Five family days out

From cycling to fruit picking, there are lots of free and cheap things to do as a family in the great outdoors.

1. Cycling

Use traffic-free bike ride routes through forests. Find safe, scenic cycling routes to suit all ages and abilities at

Mum's Tip
Janet, Nottingham: ‘Our car isn’t big enough to take the bikes to our favourite park so we look at the Sustrans route finder and use special cycle lanes.’

2. Fruit picking

Pick-your-own farms let you choose what fruit you like and pay for what you’ve picked at the end. Find one local to you at

Mum's Tip
Liza, Suffolk: ‘We go fruit picking at Alder Carr Farm in Ipswich. There’s also a farm trail that goes through ponds and wet meadows, so wellies are a must.’

3. Beachcombing

For a fun family day out head to the beach and discover what lives under the sand and in rockpools. Beachcombing is good even when it’s too cold for swimming. Find local spots at the Good Beach Guide website.

Mum's Tip
Laura, Surrey: ‘My son is dinosaur-mad so he loves fossil hunting on Dorset beaches. There’s a good fossils website to find the best places all over Britain.’

4. Getting crafty

Children’s art trails and workshops at museums are almost always free or low cost. Try the English Heritage website for places with kids activities.

Dad's Tip
Rob, Manchester: ‘My little ones love the art sessions they have at the Lowry gallery in Salford Quays. There are activity packs in the café too, if we’re all hungry.’

5. Nature’s playground

Head to parkland and woods for adventurous climbing sessions. For things to do in the wild near you, check out the Woodland Trust website.

Mum's Tip
Ellen, Renfrewshire: Finlaystone Country Estate has fabulous wooden, life size models for children to play on including a bus, train, pirate ship, jeep and a fort.’