Five Free Days Out in the UK & Ireland

At Best Loved we champion the “staycation”, believing that some of the best holidays can be had right here in the UK, and they don’t have to cost the earth! We have found some of the best days out that are completely free of charge – giving you more pennies to spend on a luxurious stay in a Best Loved hotel as part of your trip.

One for the Dads – National Railway Museum, York

The National Railway Museum is the UK’s largest railway museum, home to over 300 years of history and over a million wonderful objects, including the famous “Mallard” which broke the world speed record for steam locomotives (a record that has never been beaten), and the “Power Car” by Eurostar.

This is one of our Best Loved days out because it’s completely free of charge, and it is so easy to get to, being accessible directly from York Train station.

When you’re finished, escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre to the market town of Malton. The Talbot Hotel is just 20 miles from York, with a train station just 5 minutes from the hotel to take you to and from the Museum.

One for the Mums – Bath City Tours, Bath

Bath is a beautiful and unique destination that is brimming with things to do, it has even been named a UNESCO World Heritage site. From independent, creative, unique and stylish shopping, to the original Roman Baths, it’s easy to spend a day here.

Our Best Loved thing to do here is one of the free walking tours of Bath. These 2-hour tours take place every Sunday to Friday and include the main points of historical and architectural interest.

At the end of a day in Bath, retire to one of the many stunning hotels in the city. The Abbey Hotel serves incredible cocktails, which makes it all the more convenient that it is only a short walk from all the major attractions. No 15 Great Pulteney claims to be the “luxurious for the curious” and boasts bespoke art and lighting, as well as afternoon tea with a twist – intrigued? Villa at Henrietta Park is great for those who want a relaxed evening after a busy day. Ideally located on a quiet street away from the hue and cry of the city centre.

One for the Little Ones – Dolphin Spotting, Scottish Highlands

Moray near inverness is the best place to go dolphin watching in the UK, in fact, you can regularly see the world’s largest bottlenose dolphin from the Scottish Dolphin Centre in Spey Bay. Entry to the Centre is free of charge, but the attraction is closed from November to February, however dolphins can be seen, if you’re lucky, from a spit of land next to Cromarty Lighthouse near Fortrose all year round.

In addition to the dolphins, occasionally you might also see seals, porpoises and minke whales.

Boath House is near Moray Firth, a great spot for dolphin watching, and roughly an hour from Spey Bay. Meldrum House Country Hotel is also around an hour from the Scottish Dolphin Centre, and is just 30 minutes from Aberdeen.

One for the Teens – A Day on the Beach at Southwold Pier, Suffolk

A trip to the seaside had to be on our list of the best free days out, but if we had to pick a favourite, we’d choose world famous Southwold Pier, originally built 1900. The quality of the beach has been recognised over the years by regular Blue Flag awards which demonstrate that the beach is not only clean but provides an excellent array of amenities.

In addition to the Pier and Beach, there is also a lighthouse, traditional pubs, delis, cafes and quaint little shops, that line the streets.

Seckford Hall is just 40 minutes from Southwold Pier and offers a beautiful spa to help you relax after a busy day out.

One for the Whole Family – Brockhole, The Lake District

The Lake District is a brilliant day out, and we love a trip to Brockhole. The 30 acre Thomas Mawson designed Arts and Crafts garden boasts views over Windermere and towards the Langdale Pikes. Plus there is a free adventure playground that is packed with rope walks, slides, swings, scramble nets and zip wires, with picnic tables nearby for the grown-ups.

Holbeck Gyhll is just 2 minutes from the visitor centre. After the little ones have enjoyed a day out at the Visitor Centre, the adults will love returning to the hotel for a complimentary glass of damson gin.