St Fagans National History Museum in Wales has been ranked as the UK’s best free day out in a survey by the consumer watchdog Which?
The survey asked more than 4,000 visitors to rate their experiences by awarding venues marks across five categories: engagement and entertainment; information provided; lack of queues/crowds; range and quality of facilities; and value for money.
St Fagans achieved a customer score of 94%, winning five stars in every category apart from “range and quality of facilities”, where it was awarded four stars.
The open-air museum, which is part of Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales, features more than 40 original historic buildings exploring the story of Wales from a variety of perspectives. It was named Art Fund Museum of the Year in 2019 after completing a £30m redevelopment the previous year.
Two free museums tied in second place with a score of 91%: the National Railway Museum in York and the Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum Cosford. Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland came in third place with a rating of 90%.
Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum emerged as the top-rated art gallery with a score of 87%.
Scotland and Wales were particularly well-represented, sharing five of the top 10 spots between them.
There was also good news for the second RAF Museum site in Hendon, which achieved an 87% rating and was the only London institution to come inside the top 10.
Which? travel editor Rory Boland said: “As the cost of living crisis continues to be a strain on household budgets, finding cheap or free days out has never been more important. Fortunately the UK has a number of fantastic museums, galleries and other attractions which offer free entry and hours of fun."
Best free museums and galleries in the UK
- St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff (94%)
- National Railway Museum, York (91%)
- Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum Cosford (91%)
- National Museum of Scotland (90%)
- Cardiff National Museum (87%)
- Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow (87%)
- Royal Air Force Museum, London (87%)
- Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (87%)
- Oxford University Museum of Natural History (86%)
- Scottish National Galleries (86%)
Results based on a survey of 4,283 Which? members