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Watermelon saying hello summer

Top 5 cheap UK days out to try this summer

Nothing beats filling your calendar with things to do over the summer months. But whether you’re planning a road trip to visit family, or heading to a special summer event with friends, the cost of getting out and about can soon add up. To help you make the most of your summer without breaking the bank, we’ve found five of the best cheap days out in the UK so you can get around on a budget. From free events to low-cost activities, there are festivals, walking tours and more. And you can get to every one of these cities with megabus – so you’ll save on the cost of petrol, parking, and train tickets by travelling by coach.

1. Party at Notting Hill Carnival, London

Europe’s biggest street festival is completely free and runs over the August bank holiday weekend. As the name suggests, this three-day Caribbean party takes over the streets of Notting Hill with parades, performers, and some pretty hefty sound systems – and you don’t even need a ticket to turn up. Take the megabus to London, jump on a bus from Victoria to Notting Hill, grab some cheap street food and watch the fun unfold. If you didn’t already have bank holiday plans, you do now.

2. Get cheap tickets for Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows

Fancy the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, but don’t fancy shelling out on tickets? Head to The Half Price Hut at the event from the first Wednesday of the festival and you can get half-price tickets for same-day shows. The Fringe runs from 4 August all the way to the 28 August, so you can take the megabus to Edinburgh any time that month and be in with a chance of seeing all sorts of arts and culture performances – from comedy to opera, spoken word to circus. There are plenty of free shows and street performances lined up, too, so you can just turn up.


3. Explore the ancient city of York for less

If a city break is on the cards, take the megabus to York and tick off the city’s long list of free things to do. This place is home to The Shambles – one of Europe’s best-preserved shopping streets and the perfect photo backdrop for your Instagram feed – as well as ancient defensive city walls that you can walk around. The National Railway Museum is free to enter, and York Museum Gardens is a great spot for a picnic. There are ten acres of greenery to spread out in, so it’s the perfect place to rest your legs.

4. Hike your way through Cardiff’s Bute Park

A short walk from Cardiff’s main shopping streets gets you to Bute Park, a 130-acre green space that’s perfect for a cheap day out in the great outdoors. It’s free to enter and the parkland is laced with loads of walking trails, from fitness trails dotted with exercise stations, to wildlife-spotting hikes and family-friendly play paths. There are cafés and tea rooms where you can stop for lunch, plus plenty of picnic spots if you want to bring your own and enjoy the warm weather. Get your megabus ticket to Cardiff booked before the summer’s out.


5. Go on a free walking tour around Manchester

That’s right – there’s a free walking tour of Manchester that sets off every day at 11am, so it won’t cost you a penny to see all the best sights of this incredible city. Just head to the Alan Turing memorial in Sackville Gardens five minutes before the tour starts, and look for a guide wearing the official Free Manchester Walking Tours clothing – it’s blue with a yellow compass logo. You’ll tick off Manchester Town Hall, the National Football Museum, China Town, the University of Manchester, Gay Village and more – all with an expert Mancunian guide to tell you what’s what.

Looking for more ideas? Check out the best summer events for your diary too.