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Great 'Free UK Museums & Galleries' Hunt

112 replies 25.1K views


  • Cambridge:
    Last time I visited, over a year ago, the excellent Fitzwilliam in Trumpington Street (art & artefacts, great Ancient Egyptian collection) & Downing Street Museums (palaeontology, archaeology, & anthropology) were free entry.
  • waterhouse_melonswaterhouse_melons Forumite
    862 posts
    Part of the Furniture
    the best is always the science museum down london! :)
    Best Freebies/Wins/Testers so far: HP Officejet Pro 8500, Vax Zen, Thorpe Park Tks, 2x Rockwell Tkts, Windows 7, 2x Chelsea vs Arsenal Tkts, Genio Phone, JLS Tickets, 2 PSP games, 2 Xbox 360 games, iPod Touch, Blackberry Torch, Westlife Tkts, Tinie Tempah tkts, New York Trip AND MORE...
    Thanks to all posters on here:beer::T
  • makeupmakeup Forumite
    1.6K posts
    In London I love the Geffrye Museum which is located on Kingsland Road (not far from Shoreditch / Old Street).

    It is a museum of household / interior design. They have about 10 - 15 rooms which are decorated as they would have been in various households through the ages (eg. Tudor, Georgian, Victorian, 30's, 50's etc etc). So interesting as not just about the houses of the very wealthy.

    At Christmas they decorate the rooms as they would have been decorated at the time!

    It is free for everyone and they have a lot of activities for children.
    I've got my own flat :j:j

    Now I have to pay the bills :eek:

    And feed my interiors addiction ;)
  • My autistic Grandaughter loves The world meuseum at Liverpool. Especialy the fish, the bee hives and the ants. There are also lots of activities available for the children. A great free Day out and the children learn while having fun!
  • The Museum of Cannock Chase in Staffordshire (where I work) is free entry. At the moment we are into winter opening hours so are usually only open Mon-Fri but we have a couple of special weekend events coming up for all the family (also free of charge). In the summer we are open seven days per week.

    Go to Cannock Chase Council website and follow the links or google us.:D

    Thanks :-)
  • I visited the national museum of Scotland last week. It's on 6 floors, and all totally free. I arrived at 11.30 just as a free guided tour was starting. This lasted an hour, giving us an overview of the whole place, and letting us all decide which areas we wanted to return to and view in more detail on our own. You could spend days in there!

    It covers the geological formation of Scotland, the early people and animals, and everything Scottish right up to the present day.

    There is a resaurant with roof terrace (not visited as it was pouring with rain) plus a coffee shop on the ground floor. They also have a small gift shop.

  • I recently went to the Roman Baths in Bath with a disabled friend and was delighted to find that both she (and I as a carer) were admitted free of charge - a saving of about £28. Well done to the people running it for their care of people on low income!
  • HaxoHaxo Forumite
    37 posts
    nick_b wrote: »
    Here in Portsmouth there's the Natural History Museum, the City Museum and the Eastney Beam Engine House. Southsea castle's also free if you have a Portsmouth museum card!

    I think you meant a Portsmouth Library Card :) And the offer is valid until the end of this year I think.

    Fort Nelson in Fareham is also free. It is part of the Royal Armouries, housing over 350 big guns and cannons. It's open 10.30am-4pm (except Wednesdays 11.30-4pm) in winter. Though some of the guns are outside (exploring the Fort is pretty amazing), there is an indoor Artillery Hall, Galleries (in what would have been barrack rooms) and a 156m long tunnel. They fire a 25pdr Second World War field gun everyday on the parade ground, which is definately worth seeing if it's not raining!

    They have different things going on for Remembrance Sunday and Remembrance Day too (firing different guns etc).
    I generally lurk :0)
  • There are quite a few excellent "rainy weather" activities in the North East - well used by our family. In Northumberland there is the totally free Woodhorn Colliery Museum (£2 parking charge - discount if you have a Discovery Pass). It's brilliant - there is a walk-through timeline of the mining history of the area, with a big focus on real people and village life, the "Pitman Painters" exhibition of art by the Ashington Artists Group (very topical with the West End play), and also a brilliant archive centre, where you can research your family tree with the help of the staff there. There are other exhibitions (like the Union banners, winding house, and an exhibition that changes about every other month). If you are going on a fine day (or when the snow is on the ground) I would ring in advance to see if the little engine is running around the lake. It's picturesque, and takes you to the local pub, where the food is much better than in the museum itself - and there's beer! Take plenty of crusts to feed the swans and ducks. Around Christmas time, there are usually mince pies and Santa driving the train. Great for little ones.

    Our family also likes - the Discovery museum in Newcastle (free - but get there early, there's limited parking); the National Glass Centre at Sunderland (has a fantastic restaurant for lunch overlooking the River Wear - plenty of free parking - lots of "hands on" exhibits, and a great walk along the riverside to the Marina one way and St Peter's church the other way); and (for adults and "arty" teenagers) the Biscuit Factory gallery in Byker, which also does great food. Again, get there for opening time, coz the parking is very limited. ALL FREE. Much better value than the very pricey castles (like Alnwick) or the National Trust places, which are great value, but too dear for large families.

    Not free, but good value, is Segedunum in Wallsend - especially if the kids are doing the Romans at school ...

    Free (at the moment anyway) is the newly re-opened Great North Museum (formerly the Hancock museum) - but if you're planning a day of it, go by public transport at parking is mad prices in Newcastle.
  • rozeepozeerozeepozee Forumite
    2K posts
    Weston Park Museum in Sheffield is free and great for under fives especially I'm sure it won a Guardian aware recently and my 3 year old never gets bored of going.
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