At a time when the cost of living is still affecting millions of households, finding an exciting day out that doesn’t empty your pockets can be a great way to spend some quality family time on a budget. 

Enjoying a memorable trip with your loved ones doesn’t need to cost a fortune, as there are a plethora of free activities and experiences here in the UK that won’t put a strain on your wallet. 

So, from exploring the UK’s rich aviation history to immersing yourself in the beauty of the British countryside, continue reading to discover eight exciting free activities to engross yourself in this summer. 

1. Royal Air Force Museum, London

Aviation enthusiasts and history fans alike will love the captivating exhibits at the Royal Air Force Museum in London. This iconic attraction displays a treasure trove of aircraft and exhibits from the first and second world war, all of which pay homage to the bravery of the RAF. 

This summer may be the perfect time to visit, as the museum recently installed a bomber command hall in May 2023 that features several meticulously restored bombers.

Your trip to the museum will keep you occupied all day, as there are several events on offer, such as engaging lectures and immersive tours of hangars, all of which guarantee you and your family a fascinating and free day out. 

2. Durham Cathedral, Durham

For those drawn to the marvels of Norman architecture, a visit to Durham Cathedral in the heart of the city promises an exciting journey through history. 

With origins dating back to the late 11th century, this Romanesque place of worship offers intricate stonework and serene cloisters, all of which stand as a testament to the feats of old English construction.

Also, if you’re a fan of the Harry Potter series of films, then you may recognise the halls and walkways of Durham Cathedral, as directors used the cloisters as a filming location for the famous wizarding school, Hogwarts. 

So, during a free visit to Durham Cathedral, you can explore England’s rich religious history while immersing yourself in the world of witches and wizards. 

3. Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Oxford

Nestled in the heart of Oxford, the university’s Museum of Natural History promises a range of captivating exhibits that display the wonders of Earth. 

The museum, initially founded in 1860 as a centre for scientific study, is located within a glorious neo-Gothic building where you can marvel at well-preserved fossils, stuffed animals, and stunning rocks and gemstones. 

Better yet, the museum hosts various events and activities to keep you busy, such as interactive climate exhibits, handling sessions, and architecture tours. 

4. Rosliston Forestry Centre, Derbyshire

If you’d rather escape the hustle of the city and explore the British countryside, then Rosliston Forestry Centre could be the ideal free day out for you. 

Here, you can immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the great outdoors in the heart of Derbyshire and get up close and personal with several breathtaking birds of prey, all while exploring scenic woodland trails. 

You could even try your hand at some exciting activities at the Forestry Centre, such as orienteering, fishing, and horse riding. 

And, if you bring some younger members of your family, Rosliston Forestry Centre offers a chance to educate them about the British countryside, as the centre offers events such as a “Science Discovery Day” and a “Nightwatch” wildlife event.

5. National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a journey through history and culture – and entry is free. 

This could be the perfect location for you if you have a wide range of interests, as some of the museum's exhibits include art and design, technology, and natural history.

The museum even boasts a collection of artefacts and archaeological finds that explore Scotland’s history, both old and new. In fact, as well as an exquisite harp once owned by Mary, Queen of Scots, you can even encounter Dolly the sheep at the museum, the very first mammal to be cloned.

6. Roskilly’s Farm, Cornwall

For an authentic glimpse into the life of British farmers, Roskilly’s Farm in Cornwall welcomes families to its charming countryside retreat. 

The farm, which is located on the Lizard Peninsula, allows you to introduce your children to a variety of delightful farm animals, including sheep, pigs, and goats, all of which could help them foster a connection with rural life. 

Better yet, the family-run farm is renowned for its ice cream, which it serves at the on-site Ice Cream Parlour. This can add an extra layer of sweetness to your free day out. 

7. Bradford Industrial Museum, Bradford

The north of England is renowned for its industrial boom in the 19th century, so what better way to immerse yourself in this manufacturing legacy than at the Bradford Industrial Museum? 

This immersive attraction can transport you back to the era of English industrial prowess, offering exhibits such as the unique printing press that birthed Bradford’s earliest newspapers, and the quaint terraced houses that once provided shelter for mill workers. 

And, if you’re a fan of cars, the museum’s automobile collection showcases several vintage vehicles, shedding light on the history of Britain’s car manufacturing. 

8. Nottingham Contemporary Art Gallery, Nottingham

You could also indulge in the vibrant world of art at Nottingham’s Contemporary Art Gallery, one of the UK’s largest contemporary galleries.

Housed within an exquisite neo-Gothic building in the heart of Nottingham, the gallery offers a variety of captivating artworks and curated exhibits that inspire reflection. There are even a host of events at the gallery that help you further immerse yourself, such as educational talks, film screenings, and music performances. 

Better yet, younger family members are in for a treat at the gallery, as it hosts free drop-in creative sessions that allows them to connect with their arty side and foster their creativity. 

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While we can’t give your family a great day out, we can help you to find the right mortgage – whether you’re moving home or looking to switch to a better deal.

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