Ten great days out for summer

Shakespeare's Birthplace

If you're planning what to do this summer, we've got 10 suggestions of places with something for everyone – from animals by the seaside to museums exploring the sea and sky.

Searching for fun days out during the summer months? We've selected 10 venues that are perfect to visit when the weather's that little bit warmer and that will keep the whole family entertained.

Whether you want to dive into maritime history or take to the skies with stories of aviation; make some new furry friends in the grounds of beautiful houses or combine a visit to the seaside with a dollop of history, these 10 museums, galleries and historic places are all free or 50% off to visit with a National Art Pass. Bringing little ones? Make sure to add Plus Kids to your membership to make savings for the whole family.

Discover ten summer days out with a National Art Pass

Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden © Bowness. Photo © Kirstin Prisk

Barbara Hepworth Museum & Sculpture Garden

Explore the former St Ives home, studio and garden of Barbara Hepworth, one of the most significant 20th century sculptors. Discover the creative process behind her sculptural practice and marvel at her monumental, nature-inspired works in the peaceful sculpture garden, where Hepworth placed many of them herself.

Shakespeare's Birthplace, Hall's Croft and garden, © VisitBritain/Lee Beel

Shakespeare's Family Homes

Even if you know Shakespeare inside out, you’re bound to unearth something new at one of these five family homes. All within a short walk or drive of each other, each distinctive house plots a point in the Bard’s life, from his mother’s childhood farm via his future bride’s cottage to his daughter’s Jacobean residence. And of course, you might want to pop by the Royal Shakespeare Company for a play too.

Visitors in the Military Aviation Hangar at the National Museum of Flight

National Museum of Flight

Chocks away! The National Museum of Flight charts the history of aviation from the First World War to the present day, with lots of examples of military and civil aircraft, memorabilia and the chance to get close up and supersonic with Concorde. Learn how aeroplanes work, how they are built and what it takes to be a pilot. The museum also houses the only Red Arrows Hawk on display in the UK, famously used by the Royal Air Force Aerobatic team.

Scolton Manor Museum, exterior

Scolton Manor Museum

Open all year round, but particularly glorious in the summer months, this manor house set among park and woodland boasts a sculpture trail, tranquil walled garden, woodland bike trail and a beekeeping centre, so there’s plenty to keep everyone occupied. Not too mention Margaret, the newly restored steam engine. Meanwhile the house itself offers visitors the chance to experience Victorian country life ‘above and below stairs’.

Torre Abbey Historic House and Gallery, Abbey from the gardens

Torre Abbey Historic House and Gallery

Explore medieval and walled gardens at Torquay’s most historic building. And if the weather’s not looking so good, eight galleries inside tell the story of this former monastery from 1196 to the present day, and include several pencil sketches by Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones. There are also heated glasshouses that house exotic cacti, succulents, and rare tropical and sub-tropical plants.

Pond and rear of watermill

Stretton Watermill

Step back in time and discover this carefully preserved water-powered corn mill in rural Cheshire, where you can learn about the history of milling and its impact on local communities. For a fun family day out, pack a picnic to enjoy while taking in the stunning surroundings.

Osborne House, exterior

Osborne House

If you’ve ever visited Kensington Palace, you’ll be interested to see a very different side to Queen Victoria’s life: her holiday retreat. This palatial seaside home on the North coast of the Isle of Wight offered the monarch and her family a place of respite and repose. Visit the Queen Victoria's Beach, a private alcove overlooking the Solent, where you can catch some sun, take a dip in the water, or even try out Queen Victoria's Bathing Machine.

Cardiff Castle, The Norman Shell Keep

Cardiff Castle

Explore 2,000 years of history at one of Wales’ most significant heritage sites, which dates back to the building of a Roman fort around the end of the 50s AD. Keep an eye out for the Animal Wall, which flanks the castle and is populated by a host of watchful creatures carved into stone, from a pair of lions to an anteater, pelican and seal.

Sewerby Hall and Gardens, exterior

Sewerby Hall

Discover a dramatic day out by the seaside at Sewerby Hall, which looks out over Bridlington from a clifftop. Choose from award-winning walled, rose and pleasure gardens to wander around – and even pay a visit to the on-site zoo! While capuchin monkeys and Humboldt penguins will keep everyone entertained outside, inside a recent refurbishment means this beautiful Edwardian house looks how it would have done in 1910.

Image of internal exhibition at Captain Cook Birthplace Museum

Captain Cook Birthplace Museum

Little adventurers will enjoy the tale of 18th-century explorer and mariner Captain James Cook, as told by this museum dedicated to his life and story. Themed galleries explore life on board ship, the science behind Cook’s voyages and more, and you can see a collection of items relating to Cook’s personal life including possessions and memorabilia from his journeys.

IndividualTiana Clarke Please note this is an example card and not a reflection of the final product

The more you see, the more we do.

The National Art Pass lets you enjoy free entry to hundreds of museums, galleries and historic places across the UK, while raising money to support them.

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