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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Rainy Day Activities: Beware the animal mummies at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

From Egyptian relics and biplanes, to works of art and stuffed deer, there’s something to excite everyone at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.

Location: Bristol

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: Visit the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford

All the great civilizations of the world are represented in the Ashmolean Museum’s collections; escape the rain for a whole day, or pop in for five minutes for a quick browse.

Location: Oxford, Oxfordshire

Get your gourd at Slindon Pumpkin Festival

Take park in this celebration of gourds and squashes, including an unusual form of pumpkin art, within a National Trust village in West Sussex.

Location: Slindon, nr Arundel, West Sussex

Discover a haven for flowers in the heart of England

Wander hand-in-hand along Worcestershire’s Spring Blossom Trail, through field after field, amongst the county’s blossoming flowers and plant life.

Location: Vale of Evesham, Worcestershire

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

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

Enjoy a weekend of free outdoor arts across Birmingham

Head to the Birmingham Weekender this September, where the city centre will be bought to life with music, dance, theatre, art, literature, food and fashion.

Location: Birmingham, West Midlands

August events: Celebrate the arts at Devizes’ International Street Festival

Head to the Wiltshire town of Devizes in late August for the annual Devizes International Street Festival.

Location: Devizes, Wiltshire

Salcombe Crab Festival

May events: Learn from food experts at Salcombe Crab Festival

Love seafood? Salcombe’s delicious crab celebration should be right at the top of your things to do in Devon list.

Location: Salcombe, Devon

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

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

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

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

Pier to Pier in Bournemouth

Got a spare hour or two in Bournemouth? Then take a stroll between the two piers.

Location: Bournemouth, Dorset

Spot deer in the city

It might come as a surprise to discover a deer-filled oasis just a tube ride away from the hustle and bustle of London.

Location: Richmond, Surrey

Discover the history of Hertford Castle

As part of National Heritage Weekend, Hertford Castle will open its doors to the public free of charge.

Location: Hertford, Hertfordshire

Investigate the origins of Sherlock Holmes at Portsmouth Museum

Discover more about the creator of the iconic detective Sherlock Holmes at Portsmouth Museum.

Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire

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

Follow in Roman footsteps with a free smartphone app

Looking for an immersive and cheap experience? Use mobile technology to delve into the past with Lincoln’s free digital Roman Trail app.

Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

Take a longer look at London with the City Visitor Trail

Make the most of your time in London - no matter how long you have - with the main trail and its side tracks you'll have plenty to do and more.

Location: London, Greater London

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