On December 1, 2001 admission charges to national museums in the UK were scrapped, making the heritage of the nation free for all! The free entry policy continues today, meaning you can visit some of the top family attractions in the UK for nary a penny.
There is no shortage to the free museums on offer throughout the UK. Some are small regional museums, but others are some of the biggest in the world and can offer hours worth of free entertainment. Here are five of the top museums you can find across the UK, all of which are happy to welcome you for absolutely nothing, especially useful if you’re looking to do London on a budget!
The British Museum
This is the granddaddy of museums in England, with a history that stretches back to 1753. The British Museum was the first national public museum in the world and has always been happy to welcome for free all ‘studious and curious persons’. Today the museum houses an astonishingly large collection of artefacts from around the world, with everything from Egyptian sarcophagi and Aztec pottery, to classical Greek statues to Anglo-Saxon armour. This museum is so large you could spend a lifetime exploring it so make sure you give yourself the time needed to experience all the best it has to offer.
Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum
This Roman fort once guarded the mouth of the River Tyne and has stood guard over the river ever since it was built in AD 160. The fort was originally built as a Roman garrison, after which it became the supply base for the 17 forts situated along the nearby Hadrian’s Wall. Today you can visit the excavation site and tour through reconstructions of the original buildings. Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum makes a great family day out, with lots for kids to see and do, along with fascinating history for mom and dad.
National Museum Cardiff
At National Museum Cardiff you will discover the art, archaeological and geological evolution of Wales, and learn all that makes Wales a truly unique place. Set right in the heart of the capital city of Cardiff this museum will take you on a trip that begins with the Big Bang and takes you though some 4600 million years of history – bringing you face to face with dinosaurs, woolly mammoths, fossils, Bronze Age weapons and more.
The People’s Story, Edinburgh
Spend some time exploring the everyday lives of ordinary Edinburgh people at The People’s Story on the famous Royal Mile. Learn about the work and home lives of people from the 18th century today through re-created settings, artefacts, and first hand stories. Even the building that houses the museum is fascinating – the Canongate Tollbooth was built in 1591 and was once a tax office and jailhouse.
International Slavery Museum, Liverpool
This unique museum located in the docks area of Liverpool looks at aspects of historical and contemporary slavery and aims to promote an understanding of transatlantic slavery and its enduring impacts. Liverpool once served as an important transport hub in the international trade of slaves, making this a fitting location to consider the lasting impact of the practice. The museum has three main galleries, Life in West Africa, Enslavement and the Middle Passage, and Legacies of Slavery which combine to give visitors a broad understanding of the slave trade’s history and legacy.
This is only a small selection of the amazing museums that can be visited while holidaying in the UK. No matter what your interests are there is sure to be a free museum near to where you are staying – just take a look and see what you can discover! Check out www.budgettravelblog.co.uk for more cost effective holiday ideas.