Ten free things to do in January across the network

If you’re feeling the payday pinch, then our roundup of free things to enjoy this January might just be the inspiration you need to get out and about across the GWR network.

Loosen those purse strings and make the most of the New Year with these fun activities that won’t cost you a penny.

Winter warmer January social tea dance

Royal Festival Hall, London
15 January
The Social Dance team is bringing all the moves to their first free social tea dance of the year. Held in London’s Royal Festival Hall, budding boogyers can sashay their way into 2020 and enjoy classic salsa, waltz and jive tunes from the top-notch DJ. You don’t need to be a dancer, you don’t need to bring a partner and you don’t need to book – just turn up on Wednesday 15 January.

Do you believe in magic?

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
Discover over 200 fascinating objects from over the centuries that have been used to heal, haunt and harm. From magnificent artefacts, spiritual figurines to delicately preserved plants and much more. This interesting exhibition explores the many magical worlds beyond our own.

Explore Bute Park

Also known as the green heart of Cardiff, Bute Park is a beautiful open space to enjoy at any time of the year. Explore the herbaceous border, cycle along the Taff Trail, discover the outdoor woodland play items and find the twenty-one sculptures hidden throughout the park.

Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts Graphic Art

House of MinaLima, London
Harry Potter fans, rejoice! Two of the designers behind the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie artwork are showcasing their amazing prints and graphics at this free magical exhibition at the House of MiniLima in Soho.

Discover Banksy

Become your own tour guide as you take to the streets of Bristol and discover some of Banky’s most magnificent street art masterpieces. GPSmyCity has created a handy self-guided tour – you can download their app to access the map.

Royal Pavilion annual free day

Once a year, the Royal Pavilion opens its doors to the public for free to celebrate its purchase by the town of Brighton in 1850. This year, the annual free day falls on Sunday 19 January from 10am to 4:30pm. Simply drop-in on the day.

Chinese New Year Parade

Welcome in the Year of the Rat at London’s Chinese New Year parade on Sunday 26 January. The main stage for the celebrations will be hosted at Trafalgar Square with the sensational parade roaming through the streets of Chinatown, Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue. Expect lots of lively street performances and rip-roaring sounds. Keep your eyes peeled for more information from the official Chinatown website.

Watch the changing of the guard

Watch as the guards march through the streets of Windsor and into Windsor Castle. The Guard March takes place all year round, providing the weather isn’t awful. Throughout January, Changing the Guard is scheduled to take place at 11am on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

See the Magna Carta

Salisbury Cathedral
The Magna Carta is one of history’s most important documents, as it was created to guarantee the rights of individuals to justice and to a fair trial. Signed by King John of England on 15 June 1215, Salisbury Cathedral homes one of only four surviving original exemples. It’s a must-see.

Visit Ashmolean Museum

Discover magnificent prehistoric objects, spiritual artefacts, ancient coins, a medieval bookcase and much more at the Ashmolean: the University of Oxford’s museum of art and archaeology.