a deckchair in one of London’s parks – 1 Mar to 31 Oct 2019 – Hire out a deck-chair in one of London's Royal parks and have a nice, relaxing sit-down and do a bit of people-watching
Hire a pedal boat on the Serpentine lake – 1 Apr to 31 Oct 2019 – Spend a pleasant afternoon pedalling around in a little hire boat on the Serpentine, or catch the sun-powered SolarShuttle.
41-gun salute to mark the Queen’s 93rd birthday – 21 Apr 2019 – You can hear the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery fire a 41-gun salute in Hyde Park to mark the Queen's 93rd birthday.
Find some more football matches taking place in January
Here are some more free events in London if you want a cheap day out
If you enjoy Hackney Marshes then you might like to visit Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium (catch the train from Leyton to Arsenal), Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge (catch the train from Leyton to Fulham Broadway) and Wembley Stadium (catch the train from Leyton to Wembley Park)
Disclaimer: Event details can change at short notice and you should reconfirm everything before making plans