Free things to do around the UK!

  • 01 Apr, 2022
  • Luc Horncastle
  • 1 Comment


Everyone loves finding free things to do, right? No more so than in the half terms and Summer Holidays to keep the kids entertained and your bank account happy.

We’ve created a collection of free things to do in UK which includes events, exhibitions and places of interest from around the UK that everyone of all ages can enjoy, ensuring you can really get the most out of your time off.

How many of these do you fancy ticking off of your summer to do list?!

Free things to do in London:

God’s Own Junkyard

Created by artist Chris Bracey in Walthamstow, the amazing collection of personal and conceptual neon signs date back to many different eras, making it not only artistic, but is also a historically fascinating place to visit.

The is a huge range of interesting lights which draw from many different inspirations. The facilities also feature a small cafe/bar, so you can grab a drink and a bite to eat while taking your picture in front of the display.

The Barbican Conservatory

Be at one with nature in the glass-roofed, leafy environment of the The Barbican Conservatory. Open on Sundays, the Conservatory is home to over 2,000 species of tropical plants and trees as well as birdlife and exotic fish.  

There is also a seating arrangement where you treat yourself to afternoon tea or a bite to eat. Admission to the conservatory is free with no booking needed. Make sure to check the website for opening days.

Sky Garden

Book a free visit and enjoy some of the spectacular views from the SkyGarden in London. With some of the best views of the city from the 43rd floor, the jungle-like environment is both a calming and peaceful place to relax. The SkyGarden also has paid facilities including; Fenchurch Restaurant, Fenchurch Terrace, Darwin Brasserie, City Garden Bar and the Sky Pod Bar.

V&A Museum of Childhood

The museum is currently closed as work it’s undergoing work. However, it’s certainly worth a visit once it’s opened.

Watch childhood progress throughout the ages with one of the world’s greatest exhibitions of children’s toys and memorabilia. The collection features toys dating back to 1872 and has some great stand out items such as bonkers 1970s puppets, Barbie Dolls and Victorian praxinoscopes.

Free things to do in Cardiff

Cardiff Market

A bustling, unique shopping experience built within an equally fascinating Victorian building. Sitting under the glass roof, Cardiff Market hosts an array of quirky, high quality produce that can be purchased from various market stalls. Here you can find fresh fruit and vegetables, seafood, meat, cheeses, homeware items, music, books, furniture and collectors’ items in the market stalls which have been trading since the 1700s.

Cardiff Shopping Arcades

A great mix of of Victorian, Edwardian and contemporary indoor shopping arcades selling everything from independent vintage clothing, New York deli food to books and liquid nitrogen produced ice cream! As you can tell, there is something for everyone.


Why not drop into the UK’s longest-established science centre?! Techniquest adopts a “hands-on” approach to its centre with over 130 interactive exhibits such as tours of the stars, hydrogen rockets, hot air balloons and much more! Tickets for the kids cost around £9.05 and for adults, the prices start at £10.90, plus a 50p booking fee. You must pre-book as the turn-up option is not available.

Free things to do in Manchester

The BFI Mediatheque

Based at the newly-refurbished Central Library, the British Film Institute’s Mediatheque showcases a fantastic 2,000 strong collection of British films and TV shows within its archives, which can be watched in unique viewing pods.

National Football Museum

Anyone with an interest in Football should be sure to stop by the National Football Museum. Not only do they hold permanent historical collections, as well as a newly created exhibit celebrating England’s 1966 World Cup win, but also holds pop-up events such as retro arcade games and footballing skill lessons!

Whitworth Art Gallery

The Whitworth Art Gallery, which won 2015 Art Fund, is also known as ‘the gallery in the park’ and makes full use of its quirky settings! Displaying not only some fascinating indoor exhibitions, but also plays host to garden art, a landscape gallery and sculpture terrace. Inside the building you can find an interesting array of fine art, textiles, prints and an impressive collection of wallpaper.

Free things to do in Glasgow

Fossil Grove

Keep the children fascinated by the magical fossilised forest held at Glasgow’s most ancient exhibition, with scenery dating back to 1887. Take your time to explore eleven spooky fossilised tree stumps that are no less 300 million years old.  Fossil Grove is also home to a boating pond, floral displays, and if you have time, get lost in the only maze in Glasgow!

It is important to note that the site is open from April to September, so be sure to see it before it shuts again!

Speaking of which, in September 2020 they recorded a Virtual Tour of Fossil Grove as part of the Scottish Geology Festival which is running until October 31st; they weren’t going to let a pandemic stop them from taking part. That rocks..(!)

Glasgow Mural Trail

Follow the trails of the various large scale murals that line the bustling streets of Glasgow. The Glasgow City Centre Mural Trail amplifies a diverse range of talent and styles, with pieces featuring Hip-Hop puppets, urban pandas and street crocodiles as well as much more. Take a look at the guide here.

Glasgow’s only beach!

Not the sandy beaches of Spain, but if you fancy something a bit closer to home, make sure to bring your bucket and spade and head down to the The Riverside Museum’s summer beach, an artificial space created to let you relax and enjoy the joys of the beach.

Although you can’t enjoy the beach in all of the half terms, you can make the most of it during the summer break as it’s only open June-August, but we thought we’d leave it in here for future reference.

Free things to do in Newcastle

Explore Chinatown

Make your way under the golden arch before embracing the Chinese culture in Newcastle’s Chinatown. You will find a bustling street full of the smells, tastes and sights of authentic Chinese Culture. Restaurants and Chinese supermarkets are a great place for you to try the local cuisine within the city centre.

Pets Corner

Venture to the centre of Jesmond Dene park in Newcastle, you will stumble across Pets Corner. A great family day out, with a huge range of animals to see and pet, including various Rabbits, Goats, Birds and even Alpacas!

Free things to do in Portsmouth

Canoe Lake, Southsea

With plenty of outdoorsy activities like swan spotting, crabbing, paddling and now even taking “swan boat rides”, you and your family can easily whittle a few hours away. Fancy something more ‘on-land’ for the kids? The lake is also equipped with grass area, play parks and a cafe which sell selling hot food and cold drinks, as well as everything you need for crabbing in the Canoe Lake.

Southsea Model Village

Southsea is home to a great model village! Take the family and walk through as giants as you explore streets of model sized buildings. £5 for Adults and £4 for children tickets.

Be aware that the Model Village doesn’t have any toilets available onsite.

Please note: It’s not open during the winter season but you should defintely come in the summer!

Let us know if you have been to any of these places or if you know of any other free things to do in the UK that you think deserve a mention!

About Luc Horncastle

Being a lover of travel myself, it's only fair I help others discover their love for it, too! I cover all things holiday destinations, from where to go on your gap year and which UNESCO sites you need to visit to how to get the most out of your ski trip and what travel trends to keep your eye on.