We all love a good day out, but so many of them can almost break the bank. I’ve compiled a list of places to go where you only need to worry about travel and picnic costs.
Ok, so that seems obvious, but with so much building popping up left right and centre across the country, getting out to actual fields can be a novelty. There are so many wonderful natural places to explore. For something a little bit different why not head to a waterfall or go paddling in a stream at the same time?
The roads are invariably packed on the way in to most costal resorts during the summer months, but there are plenty of smaller beaches too. The Marine Conservation Society have a good guide for more information including beaches where your pooch can join you too. Or to avoid the crowds, add it to your list of places to visit out of season.
Free family days
Search local listings and websites to look for free family days out. We love the Junior Drag Racing Fun Day at Santa Pod Raceway which you need to book in advance but is free. There are several events like this around the UK. If you don’t already do this, remember to check out Facebook events too which can often be a handy way to find and plan these in to your summer break.
Visit a park
There are loads of hidden gems around the country that offer amazing facilities. St Nicholas Park in Warwick is often a hit with boat hire, a play park, paddling pool, crazy gold area and fun fair that is open all through the summer. There are many more places like this too. Another favourite of ours is Sheldon Country Park. With a small farm (free entry), play park, large green space to run in and the end of Birmingham Airport runway to watch the planes landing right overhead this easily occupies a day out. Your local council will have a full list of play parks in your area. If you’re feeling up for a challenge, why not try to tick them all off during a set time period like the summer holidays?
Go on a forest adventure
If play parks aren’t your thing, head to the Forestry Commission’s website to find your closest forest. There are some amazing places to discover and again, family adventures are often on our list during the school holidays. We’ve started trying to get out to explore forests as often as possible at weekends too. Currently the Forestry Commission have The Highway Rat activity trail at selected forests, and some forests have Go Ape activities too if you do have some budget.
Go to a garden centre
Again this might seem obvious, but we can happily while away a couple of hours at least. If you can, find a big one that sells fish too. Then you can spend time looking at the plants and fish, before having lunch in the café and, if you’re really lucky, you might find that there’s a mini soft play centre or similar to round off your day.
Go to a new town
I’ve written about this before, but going to a new town or city is a super way to spend time during the summer. Most places have museums or art galleries which are great. In the heat they’re often cool, and in the rain they’re dry. Just the pleasure of getting on a train or hopping in the car and having a little adventure can make for a great day out though. Window shopping can pass some time as can exploring new parks and looking at different buildings. Plus you can always allocate a small budget as spending money in a local charity shop.
Don’t forget to take a camera! Then when you want to have a quiet day at home you can reflect on the places that you’ve been so far, and print off some photos to make a scrapbook of memories.
Planning a day out? Remember me for later – pin me!
Where are your favourite places to visit? Let me know in the comments!