I am one of those people who wake up one day and decide to take the kids out with no pre-planning and often end up frantically searching google for places to go. School holidays and weekends can become very expensive when trying to take the kids out and do things with them. It seems like everyone is out and about doing things and if you don’t have much money it can make you feel like you’re letting your kids down ( I know I have been there so much since not having a car) I always look at other peoples days out and think how lovely it would be to take my kids there. With this in mind I thought that I would write a post especially for my area where everything is Free or very cheap to help you out. Some of the places we have been to, some we will still be due to visit or I haven’t been for a long time and need to revisit them. I hope you find this little guide helpful and if you do please feel free to share it with people who may be interested or it might help.
RAF Cosford :
RAF Cosford is one of the places people don’t realise is free! It is also very easy to get to in a car or by train with the train station practically on the airbase. There is so much to see when you get there with over 70 different aircraft on display all with information and stories behind them. As well as all of the amazing displays there are many different interactive things to join in with and learn from.
Learn to fly
Children and adults alike will be fascinated by Fun ‘n’ Flight. This hands on interactive gallery is packed with experiments designed to help visitors learn how aircraft fly. Test your ability to fly a plane or guide a Hercules to a drop zone, two of the popular interactive elements within the gallery.
The Fun ‘n’ Flight gallery is run by a team of volunteers. It is open on weekdays from 10.00 to 16.00 and weekends 11.00 to 16.00
Even if you aren’t a fan of planes ( trust me I’m petrified of them!) It really is a great day out. It can take hours to make your way through everything there is and not only is it fun but it is also extremely educational! You can find out more on the RAF Cosford website . They also have the annual air show which is amazing, I’ve been myself many times. The Red Arrows usually being one of the many exciting air displays.
Carding Mill Valley
Carding Mill Valley is a little gem, it is our go to place when we want to go out for the day, spend very little money and have a great time. There is a small car parking fee but there is no restriction on time you can be there. We like to sit by the little stream and have a picnic. The kids can play in the water and quite often there’s a sheep or too that comes to say hello. Once we’ve finished our picnic we take a walk up the mountain or venture to where the toilets are, there is also a little coffee shop where you can get refreshments. If you are a little bit fitter you can walk further up to where the amazing waterfall is. It really is one of our favourite days out and quite often despite it not even being in Telford we bump into people we know when we get there!
The Ironbridge is an amazing place to go and is often somewhere we will visit on a hot day. You can walk across the bridge or take a stroll into the different shops. If you walk down to the bottom of the high street you will find Dale End Park which is a fantastic place to take a picnic or a football to have a kick around. You can get right up close to the river and there is even a little play park for the kids.
If you like history then you will love visiting one of the 10 museums around Ironbridge and Coalbrookdale. ( Some of these do charge an entrance fee) Our favourite place to visit is Blists Hill , where you are transformed from modern-day life into a Victorian town complete with a bakery, bank, candle makers, pharmacist and much more. You can even dress up in Victorian clothing. Visit the pub where you can drink beer and join in with a knee’s up or even go on old fairground rides and play on the classic stalls.
Telford Town Park
This may seem a bit of an obvious one for those who have grown up in Telford but I think sometimes we forget about Telford Town Park. I have many fond memories of the park growing up. Climbing the spider webs and going across the wooden park. So much has changed since I was smaller it’s much bigger and better. There is now a free water play area, an aeriel ropes course (this is not free) within walking distance you have Southwater which has the world’s supply of restaurants including Nando’s, Pizza Express, Bella Italia , Four Corners World Buffet and more, there is also a Cineworld and the town centre. I have written a review of Four Corners World Buffet from our trip there a couple of weeks ago if you would like to know our thoughts on the restaurant.
The Wrekin is our local big hill which is great for either a trip out with a picnic to admire the scenery or as help with exercise ( I’ve walked it many times and its exhausting but very satisfying)
There is a story that one day a giant called Gwendol with a grudge against Shrewsbury decided to flood and kill everyone who lived there. So he gathered a giant spade full of soil and started to make his way there. As he reached Wellington he met a cobbler who was returning from Shrewsbury market with a large sack of shoes that he needed to repair. The giant asked the cobbler for directions to Shrewsbury and told him he was going to dump the spade of dirt in the River Severn and flood the town. The cobbler told the giant it was a very long way to Shrewsbury and pointed to his sack of shoes stating that was how many shoes he had gone through trying to get to Shrewsbury. The giant decided there and then to abort his mission in Shrewsbury , he dumped his spade of dirt which then became the Wrekin and scraped his boots becoming the much smaller Ercall Hill next to it.
There are so many more places to visit that aren’t free but are fun and easy to get to below is a list of some of my favourites and their links so you can check out the websites. (If I write about each one individually then you will be sat reading for about a week) I will be reviewing some of the local places during the 6 weeks holidays so feel free to check back to see what we all thought of the places.
Telford Ice Rink – Fun for the whole family and they have penguins to hire for the little ones.
Jungleland – A large soft play area with a separate laser area,crazy golf and sensory room . This is a popular place for childrens parties.
Wonderland – Venture through your favourite children’s stories. You can go inside the 3 bears house, visit Snow White and the seven dwarves, battle your way through the maze or enjoy a bite to eat at the cafe and soft play area.
Ten Pin – A bowling alley with a mini arcade , cafe and bar
Odeon – If Cineworld is too big then you will love Odeon. It’s a simple older style cinema with a costa attached to it.
Apley woods – We really enjoyed our walk around Apley woods, and its free!
I hope you have enjoyed my little guide and it helps you find somewhere to go and something to do and if you know of any little hidden treasures that are free and worth going to see let me know as I am always on the look out for new places to go 🙂