Free Days out around the UK

Union FlagHere are a few great ideas on what you can get up to around the UK, for free.  Despite the gloomy winter months, there are some interesting and surprising places to visit that will cost you nothing to enjoy.  Local churches and city cathedrals often have lunchtime or early evening concerts that are free, check their noticeboards for information.

So whether you have a morning or afternoon to spare and fancy doing something different, why not try one of these suggestions?

The Imperial War Museum, London
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Based in Lambeth and open seven days a week from 10am to 6pm, this museum tells the stories of people’s experiences of war and conflict. Visit the galleries to explore people, places, ideas and events from the First World War to the present day.  Some specialist exhibitions do cost extra, however the main museum is free and full of remarkable exhibits.  If you are helping grandchildren with history projects or maybe writing your memoirs, it is an absolute must!

The Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery
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Based in the city centre, this museum and art gallery are completely free!  There are over 500,000 objects in the collection, some of them thousands of years old, covering art, social history, archaeology and ethnography from every continent on the globe.  Weoley Castle is also part of BMAG and is free to visit.  Other places, charging just a few pounds for entrance, are Aston Hall and the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter.

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park
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Combine culture with exercise at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in West Bretton, Wakefield. Explore 500 acres of historic landscape, where you’ll find open-air displays by some of the world’s finest artists, plus five stunning indoor galleries.  Admission is free, although there are parking charges and it’s open almost every day.  There are always at least 60 sculptures in the park, with a shop and restaurant for a cup of tea once your walking is over.  Dogs on leads are welcome.  A great place to work as a volunteer too.

The Lighthouse, Glasgow
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Scotland’s centre for design and architecture celebrates the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh along with many other designers.  If you climb the helical staircase, which leads you up to the viewing gallery at the top of the Mackintosh Tower, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Glasgow. With six exhibition spaces over six floors, including a Digital Design Gallery, there is a busy programme of creative exhibitions and events running throughout the year.  A fabulous, free day out.

Creative Minds Festival, Cardiff
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An eclectic collection of exhibitions, lectures and workshops provided by Cardiff University in the main costing nothing.  The Festival really has a varied cultural programme and hosts some unusual speakers, considering surprising concepts.  A more permanent exhibition features King Arthur in Literature.  Running alongside the free activities are paid for, ticketed events, many available with concessionary rates for seniors.

Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich
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Wonderful free music concerts in Christopher Wren’s twin-domed masterpiece on the river, in the most beautiful chapel.  It is the gateway to the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site and all its attractions, Greenwich Palace and the Royal Hospital for Seamen for example.   The Royal Observatory is close by and the highly regarded market, with a huge range of stalls and shops to browse in, is on hand to.  You’ll find plenty of interesting, fun activities to fill your free day out.  

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