Taking the whole family out doesn't need to be expensive – in fact it can be completely free
Here are some ideas for free days out and family activities in the UK.
At a glance
- Museums are great fun days out and are often free
- Fun can be found outdoors at some adventure attractions
- Don't forget, the UK has some great beaches
Most of the big London museums, like the Natural History Museum and the Tate Modern, are free except for the special exhibitions. But if you’re not in the capital, here are a few less well known gems to try.
- Hat Works Museum, Stockport Yes, it really is a museum dedicated to hats. You can see headwear through the ages and find out how hats are made – and of course, there are plenty to try on.
- National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon Much more than just old pottery – contact the museum to find out about weekend and holiday activities, where kids can try on replica armour and experience life in a legionary barracks.
- National Railway Museum, York See the famous Flying Scotsman, and a whole range of other trains that will look surprisingly familiar to any Thomas fans in the family.
Mixing a great big space to play with a bit of inspiration from history, these are prime locations for make-your-own-adventure days out.
- Maiden Castle, Dorset This giant Iron Age fort has enough dips, ridges and hummocks to keep even the most energetic kids busy, whether they’re planning their own battles or just rolling down the slopes.
- Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire How many woodlands can capture your kids’ imaginations like Sherwood Forest? Take your band of Merry Men to run around beneath the trees and play at outwitting the dastardly Sherriff of Nottingham.
Beaches offer some of the best opportunities for free fun. If the sun shines you're laughing. Scattered around the country, often with amusements for children you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to the UK’s coastline.
Fancy trying something new and surprising? You can find fun days out in unexpected places. Here are a couple of ideas to inspire you.
- The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta The kids will love watching masses of hot air balloons float up into the sky at this four-day festival in August. On the ground, there’s loads of entertainment and food – and it’s completely free to attend. If crowds aren't for you, just find a nearby hill and have a picnic with an amazing view!
- Borough Market, London OK, so the kids might not fancy a tasty ostrich burger, but the sights and smells of London’s serious foodie market is bound to make even the fussiest eater hungry. A lot of the sellers will happily hand out samples to try, and you might come home with a little exotic treat - what about some chocolate made by monks in the mountains?