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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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

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

Visit world-renowned artefacts on a budget break in Birmingham

Being on a budget break in Birmingham isn't a problem at all as there’s so much to see and do for free.

Location: Birmingham, West Midlands

Find yourself face-to-face with gigantic outdoor sculptures

Each face reveals a story as you meet the gigantic outdoor sculptures that span the width and breadth of the seaside resort.

Location: Scarborough, North Yorkshire

Peep into Durham’s locomotive past

Discover Durham’s role in the development of the railways at Locomotion, the National Railway Museum at Shildon.

Location: Vale of Durham

See the changing of the Guards at Windsor

If there’s one essential experience in Windsor, it’s taking in the spectacle of the Changing of the Guard. This tradition brings history and the public together.

Location: Windsor, Berkshire

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

Imperial War Museum North

Get an insight into the wars and conflicts that have shaped both England and the world at the Imperial War Museum North.

Location: Manchester, Greater Manchester

Discover the mystery of the Rosetta Stone

Visit the British Museum for free and see the famous Rosetta Stone. Dating back to ancient Egypt, the stone was key in the deciphering of hieroglyphs.

Location: London, Greater London

Enjoy panoramic views on the Bath Skyline Walk

Enjoy a family break in Bath with some outdoor fun at Bath Skyline’s woodland play area before enjoying sweeping views across the city.

Location: Bath, Somerset

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

Join the Knights Templar in the original Temple Church

Enter the English headquarters of the Knights Templar in the 13th Century and immerse yourself in its varied history.

Location: London, Greater London

See Lynn Lumiere light up King's Lynn's historic buildings

Rich in history and fascinating by day, Lynn Lumiere lights up some of King's Lynn's stunning building with an amazing animated light display every evening from dusk.

Location: King's Lynn, Norfolk

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

Take a free walking tour of Bath with a local

Let the Mayor of Bath’s Honorary Guides show you the city of Bath with free daily walking tours.

Location: Bath, Somerset

Enjoy stunning public art at Sculpture in the City

Visit the eastern part of the City of London where exciting sculptures from some of the world’s leading artists can be found.

Location: London, Greater London

Explore Romney Marsh

This patch of pristine wetland near the south east coast covers a whopping 100 square miles and is packed with wildlife – including the curious ‘laughing frogs’.

Location: Romney Marsh, Kent

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

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

Take your pick from Liverpool’s rich cultural gems

Liverpool is a thriving capital of culture with museums and galleries for every taste, many of which are free to explore. Dip in and emerge inspired.

Location: Liverpool, Merseyside

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