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50 best free days out in the UK: from outdoor ice trails in York to making mini-docs in Manchester

Re-enactors representing the rival armies of the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons skirmish in York during the Jorvik Viking Festival on February 17, 2018 in York, England. (Photo: Getty)



Hearth & Ice, Durham

The theme at this chilly annual occasion is Heroes and Villains – so there will probably be 10 ice sculptures, impressed by movies and comedian books, dotted round the metropolis. Plus reside ice-carving demos.

22-23 January,

Documentary Problem at the Imperial Warfare Museum, Manchester

Create, movie and have in your personal mini-documentary. Guests merely decide up a filming pack and, with the assist of film-makers at Smash TV, create a bit to obtain and watch.

Till the finish of January,

York Ice Path, York

As a part of the largest outdoor ice path in the UK, for in the future solely, York metropolis centre might be crammed with greater than 50 ice sculptures, together with Squirt, the turtle from Discovering Nemo and the York Dungeon Pillories. For the grand finale, a big ice totem can be set alight.

2 February,

Bradford Industrial Museum, Yorkshire

The museum has everlasting shows of textile and printing equipment, steam energy, engineering and motor automobiles, together with an exhibitions programme. At the second they’re displaying Worn Tales, a two-year challenge exploring Bradford’s textile heritage.

Worn Tales till Three February,

Re-enactors representing the rival armies of the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons skirmish in York during the Jorvik Viking Festival on February 17, 2018 in York, England. (Photo: Getty)Re-enactors representing the rival armies of the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons skirmish in York throughout the Jorvik Viking Pageant on February 17, 2018 in York, England. (Photograph: Getty)

Jorvik Viking Pageant, York

This annual city-wide celebration of York’s Viking heritage is recognised as the largest Viking Pageant in Europe. It options a lot of free occasions, together with a Viking Encampment the place guests can discover out how Vikings lived, what they traded and what they wore.

20-27 February,

The Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Soccer Match, Derbyshire

This 16-hour lengthy match, which has been held on the streets of Ashbourne since the 17th century, is performed over two eight-hour durations. The objectives are three miles aside and the leather-based ball is thrown into the air for the gamers to attempt to transfer it by pushing towards the opposition. Spectators collect to comply with the ball all day.

5-6 March,

Sewerby Corridor and Gardens, Bridlington

Located on a clifftop with spectacular views over Bridlington, Sewerby Corridor is about in 50 acres of early 19th Century parkland, award-winning gardens and woodland. Admission to the gardens is free till 29 March.

Till 29 March,

Electrical energy: The spark of life at the Museum of Science and Business, Manchester

This short-term exhibition options work from three modern artists and examines how scientists tried to perceive and management electrical energy, in addition to how electrical energy has modified our lives.

Till 28 April,

Discovery Museum, Newcastle

Have fun 250 years of circus in Nice Britain via uncommon memorabilia and unique props at this new exhibition. Highlights embrace the story of Tyneside’s 19th century clown, Billy Purvis.

Till 2 June,

Atlantic puffin Fratercula arctica, group of three adults perched on a rock, Shiant Isles, Scotland, July (Photo: Colin Wilkinson ( puffin Fratercula arctica, group of three adults perched on a rock, Shiant Isles, Scotland, July
(Photograph: Colin Wilkinson (

Chook watching in St Bees, Cumbria

There’s a lot to see at the largest seabird colony on the west coast of England. The world is a RSPB nature reserve and supplies nesting websites for greater than 5,000 pairs of seabirds, together with black guillemots. Hold an eye fixed out for peregrine falcons that hunt alongside the coast.


The Hull and East Driving Museum of Archaeology, Hull

Journey again 235 million years at the Museums Quarter in Hull’s previous city, encounter sea monsters, Romans and a life-sized woolly mammoth. The collections embrace the solely dinosaur bones to discovered in East Yorkshire.


Ouseburn Farm, Newcastle

This farm, in the centre of Newcastle, homes pigs, sheep, goats, rabbits, guinea pigs, lizards, and tortoises. There are additionally loads of meadows, ponds and woodlands to discover – the good break from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis.


Ordsall Corridor, Manchester

This Grade II listed property, situated in Salford Quays, has a powerful historical past and even – apparently – three resident ghosts. Guests can gown up as Tudors, attempt on some chain mail and discover out about the totally different meals that might have been cooked for feasts at the corridor in the 1500s.



Mild Night time, Stoke-on-Trent Burslem City Centre

For 3 nights, the city centre will probably be lit up by artworks, projections and illuminated performances. In addition to this, there might be a collection of hand-crafted hearth sculptures and a night-time procession led by an enormous illuminated puppet.

31 January-2 February,

Behind The Scenes Household Retailer Tour, The Herbert Artwork Gallery and Museum, Coventry

Be a part of the museum’s curator for a 30-minute behind the scenes tour of the museum’s Pure Historical past retailer the place specimens comparable to fossils, mammals, birds, and bugs are stored. The objects usually are not on show in the museum so this can be a uncommon probability for guests to see them.

18 February,

Mist lingers behind the Clifton Suspension Bridge as the sun begins to rise in Bristol on January 24, 2017 in Bristol, United Kingdom. (Photo: Getty)Mist lingers behind the Clifton Suspension Bridge as the solar begins to rise in Bristol on January 24, 2017 in Bristol, United Kingdom. (Photograph: Getty)

Household Sculpture Path, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

This four-mile sculpture path takes in 17 totally different artwork installations that are hidden in the forest. Each bit is impressed by the space’s heritage and guests may spot badgers, squirrels, hedgehogs and foxes alongside the means.


Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum, Lincolnshire

Study all about the first Army Air Academy in the world, RAF School Cranwell. The museum tells the story of the academy via artefacts, shows and reveals and guests can go on a flight simulator the place they need to attempt to land a Jet Provost earlier than their gasoline runs out.


Coventry Transport Museum, Coventry

The museum’s assortment of automobiles is one in every of the largest in public possession. Should-sees embrace the bus Coventry Metropolis Soccer Membership used for his or her victory tour after profitable the FA Cup in Might 1987 and a automotive that was as soon as the private property of Queen Mary, the Queen’s grandmother.



Household Stargazing Night, Dunwich Heath, Suffolk

Winter is a incredible time to take a look at the night time sky – simply ensure you wrap up heat. Astronomers from DASH Astronomical Society will arrange telescopes on the heath, giving guests a close-up view of the M oon and stars, and hopefully some planets and nebulae too.

At present, 6pm-9pm,

Wassail night time on Outwood Widespread, Harewoods Surrey

Be a part of a night of conventional Wassail merriment – which historically takes place on Twelfth Night time. The occasion will embrace a torch lit procession on Outwood Widespread. Meet at nightfall (round 4pm)outdoors the Bell Inn in Outwood.

19 January,

York Ice Trail - swan sculpture (Photo: Press)York Ice Path – swan sculpture (Photograph: Press)

Sandman Snowman on the Isle of Wight

Wrap up heat and head down to Sandown Bay’s Science Seashore the place it is possible for you to to make your personal snowman…out of sand. Carrots and coal are offered however deliver a bucket and spade.

26 January,

Look inside a Lacock cottage at Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire

Peek behind considered one of Lacock’s closed doorways at 2 Excessive Road. The timber-framed cottage is one in every of the oldest buildings in the village and was used as a inexperienced room for the forged of the BBC’s Cranford. Uncover its historical past from a medieval open corridor to a Victorian espresso tavern.

Four-Eight February,

Chinese language New Yr, London

London hosts the largest Chinese language New Yr celebrations outdoors Asia annually, with lots of of hundreds of individuals participating in the festivities. They’re free to attend and happen in Trafalgar Sq., Chinatown and the West Finish.

5 February,

Think about Youngsters’s Pageant, London

This pageant, which takes place in the Southbank Centre, presents a packed programme of free occasions for all ages – together with opera for infants. Greater than half of the programme is free.

13-24 February,

Invisible Superheroes exhibition at the Establishment of Civil Engineers, London

It’s hoped this instructional exhibition will encourage youngsters to think about a future in engineering. Guests are invited to use an augmented actuality app to see real-life engineers as cartoon superheroes preventing to save the planet from local weather change, flooding and the unfold of illness.

Till Feb half time period,

Mob Hedging, Slindon Property, West Sussex

Be a part of the property’s rangers as they create 1,000m of latest hedgerow in the center of the Slindon Property. In addition to serving to handle the land, the hedgerows will ultimately present very important houses for the wildlife that lives in the space.

22 February,

Crickhowell Walking Festival (Photo: Press)Crickhowell Strolling Pageant (Photograph: Press)

Little Happenings by Dorothy Bohm at the V&A Museum of Childhood, London

Discover pictures by Dorothy Bohm, who has been taking pictures since her father gave her a digital camera as she fled Nazi Germany greater than 70 years in the past. The exhibition highlights the common qualities of childhood throughout totally different many years, cultures, and nations.

Till 17 March,

The Final Tsar: Blood and Revolution, Science Museum, London

This exhibition goes behind the scenes to uncover the science behind certainly one of the biggest mysteries of the 20th century: the deaths of Tsar Nicholas II and his household.

Till 24 March,

Self-guided strolling journeys, south-west England

Foot Trails strolling journey firm has a brand new information for 2019 which options self-guided strolling journeys throughout rural south-west England. Full Cotswolds, for instance, is a 135-mile route from Chipping Campden to Tub.


The Nice West Method touring route, numerous places

The Nice West Means, a brand new touring route that travels west from London to Bristol, opened on 5 November final yr. Encompassing 500 miles of routes navigable by bike, street, rail, canal or foot.


The Lengthy Stroll, Windsor

The tree-lined three-mile stroll which runs from Windsor Citadel into the Nice park was initially created by Charles II. The 5,000 acre park options deer lawns, woods and large, historic oaks.


Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London

The Olympic Park is residence to parklands, waterways, playgrounds and cafés, all of that are free to discover. Participate in the Biodiversity path, which is free to obtain on-line.


Rival teams 'Up'ards' and 'Down'ards' battle for the ball during the Royal Shrovetide Football match in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England on February 13, 2018. (Photo: Getty)Rival groups ‘Up’ards’ and ‘Down’ards’ battle for the ball throughout the Royal Shrovetide Soccer match in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England on February 13, 2018. (Photograph: Getty)

Roskilly’s Farm, Cornwall

Find out how ice cream is made at this natural dairy farm. Meet the animals, stroll round the meadows, pattern the ice cream and watch the cows being milked.


The British Museum, London

Day by day eye-opener excursions are held at the museum all through the day. The talks concentrate on particular durations, together with Roman Britain, and Historic Greece.


Nationwide Portrait Gallery, London

The gallery is holding drop-in drawing occasions as a part of its Friday Lates programme. The periods shall be run by artists and all supplies are offered.

6.30pm each Friday,

Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol

Discover out about the bridge’s design and upkeep at the customer centre. Excursions are free on Saturdays, Sundays and Financial institution Holidays, from Easter to October.



Museum of the Moon at the Burns and Past pageant, Edinburgh

Burns and Past is a brand new pageant celebrating Scottish tradition. One in every of the points of interest is Museum of the Moon at St Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile – a brand new touring paintings by UK artist Luke Jerram.

22-27 January,

Wildlife Explorers Massive Backyard Birdwatch, Edinburgh

Yearly the RSPB ask us to rely the birds in our backyard – so why not head to the Royal Botanic Gardens and rely the birds there, too? You’ll be able to both fly solo or be a part of one among the centre’s guided walks.

27 January,

The Writers’ Museum, Edinburgh

The museum celebrates the lives of three Scottish writers – Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson – with books, manuscripts and private gadgets. There’s additionally aStoryworlds exhibition, that includes paper sculptures.

Storyworlds till 12 Might,

Paisley’s Secret Assortment, Paisley

Whereas Paisley Museum undergoes a £42m transformation, discover the city’s Secret Assortment. The basement unit homes hundreds of things from Renfrewshire’s museum collections. Reserving important.


Houses in the centre of the historical village of Lacock that is regularly featured in television period dramas. (Photo: Getty)Homes in the centre of the historic village of Lacock that’s recurrently featured in tv interval dramas. (Photograph: Getty)

The Potter Path, Edinburgh

Harry Potter followers can be a part of a robed information for a tour of places which impressed characters and scenes and go to locations the place JK Rowling wrote – together with the cafe the place she penned the first e-book.


Nationwide Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

On a regular basis at 3pm the museum gives free guided excursions on totally different themes for teams of up to six individuals. January’s themes embrace Scottish Innovators.



St Fagans Museum of Historical past, Cardiff

Head to this open air museum for Nationwide Storytelling Week for some conventional tales advised in Llys Llywelyn – the museum’s recreation of a medieval courtroom. Every session lasts 10-15 minutes.

26 January,

The Nationwide Wool Museum, Carmarthenshire

In addition to quite a lot of demos, workshops and walks, there’s additionally a Woolly Tail Path for youngsters to comply with. Little guests can even attempt stitching, spinning and carding and, between 28 February and 1 March, make ribbon rosettes for St David’s Day.

28 Feb-1 March,

Crickhowell Strolling Pageant, Brecon Beacons

The strolling pageant options 9 days of guided walks in and round the Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons. The Nordic strolling taster periods are held by a professional Nordic strolling teacher.

9 March,

Teifi Marshes nature reserve and customer centre, Cilgerran

There’s a lot to see at this nature reserve, together with moorhens, herons, otters, water shrews and purple deer. Discover the nature trails, journey playground and willow maze.


Northern Eire

Ballymoney Spring Truthful 2019, Ballymoney

There might be a packed programme in Castlecroft Sq. this yr, together with an artisan market, a classic and basic automobiles present and a parade.

13 March,

Foraging at Navan Centre and Fort Armagh

As a part of the Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations, guests are invited to have a go at foraging for meals earlier than cooking it as it might have been throughout the early Christian period when St Patrick was round.

18 March,

Numerous places

Darkish Skies

The Yorkshire Dales, Northumberland, North York Moors and the South Downs are operating a joint darkish skies pageant. There are a selection of free occasions, together with a Why Stars Matter path and a lecture on the seek for darkish matter.

15 Feb-Three March,

Studying to Develop, Wyevale Backyard Centres

Train little ones to develop their very own at one in every of these month-to-month periods. Youngsters can plant their very own seeds to take residence and watch develop.

First Sunday of month,