Time to explore -

We’re regularly adding more stops and services. Find out more.

Pinwheel at the beach

Big Summers Little Sums - 5 budget-friendly days out this summer

Published 19 July 2019

The summer holidays are here. We know what you’re all thinking. Expensive, hey? That’s what we thought too – until we discovered these popular, budget-friendly days out which are suitable for all ages!

If you’re looking for some ideas for budget-friendly days out this summer then our tips should certainly come in handy, and they’re all places that are accessible by National Express coach. It’s almost as if we planned this out…

Margate Roller Coast Festival

Roller Coast Festival, Margate: 19 July - 1 September

Nearest National Express stops: Margate, Cliftonville

Ideal for the family, the Roller Coast Festival at Margate’s Dreamland Amusement Park is a definite summer stop-off. Offering rotating weekly themes from superheroes to extreme sports, this family-friendly event boasts fun activities, film screenings, character appearances and arts and crafts, plus Channel 5’s Milkshake will be filming from there in the final week. Entry to the park during the festival is free but charges apply for the rides, though a 25% discount is offered to those who buy ride wristbands in advance.


Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF): 20-21 July

Nearest National Express stops: Liverpool One Bus Station

There are so many great music festivals in the UK, but we think this one might just be the best in terms of its value. With tickets priced at just £11 per day for adults, and free for children under 12, LIMF’s 2019 edition welcomes the likes of Chic ft. Nile Rodgers, Sister Sledge, De La Soul, Sigma, Ella Eyre, and Maverick Sabre to the popular event at the leafy Sefton Park.

Summer by the riverSummer By The River, London Bridge: July and August

Nearest National Express stops: London Victoria Coach Station, London Cannon St

If it’s value for no money you’re looking for, you won’t get much better than Summer By The River. This annual free-entry event takes place in London Bridge City throughout July and August and offers live Wimbledon screenings and films on the big screen including Black Panther, Mamma Mia and Coco. You’ll also find open-air Shakespeare theatre productions, live music, farmers markets and two riverside bars in an 800-seater amphitheater that’s ideal for soaking up the rays.

Fringe Festival

Edinburgh Fringe Festival: 2 - 26 August

Nearest National Express stop: Edinburgh Bus Station, Edinburgh Hanover St/Rose St

Proudly the largest arts festival in the world, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival brings performing arts, comedy, cabaret, spoken word and music, amongst other things, to the Scottish capital throughout August. While most events do require tickets to be booked beforehand, there are ways around doing the Edinburgh Fringe on a small budget. If you aren’t fussed about what you’d like to see, head to the Virgin Money Half Price Hut at the Mount Precinct from 10am daily, thousands of tickets are made available for Fringe events on that day with tickets remaining. Those looking to save even more can take advantage of the Free Edinburgh Festival, held between 1-25 August

Blackpool Air show

Blackpool Air Show: 10-11 August

Nearest National Express stop: Blackpool Central Coach Station

We just couldn’t leave Blackpool out. This popular British holiday destination is famous for its iconic Tower and Pleasure Beach amusement park, both of which regularly offer discounted rates when tickets are purchased in advance or obtained through discount websites like Groupon. This lovely coastal town also offers free-to-enter events and activities such as the spectacular Blackpool Air Show between 10-11 August.


If you're looking for a summer you'll never forget but need to watch the pennies then we're here to help. Take a look at our great value fares and destinations pages to help you make plans for less - Big Summers Little Sums!

Back to top

VISA logo MasterCard logo Maestro logo PayPal logo Amazon Pay logo

© Copyright National Express Ltd 2021