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A brilliant day out needn’t break the bank, so we’ve compiled a list of cheap days out so you can have some fun on a budget.

Many of our suggestions are even free, meaning you can save some change for a souvenir or nice meal to really round off the day. What’s more, all of our suggestions are accessible by train, saving some much needed fuel money.

Here are our top 15 favourite days out on a budget.

01. Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA), Middlesborough

The MIMA is an outstanding contemporary art gallery located in the heart of Middlesbrough. Opened in 2007, this new and innovative gallery offers an extensive list of renowned artworks and artists including David Hockeny, Tracey Emin, L.S. Lowry, and Eduardo Paolzzoi, to name a few. Since 2014 the gallery has been merged with Teesside University who continue to donate exciting artworks to the MIMA. The MIMA also hosts a wide variety of events and exhibitions throughout the year, meaning there is always something new to see!

02. Warrington Museum and Art Gallery, Warrington

Warrington’s best kept secret has to be its museum and art gallery. It is one of the UK's oldest museums, having been founded in 1857. The museum is housed in a grand building that has been lovingly preserved, and it contains a wide variety of interesting artefacts and objects from across the world. These include stunning artworks, paintings, sculptures, an Egyptian exhibit, and even a dinosaur! The museum also hosts several award-winning events and temporary exhibitions throughout the year, making it a great place to visit for people of all ages. Families will particularly enjoy the free craft events that are put on for children, making the Warrington Museum an ideal day out for the whole family.

03. Kingmoor Nature Reserve, Carlisle

If you’re looking for a lovely day out getting closer to nature then look nio further than Kingmoor Nature Reserve. This beauty spot is on the site of an old horse racing ground. It has since been protected and left to nature meaning it is wonderfully green and biodiverse, making it a wonderful place for a picnic or leisurely stroll.

04. Dolphin Centre, Darlington

For an active day out, head to the Dolphin Centre in Darlington! There is loads to do here including large swimming pools for getting some exercise or just having a splash about, there is also bowling and a soft play area for kids. There is food and drink onsite making this the perfect location for a fun-filled and active day out for the whole family.

05. National Railway Museum, York

For a truly unique day out the award-winning Railway Museum in York is a must-see. You can see iconic trains, and hear the story of rail transport across history. You can get up close to your favourite locomotives as well as seeing revolutionary engineering marvels such as the Rocket, Japanese Bullet train, and the fastest steam train in the world, the Mallard! What’s more, this museum is also home to Queen Victoria’s ‘palace on wheels’, giving a glimpse into royal train travel in the 19th century. If that wasn’t enough excitement then the museum also plays host to a number of exciting events and exhibitions throughout the year. Currently on offer is ‘Royals on Rails’, which dives into the palace on wheels to educate and entertain in equal measure, as well as ‘Build Your Own Locomotive’ which is sure to keep the kids quiet for an hour. With so much to discover, this museum makes for an exciting day out for the whole family.

06. Durham Cathedral, Durham

Durham Cathedral is much more than just an architectural marvel, and is steeped in a history just waiting to be discovered! The cathedral museum is the perfect place to start your journey, with exhibits on everything from the Northern saints to the Harry Potter movies (yes, Durham Cathedral was used as a filming location for some of the most iconic scenes!). For those who want to get active, there are several pilgrimage trails that allow you to explore the beautiful surroundings while following in the footsteps of the pilgrims. And if you're bringing the kids, there are plenty of family-friendly activities to keep them entertained, from reading and colouring to nature discovery trails.So what are you waiting for? Durham Cathedral is the perfect place for a day of learning, fun, and exploration!

07. Macclesfield Silk Museum, Macclesfield

The Silk Museum is the perfect place to learn about Macclesfield's 300-year history as a global centre for silk production, textiles and design. You can see a large collection of machines and historic artefacts, and the expert guides offer unique insights into all aspects of mill life, silk production, and Macclesfield’s strong industrial heritage. For an inspiration day out this is a must-see!


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08. North Lincolnshire Museum, Scunthorpe

For an exciting journey through the history of Lincolnshire this museum is well worth a visit. Interactive displays mean you can get closer to your favourite parts of history, as well as seeing incredible artefacts and hearing memorable stories. The rich geology, archaeology, and local history galleries take you on an exciting journey through the rich cultural landscape of Lincolnshire and beyond. What’s more, this family-friendly museum has a dedicated under 5’s area, and several exhibitions and family-friendly events, so there is something for everyone, and it's a guaranteed wonderful day out!

09. Warren Moore Mine, Kildale

For a more off-beat adventure it's worth checking out the Warren Moore Mine in Kildale. The site offers an exciting glimpse into life in the area in the 19th Century. Although the mine itself never actually produced anything it is still historically significant and panels at the site will guide you through the forgotten history of Warren Moore. Artist reconstructions at the site show how the mine looked in 1866 and give an idea of the mine's working conditions. What’s moore (pun intended!), the local area is stunning and makes for a beautiful stroll. The mine itself is fenced so the whole family and even the doggo can come and enjoy a lovely day out in Kildale!


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10. Scaleber Force Waterfall, Settle

If you're looking for a breathtaking natural wonder to add to your ever-growing list of places to see, be sure to visit Scaleber Force. This stunning 40ft waterfall lies within Scaleber Wood Nature Reserve and is truly a sight worth seeing. The pristine clear waters flow over limestone cliffs and into a deep pool, what’s more, you can even get up close and personal by taking the narrow stepped path down to the small viewing point. So what are you waiting for? Pack your hiking boots and head on over to Scaleber Force for an unforgettable day out!

11. Clitheroe Castle Museum, Clitheroe

For over 800 years Clitheroe Castle has been a stunning feature of the landscape, with panoramic views over Clitheroe and the Ribble Valley. The castle’s award-winning museum is the place to discover all that hidden history! The museum is located in the former castle steward’s house, built in the 1700’s. You can uncover 350 millions years of history starting with the Ribble Valley landscapes and wildlife, to the local history, folklore, and legends, by exploring the several interactive exhibits. After all that exploring you can take a break and enjoy some tea and cake at the onsite cafe, making it a fantastic day out for the whole family to enjoy.

12. National Waterways Museum, Chesire

If you're looking for a peaceful and picturesque spot to learn about the history of the River Mersey, then the Waterways Museum is the perfect place for you. Situated on a seven-acre site, with two beautiful listed buildings, the museum offers visitors a fascinating insight into the lives of those who have worked on the river over the years. In addition to seeing how the workers lived and operated, you'll also be able to get up close and personal with the equipment they used to move goods around the country. What’s more, the museum also hosts events throughout the year, such as sailing and paddleboarding. With more than 15,000 objects on display, and 50 boats to explore, there's plenty to keep you and the family occupied at the Waterways Museum!

13. Crewe Heritage Centre, Crewe

For a fun-filled day out with friends, family, or even solo, the Crewe Heritage Centre has it all. There's a miniature railway, museum and plenty of model railways to keep everyone entertained. And if you need a break from all the excitement, the onsite cafe is the perfect place to relax and refuel. For those interested in the history and culture of Crewe, the heritage centre is a must-see. There are a wide range of exhibits on display, covering everything from the town's railway heritage to its role in the Second World War. There's also a fascinating collection of artefacts from the Victorian era. The Crewe Heritage Centre will put you on track for a great day out!


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14. Middlewood Woods, Stockport

For an active adventure out in nature Middlewood Woods will not disappoint. At nearly 30 acres this extensive and beautiful woodland is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna just waiting to be discovered. There are many established walking trails making this the perfect place for a leisurely stroll with the dog, a day out on your bike, or a run around with the kids.

15. Hanley Park and Garden, Stoke-on-Trent

For a relaxing day out Hanley Park in Stoke is a beautiful spot. This extensive park and gardens is the perfect place to bring your family for a day of fun in the sun. With a lake, bandstand, and kids' play areas, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The sporting facilities are top-notch, with bowling greens that are sure to provide hours of entertainment.

That concludes our epic list of 15 cheap days out! With so many budget-friendly suggestions the only difficulty will be deciding which places to visit first. Don’t forget, all of our ideas are accessible on the train too so you can leave the car at home and head out on an exciting adventure. Have fun!

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