8 Things to do on a budget in East Anglia this January

So Christmas is over, you’re partied out and that credit card bill is weighing heavily on your mind. There’s no need to succumb to the January blues though as luckily the best things in life are free (or almost)! So, wrap up warm, grab a flask of hot tea and get out and about…

  1. See the Seals in Norfolk

A fun day out for friends, family or just by yourself. Take your camera and/or binoculars and walk the Norfolk coastline this January. You’ll find a whole host of seals and their babies whilst they hang on the beaches waiting for the baby pups to be old enough to swim.

Best beaches for seal spotting: Horsey, Waxham, Blakeney Point and Brancaster.


  1. Culture in Cambridge

Entry to the Fitzwilliam Museum (www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk) and the Sedgwick Museum (www.sedgwickmuseum.org) is free, although donations are welcomed. From lunchtime talks to exhibitions and displays you can get out of the cold and happily while away a few hours. You can also pop along to Kings College Chapel for Evensong, 5.30pm Mon – Sat and 10.30 or 3.30pm on Sunday (www.kings.cam.ac.uk/events/chapel-services).

  1. Explore Essex and walk in Constable’s footsteps

There is nothing nicer than warming up in front of the fire with a hot chocolate and the Essex countryside is perfect to enjoy a brisk winter walk! Dedham Vale and Stour Valley combine picturesque villages, farmland, rivers and woodlands for unspoilt views across the countryside. This is Constable Country, an area of outstanding beauty, so take a stroll through the scenes from some of his most famous landscapes.

  1. Free Family friendly fun in Bedfordshire

There’s a whole world of free, family friendly fun to be discovered in Bedford! Pop into the Cecil Higgin’s art gallery for free children events or to take a look at their collections, explore the Stockwood Discovery Centre in Luton, educate the kids about conservation at the Forest Centre in the Millennium Country Park in Marston Vale or take a guided tour of Stotwold Watermill and Nature Reserve.

  1. Healthy walking in the Cambridgeshire countryside

Every Thursday walkers meet at Wandlebury Country Park for a stroll around the beautiful park. All abilities are welcome and there’s a choice of either a long walk starting at 10am or short route at 10.30am. Meet at the Stable Rooms, enjoy a lovely walk and finish at around 11am for tea and coffee. It’s a great opportunity to get out and about, become healthier and meet new people. The event is free to attend but donations towards the up keep of the park are welcome. There’s no need to book, just arrive 10 minutes early to register. www.cambridgeppf.org/whats-on

  1. Join a local reading group

Not an outdoors person? Luckily our region’s libraries have a huge choice of reading groups to enable you to connect with like-minded people and make new friends this January. Ask for details in your local library or take a look online.

Suffolk: www.suffolklibraries.co.uk

Norfolk: www.norfolk.gov.uk/libraries-local-history-and-archives/libraries

Cambridge: www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/libraries-leisure-&-culture/libraries

Essex: http://libraries.essex.gov.uk/

Bedford: www.bedford.gov.uk/leisure_and_culture/libraries.aspx

  1. Treasure seeking at antique stores

Hidden throughout the countryside of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex you’ll find antique stores selling gorgeous furnishings and wares of a time gone by. Great for browsing or buying items such as mirrors, kitchenalia or a statement piece of furniture for your home, it’s easy to spend hours hunting for a bargain! A few favourites include Holt Antiques & Interiors Centre, Suffolk Heritage Antiques & Reclaim Centre in Copdock and Reed & Son in Saffron Walden, Essex. Don’t forget to take a look at our events for hundreds of antique fairs taking place throughout the year, most are free to attend or cost as little as £1 entry.

  1. Vintage vocation

All aboard! Steam trains and vintage railways are one of the highlights of the East of England. Hop aboard the Colne Valley Railway in Essex, Bure Valley Railway, the North Norfolk Railway or the Wells & Walsingham Light Railway in Norfolk for a budget-friendly day of fun. Bressingham Gardens and Museum is well worth a visit too. Ride its locomotives or steam gallopers into the woodlands, wander around the gardens and discover the Dad’s Army exhibition.


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