With the world’s economy teetering and belts being tightened everywhere, there’s never been a better time to visit Britain’s many places of interest that are free to get in to. Here are 10 of the best attractions, plus a few old favourites.
The renaissance of Scotland’s second city continues, with the impressive new Riverside Museum
replacing derelict shipyards. Exhibits include recreations of historical streets,
maritime heritage and the world’s first pedal-powered bike.
At this museum, parents can wallow in nostalgia while kids can imagine pre-PlayStation times. Serious issues are covered, but all
most visitors really want to do is look at the toys, ranging from Dan Dare to
combines exhibits formerly on show at various museums in Newcastle that have
now closed. Its jumble of attractions include a life-size model of a
Tyrannosaurus rex and an interactive Hadrian’s Wall display.
North York Moors
National Park, Yorkshire
in the countryside is one of Britain’s best free attractions. The North York Moors celebrates
its 60th anniversary this year with events and guided walks.
these days is complete without a waterfront redevelopment, and Liverpool’s Albert Dock joins
the trend. Free sights include the haunting International Slavery Museum, and
the pirates and smugglers of the Merseyside Maritime Museum.
Wales Coast Path
path around the Welsh coastline officially opens in May 2012. Trek the
whole distance or particularly scenic stretches such as Porth Neigwl, or ‘Hell’s
The Millennium Centre is an architectural
masterpiece and Wales’s premier arts complex. Entrance to most areas of the
centre is free, as is entry to art and photography exhibitions, and performances
on smaller stages.
The View Tube,
The View Tube is a wonderfully homespun
observation tower overlooking the Olympic Park, while a wander along the nearby Greenway
offers further views. Access may be restricted during the Games.
to the surprise of many, a lot of the capital’s museums and galleries don’t cost
a penny to get in. Big names include the National Gallery and British Museum, plus lesser-known gems
such as the science-based Wellcome
Collection and Geffrye Museum,
with its re-creations of middle-class life through the ages.
may be considered Britain’s oldest town, but the sparkly new Firstsite arts centre is unashamedly
modern. Along with exhibitions, there are regular talks from art experts and
events for children.
This article was published in partnership with Lonely Planet Magazine.