10 Things to do for free in and around Manchester & Leeds this bank holiday weekend

By May 28, 2021 Blog-Leeds, Blog-Manchester
Bolton Abbey

Note – before visiting, please visit the attraction website as booking a timeslot may apply due to Covid restrictions.


1. Kirkstall Abbey Markets, Leeds

Set in the beautiful surrounding of Kirkstall abbey, local suppliers and artisans sell their foods, hand-made crafts and produce enabling you to buy locally and support small businesses. The market runs from 29 – 31 May 2021.

Entrance is free, however, due to Covid restrictions, you need to book a timeslot at



2. Salts Mill, near Bradford

Based near Bradford, the Salts Mill was once the largest industrial building in the country and now houses an impressive Hockney art collection. Set at the edge of Saltaire, the town was built by Sir Titus Salt for his workers and whilst people now live here, you can walk around and appreciated the Italianate architecture as well as browse the shops, visit the cafes and the large park which borders the Leeds to Liverpool canal. Well worth a visit to appreciate our industrial heritage.



3. National Science and Media Museum, Bradford

Bradford’s National Science and Media Museum is full of amazing, free things to do including showing you the history of television, film and photography.  With lots of interactive displays and plenty to keep the kids entertained, this is a great one for a rainy day.



4. Malham Cove, Yorkshire Dales

Malham Cove is simply stunning! Formed by a waterfall at the of the last ice age, it’s tranquil, rugged and is used regularly by rock climbers which is fascinating to watch. Watch out for the cows and wildlife as you navigate your way through the fields to the cove, the perfect place for a picnic!



5. The Lowry, Manchester

If art if your thing, then the Lowry Gallery is a must! Free to enter, the gallery is full of Lowry’s works from his famous matchstick people and industrial backdrops to his lesser know portraiture work. Opposite Manchester’s Media Centre, complete your visit with a walk along the waterfront or visit to one of the many shops and galleries in the nearby shopping centre.



6. Fletcher Moss Park, Didsbury

Fletcher Moss Park and Botanical Gardens are great for exploring the beautifully landscaped gardens from the rock garden to the mini waterfalls, cherry blossoms, palm trees and giant rhubarb floating in a pond. Free to enter, you can find this hidden gem just South of Manchester in Didsbury.



7. Pop-up Beach – The Light, Leeds

Running from Saturday 29th May, the beach will feature a dinosaur egg hunt and traditional beach activities including frisbees, beach balls and bucket and spade. It’s free to attend and you can drop in between 10m and 5pm.



8. Pop-up Sandpit – Great Northern Shopping Centre, Manchester

Manchester has its very own sandpit at The Great Northern. Whether it’s crafted into castles, dug into ditches, sifted or buried, sand offers countless opportunities for both fun and learning not to mention the feeling of it between your toes!



9. Science and Industry Museum, Manchester

Quite simply, one of the best heritage museums in the country with the world’s first industrial city. It houses the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station and the world’s first railway warehouse from 1830, which are located at the end of the museum site.



10. Bolton Abbey

Set in the heart of the scenic Wharfedale Countryside, the abbey’s ruins are free to visit with 33,000 acres of countryside to explore and the ancient Strid Wood with its many trails close by. Booking in advance is essential.