Free things to do

Free things to do and see

There are few places in the world offering more for eager culture vultures hunting for free things to do. Free museums and art galleries sit on top of the list. For the more outdoor-minded, grab a map from the local tourist office or visitor centre and go on a treasure hunt through town or countryside. Farmers’ markets offer a vivid tableau of community life, and often encourage you to taste free samples. See window shopping in a new light. The displays are often works of art in their own right and the architecture and design of some of the most famous shopping emporiums in the world is breathtakingly impressive.

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Be at one with birds of prey at Rosliston Forestry Centre

There’s something special about being close to a bird of prey; those round watchful eyes on high alert, fixing you with a dominating stare.

Location: Rosliston, Derbyshire

 

Discover dinosaur footprints on the beach

Everyone who has been to the beach has seen footprints left in the sand, but have you ever seen ones that have been left by a dinosaur?

Location: Brook, Isle of Wight

 

Trip-trap along the Red Squirrel Trail

This family-friendly cycle and walking path encompasses an exciting trail of artwork, sculpture and trolls under bridges.

Location: Newport, Isle of Wight

 

Picnic in Blackpool’s largest park

Stanley Park, in the heart of Blackpool, is renowned for being one of the region's finest parks.

Location: Blackpool, Lancashire

 

September events: Be blown away at St Annes International Kite Festival

St Annes hosts the spectacular annual Kite Festival, featuring magnificent kites from all over the world.

Location: St Annes on Sea, Lancashire

 

Free fun for the family at Monkwearmouth Station Museum

Monkwearmouth Station Museum has received national commendations for work with young children and provides fun and education for the whole family.

Location: Sunderland, Tyne and Wear

 

Rainy Day Activities: Sunderland Museum

Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens is a great place for the whole family to spend the day – and it’s free.

Location: Sunderland, Tyne and Wear

 

July events: Fly to Sunderland for the International Airshow

Pack a picnic, head to the beach and lie back for dazzling aerial acrobatics, classic aircraft, live music, fireworks and traditional seaside fun.

Location: Sunderland, Tyne and Wear

 

Find yourself on a farm in the heart of Nottingham

Stonebridge City Farm is a slice of the countryside in the heart of a city centre.

Location: Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

 

Rainy Day Activities: Meet a mummy at the Hands on History Museum

Converted from the oldest secular building in Hull, the Hands on History Museum provides a fascinating insight into history from across the globe.

Location: Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire

 

Rainy Day Activities: Explore Earth and space at Liverpool’s World Museum

Need ideas on things to do when it rains? Visit one of North West England’s oldest museums and get a hands-on look at our planet from the oceans to the stars.

Location: Liverpool, Merseyside

 

July events: Experience Stratford-upon-Avon’s River Festival

Stratford-upon-Avon’s River Festival in the summer is a two-day extravaganza on the banks of the River Avon.

Location: Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

 

Explore Cornwall’s mining heritage

Sandy beaches, cream teas, ancient woodlands and innovative architecture make for a fascinating family day out in Camborne and Redruth.

Location: Cornwall

 

Rainy Day Activities: Explore mining history at Woodhorn Museum

Explore hundreds of years of mining heritage at this unique museum in Northumberland, built from what was once the largest pit village in the world.

Location: Ashington, Northumberland

 

Experience life in a WWI trench at the Lancashire Museum

Tens of thousands of proud Lancastrians perished in the Great War, whose experiences in the trenches are brought to life at the Museum of Lancashire in Preston.

Location: Preston, Lancashire

 

Visit Battlefield 1403, site of the Battle of Shrewsbury

Visit the site of the Battle of Shrewsbury in Shropshire and discover how it changed the course of English and French history.

Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire

 

Discover the birthplace of the Tank

Learn the history behind the birth of the tank - the machine that broke the stalemate of World War 1 – at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life.

Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

 

Relax with a day's birding at Langford Lakes

Open bodies of water are a rarity in south Wiltshire, making Langford Lakes nature reserve an attractive stopping-off point for a host of wild birds.

Location: Salisbury, Wiltshire

 

Trot over to meet Redwings Horse Sanctuary's rescued residents

Come nose to nose with some of Redwings Horse Sanctuary's most delightful residents at Redwings Ada Cole Rescue Centre in Essex.

Location: Nazeing, Essex

 

Enjoy the energy of South Tyneside Festival

This fabulous summer festival brings three months of free entertainment to the vibrant seaside resort of South Shields.

Location: South Shields, Tyne and Wear

 

July events: Step into Wonderland on Alice's Day

Rediscover the charm of Wonderland with a fun-packed day of events on Oxford’s unique Alice’s Day.

Location: Oxford, Oxfordshire

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