14 June 2014

Save money with free summer activities

Summer days out can soon eat into your savings, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy the best that Britain has to offer. If you’re canny, you can take advantage of some fantastic free events.

We take a look at some of the activities and festivals going on across the UK over the summer that won’t leave you out of pocket.

West End Live (Trafalgar Square, June 21-22)

Get a taste of musical theatre without paying West End prices. This two-day event in the heart of London is completely free and is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. It features live performances from the casts of top shows including Billy Elliot, Jersey Boys, Wicked and The Bodyguard.

Visit West End Live for more details.

Godiva Festival (Coventry, July 4-6)

Happy Mondays, We Are Scientists, Buzzcocks and Funeral For a Friend are among the line-up at this year’s music showcase named after the city’s most famous resident.

Visit Godiva Festival for more details

Tour de France (Yorkshire, July 5-6)

Take in some top sporting action for free when the Grand Depart comes to Yorkshire this summer. The peloton will be passing through Leeds, Harrogate, York and Sheffield, before heading down to Cambridge and London.

Visit the Tour de France website for more details.

Birmingham International Jazz and Blues Festival (July 18-27)

Musicians from around the world will be gathering in Birmingham for a host of free gigs in public spaces, museums, restaurants and bars. Performers from the US, Canada, Argentina, Lithuania, Germany and France – as well as home-grown acts including Musical Youth – will be taking part.

Visit the Birmingham International Jazz and Blues Festival for more details.

Commonwealth Games (Glasgow, July 23-Aug 3)

If you haven’t managed to get tickets for the Games, don’t despair because you can see some of the action for free and soak up the atmosphere in Glasgow. The marathon and cycling road races will be taking place around the streets of the city.

Visit Commonwealth Games for more details.

The Big Cheese Festival (Caerphilly, July 25-27)

If there’s one place that knows about cheese, it’s Caerphilly. Set in the shadows of the castle, this food festival features street entertainers, folk dancing, fire eating, falconry and, of course, more cheese than you can shake a stick at.

Visit The Big Cheese Festival for more details.

Sunderland International Air Show (Seaburn, July 25-27)

The largest free air show event in Europe attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators every year. The Red Arrows will be taking to the skies, as will the RAF Falcons and a Eurofighter Typhoon.

More details about Sunderland International Air Show.

World War One Commemoration Weekend (Ballymoney, Aug 1-2)

This year is the 100th anniversary of the First World War, so there are lots of events happening around the country to mark the occasion. This Northern Ireland event will feature military displays, re-enactments and a parade through the town.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta (Aug 7-10)

Marvel at 100-plus hot-air balloons floating over the skies of Somerset. The evening nightglows are also a must-see as ballooning teams light up the night sky against a backdrop of fireworks and music. The four-day event includes an entertainment village and craft marquee.

Visit Bristol Balloon Fiesta for more details.

British Fireworks Championships (Plymouth, Aug 12-13)

Six professional firework display teams battle it out over two nights for the national title, giving residents and holidaymakers the chance to enjoy some spectacular free evening entertainment. A visual treat not to be missed.

Visit British Fireworks for more details.

Freedom Festival (Hull, Sep 5-7)

Hull is the City of Culture in 2017, but you can join the celebrations early by taking in the sights and sounds of this extravaganza of music, dance, theatre, poetry, visual arts and comedy, which celebrates Hull’s contribution to the cause of freedom.

Visit Freedom Festival (This link will open in a new window) (This link will open in a new window) (This link will open in a new window) for more details.

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