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Britain on a budget: 5 great days out

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There are plenty of ways to enjoy the UK on a budget so Liz Walsh from TopDogDays shares 5 of her favourite money-saving ideas.

1. London: See behind the scenes at the Tower of London

Ceremony of the keys Martin Usborne

Be part of a 700-year-old tradition that takes place at the Tower of London, free of charge, each evening. The Ceremony of the Keys is a time-honoured event that marks the locking up of the Tower and gives you a glimpse inside – out of hours.

Top tip: Apply in advance for tickets by post – remember to include a stamped addressed envelope for them to be sent back to you.

Cost: Free.

More information: Ceremony of the Keys

2. Scotland: Take a seat in Scottish Parliament

Scottish Parliament

See government at work and join a free tour around the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. This tour takes you into the heart of the Scottish Parliament, with a guide who brings alive the history, workings and architecture of this eminent building.

Top tip: Got little ones? When taking a tour, you can pre-book children aged 6 weeks–5 years old into the on-site, free crèche.

Cost: Free.

More information: The Scottish Parliament

3. Northern England: Go underground

National Coal Mining Museum

Don a hard hat and miner’s lamp and go 140 metres underground to explore an old coal mine in Yorkshire, for free. This journey deep underground is in the company of lively guides, all former miners who bring their own perspective to the tours. It’s suitable for children (5 years and over) and adults alike.

Top tip: During peak times tours can fill up quickly, so you may wish to pre-book (£5 booking fee).

Cost: Free.

More information: National Coal Mining Museum

4. Cornwall: Cliff-hanger theatre

Minack Theatre, Cornwall

For a truly unique theatre experience, head to the open-air Minack Theatre that literally sits on the edge of a cliff on the Cornish peninsular. With the Atlantic Ocean as the backdrop to a range of productions, it’s theatre as you’ve never seen it before.

Top tip: Families with young children should look out for the Minack Storytelling Mornings that run during the summer season.

Cost: Theatre tickets range between £5–£17.50. The Minack Storytelling Mornings are included within the general daytime visit admission charges.

More information: The Minack Theatre

5. Manchester: City views from the top of a museum

Imperial War Museum North

At the Imperial War Museum North you can ascend to the Air Shard viewing platform for a fantastic panorama over Manchester United Football Stadium, Manchester Ship Canal and the city-centre skyline.

For a nominal fee you can take the lift or scale the 180 stairs to the top to enjoy the view.

Don’t miss having a look round the museum for some powerful interpretations of Britain at war from World War I onwards.

Top tip: Remember warm clothes on colder days as you are exposed to the elements on the viewing platform!

Cost: Free entry to the museum; small charge for entry to the viewing platform.

More information: Air Shard at IWM North 


Have you been to any of these attractions? Have you got any other ideas for travelling on a budget in Britain? Share your ideas in the comments boxes below!

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