If you’re planning your next holiday on a budget, the UK is unrivalled when it comes to free family days out. With a whole host of free activities to cater to all ages, you’ll be sure to find plenty to do during your break.
Our three holiday parks in Kent and Sussex are conveniently located from some of the best places to visit in the country, many of which you won’t have to pay a penny for. We’ve handpicked our top five favourite free attractions in the region for you to get stuck into on your next family getaway.
1. Betteshanger Park
Discover the great outdoors and experience one of the best free days out in Kent for families at Betteshanger Park. Located north-west of the historic town of Deal and just a 20 minute drive from St. Margaret’s Bay Holiday Park, you’ll find fun for all the family with over 250 acres of land waiting to be explored. It is worth noting that there is a charge of £3 to park your car at Betteshanger Park, so why not save even more and make your day out eco-friendly by taking public transport or bringing your bike along? Featuring the longest road cycle track in the UK, whether you’re a first timer or an elite cyclist, there are bike riding routes to suit all abilities.
Boasting some spectacular panoramic views, the park is also very popular with walkers and benefitting from both woodland and lakeside paths, it’s the perfect place for a family stroll – you may even be lucky enough to spot some of the fascinating local wildlife. Let the kids roam free in the adventure play area where they can while away endless hours whilst the grown-ups can relax on the surrounding open grass, the ideal spot to enjoy a picnic on a sunny day.
If that isn’t enough to keep you occupied, there are also lots of extra activities such as archery, orienteering and fossil hunting - but these will incur a small charge. To find out more information, head to the park’s website.
2. Dover Museum
Take a step back in time and immerse yourself in some quintessentially British history at Dover Museum. One of the oldest museums in Kent and the largest and most varied in Dover, there’s no better way to spend a free day out combining fun with learning.
Recounting the story of Dover’s history and how the town and port have developed since medieval times, the museum houses the world’s oldest boat, a 3000 year old vessel dating back to the Bronze Age. A town famed for Julius Caesar’s landing attempt during the Roman Invasion, you’ll find out all you need to know from the Stone Age to the Saxons and there are plenty of interactive exhibits where the kids can get hands-on. There are even free family days for children which operate during the school holidays, including themed activities such as crafts and games.
Image courtesy of Dover Museum
3. Camber Sands Beach
Free days out don’t get much better than a day at the seaside and you’ll be spoilt for choice with so many fantastic beaches in the region. On the doorstep of our holiday park with the same name, Camber Sands Beach is unique in the fact that it is one of the only sandy beaches in the area and features the only dunes in East Sussex. Stretching for almost five miles, this long golden beach sits east of the estuary of the River Rother and is a natural habitat for many animals and plants, including seals which can occasionally be spotted in the harbour.
Renowned for its spectacular sunrises and sunsets, Camber Sands is a popular tourist hotspot being one of the sunniest parts of the UK, with temperatures often rising above national average. Spend the day beachcombing or trying your hand at kitesurfing, or take advantage of the excellent sand quality and build sandcastles galore. The beach is also safe for swimming in the marked areas and lifeguards are on duty from May till September.
Camber Sands Beach, East Sussex
4. Dungeness National Nature Reserve
Easily accessed from all of our parks in the region and only a 10 minute drive from Romney Sands Holiday Park, it’s time to get back to nature with a day out at Dungeness National Nature Reserve. Comprising of several attractions, some of which you pay for and some of which are free, you’ll find more than enough to keep you busy for a full day out here.
One of the largest shingle landscapes in the world and home to a wide variety of wildlife, you can simply wander the expanse of the reserve and take in the scenery via a walk or a bike ride or get up close and personal at the Dungeness Bird Observatory. Pay a visit to Dungeness Lifeboat Station and bear witness to the lifeboat which took part in the evacuation of allied troops from Dunkirk in 1940, or admire one of Kent’s most notable landmarks by wandering in the surrounding area of the Water Tower. For an additional fee, you can take a trip to the Old Lighthouse or learn all about the native birds at the RSPB Reserve – you can find out more via their website.
Other free days out in the surrounding area include Romney Marsh, the Royal Military Canal and Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, which provide miles and miles of countryside for exploring.
Dungeness National Nature Reserve, Kent
5. Rochester Cathedral
Providing a majestic backdrop to the historic town of Rochester, if you’re looking for free days out in Kent, a trip to Rochester Cathedral is well worth a jaunt. Dating back over 1400 years, England’s second oldest cathedral combines Norman and Gothic architecture, offering a spectacular interior which is open to the public at no charge. Step back and take in the glorious stained glass windows or if you’re visiting in the evening, take a seat and appreciate the sound of the choral evensong, sung by the Cathedral Choir. The cathedral is also home to a library which is open for general viewings three days a week and features volumes dating all the way back to 1082.
If you’re bringing children along, trail sheets are available at the welcome desk which change every season, meaning the kids will be kept entertained during your visit. There are also several educational family activities which run throughout the year including bridge building, tile painting, quizzes and musicals. Only an hour’s drive from St. Margaret’s Bay Holiday Park, visit their website to start planning your day out!
Rochester Cathedral, Kent
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