With two May Bank Holidays coming up and warmer spring weather in store, there’s never been a better time to make the most of your weekends.
Stuck on ideas of what to do? Here are 10 free or great value things to do that may just beat box-set binge watching.
1. Walk through a wall of water and stay completely dry
Observation Point, London Southbank
Imagine walking through a wall of water without getting wet? Visitors can experience just that in a unique 3D installation at London’s South Bank. The giant 3D dishwasher created by Bosch marks the launch of its new PerfectDry dishwasher and will use 2000 litres of recycled water falling at a rate of 4 litres per minute.
As you walk towards the torrent of flowing water, clever motion sensors will sense your presence and stop the flow of water as you step under it.
Admission is free, with no booking required and spot prizes will be given out at random to lucky visitors.
5th May, 8am – 6pm, 6th & 7th May, 10am – 6pm.
Stay: Travelodge Central Waterloo
2. Come alive after dark at The Late Shows
Grab a bit of culture on the 19th and 20th May when more than 70 NewcastleGateshead arts and culture venues open up their doors after-dark.
Enjoy hands-on workshops, behind-the-scenes tours, parties and performances. You could learn a new instrument, visit buildings of architectural significance or dance the night away at a silent disco. Anything could happen on your free late-night culture crawl. Free shuttle buses connect visitors to participating venues.
Stay: Travelodge Newcastle hotels
3. Carry your weight on WoolSack day
Tetbury was once a historic wool and brewing town, and every year on WoolSack day this link is still celebrated with a pint (or two) of real ale and then a test of strength, as contestants run up and down a hill carrying a sack of wool. The race has been going for over thirty years now and has records entered in the ‘Guinness Book of Records’. A fun family day out with a street fair, funfair and entertainment. Bank Holiday Monday 29th May. Free admission.
Stay: Travelodge Tetbury hotels
4. Relive days gone by on a vintage bus
Discover the 130 year-old story of bus and coach travel around Oxfordshire at the Oxford Bus Museum. Exhibits include a historic horse-drawn tram, motor buses, and a wide selection of artefacts. Learn how the classic Morris Minor cars and commercial vehicles were produced in Oxford and enjoy a fine collection of vintage Morris vehicles. Why not experience a vintage bus ride yourself? On Bank Holiday Monday 1st May, an hourly service runs to Witney (Market Place). First bus departs at 11:15am and each hour until 3:15pm.
Stay: Travelodge Oxford hotels
5. Experience the buzz of Brighton at the Festival
Running from the 6th-28th May, there’s loads of free events during the Brighton Festival. From interactive experiences, storytelling sessions to poetry recitals and dance workshops – there’s something for everyone. And, at the end of the day, why not enjoy fresh cockles and whelks or fish and chips on the beach?
Stay: Travelodge Brighton hotels
6. Rummage round a market
Treasure hunters will love seeing what they can unearth at the antiques, vintage and collectors fair at Fontwell Park Racecourse. Bank Holiday Monday 1st May 10am – 4pm. Admission is £3 for adults and £2.50 for Seniors & Students. Early Entry 8.30am £3.50.
Stay: Travelodge Arundel Fontwell Park
7. Put on your walking shoes for an amble in the city
Bristol’s Walk Fest takes place during the month of May and has over 150 walks ranging from nature trails and historical tours to doing yoga and ping pong while on the move. A great chance to get out and explore the city’s diversity.
Stay: Travelodge Bristol hotels
8. Get a taste of Yorkshire
Food lovers will salivate at the chance to visit this festival, set on the edge of the North York Moors. On Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th May, visitors can celebrate the very best of Yorkshire food with chef demos, lessons, talks, and over 160 food stalls. In 2017, special guests Prue Leith and Levi Roots will be in attendance and there’s the return of the Festival party, where Levi and his 12 piece band will close the Saturday night. Go on an empty stomach.
Stay: Travelodge Malton hotels
9. Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival
Punch and Judy fans of all ages will love this annual family puppet festival which brings together Punch and Judy ‘professors’ from all across the UK. On the 14th May, in the garden of St Paul’s Church, experience some jolly good fun that starts with a procession led by a brass band at 11am, followed by an afternoon spent enjoying puppet shows, workshops, maypole dancing, clowns and more. The festival also celebrates with a birthday toast to Punch, who was first seen by Samuel Pepys 335 years ago. Admission is free.
Stay: Travelodge Covent Garden hotels
10. Celebrate a traditional May Day
Celebrate the arrival of spring at Avoncroft Museum. Their special May Day event takes place from 10:30am on Monday 5th May. Take part in maypole dancing, traditional games or try your hand at archery. There’s also traditional fairground attractions and a craft fair.
Stay: Travelodge Bromsgrove hotels