Whether it's the school holidays, half-term or just an empty Saturday, finding new things to do can be difficult - and expensive.
Luckily, we've pulled together over 162 free days out for you to cross off your list. Check out free museums, parks, gardens, castles and more at locations all across the UK for you to enjoy. I've picked out the best of the lot for each area, but make sure you check out our Free Days Out page for the whole selection of free days out across the UK. Enjoy exploring!
Want to skip ahead?
- Free days out in England
- Free days out in Scotland
- Free days out in Wales
- Free days out in Northern Ireland
Free days out in England
Credit: Art Fund
Free days out in London
If there's one thing London isn't short of, it's things to do. Museums, art galleries, parks and events, there's always something going on and more often than not it's free entry.
The British Museum
This iconic museum is a must-see for everyone. Home to over 7 million artefacts from across the globe, The British Museum is one of the largest museums in the world and is dedicated to the exploration of human history, art and culture.
Take advantage of the free activities and exhibitions that are on offer every day, perfect for families and young children. Plus, the museum is open late on a Friday night so you can explore with a programme of events, food and drink.
Admission is free every day so make sure you pay this one a visit the next time you're in the city.
The National Gallery/National Portrait Gallery
Art lovers, a visit to the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery should be at the top of your list for your next trip to London.
Each gallery has thousands of iconic pieces of art, from artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh and Michelangelo. See priceless works of art for free every day between 10am-6pm.
Bushy Park - Richmond
If outdoor space is your thing, the bustling streets of London can be a bit overwhelming. Take a trip to Richmond's Bushy Park and enjoy the 1,099 acres that it encompasses. It's home to around 320 free-roaming deer and is the second largest Royal Park in the UK.
Take a visit to London's Borough Market and enjoy the sensory overload that comes with it! Borough Market is a hub of traders selling both British and international produce, including chocolate, cheese, meats and bread.
Have a wander around and take in the sights, smells and tastes of this iconic market.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Opened for the London 2012 Olympics, Queen Elizabeth Park is a great free day out for sports-lovers and novices alike.
Free days out in the North West
The North West of England is rich with culture, things to see and do and great free days out. Liverpool's recent accolade of City of Culture in 2008 gave the city status as a landmark destination for galleries, museums and theatre.
Credit: Independent Liverpool
Tate Art Museum - Liverpool
The Tate Liverpool is the home of modern art in the North, showcasing special exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. Recent exhibitions have included work from Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Tracey Emin. Plus, the galley has beautiful views of Albert Dock and the River Mersey - and a fabulous café!
Tate Liverpool is open 10 am - 5.50pm every day including weekends and is free entry, so make sure you pay a visit next time you're in Merseyside.
Merseyside Maritime Museum
Liverpool is home to one of the biggest and most important ports in the UK (possibly the world!) and this fabulous museum tells the history of the people that have passed through in centuries gone by.
From luxury liners and tragedies such as the Titanic, poignant galleries on the slave trade and exhibitions on smuggling, there is definitely something to intrigue everyone.
Open 10 am - 5 pm every day, Merseyside Maritime Museum is free entry so is well worth a visit next time you're in the area. There are often family activities to get involved in so this is a perfect free day out for children and families.
Imperial War Museum - Manchester
Manchester's Imperial War Museum is a fantastic free day out for the entire family.
The museum explores the impact of the Second World War for the people and society and is located in an area that was heavily bombed during the Manchester Blitz in 1940. Exhibitions include collections of both personal items and technical artefacts, and visitors can learn about conflicts involving Britain, the Commonwealth from the First World War to the present day.
Admission is free for everyone, so put this one to the top of your list for the next time you're in Manchester!
International Slavery Museum - Liverpool
This important museum in Liverpool explores the historical and contemporary aspects of slavery, acknowledging Liverpool's role in the UK slave trade due to its coastal location, as well as telling stories of bravery and rebellion amongst the enslaved people.
Free days out in the North East
Heading to the North East of England anytime soon? There are lots of fun and free things to do that the whole family will love.
Credit: Visit England
Angel of the North - Gateshead
Take a trip to arguably Britain's most well-known piece of art sculpture, Antony Gormley's Angel of the North, for free this May 2019.
Standing at an impressive 66 feet tall, with a wingspan of 178 feet, this impressive sculpture looks proudly out onto the city of Newcastle and is a must-see for anyone in the area.
Entrance is free and there's plenty of parking, so no excuses next time you're in the area!
Yorkshire Sculpture Park - York
Arts and the outdoors combined, take a visit to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park where you can admire pieces and installations out in the open. There are always around 80 installations featured at any one time, so you can while away several hours here enjoying the art and scenery.
Admission for the YSP is free, but you do need to pay for parking. Why not go green and visit by foot?
Discovery Museum - Newcastle
Your one-stop shop to find out all about Newcastle, its people and its history, the Discovery Museum is a must for anyone taking a trip to the area. Discover (!) Newcastle's industrial and maritime past, exemplified by the 34-metre Turbinia ship.
There's plenty for the little ones to do, making this a fun and free day out for the whole family.
Laing Art Gallery - Newcastle
Laing Art Gallery is a great free place to visit for art lovers and novices alike. Enjoy an impressive collection of historical and contemporary art, including local art and photography.
Ouseburn Farm - Newcastle
Based right in the centre of Newcastle, this is a hidden gem you don't want to miss. Pay a visit to this real working farm: it's a great place to visit with kids as they can pet, feed and learn about all sorts of farm animals.
York City Walls - York
Dating back to the Middle Ages, a visit to York's city walls is a journey back in time. They measure at over 3km long, so make sure you wear comfy shoes and wrap up warm.
Free days out in the Midlands
The middle of England is definitely not middle of the road for fun, free things to do. Packed full of museums, Cathedrals and galleries, the Midlands is a great place to enjoy a 'staycation' in the UK.
Credit: Visit Lichfield
Coventry Transport Museum - Coventry
Pay a visit to the museum that is home to the largest collection of British road transport in the world, the Coventry Transport Museum.
Containing over a million archived items, 250 motor vehicles, 120 motorcycles and 300 bicycles, the museum explores the important role that Coventry played in the British transport industry.
Despite having so much to see and do, admission to this museum is free!
Lichfield Cathedral - Birmingham
Discover over 1,300 years of history in the UK's only medieval Cathedral. This impressive building is definitely worth a visit no matter your faith.
Lichfield Cathedral is free to enter, although donations are encouraged. Why not pop in next time you're near?
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery - Birmingham
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery has so much offer, including art, sculpture, architecture, local history, jewellery and more. Immerse yourself in Birmingham's rich history, as well as seeing items from all across the globe.
Entrance is free to the main collection of exhibitions and the museum is open every day.
Free days out in the South of England
There's more to the south of England than just London, and this fab collection of fun and free days out proves just that!
Credit: Visit Bristol
Turner Contemporary - Kent
You might not expect it, but seaside town Margate, Kent is home to a world-renowned contemporary art gallery. Eponymously named after landscape artist JMW Turner, the Turner Contemporary is a must for art lovers (and novices) alike.
Admire world-class art from famous artists past and present, in a picturesque setting of Margate Harbour looking out onto the North Sea.
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery - Bristol
World-class collections of art, archaeology, geology and natural history with pieces across the globe - the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery has it all. Housed across nineteen galleries, this museum is a great free day out for everyone.
It's located in a beautiful Edwardian building right in the city centre, with great views from the top floor.
Don't miss this one on your next trip to Bristol!
Clifton Suspension Bridge - Bristol
Another must-do on your trip to Bristol is a visit to the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Possibly Bristol's most iconic image, the Clifton Suspension Bridge is a beautiful backdrop for photographs all year round.
Enjoy a free guided tour at the weekend from Easter to October, or simply enjoy the view from Clifton Village. And if you can, check out the bridge illuminated at nighttime.
Bath Abbey - Bath
Rich with over 1,200 years of history, this Grade I listed building in the heart of the city should go to the top of your to-do list in Bath.
Bath Abbey remains a working place of worship, and you can visit all year round to admire the architecture, music and learn about the building's history.
No matter your religion this historic building is definitely worth a visit.
Free days out in Scotland
If you're holidaying, stopping through or just looking for something to do in Scotland, you'll be spoilt for choice with all the fun free things on offer. Scotland has some of the most beautiful (and varied) landscapes in the UK and there's always something new to see and do. Here are some of our top free days out in Scotland, but make sure you take the time to research your own before you head off.
Credit: Glasgow Life
National Museum of Scotland - Edinburgh
Next time you're in Edinburgh make sure you visit the country's National Museum and learn all about Scottish history, culture and it's people. There's so much to discover and there are plenty of free family-friendly activities to take part in.
Admission is free for all, so make sure you swing in next time you're nearby. Enjoy!
The Writers' Museum - Edinburgh
Celebrating the works of Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson, The Writers' Museum is the perfect place to spend an afternoon - for free.
Filled with unique artefacts and first edition novels, this museum will captivate both keen writers and novices alike.
The Potter Trail - Edinburgh
Potterheads young and old will love this free guided tour of Edinburgh. See the all the Harry Potter hotspots and the places that inspired JK Rowling in the series. This tour is free, but voluntary donations at the end are always welcome!
Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum - Glasgow
A firm favourite with locals and visitors alike, Kelvingrove Museum is well worth a visit next time you're in Glasgow. It's made up of 22 galleries and features all sorts of exhibitions, from art to animals, history and culture.
The programme of exhibitions is regularly changed with new features, so make sure you check out what's on for your next visit. Entry is free and the museum is open every day.
Free days out in Wales
Rural countryside, rugby-mad locals and difficult to pronounce place names? Wales is so much more than the common misconceptions that people have. Why not make Wales your next UK holiday destination? Plus, it's packed with free days out!
Credit: Visit Cardiff
National Museum - Cardiff
Where better to find out all about Wales than the country's National Museum in Cardiff. Filled with fun exhibitions, workshops and collections. The museum often plays host to exciting temporary exhibitions, so be sure to check and see what's on in the times of your next visit to the city.
St Fagans Museum of History - Cardiff
Cardiff is home to one of Europe's top open-air museums and is well worth a trip when you're next nearby. There's plenty to do and discover onsite, including arts and crafts, workshops and activities. Plus, the museum is set in the beautiful grounds of St Fagans Castle and Gardens - perfect for walks with the kids, families or your other half.
Despite having so much to offer, entrance to the museum is completely free and is open 10am-5pm every day. It plays host to lots of exciting events throughout the year so make sure you check out what's on when you're planning your trip.
Bute Park - Cardiff
If the weather's looking good for your trip to Cardiff, make sure you pay a visit to Bute Park. Boasting 130 acres of landscaped gardens and woodland, you can enjoy a picnic and a stroll in one of the UK's largest (and prettiest) parks.
Dylan Thomas Centre - Swansea
Celebrating Swansea's world famous poet, the eponymous Dylan Thomas Centre explores the life, work and cultural influence of one of the twentieth century's most influential writers.
The centre is open every day from 10am-4.30pm and is free entry for all. Make sure you give it a visit next time you're in the area.
Free days out in Northern Ireland
There's a reason why a visit to Northern Ireland is such a popular destination, and it's not just the rolling green hills and friendly locals. Northern Ireland has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the UK and more free days out than you can shake a stick at. Take a look at some of the best here...
Credit: Belfast City Council
Ulster Museum - Belfast
Art? Archaeology? History? Ulster Museum in Belfast has it all.
After a 3 year, £17million redevelopment, Ulster Museum is open to the public and is a must-see when you're next in Belfast.
It's collections explore all corners of the world, so expect to get up close to dinosaurs, Egyptian mummies and exotic animals from across the globe.
It's truly a fascinating museum that will entertain the whole family. Best of all, entrance is free!
Belfast Castle - Belfast
Rich with history, Belfast Castle is a great place to spend an afternoon for history buffs and novices alike. It's no longer inhabited, but there are plenty of family-friendly events being hosted throughout the year both in the castle and in its breathtaking grounds.
Explore the grounds and visit Napoleon's Nose (believed to be the inspiration for Gulliver's Travels), take a stab at orienteering and keep the little ones entertained in the Adventure Playground.
Parliament Buildings - Belfast
Immerse yourself in Belfast's rich history and culture with a visit to the Parliament Buildings. Known for its architectural symmetry, a visit here is a great way to educate yourself on Northern Ireland's political landscape and history.
Mountsandel Fort - Coleraine
Take a visit to the earliest known settlement of man in Ireland, just a 50-minute drive away from Derry. Dating from before 7000BC, this beautiful landscape is the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon.
Enjoy breathtaking views, rambling walks and sights of nature all steeped in history. The site is open all year round, so be sure to wrap up warm if visiting in the colder months of the year.