The days are longer and summer is in sight. Many people are still feeling the effects of the rise in the cost of living, but keeping costs down doesn't mean you can't have fun this summer. Whether it's taking a staycation, going for a walk with friends or exploring the city with your kids, we've found a few ways to help you make the most of the summer on a budget.

Find free events near you

There are lots of free events across the UK. Using a website or app like Eventbrite, you can browse thousands of free activities across a variety of genres including theatre, museums, music, arts, entertainment, and more.

Festivals across the country are also putting out open calls for volunteers which means you can enjoy the events and give back to your community at the same time. Enjoy music and explore the country by volunteering at festivals like Kendal Calling in the Lake District or Rewind Scotland in Perth. Or you could sign up with organisations like The Pleasance Trust to volunteeer during Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival and experience the citywide arts and entertainment festival.

Visit free attractions

In Scotland many museums and public attractions are free to enter including Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens and Inverness’ Reelig Glen. In England, attractions such as the Natural History Museum in London and The Tolkien Book Trail in Birmingham also offer free entry and tours too. Visit the Wales Millennium Center in Cardiff to see the home of arts and entertainment in Wales. And enjoy the sights at the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Tour your hometown

You never know what you might find exploring your local area on foot. Cities like Aberdeen, Glasgow and Belfast have a range of free street art tours to help you fall in love with your hometown again. If street art isn’t your thing, you could explore some historical areas like Manchester’s canals at Castlefield or the Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool. 

Staycation at home

There are so many things you can do with your indoor spaces, either to relax with friends and loved ones or to create an at-home adventure for the kids. Set up your own cinema with a twist and put out a comfy collection of pillows and blankets before settling in for a movie marathon with snacks. Take a back garden camping trip or simply have a sheltered picnic and roast marshmallows with your little ones. Try a potluck dinner with friends and set up a theme for people to create their own costumes at home.

Use public transport for discounts on attractions

Travel on public transport could be a good way to save and benefit from discounted entry to certain attractions. Children under 5 travel for free on trains and buses across the country if they’re travelling with a paying adult. If you’re over 60 you can claim a free bus pass, and there may be other discounts available for students or concessions.

Many rail providers offer a 2 for 1 deal on a range of days out to places like Sea Life Brighton, Legoland Windsor resort and the MAD (Mechanical Art & Design) museum. All you have to do is present your train tickets when you arrive at the venues.

If you’re visiting London, The London Pass will also help you save, granting users discounts and free entry to more than 90 places in the city including the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, The Shard, Tower Bridge and London Zoo.

Small budgets, big plans

Saving this summer doesn’t mean you can’t make big plans and better memories. You can still enjoy meaningful time with your family and friends in beautiful, exciting places. There may be a lot of pressure to manage your budget well, but we hope these tips can help you have fun during a low-budget summer. 


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