50 autumn events under £10 across the UK, from a cider festival to walking trails and light shows

Nationwide

The National Garden Scheme

This scheme gives visitors unique access to more than 3,500 exceptional private gardens in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands, while raising money for the UK’s nursing and health charities through admissions, teas and cake. Prices vary, children free, to 31 Oct, findagarden.ngs.org.uk

Fun Palaces Weekend of Celebration

Seventy five Fun Palaces events will run across the UK over a single weekend with the aim of bringing communities together. Expect origami-making at Rawtenstall Library in Lincolnshire, upcycling at Harrow Arts Centre in Greater London, and hands-on wildlife and biodiversity activities at The Higgins Bedford. Free, 30 Sep-1 Oct, funpalaces.co.uk

Walking tours

Greeters are a non-profit that offers free two- to three-hour walks with locals throughout hundreds of cities worldwide, including Brighton, Dover and London in the UK. internationalgreeter.org

London

Richmond Park is not only the largest royal park in England, but it is also home to over 600 red deer (Photo: Rasid Necati Aslim/Getty)

London Literature Festival, South Bank

Now in its 15th edition, this Southbank Centre stalwart is the city’s longest-running literature festival, setting prestigious authors alongside rising literary stars and cultural observers. With a variety of talks, readings and activities for adults and children. Prices vary, some sessions free, 20-30 Oct, southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/festivals-series/london-literature-festival

Hackney City Farm, Hackney

Home to goats, sheep, chickens and donkeys, as well as smaller pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs, this farm is also a vital community hub with a vegetable collection scheme for locals, and you can purchase freshly laid eggs and honey. Free, hackneycityfarm.co.uk

Victoria & Albert Museum, Kensington

Renowned for its ground-breaking exhibitions from fêted artists and designers, the V&A holds collections of photography, fashion, sculpture and ceramics. Free, vam.ac.uk

Richmond Park, Richmond

Enjoy the autumn colours, while also keeping an eye out for the 600 red deer that call the park home. Perfect to explore on foot or by bike. Free, royalparks.org.uk/parks/richmond-park

Open House Festival, citywide

This two-week festival offers a peek behind usually closed doors, from iconic venues to temples and a vineyard. Join guided walks and learn about the capital’s architectural gems. Free, to 21 Sep, open-city.org.uk

North

Liverpool Central Library is a lovely place to while away a rainy afternoon

High Force waterfall trail, County Durham

A new exploratory trail has been set up at High Force waterfall at Forest-in-Teesdale, in the Durham Dales, featuring a selection of beautifully designed woodland sculptures, including a moon-gazing hare and a giant caterpillar. Adults £2.50, children £1, raby.co.uk/events/high-force-waterfall

The World of Beatrix Potter, Cumbria

Having been a fixture of childhood bedtime stories for generations, this interactive exhibition in Bowness-on-Windermere recreates Potter’s magical tales of Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggy-winkle and friends. Adults £9, children £5, under-threes free, hop-skip-jump.com

Holmfirth Food and Drink Festival, Yorkshire

Enjoy a jam-packed weekend of local food markets, live music and entertainment in the quaint town of Holmfirth. Great for foodies. Free entry, Sat-Sun, holmfirthfoodanddrink.org

More on UK Travel

The National Science and Media Museum, Yorkshire

Take a journey through the past 100 years of broadcasting at “Switched On”, the latest exhibition at the museum in Bradford. Learn about the industry’s innovations, see famous objects from TV history and get hands-on with interactive displays. Free, to Jan 2023, scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk

The Science and Industry Museum, Greater Manchester

This fascinating museum is launching an immersive exhibition called “Turn It Up: The Power of Music”, exploring the science of music’s mysterious hold over us and how it drives us to create, perform, feel and share. Adults £8, children £6, from 21 Oct, scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk/whats-on/turn-it-up

Liverpool Central Library, Merseyside

This building is a beautiful place to visit and offers some of the best views of the city, while inside you can find extensive collections including many rare books, quiet spots to read as well as storytelling days for families. Free, liverpool.gov.uk/libraries/find-a-library/central-library

World Fireworks Championships, Lancashire

The best firework technicians from across the world will delight spectators with a series of explosive shows in the skies above Blackpool Tower. Arrive early and head down to the North Pier to secure the best vantage point. Free, 1, 25, 27-28 Oct, visitblackpool.com

Festival of Light, Tyne and Wear

A sparkling mix of light and sound displays are returning to Sunderland’s Roker Park to delight adults and children alike. £3, every Thurs, Fri, Sat & Sun 13 Oct-13 Nov, every day over half-term week beginning 25 Oct, mysunderland.co.uk

South

Sutton Harbour, formerly known as Sutton Pool, is the original port of the City of Plymouth (Photo: Andrew Michael/Getty)

Pick Your Own, Cornwall

Set amid 28 acres of countryside, Pick Your Own at Trevaskis Farm near Hayle is a wonderful family day out. Choose from an abundance of seasonal fruit and vegetables, including blackberries and runner beans, while learning about the farm as you wander. Free, trevaskisfarm.co.uk/pick-your-own

Plymouth Trails, Devon

Download the Plymouth Trails app and explore the city’s heritage on foot, with options to learn about Plymouth’s maritime history, feminist past or its connections to America’s founding fathers. Free, visitplymouth.co.uk/things-to-do/activities/trails/plymouth-trails-app

The Box, Devon

Plymouth’s major new museum, art gallery and archive showcases thousands of natural-history specimens, a full-sized replica woolly mammoth, works of art and archive film and photography. Free, theboxplymouth.com

More on iWeekend

Arts by the Sea, Dorset

This immersive arts festival in Bournemouth brings together large-scale spectaculars, diverse music, art installations, dance and street theatre. Free, 30 Sep–2 Oct, artsbythesea.co.uk

Dusk till Dark, Dorset

A light parade is set to weave its way through the streets of Weymouth. Expect an eerie underwater world featuring luminescent sea creatures and giant bicycle-powered wizardry. Free, 23-24 Sept, love-weymouth.co.uk/events/weymouth/family-fun/dusk-to-dark-2022

Woolton Farm Harvest Cider Festival, Kent

Head to this family farm in Bekesbourne, near Canterbury to enjoy barbecue and street food, live soul and folk music, apple pressing and, of course, plenty of local cider and crafts beers. Camping is also available. £5, 30 Sep-2 Oct, wooltonfarm.co.uk

Pub walks, Kent

Britain’s oldest brewer, Shepherd Neame, has released a series of pub walks just in time to watch nature taking on its autumnal colours. Taking you through the Kent countryside, each begins and ends at a pub. Free, shepherdneame.co.uk/walks

East

The biggest sanctuary of its kind in the UK, Redwings cares for horses, donkeys, mules and ponies

St Edmund’s Day Weekend Spectacular, Suffolk

Spectacular sound and light projections on to the historic Norman Tower and St Edmundsbury Cathedral Tower will tell the story of St Edmund and the founding of Bury St Edmunds’ abbey 1,000 years ago, accompanied by an enchanting themed light trail through the Abbey Gardens. £3, under-fives free, whatsonwestsuffolk.co.uk/whats-on

Fire on the Water, Norfolk

Taking place on the golden sands of Central Beach in Great Yarmouth, this outdoor experience will encompass dance and acrobatic performances, dramatic light installations and night-time fire shows. Hot food and drink will be available. Entry from £3, 22-29 Oct, outtherearts.org.uk/fire-on-the-water

Burgh Castle Roman Fort Norfolk

One of the most impressive Roman buildings to survive in Britain, this site also provides stunning views across the rivers Waveney and Yare to Halvergate Marshes, part of the Broads National Park – an area rich in bird, animal and plant life. Free, english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/burgh-castle

Redwings Horse Sanctuary Norfolk

The biggest sanctuary of its kind in the UK, Redwings cares for horses, donkeys, mules and ponies and has two visitor centres in the Norfolk countryside, in Aylsham and Caldecott, as well as walking tours, a café and a play area. Free, redwings.org.uk

West

A series of world-class, contemporary sculptures are a must-visit in the Forest of Dean (PA)

Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail, Gloucestershire

A series of world-class, contemporary sculptures, spread out among the trees, celebrates all things nature. The 3.5-mile path begins at Beechenhurst Lodge, which also has a playground for children. Maps are available to download for free. forestofdean-sculpture.org.uk

The Whale, Gloucestershire

Families can crawl into the belly of a giant inflatable sperm whale in Tewkesbury town centre, to experience life beneath the surface of the ocean and learn about marine conservation. There will also be music, comedy and puppetry. Free, but tickets must be booked in advance, 25 Sep, rosestheatre.org/events/entry/the-whale

Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, Bristol

Learn about the past billion years of Earth’s history (including seeing the best-preserved dinosaur found in Britain), explore the region’s natural wonders and enjoy breathtaking art. Free, bristolmuseums.org.uk/bristol-museum-and-art-gallery

Windmill Hill City Farm, Bristol

A little agricultural oasis tucked away in Bedminster, this city farm has a wide range of petting animals, farm trails, sculptures, play area, farm shop and café. Free, windmillhillcityfarm.org.uk

Midlands

The National Garden Scheme raises money for the UK’s nursing and health charities (Andrew Lawson)

Lincoln Ghost Walk, Lincolnshire

Led by experienced guides, this tour allows visitors to delve into tales of hauntings around Lincoln’s historic Cathedral Quarter, giving a glimpse into the city’s main attractions as well as some enthralling ghost stories. Adults £6, children £4, every Weds to Sat at 7pm, visitlincoln.com/things-to-do/original-lincoln-ghost-walk

Sculpture Garden at Carden Park, Cheshire

Curated by Grant Ford, the BBC Antiques Roadshow expert and fine art curator, the sculpture garden is set against the stunning backdrop of a 1,000-acre luxury resort in Cheshire. Free, cardenpark.co.uk/introducing-the-sculpture-garden

Walcot Hall, Shropshire

As well as featuring one of the finest arboretums in Britain, Walcot Hall in the South Shropshire Hills boasts its own Grade II listed pub – The Powis Arms – making it the perfect spot for an autumnal amble and a pint of ale. £3, open daily (except Sat), walcothall.com

Ginger and Spice Festival, Shropshire

A festival dedicated to all things ginger, this event in Market Drayton contains tastings, ginger-inspired competitions, food stalls and live music. Free entry, some activities charged, 24 Sep, gingerandspicefest.co.uk

Tudor World, Warwickshire

Head to Shakespeare’s England and step through the doors of this period building in Stratford-upon-Avon to learn about 16th-century life. Adults £7, children £4, under-fives free, tudorworld.com

Apple Day, Buckinghamshire

Celebrate all things apple at the community orchard at Ouzel Valley Park in Milton Keynes. Learn more about different varieties and how to grow them, take part in crafts and games, and explore the orchard. Free, 22 Oct, theparkstrust.com/events/apple-day

Scotland

Traquair House, Peeblesshire where you can pick the apples or bring your own to make apple juice in a mobile press.

Argaty Red Kites, Perthshire

At this popular eco attraction in Stirling, visitors can enjoy guided excursions to see the Argaty Estate’s red kites and red squirrels. There are also ATV buggy tours around the farmland, dragonfly safaris, pond-dipping sessions and wildlife talks. Adults £7, children £3, argatyredkites.co.uk

Scottish International Storytelling Festival, Edinburgh

More than 240 events will form the world’s largest celebration of storytelling, anchored at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh. There will also be a host of online performances, including music workshops, poetry readings, epic retellings and more. Prices vary, 145 events free, 14-31 Oct, sisf.org.uk

Apple Harvest, Peeblesshire

Inside the Walled Gardens at Traquair House, Scotland’s oldest inhabited house, there are plenty of apple trees laden with fruits at this time of year. Pick the apples or bring your own to make apple juice in a mobile press. There is also a maze to enjoy. Grounds entry from £5, traquair.co.uk

The V&A, Dundee

“Sincerely, Valentines – From Postcards to Greetings Cards” is a new exhibition at Dundee’s V&A Museum which tells the story of Scotland’s most pioneering and successful commercial photographers, who popularised the holiday postcard on a global scale. Free, to Jan 2023, vam.ac.uk/dundee/exhibitions/sincerely-valentines

Jim Clark Motorsport Museum, Berwickshire

Pay homage to a true Formula One racing legend – and Scottish Borders farmer – at this museum in Duns. See some of Clark’s old racing cars, including the Lotus Type 25, as well as motorsport trophies, before jumping behind the wheel in a race-car simulator. Adults £6, children £3, under-fives free, jimclarktrust.com/jim-clark-motorsport-museum

Wales

The beautiful Penllergare Valley Woods Waterfall in Swansea

Forest bathing, Swansea

Forest bathing is the practice of taking the time to relax, enjoy and experience nature. The sessions in Penllergare Valley Woods take up to two hours and include meditation and mindfulness techniques. Free, 23 Sep & 22 Oct, visitswanseabay.com/events/natural-mindfulness-forest-bathing-at-penllergare-valley-woods/

Oystermouth Castle, Swansea

A short walk from The Mumbles, this Norman castle with a rich history and a picturesque courtyard has spectacular views across Swansea Bay. Visitors can sit and picnic while soaking it all in. To 30 Sep, then weekends, throughout Oct £5, family ticket £15 (two adults, two children), visitswanseabay.com/listings/oystermouth-castle

Barmouth Walking Festival, Gwynedd

One of the largest festivals of its kind in Britain, the Barmouth Walking Festival offers an extensive programme of walks led by knowledgeable, local guides across the dramatic Welsh countryside. Walks £5, 17-26 Sep, barmouthwalkingfestival.co.uk

Fforest Fawr Circular, Glamorgan

Fforest Fawr is the stunning backdrop to Castell Coch in Cardiff. There are three walking trails to enjoy, including the Children’s Sculpture Trail featuring a range of wood carvings. Free, outdoorcardiff.com/walks/fforest-fawr-circular-walk

Northern Ireland

Carrickfergus Castle, County Antrim (Photo: Supplied)

Peace Maze Co Down

This 6,000-tree maze in Castlewellan Forest Park was built to represent the path to a peaceful future for Northern Ireland. In the centre is a “peace bell” which visitors can ring. £5 parking per car, covers admission to forest, discovernorthernireland.com/things-to-do/castlewellan-forest-park-and-peace-maze-p675411

Edenvilla Park, Co Armargh

Spanning 25 acres in Portadown, this forest offers sculpture trails, a play park, plenty of open space for games and picnics, a bird aviary and a secret garden with a fish pond. Free, discovernorthernireland.com/things-to-do/edenvilla-park-p715801

Northern Ireland War Memorial Museum, Co Antrim

A must see for anyone with an interest in Northern Ireland’s role in the Second World War, this museum in Belfast tells the story of the Belfast Blitz in 1941, the Ulster Home Guard, the role played by women in the war and the presence of US Forces. Free, niwarmemorial.org

Carrickfergus Castle, Co Antrim

One of the most spectacular castles in Northern Ireland, Carrickfergus houses historical displays as well as cannon from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Adults £6, children £4, discovernorthernireland.com/things-to-do/carrickfergus-castle-p674971

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.