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Top 10 budget experiences to try in Britain this year

Thursday 23 June 2022
Upside down house in Brighton

Experience Britain for less this summer with a variety of free events, low cost experiences, and opportunities to save. As summer rolls in, the options of holidaying with friends and loved ones can often be an expensive one, however the improved weather provides the perfect setting to enjoy community happenings, city celebrations and affordable attractions. Experience the West End for free in central London or venture to several of UNBOXED’s creative experiences without spending a penny.


Free events

Summer by the River, London

30 May – 2 September

At three London Bridge locations, this free 1930s Miami themed festival will put on food, entertainment and outdoor activities throughout the summer. Summer by the River is the largest free arts and entertainment festival in the capital, and takes place alongside the Thames at The Scoop, Hay's Galleria and The Pier. There will be a Riverside Terrace Bar overlooking The Scoop complete with empanadas and piña coladas. Taqueria Garcia at The Pier will be serving tacos and tequila. Across the venues entertainment including live screening of Wimbledon, karaoke nights and outdoor exercise classes will take place.

Green Space Dark Skies, across Britain

8 events across the summer until September 2022

Light up the British countryside and take part in this series of mass countryside gatherings, inviting up to 20,000 people to experience beautiful landscapes across the UK, as part of UNBOXED 2022. The events at dusk will celebrate nature, highlight our responsibility to protect it, and break barriers for people who may not usually experience the countryside. Using low impact lights, each participant will be part of creating magical moments outdoors at National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

11 - 14 August 2022

Bristol’s largest free fiesta returns to Ashton Court Estate in Bristol. Over 100 hot-air balloons gather for mass ascents, tethered displays and the highly anticipated Night Glow spectacle, at the largest event of its kind in Europe. Held over four days, there are market stalls, live music, fairground rides and street food stalls that also help attract over half a million people to the fiesta each year.

Edinburgh Fringe

5 – 29 August 2022

For three weeks in August, Edinburgh’s streets and stages are taken over by artists and performers, with something going on for everyone, from big names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists building their careers. The festival, which is celebrating its 75th year in 2022, includes theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, circus, cabaret, children's shows, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events. Tickets for the events range in price, from the high profile venues to smaller events with some being free or pay what you feel.


Affordable attractions

Upside Down House, Brighton 

From £4.50

A photo experiences flipped on its head, the Upside-Down Houses challenge the senses by the floor being the ceiling - creating hilarious illusionary images. Popping up in areas across the South East, one of the houses can be found on Brighton Sea Front, whilst there are also others in shopping centres in London and Essex.

Book tickets here

Notting Hill and Black British Culture Self-guided Tour


Discover one of London’s most picturesque neighbourhoods and learn about the influence and origin of Black British culture with this self-guided podcast tour. Explore some of the most well-known spots such as Portobello Road, and off the beaten path spots like the Museum of Brands and St Luke’s Mews.

Book tickets here

Plantasia, Swansea


Swansea’s hi-tech hot house with over 40 species of animals and one of the finest collections of plants in Wales, Plantasia is a full day out for curious minds. Step through a giant tree into their rainforest, explore a below ground zone full of creepy crawlies and the forest floor with a rainbow fish filled pond and a 12ft python.

Book tickets here

Architecture of Money: A Self-Guided Audio Tour in Edinburgh New Town


A 90-minute self-guided tour with commentary by an expert architectural designer, explore the city at your leisure and learn of its influences - from the first union between Scotland and England to its roots as a ‘model city’.

Book tickets here

The Ultimate Bristol Walking Tour - Blackbeard to Banksy


Stroll on Bristol’s streets with an expert local guide. Discover stories of historians and artists, and learn of the city’s fascinating past as you walk. Witness Blitz damage in the city, see old pirate haunts, and look out for the city’s renowned street art murals by artists including Bristol’s own Banksy.

Book tickets here


Hot offer

The National Art Pass

From £15

The National Art Pass, by the charity Art Fund, gives members free access and discounted entry into museums and galleries across the Britain. There are currently 800+ places that use an Art Pass and over 250 in England alone, including free entry to The Courtauld Gallery in London, The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham and The National Football Museum in Manchester. Until the 30th June, there is a 3-month trial version for just £15 (annual membership is £45 for under 30’s and £73 standard adult), perfect for short term usage and saving money on upcoming visits.


For more information contact:

VisitBritain Media Team

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