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8 free things to do in the Mansfield area during the summer holidays

Sherwood Forest visitors centre is ideal for all of the family - and it's free!
Sherwood Forest visitors centre is ideal for all of the family - and it's free!

The school holidays can be a burden on your family's budget, especially when you have quite a few children to look after.

Taking the children to events and days out can become very costly during the school holidays, especially when money is tight. However, this useful guide gives you the top eight things to do in the Mansfield area this summer, free-of-charge.

Mansfield Museum, in the town centre, is ideal for a short afternoon looking at different exhibits - and it is free, except for town centre parking.

Mansfield Museum, in the town centre, is ideal for a short afternoon looking at different exhibits - and it is free, except for town centre parking.

1. Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, Edwinstowe.

Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre is likely one of the most popular attractions on this list. Guests can experience the fabled forest of Robin Hood and his Merry Men free of charge, seeing attractions such as the Major Oak on a walk around the woods as well as having a picnic on the cricket fields. Children can pretend to be Robin Hood at the visitor centre, or run around in the open space and enjoy an ice cream.

2. Mansfield Museum, Leeming Street.

Mansfield Museum is another attraction that is free of charge for all members of the family, and this year its key exhibits centre around 'Remembering World War One', which celebrates Mansfield's WWI heritage, and 'All In The Game' - an exhibition focused on all aspects of gaming including traditional, board and computer gaming. Parking charges in Mansfield Town Centre apply.

Clumber Park is one of the largest open space facilities in the East Midlands, and is free except for parking.

Clumber Park is one of the largest open space facilities in the East Midlands, and is free except for parking.

3. Clumber Park, Dukeries, Worksop.

The perfect venue for a picnic and a walk around historic grounds, Clumber Park encompasses large open space with 3,800 acres of parkland, a large lake suitable for a countryside walk and also includes a dog-friendly cafe and walled kitchen garden of plants, crops and vegetables. Perfect for the whole family and families that own a dog. Parking charges apply.

4. Xplorer Navigation, Three Mansfield Parks.

Free family-friendly navigation challenge, Xplorer, has been expanded to three Mansfield parks during the summer. A popular outdoor orienteering session, Xplorer is perfect for children and will be held in Titchfield Park and Forest Road Park in Mansfield, and Yeoman Hill Park, Mansfield Woodhouse, throughout the summer break. Titchfield sessions will run on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10.30am-12.30pm, with Forest Road sessions on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1.30-3.30pm, and Yeoman Hill sessions on Mondays, 1.30-3.30pm and Wednesdays, 10.30am-12.30pm.

Xplorer is a free outdoor orienteering exercise for children, and will be at three different parks throughout the Mansfield area on a regular basis.

Xplorer is a free outdoor orienteering exercise for children, and will be at three different parks throughout the Mansfield area on a regular basis.

5. Newstead Abbey, Ravenshead.

Newstead Abbey encompasses 300 acres of parkland and is another perfect place for a picnic in the area. At the grounds, guests can look at the historic abbey which was once home to famous poet Lord Byron, take a guided tour around the grounds, look at exhibits of Nottingham's most important artefacts - and the history of Lord Byron himself - or explore the beautiful rockery and walled gardens. Parking charges may apply.

6. Pleasley Colliery, Pleasley.

Pleasley Pit and Country Park has a lot to offer visitors. Whether your interest is industrial archaeology, the mining industry, the amazing wildlife of our local nature reserve or you just want to enjoy the countryside, there is something here for everyone. Guests can learn about Nottinghamshire's heritage and experience the inside of the old pit, or take a walk down the nature reserve and experience the wildlife on the grounds - such as the large pond and grassland.

Newstead Abbey, in Ravenshead, is home to a 300 acre open space and used to be home to Lord Byron.

Newstead Abbey, in Ravenshead, is home to a 300 acre open space and used to be home to Lord Byron.

7. Sherwood Pines, near Edwinstowe.

Sherwood Pines is the biggest forest site open to the public in the East Midlands, and has lots of free activities for all of the family. The open grass near the visitors centre is perfect for a picnic with the family, and around the corner from the visitors centre is a recreated WWI trench to commemorate the centenary - showing guests what it was like inside the famous trenches. Families with bikes can also travel on the numerous bike routes at the site, and dog walkers are blessed with large walking routes in and around the pined woodland. Parking charges apply.

8. Open parks and spaces

Mansfield and the surrounding area is dotted with open parks and spaces for the whole family to relax and enjoy the weather. Titchfield Park, off Nottingham Road, has a large play area with a river and gym equipment, while Forest Road (Spider) Park has a large play area and three fields of open land and football posts. Fisher Lane Park has a new play ground and a skate park, with a large field, while parks across Ashfield and Mansfield Woodhouse are also fantastic for all the family.

Pleasley Colliery features a museum, nature reserve and guided tours of the old pit.

Pleasley Colliery features a museum, nature reserve and guided tours of the old pit.

Sherwood Pines features a large open pathed forest with bike routes and walking paths. Parking charges are in place.

Sherwood Pines features a large open pathed forest with bike routes and walking paths. Parking charges are in place.