Looking for fun things to do this summer that won’t leave you having to take out a short-term loan to afford? Whether it’s keeping the kids entertained for the day or something just to while away a lazy afternoon, there’s plenty to keep you and your family busy.
So to help you with a few ideas for this year, we’ve put together our guide to the best places to enjoy this summer for under £10.
While catching the Fringe’s biggest performers might be tricky with less than a tenner in your pocket, the impressive volume of up-and-coming acts scouting for exposure ensures there’s still plenty of affordable options.
So whether it’s a pay-what-you-want performance, an early afternoon preview show or simply a street event, you’re sure to be spoilt for choice. Just remember, if you enjoyed the act, it’s always polite to send a bit of change the performers’ way.
Vauxhall City Farm
Located only a stone’s throw from the River Thames, this inner-city farm boasts a menagerie of animals from Shetland ponies and alpacas, to guinea pigs and aviary birds. There’s also a variety of educational, recreational and therapeutic support programmes designed to help create an environment that truly everyone can enjoy.
Open to all with a suggested donation of £3, a visit to the Vauxhall City Farm doesn’t have to break the bank when it comes to keeping the kids entertained.
Worth the visit solely for the huge taxidermy Walrus and the one-hundred-year-old ‘merman’, the Horniman Museum is one of South London’s best-loved and unforgettable destinations. Alongside the unique marine offerings, visitors can also expect to discover instruments from across the globe to try out, anthropological treasures and surrounding beautiful gardens.
The museum’s regular outdoor Saturday market also presents the perfect opportunity to explore a variety of stalls offering delicious foods including fresh breads, seasonal veg and homemade jams.
One of North England’s biggest and most-colourful events, the Leeds West Indian Carnival attracts thousands of visitors to the streets of Leeds for the sights and sounds of Caribbean culture. Held annually over the Monday of the August bank holiday, the free carnival brings together music, eye-catching costumes and tantalising street food to create a party atmosphere like no other.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the village of Saltaire near Bradford, West Yorkshire, offers a unique and idyllic setting with its Italianate style of architecture. Originally created by Sir Titus Salt to house the workers of his nearby mill, the village has since become a popular tourist destination. The village hall hosts regular events, while the Salts Mill, home to an array of shops, eateries and galleries, is open to visitors seven days a week.
The Tolkien Trail
For those looking to follow in the footsteps of Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien, The Tolkien Trail offers a walking tour of the Ribble Valley – an area said to have inspired the landscape of Middle Earth.
Covering a distance of 10km, this completely free trail starts in the picturesque hamlet of Hurst Green before taking in Stoneyhurst Collage and the River Hodder. The route concludes with The Shireburn Arms Pub – the perfect destination for that post-walk drink.
Set atop a hilltop overlooking the Towy Valley, the remnants of the Dryslywn Castle provide the perfect spot to take in the surrounding Welsh countryside on a carefree summer’s day. Rich in history, what is known about this medieval castle includes links to a 12th century Welsh princess and the Kingdom of Deheubarth.
The nearby Dinefwr Castle and its landscape park also provide a magical day out with prices from only £7.90 per adult and £4 per child from February through to December.
With locations in London, Birmingham and Manchester, the BFI’s Mediatheque centres offer a great resource for both film buffs and casual viewers alike. Here visitors can indulge in a treasure trove of classic film and tv from the BFI archives that are perfect for those inevitably rainy summer days.
Open to the general public on Tuesdays to Sundays, the centres use their Mondays off to open specifically to the local community and education groups.
Boasting unique and exciting collections of over 15,000 items displayed across five floors, London’s Science Museum is certain to keep the kids occupied throughout a long summers day. Here, visitors to the museum can explore areas devoted to medicine and travel, which include the Apollo 10 command module and ancient medical instruments, alongside an array of interactive exhibitions.
This summer also sees the arrival of summer events including the Summer of Space festival as well as an exhibition devoted to driver-less cars.
Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery
Presenting a detailed history of Exeter and Devon, alongside a number of items of global importance, a visit to the free Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery is a must. Whether it’s the coffin of Shep-en-Mut in the Egyptian Tomb or The Fly on the Wall gallery with its array of perfectly preserved insect specimens, there’s certainly something for everyone.
We hope that with our guide we’ve given you plenty of great ideas for bargain days out this summer. However, please remember that while many of these great places are free to visit, they do often rely on the kindness of donations to help with their numerous running costs.