Absorb some history visiting these free UK museums

Absorb some history visiting these free UK museums
Cash Lady


The UK has some of the best free museums in the world, housing everything from historic weapons to record-breaking motorcycles, ancient relics, full-size dinosaurs, rare football memorabilia and renowned paintings. Here Cashlady explores some of the best free UK museums.

Offering all that you need for a fun family day out, many museums offer completely free admission and put on activities to help keep little history buffs entertained.

Free UK Museums: The British Museum, London

With two billion years of history under one magnificent roof, the British Museum could take days, let alone hours to get through. Opened in 1753 it was the very first public museum in the world and now welcomes around six million visitors every year.

Among its 8 million artefacts are the famous Rosetta Stone, Lewis Chessmen and Parthenon sculptures.

Free talks and activities, especially for children take place throughout the day, plus there are object handling sessions, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the historical experience.

The museum also runs additional temporary exhibitions, although these usually require payment for admission.

Plan your free visit here

National Football Museum, Manchester

If your family is more Pele than the Parthenon, then this is the museum for you. Dedicated solely to the beautiful game, there’s plenty to pique the interests of football fans young and old.  

Perfect for kids who might usually turn their nose up at the idea of a museum, here they can get lost amongst colourful memorabilia, football player profiles, kits, and photographs charting the history of this iconic sport.

A fun museum experience isn’t complete without the opportunity to dress up and the Discovery Zone provides just that, offering a place for children to dress up as footballers and then spend time in the storytelling corner listening to tales of teams’ triumphs.

Plan your free visit here

Natural History Museum, London

With one day rarely enough to get through this giant of a museum, expect dinosaurs, fossils, creepy crawlies and much more, plus a whole host of free hands-on activities for budding young natural scientists.

Frequently voted one of the best free UK museums in the world, the Natural History Museum is a must see. While admission is free, extra activities and exhibitions are sometimes subject to a charge.  

Plan your free visit here


Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow

One of the best loved UK museums outside of London, Kelvingrove has lots of quirky artefacts plus a large art gallery space.  

From prehistoric mammals to one of the world’s finest private collections of armour and a living bee hive, this is a museum that’s not to be missed.

Entrance to the museum and art gallery is free, although some exhibitions charge for admission.

Plan your free visit here.

The Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The world’s leading museum of art and design, The V&A offers a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects that span over 5,000 years of creativity.

From architecture to furniture, fashion, textiles, photography, sculpture, painting, jewellery, glass, ceramics, book arts, Asian art and design, theatre and performance, there’s plenty to inspire and have you reaching for a paintbrush.

Free activities are available every day and workshops run during school holidays. Some exhibitions and events carry a separate charge.

Plan your free visit here

Coventry Transport Museum, Coventry

Benefiting from a recent £9.5 million refurbishment, this museum is home to 300 cycles, 120 motorcycles and 250 cars and commercial vehicles.

Interactive features include a new 4D land speed record simulator in case you’ve ever wondered what driving a supersonic car feels like, plus children can dress up and see what they would have looked like during WW2.

Plan your free visit here

The Royal Armouries, Leeds

Bursting with around 75,000 objects including plenty of impressive weapons, this museum offers arms and armour from across the globe, plus weapons and armour belonging to warriors from early medieval knights to the modern-day soldier.

One of the main attractions is The Hall of Steel, a giant staircase decorated with trophy displays composed of 2,500 objects, and there’s also exciting Hands on History interactives allowing kids to get even closer to the action.

Plan your free UK museum visit here

The World Museum, Liverpool

The World Museum boasts a huge and eclectic collection of natural wonders and relics, perfect for keeping intrepid kids entertained.

As if dinosaurs, a theatre with daily shows and world cultures gallery wasn’t enough, there’s also a bug house, planetarium and aquarium offering the opportunity to marvel at leafcutter bees, gaze at the solar system and check out tropical fish.

Throughout school holidays the museum runs a range of hands-on activities and family-friendly tours.

Plan your free visit here

National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

From the age of dinosaurs to the technology of the future, plus Scotland’s story, from prehistory to the present day, this beautiful museum in Scotland’s capital covers it all.

The Natural World galleries tell the fascinating story of our planet, while the World Cultures galleries link people and possessions across the globe.

The Science and Technology area allows children to get hands on with inventions and innovations as science is brought to life through displays and interactives.

Plan your free visit here

Big Pit National Coal Museum, Torfaen

When you think of a museum visit you don’t usually think of travelling 300 feet underground and yet this award-winning museum allows you to experience life as a miner, including a thrilling descent down the Big Pit mineshaft for an underground tour.

You’ll visit the places where generations of coal miners worked and once you’ve taken off your belt, hat and head torch can expect a multi-media tour of a modern coal mine with a virtual miner in the Mining Galleries.

Plan your free visit here

Free UK Museums: Summary

With museums across the UK offering world class insights into our past, it’s clear that history doesn’t have to be boring.

Interactive displays, regular activities and a full range of different subjects covered, from football to natural history, means that there’s a museum to suit everyone, plus admission to all the ones listed above is completely free.