Free and frugal ways to spend a bank holiday

No money? Wondering what to do this fine bank holiday weekend? How about these ideas to keep you and the family entertained? There are lots of free and frugal ways to spend a bank holiday.

Get the April issue of Gardener’s World magazine. They have a 2 for 1 offer for over 400 gardens around the uk. Plus you have a great magazine to read when you get home😀.

Go to the park and play on the swings (preferably take a child with you, lol), or take a football or cricket bat.

Play rounders! I have excellent memories of family holidays doing this when I was young.

Go for a walk at a fast pace and you won’t need to bother with the gym. Do it with a buggy and you are resistance training!

Check your local museums and art galleries – some will be free.

Head for the hills

Pack up a picnic and head for the hills. If we have a day out anywhere, Mr Shoestring and I always take a flask and sandwiches – whatever the weather. It saves so much money and also means no queuing in crowded cafes for over-priced food of variable quality.

Check the country parks in your area. In Essex we are blessed with some great open spaces, ideal for a family walk: Visit Parks. It’s easy to find where yours are at your local Tourist Information Centre.

Go find a bluebell wood. This is a good time to go! You can find some listed on the Woodland Trust website here.

Check out your local wildlife trust. They have all kinds of activities going on, from a family pond dip to an twilight bat or owl walk.

Garden centres for green entertainment

Go to the garden centre. We have several locally that have so much to see for free, and the kids love their displays. However, don’t be drawn in to the café, and don’t buy anything unless you need it and it is a good price.

Visit your relatives and friends. They are an under-rated and often under-valued form of entertainment and support.

Find a boot sale and get yourself some bargains.

There are lots more family ideas at as well as great offers and deals at

We will find some free and frugal ways to spend a bank holiday, as we always do. I can see us meandering around a garden I should think. Maybe see you there!

10 thoughts on “Free and frugal ways to spend a bank holiday

  1. Lots of good ideas here, Jane. When the weather is good, I love a picnic by a river. We are lucky to have such wonderful countryside in most areas of the U.K, but even if heavily built-up urban areas, there is usually a park or two. When my children were small we lived in a big Victorian house and they were lucky enough to have a playroom. If the weather was too awful to venture out, we used to build a den with blankets and have a ‘carpet picnic’ in the playroom. They thought it such a treat.

  2. Thankfully, we are retired and so don’t feel the need to go out on a Bank Holiday, but for those with families or who would normally be at work, you have offered some great ideas. But we live in a very busy holiday area (Torbay) and so do our best NOT to be on the roads at Bank Holidays, they’re choked.
    Margaret P

  3. I,m working tomorrow yesssssss. Time and 2 thirds. Will chuck it at the mortgage. Off on Thurs weather permitting pic nic on Crammond island walk across the causeway, take tiny army cooker gather mussels, add lemon and crusty bread yummmmmmm.

  4. More the merrier!. If shoestring gang are coming would push the boat out n build a little bonfire, baked pots in tinfoil, marshmallows on sticks, hot choc and a bottle of plonk . X

    • Oh, that sounds a lovely party, I’m for the hot choc! (Hot Choc, especially if by Charbonnel & Walker, not very frugal but we have to push the boat out sometimes, don’t we? Or better still, real choc melted in hot milk, total yum!)
      Margaret P

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