Free things to do this August bank holiday


Staying at home is just not an option this August bank holiday weekend with so many great things to do. Here’s our guide to what you can do for free.


Notting Hill Carnival

Europe’s biggest street festival, Notting Hill Carnival 2015 is a vivid spectacle representing London’s multicultural past and present. Since 1964, the capital’s Caribbean communities have celebrated their culture and traditions at this two-day festival of fantastic live music, which ranges from reggae to dub to salsa. The celebrations also include soca floats, steel bands and a whole lot of jerk chicken and fried plantain.

More London Free Festival

Now in its thirteenth year, the More London Free Festival is again bringing an impressive line-up of events and performances. This weekend the Gods and Monsters Theatre presents slimmed down Greek tragedies ‘Women of Troy‘ and kids’ show ‘Captain Showoff!. In addition there will be a pop-up restaurant named London Riviera that’s set to offer ‘five months of delicious food and drink inspired by French Riviera chic and Miami glamour’ from 8am to 10pm daily.


West London’s really going up in the world this summer – right up onto the roof of the BBC’s old car park, in fact, as Storeys moves in for a summer of food, art, booze and music. The edible line-up includes Crabbieshack and their soft-shell crab burgers, Le Bun’s French-American menu and Caribbean from White Men Can’t Jerk. Daytimes will feature brunch dishes, a bloody mary bar and day beds; evenings will focus on terrific cocktails, great DJs and – presumably – a pretty hot view of the city.


Treasure from Trash exhibition at the Oxfordshire museum

Reconsidering waste and re-using resources in imaginative ways.The exhibition by Knowtrash looks at how different materials are made into useful, fun, ingenious and often beautiful things. Also featured is new furniture made from re-used materials by Bicester Green Centre for Skills, Sustainability and Secondhand Stuff and artworks created by A-level students at the Marlborough School in Woodstock.

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.


Caversham Court Gardens

Located on the banks of the River Thames near Caversham Bridge, these great gardens have won the prestigious Green Flag Award, as well as a Green Heritage Site award, every year from 2010 to 2014. The Green Flag singles out parks that are clean, well run, and welcoming, and the Green Heritage Site accreditation shows the site is valued and conserved, and that people are helped to appreciate it.

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’s 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.


Stockwell Discovery Centre

The discovery centre situated in Stockwood park has much to see and lots to learn about local history. It’s a great place to visit for all ages with beautiful gardens and museums, one with a display of carriages and the other in the courtyard area showing industrial machinery that the locals of past used and artefacts such as roman coins, tools and pottery. The period gardens flower throughout the seasons and show designs of English gardens through the centuries. Parking is free too.

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.