Free things to do this bank holiday


The V&A is hosting an exhibition that showcases garments, photographs, rare editions and illustrations of Alice in Wonderland

The first bank holiday in May looks set to be a great one – fingers crossed the weather stays warm.

Here are some of the best free things you can do this weekend:


The Alice Look at V&A Museum of Childhood 

To mark Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ turning 150 this year, the V&A is hosting an exhibition that brings garments, photographs, rare editions and illustrations which show how Alice has both followed and influenced fashion over the decades.  It also includes modern interpretations such as Annie Liebowitz’s photographs for US Vogue and pop videos from Gwen Stefani, Avril Lavigne and Aerosmith.

Campo Viejo’s Streets of Spain

This year promises to be bigger and better than ever with audio contributions from world-renowned synaesthete Nick Ryan. Southbank Centre will be transformed into the neighbourhoods of Spain, featuring Barcelona’s world famous La Boqueria market, Madrid’s Plaza Mayor with live art and music and the Logroño vineyard where you can blend your own wine.

Deptford Heritage Festival at Deptford high street

Deptford is hosting over 100 events at this community festival – there will be a range of musical performances, board games and workshops. On Monday the foreshore will host a huge street party, which includes a historical re-enactments of the Battle of Deptford Bridge. The festival rounds off with a ‘Deptford does Abba’ party and a fireworks display.


Bicester Village

This shopping experience is set in one of the most picturesque shopping villages in the world. You can browse prestigious boutiques for great-value buys, or sample fine food and drink in the Village’s cafés and restaurants. There are also a rich selection of attractions nearby – from gorgeous scenery, imposing stately homes and historic towns to explore, to Michelin-starred restaurants to eat.

Oxford University Museum of Natural History

This museum holds the University’s internationally significant collections of geological and zoological specimens. Housed in a stunning example of neo-Gothic architecture, the Museum’s growing collections underpin a broad programme of natural environment research, teaching and public engagement. Among its most famous features are the Oxfordshire dinosaurs, the Dodo, and the swifts in the tower.


Thames stories exhibition at the Reading Museum

Thames Stories draws objects from the Museum’s important art and archaeology collections to tell tales and answer questions about the River Thames.Atworks show how the River has inspired artists over the centuries. Treasures on view include 40 precious Bronze Age swords, axeheads and spearheads, a group of forged medieval pilgrim badges and over 100 paintings, drawing and prints from the 1750s to 1990s.

Forbury Gardens, Reading

This Victorian town garden was created at the height of the urban parks movement. The ornamental gardens have a wall around which provides a peaceful and tranquil retreat. Inside there is a rose garden, subtropical and herbaceous borders, a fernery, and a pond with a fountain.  The gardens have many outstanding trees, including an old mulberry, a tulip tree, a handkerchief tree, and a lime avenue.


Luton Indoor Market

If you’re tired of the same old high street shopping experiences, Luton Indoor Market will bring a smile to your face, with a great mix of world cultures in both food and clothing.Head over to the food sector for superb fresh cooked foods from many countries, large scale fishmongers and an exciting mixture of delicatessens.