When it feels a very long way until payday, most of us are looking for free or cheap activities. The vast majority of these are outside – so wrap up warm. Here’s my edit of fabulous free things to do in Derbyshire.
The trick to having a really cheap day out is to take a picnic – and in this weather ideally a flask of something lot to drink! And to swerve the gift shop (never my forte). For maximum money saving, whack a casserole in the slow cooker before you set off so you don’t get tempted by a pub tea/takeaway on the way home! That said, local pubs always need our support, so if you are in the market for a cosy pub check out this previous blog post – and if you’d much rather someone else cooked your dinner, read my guide to the best deals on eating out here.
Rainy Day Free Things to Do in Derbyshire
Derby Museum and Art Gallery
Free to visit – donations welcomed.
Derby Museum and Art Gallery is a “maze of historic architecture and intriguing collections” with plenty to explore.
One of the current visiting exhibitions is on loan from the British Museum. Titled, Crossings: community and refuge, the exhibition is made from the remnants of a boat carrying refugees wrecked off the coast of Tunisia. The exhibition includes moving messages about kindness, community and the indifference faced by many refugees. (Available to view now until 6th March).
Museum of Making
Entry to the Museum of Making is free and no longer needs pre-booking (except for special exhibitions).
Click here for more ideas of things to do in Derby
The rest of the activities are outside so do wrap up warm and heed any weather warnings.
Totally Free Things to do in Derbyshire (including free parking)
For the month of January the gardens are totally free to visit. Car parking is also free. Just note that picnics are actively discouraged as visitors are asked to support the café. Varied gardens to explore as well as some low key children’s play areas including sandpit. Read more.
Just Pay for Car Parking / Public Transport
Staunton Harold Reservoir
FREE entry, £3 to park all day
There’s a fairly big playground here complete with hand sanitisers. I also like there are a few benches dotted about inside the playground and then several more picnic benches right outside. There’s a big pay and display car park DE73 8DN and a café operated by the National Trust, currently open daily 10am-4pm. There are also toilets. Dogs are welcome on a lead.
Car park charges vary depending on where you park. The Visitor Centre car park is the most expensive at £3 for two hours or £5 for the whole day but I would recommend parking here for the best playground and toilet facilities.