Ideas For Days Out On A Budget

September 1st, 2015 / Alton Towers, Gulliver's Theme Parks, Legoland Windsor, magna, Thorpe Park, Whipsnade Zoo / No Comments »

Theme Parks

Legoland Windsor

Perks; LEGO themed attractions with a range of rides for pre-school to pre-teens.

Deals; save up to 25% with online tickets or pick up a 2 for 1 on Kellogg’s & Birds Eye promotional items.

Top Tip; for a small fee you can leave your dog at the kennels located next to the theme park.

More Details; LEGOLAND Windsor.


Legoland Windsor Dragon Ride

LEGOLAND Windsor, (photo; Phil Loach)


Gulliver’s Theme Park

Perks; a theme park for families with a good range of rides available for children age 2 -12 years.

Deals; Plenty of theme park deals running throughout the season.

Top Tip; parking is free, picnics are welcome and plenty of indoor attractions should the weather turn.

More Details; Gulliver’s Theme Park.

Thorpe Park

Perks; an excellent range of thrill end attractions with enough to keep younger siblings entertained.

Deals; new Kids Go Free voucher available on promotional Birds Eye.

Top Tip; currently testing a free virtual queuing method, Reserve N Ride, that could ease the pain in the future.

More Details; Thorpe Park Deals.


Wooden coaster at Oakwood

Oakwood Theme Park


Oakwood Theme Park

Perks; this family theme park in Wales provides plenty of attractions for children & adults alike.

Deals; Tesco clubcard reward tokens are a popular option.

Top Tip; check out Megafobia that’s been running since 1996 & previously been voted best wooden UK coaster.

More Details; Oakwood Theme Park.

Alton Towers

Perks; CBeebies Land has proved popular with young families since opening in 2014.

Deals; plenty of 2 for 1 vouchers or invest in a Thrill Hopper tickets that offers discounted entry to 4 top attractions.

Top Tip; queues continue to be significantly down this season.

More Details; Alton Towers Deals.


Runaway Minte Train at Alton Towers

Alton Towers, (photo; Phil Loach)


Membership Offers

Ironbridge Passport

Perks; passports offer access to 10 distinct attractions including Blists Hill Victorian Town & Enginuity.

Prices; family passports includes UNLIMITED number of children including stepchildren & grandchildren.

Top Tip; make your way over to the bakery at around 12 noon as they take the bread out of the oven ready for sale.

More details; Ironbridge Gorge Museums Pass.

National Trust for Scotland

Perks; entry to over 80 castles, gardens & historic houses plus family membership includes up to 4 children.

Prices; £69.40 for family membership if you pay by direct debit.

Top Tip; use Tesco clubcard vouchers to purchase membership & keep an eye out for reciprocal visiting arrangements.

More details; National Trust for Scotland.


Ironbridge Museums Blists Hill

Blists Hill Victorian Town


National Trust Membership

Perks; hundreds of National Trust settings to visit including free parking.

Deals; Use the promo code NT15061MO & pay by direct debit to secure 2 free months membership.

Top Tip; family membership includes ALL your children/grandchildren.

More details; National Trust Membership Offer.

English Heritage Membership

Perks; 400+ historic settings, FREE entry for up to 6 accompanying children, (under 19 years), with each adult annual membership.

Prices; £50 single adult membership or £88 for joint adult membership.

Top Tip; 1 or 2 adult membership includes up to 6 children for free.

More Information; English Heritage – Membership.


Eden Project Giant Swing

Photograph by Emily Whitfield-Wicks.
Eden’s giant swing. L-R Michaela Clarke, James Rew and Sarah Penny.


Visitor Attractions

Eden Project

Perks; a global garden including biomes, playgrounds, rainforest lookout & even a  zip wire.

Deals; a free annual pass upgrade when you purchase day tickets to the Eden Project.

Top Tip; further discounts available if you arrive by foot, bike or public transport.

More details; Eden Project.

Birmingham Thinktank

Perks; interactive science museum with exhibits that work well for children of all ages.

Deals; look out for free entry offers if you help out with research projects.

Top Tip; make use of free entry to the Thinktank Science Garden from 3pm each day.

More Details; Birmingham Thinktank Deals.


ZSL zoo Giraffe

Photo; Phil Loach


Whipsnade Zoo

Perks; annual membership offers access to both London Zoo & Whipsnade Zoo.

Deals; use the promo code ‘SAVER’ to pick up 10% discount off family day tickets, (1 adult & 3 children tickets/2 adults & 2 children).

Top Tip; online tickets come with a separate fastrack access into the zoo on busy days.

More details; Whipsnade Zoo.

Leeds Castle

Perks; includes access the castle, grounds, maze, adventure playgrounds & falconry displays.

Deals; a day ticket to Leeds Castle now offers free return visits for the next 12 months.

Top Tip; extend your stay with a spot of glamping onsite at Leeds Castle.

More Details; Leeds Castle.



Leeds Castle, Kent


Trentham Estate

Perks; includes access to the gardens, barefoot walk, adventure playgrounds and maze.

Deals; keep an eye out for 2 for 1 vouchers running during off peak times.

Top Tip; try the barefoot walk that offers a natural spa experience for your feet.

More Details; Trentham Garden Deals.

Glasgow Science Centre

Perks; interactive exhibit for all the family including a fantastic Little Explorers area for under 7’s.

Deals; travel by train and pick up a 2 for 1 voucher.

Top Tip; don’t miss Scotland’s largest IMAX theatre within the attraction, (additional charge).

More Details; Deals for Glasgow Science Centre.


Glasgow Science Centre

Glasgow Science Centre



Perks; extensive outdoor play area & aqua tek plus hundreds in indoor interactive exhibits.

Deals; free annual pass upgrade with tickets purchased online or on the day.

Top Tip; look out for the giant zip wire that runs the full length of the building, (additional charge).

More Details; Magna Deals.

Outdoor Adventures

Aerial Extreme

Perks; aerial assault course that is open to those over 1.1m in height, (minimum height 1.4m at Stoke).

Deals; 20% discount available for families.

Top Tip; uses a ‘clip and go’ system that ensures you are continuously clipped on throughout the experience.

More Details; Aerial Extreme.




Go Ape

Perks; high & low assault courses for children & adults alike plus forest segway experiences too.

Deals; look out for promo codes that tend to run through the season.

Top Tip; keep an eye out for age, height & weight restrictions for activities.

More Details; Go Ape Special Offer.


Perks; an assault course for teenagers, adventure playground, maze, barefoot walk & extensive indoor areas.

Deals; take advantage of a 2 for 1 voucher in the National Forest Guide.

Top Tip; keep an eye out for ranger-led activities that tend to run during the holidays.

More Details; Deals for Conkers.


Conkers Train in the New Forest

Travel in style at Conkers


Budget Breaks

Stay Play Explore Break

Perks; combines overnight accommodation, breakfast with family entry to 3 attractions/activities.

Price; £129 per family of 4 that includes accommodation & entrance charges for 3 attractions.

Top Tip; More children can be added to this package at an additional charge.

More Details; Stay Play Explore Family Short Breaks.

A Thrill Hopper Ticket

Perks; offers 1 entry to all of the following; Alton Towers, Drayton Manor, Water World, SnowDome.

Prices; £60pp or £170 per family, (2 adults & 2 children).

Top Tip; ticket is valid until 30 November, (t&c’s) so you can use it as part of a mini-break or space out your visits during the year.

More details; Thrill Hopper Ticket.

Whilst the Thrill Hopper does not include accommodation, it offers a method to keep the costs down during a mini-break.


Rides at Alton Towers

Alton Towers, (photo Phil Loach)


Alton Towers/Drayton Manor Short Break

Perks; accommodation, theme park tickets & family entry to 2 other attractions.

Prices; from £185 per family for Drayton Manor/£250 for Alton Towers

Top Tip; attractions include Water World, Trentham Monkey Forest, Shrugborough & New Vic Theatre.

More Details; Theme Park Family Short Breaks.



By Liz Walsh



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