Old Style Days Out

Last weekend Mr Thrift decided he'd like to go to the seaside, so we got the map out, found somewhere close-ish (we're slap bang in the middle of the country in the Midlands; Wolverhampton!) and on Sunday we headed off to Barmouth in Wales.

We took sandwiches and Asda Smart Price jam tarts, and coke and squash to drink, then spent most of the day just wandering around, looking at the boats in the harbour, mooching round antique and junk shops and taking lots of digital photos of all the beautiful views. So all in all it only cost us our petrol (I reckon we spent about £15 on driving there and back) and a couple more drinks, and a postcard for Gran. (She likes to get postcards, so I try to remember even if it's only a daytrip! :) )

We are on a very reduced budget at the moment which can get us down sometimes (when we're not getting excited about doing the Grocery Challenge that is! :D ) so it was fantastic to get away and have a break, and it cost so little. Most weekends we end up wandering round the town centre at home for no particular reason and spending money we didn't need to, so spending just a wee bit of money on something so fab was a huge improvement. Although we were only out for a day we really felt we'd had a mini-holiday. :)

This weekend we're thinking of trying Chester, and taking more drinks this time so we hopefully don't need to buy any, and I think it's closer and on a straighter road so should use less petrol.

I know as an Old Styler with very little disposable income at the moment I tend to avoid the holidays board and similar as it depresses me, but I've realised it really can be done in a truly Old Style way. And all credit to Mr Thrift whose idea it was originally! :D He really is getting into this OS money saving lark! So where else and what else can you recommend for cheap / free Old Style days out? Not just near the Midlands for me of course, but all over the country! :D



  • nabowla
    nabowla Posts: 567 Forumite
    The National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery and Victoria and Albert Museum in London are all free if you just go to see the regular collections rather than the special exhibitions (and the regular collections have enough stuff to keep you busy for days!).

    The Mayor of London occasionally organises free open-air theatre events. For example, on Saturday evening there's a free performance of a Greek tragedy in the open air theatre right by the London assembly building.

    Hampstead Heath open air bathing ponds are free too. I can't comment on the Mixed or Men's bathing ponds but the Ladies' Pond is in a wonderful, secluded area that is just like being in the middle of the countryside. It's very peaceful (no screaming children or teenage boys!) and quite safe as there are qualified lifeguards on duty and plenty of life buoys floating on the pond if you need to take a rest half way across. Take a picnic and spend time sunbathing/reading on the grassy lawn afterwards. By the end of the day you'll feel as though you've been on a mini holiday!
  • newfunk
    newfunk Posts: 2,415 Forumite
    We are lucky as we are surrounded by beaches and Dartmoor is only 15 miles away from us, which allows us ample oppurtunity to have next to nothing days out....Our favourite is a walk along the canal in Exeter and around the quay, stop for coffee and browse all the little quirky shops..the dog loves it too.....I find I enjoy it better, than spending loads getting in somewhere!! Also always take a picnic and book/magazine and just chill!! makes work bearable too
    In this trusted place U can erase
    Every tear that ever rolled down your weary face
    All the time U waste in that paper chase
    Is time better spent in these arms of mine
  • I haven't tried it yet but keep meaning to - there is a bus that goes between Birmingham and London for £1 each way - you book it on line at https://www.megabus.com - might be handy if you want to do all the free museums in London?
  • Lucie_2
    Lucie_2 Posts: 1,482
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I love days out in the country & at the sea-side. We always take a cool bag full of drinks & snacks, sometimes full blown picnic complete with rug. It's a great way to keep yourself occupied. Take a frisbee to play on the beach & get a bit of exercise too while you're at it.
    Blackpool is great in the winter, there's a chip shop that does fish & chips for £1, yes, a pound! If we're feeling flush we spend another pound in the amusements on the 2p push & shove machines! Keeps us entertained for hours.
  • furrypig
    furrypig Posts: 2,881
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I agree!!

    I love taking a cool bag with lots of yummy food and drinks, it saves so much money.
    we sat on the beach at Weymouth at the weekend and I ate a homemade salad!

    The kids are usually too excited to eat as they love the simple pleasures, paddling, sand castles, searching for stones, shells, crabs etc. I even managed to read some of my Harry Potter book!
  • N9eav
    N9eav Posts: 4,742 Forumite
    I am lucky too and live a few miles from the sea. We had a surprisingly great day out at the local port regatta. Did not plant o go but saw a great raft race, helecopter rescue and lifeboat. Had cheap BBQ burgers and a good laugh. Forgot about such community social events...
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  • squeaky
    squeaky Posts: 14,130
    First Post Combo Breaker
    I've been known to have a day out less than a mile from home before now. I'm lucky, in that I live in a village just outside a large town - best of both worlds - but some of my best days out have been wandering the back lanes on foot (which is a great way to SEE where you live) and picnic just about anywhere there's room to sit.
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  • BWZN93
    BWZN93 Posts: 2,182
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Im lucky too as Ive got Bath on my doorstep (for all its faults, the Roman Baths, The Holbourne Museum, Prior Park, and the Bath Abbey are free entry for locals!) so I am making more use of whats around me for days out.

    Often enough, we occassionally go for a 20 min drive in the evening or take a longer route home from wherever we have been and see where it gets us too, and usually we dont even need to go that far before wev'e pulled over to look at something interesting. It doesnt cost us too much in petrol, and the feeling of having been out is great.

    I still have a few more parks and museums to go to for free, and also wanted to get in on that Geocaching thing that was mentioned somewhere a couple of weeks back - it will guide us to new places and hopefully find something interesting. Of course, I wont be buying a gps system, but often the local ones are easy enough to find without being excat, just by reading and following the description!

    Jo xx
  • newfunk
    newfunk Posts: 2,415 Forumite
    N9eav wrote:
    I am lucky too and live a few miles from the sea. We had a surprisingly great day out at the local port regatta. Did not plant o go but saw a great raft race, helecopter rescue and lifeboat. Had cheap BBQ burgers and a good laugh. Forgot about such community social events...

    What port was that? We were in Cornwall a few weeks ago!! Its great down there, we are thinkin of moving there!!
    In this trusted place U can erase
    Every tear that ever rolled down your weary face
    All the time U waste in that paper chase
    Is time better spent in these arms of mine
  • Hello,
    Im not too far from you in Birmingham, my girls love good old Weston for an old fashioned day out its not too far. If you save up all your coppers you can put them in the old fashioned slot machines in the amusements on the pier, £1 each for the kids in pennies or tuppences keeps them amused for hours!
    We went to the Cotswolds today, Bourton on the Water and Broadway,you can go for a wander by the river in Bourton and there is a lovely playground sorrounded by beautiful hills in Broadway. We passed a flea market in Bourton and my girls wanted to go in and look for fleas (!) We had a great day out for the cost of the petrol.
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