Being on a budget doesn’t mean you have to reign in the fun. In fact, Britain is jam-packed with free family attractions and activities for all ages. From days out with the kids to outdoor activities to enjoy with friends or loved ones – there’s something for everyone, whatever your budget.
To get you started on your next shoestring adventure, we’ve picked some of our favourite free activities on the South Coast – ideal for your next holiday.
Roskilly’s Farm, Cornwall
If sampling delicious Cornish ice cream surrounded by adorable animals sounds like your ideal day out – you’ll love Roskilly’s. Better yet, it won’t cost you a penny!
Just a few minutes’ drive from Lizard Point Holiday Park and Sea Acres Holiday Park, Roskilly’s is one of Cornwall’s best known organic farms. Famed for its clotted cream, fudge and ice cream, this working dairy farm is open to the public – where visitors can stroll around the peaceful meadows and ponds, and say hello to the local residents.
With geese, calves, goats, pigs and sheep roaming around, little ones can enjoy meeting their farmyard favourites before picking up a sample of Roskilly’s Cornish ice cream. While we can promise you free admission, we can’t promise you won’t be tempted to take home a tub of your favourite flavour! If you do feel like treating yourself, you’ll find a restaurant and farm shop on site – perfect for a tasty lunch or picking up some local ingredients to whip up in the kitchen at home.
Image courtesy of Roskilly's
The White Cliffs of Dover, Kent
You’ll be hard pressed to find a more iconic sight than the waves crashing against Dover’s white cliffs. With breathtaking views on offer, you’ll forget you’re even exercising when walking along the rugged clifftop path.
While parking is available at the National Trust Visitor Centre at £4 per car, if you’re staying at nearby St Margaret’s Bay Holiday Park you can reach the cliffs on foot, just a pleasant 20 minute stroll away. Simply turn right out of the park’s entrance and walk south-west along Upper Road, then turn left onto the signposted trail – leading to South Foreland Lighthouse atop the cliffs.
Once you reach the clifftop path, head west past Fan Bay, taking in the spectacular views over the cliffs, the Channel and the coast of France – visible on clear days. When you reach the end of the trail, you’ll come to the National Trust Visitor Centre, offering a panorama over the bustling Port of Dover. And if you don’t fancy splashing out in the centre’s café, why not pack a picnic and watch the ships and ferries sailing in and out of the harbour below.
The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary
Within easy reach of all of our holiday parks on the Isle of Wight, a visit to the donkey sanctuary is a must if you’re staying nearby. Situated between the seaside towns of Shanklin and Ventnor, The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary provides a forever home for rescued and unwanted donkeys around the UK.
With over 100 animals in their care, including ponies and horses, the sanctuary provides over 60 acres of lush greenery for them to roam, with stables, barns and shelters to keep them cosy during the cooler months. Little ones and grown-ups alike will love visiting these adorable animals, and with free admission 7 days a week it’s the perfect afternoon activity if you’re on a budget.
While admission to the sanctuary is free, donations are welcome to help support the sanctuary’s work. The gift shop and café are an ideal way to pick up a treat while supporting a great cause – and if you fall for a particular furry friend, you can even adopt a donkey through the sanctuary’s website.
Find out more about Britain’s top animal sanctuaries on our blog.
Image courtesy of The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary
House of Marbles, Devon
If you’re looking for a free afternoon outing with a difference, why not check out Devon’s very own House of Marbles? This museum, glass centre and shop is dedicated to all things marbles - and is sure to keep the kids entertained on a rainy day.
Just 20 minutes from Torquay Holiday Park - and with free parking on site - it’s ideal for a family outing during your next Devonshire break. Inside you’ll find all kinds of amusements and interactive displays, including the famous giant marble runs. Don’t forget to check out the viewing gallery, where you’ll be able to see expert craftsmen at work, moulding molten glass into intricate shapes and ornaments.
Grown-ups can learn more about the 4000 year history behind glass and how it’s been crafted over the centuries into the modern material we use today. There’s also a games museum and pottery museum, too – perfect for history buffs. If you do feel like treating yourself or the little ones, you’ll find plenty of toys and crafts on offer in the gift shop – and the Old Pottery Restaurant serves up a wide selection of tempting snacks and treats.
Video sourced from Old Rouge Productions
Durlston Country Park and National Nature Reserve, Dorset
This 280 acre estate occupies prime position overlooking the English Channel from its spectacular headland vantage point. As well as 33 species of butterflies, 250 species of birds and hundreds of different types of wildflower, you’ll also be able to explore endless walking trails throughout the park. And once you’ve had your fill of the great outdoors, historic Durlston Castle and the park’s visitor centre await. Don’t forget to pose for a family photo in front of George Burt’s famous ‘Great Globe’ – weighing in at 40 tons, it’s one of the biggest stone spheres in the world!
Entry to Durlston Castle and Country Park is completely free, with payment only required for the car park. However, the pretty coastal town of Swanage is just a 20 minute walk away and a bus service operates between the town and park during the summer months.
Video sourced from Neil Mullins