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How to save money while exploring South West England

The rising cost of living is affecting us all, and I know I’m not the only one who’s feeling anxious about my financial future. 

This website, and my various other income streams, do give me a full-time salary, but I’m always looking for ways to tighten up my purse strings and save more money for a rainy day! 

If you want to save up some pennies while still enjoying the best that the South West has to offer, I have some tips. 

Here are some ways to see this beautiful part of the country this winter while sticking to a budget! 

This blog post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using these links I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. This is one of the ways I keep this website running!

Enjoy the best FREE things to do

There are so many completely FREE things to do in South West England. I’m going to write a full blog post for each region, so I won’t go into too much detail here, but here are some ideas : 

Free things to do in Cornwall

St Michael's Mount island in Cornwall, South West England
  • Explore the Museum of Cornish Life In Helston
  • See Truro Cathedral
  • Walk the tidal causeway to St Michaels Mount (you’ll need a ticket or a National Trust membership to actually see the house)
  • Cycle around Lanhydrock (again, you’ll need a ticket or NT membership to enter the grounds and see the house).
  • Beach crawl! All of Cornwall’s beaches are free to enjoy
  • Walk some of the Cornish coast Path 

Free things to do in Devon 

Jurassic Rocks at Orcombe Point, Exmouth, Devon
  • Hike on the breathtaking Jurassic Coast 
  • Explore Exmoor National Parks wonders
  • Climb a Tor in Dartmoor 
  • Visit the pannier market and the church of St Eustachius in Tavistock
  • Cycle the Exe Estuary
  • Explore the RAMM, Exeter’s free museum 
  • Or check out the Box, Plymouth’s free museum! 
  • See the Mayflower steps 
  • See the rugged and wild northern coast of Devon
  • Walk around adorable villages and towns like Appledore, Lynmouth, Salcombe and Totnes 

Free things to do in Somerset

Glastonbury Tor Sunrise, Somerset

Free things to do in Bristol 

  • Climb on board The Matthew 
  • Explore M Shed, the museum of the people of Bristol
  • Walk over the Clifton suspension bridge and go into the visitor centre
  • See Bristol’s outdoor art gallery, its street art in Stokes Croft and Southville

Get a National Trust or English Heritage Membership 

Now, while this does require some upfront cost, the savings can be immense. 

National Trust and English Heritage are two membership programmes. Once you become a member (around £60 per year per person), you can visit all of their sites for free.

If you’re savvy enough about where you go, you can make your money back really quickly! 

I really like both programmes, and am actually a member of both.

Tyntesfield, a National Trust Property in Bristol

You can read my National Trust Membership review here or my English Heritage membership review here.

Or, read my National Trust vs English Heritage to assess which one could be best for you! 

Or click here to go direct to the National Trust membership page to read more,

or, click here to see the English Heritage membership page.

Check to see if you apply for a railcard

If you take trains a lot, you need a railcard. 

And what’s more, lots of people can apply for these.

In fact, the only people who can’t get one are people aged between 30-60 who travel on their own! 

Here are some of the different types of railcard: 

  • 16-17 railcard
  • 18-25 railcard
  • 16-30 railcard
  • senior railcard
  • two together railcard
  • disabled railcard
  • family and friends railcard
  • network railcard
  • veterans railcard

Read about all the different types of railcard by clicking here.

They usually save you ⅓ off all rail fares – which means sometimes, you can make the money back in just one journey. When added up over a year, the savings can be phenomenal. 

Take a break in a holiday park over winter 

One of my FAVOURITE money-saving hacks is to stay in holiday parks in winter.

Once the summer rush is over, you can stay in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall’s many parks for bargain rates – I’m talking like £200 per week! 

These holiday cabins are super cosy in the winter and have comfy beds and all the other mod cons you’ll need.

Browse Haven holiday park deals by clicking here.

Side hustle 

This one’s a bit different from my other points and isn’t directly related to the West Country (although most of these programmes are for UK residents) but I’ve recently got very into side hustling. 

Side hustling is basically anything that involves making a bit of extra income on the side.

While it might not seem like much, I usually like to use this as “fun money”, extra income that can fund a meal out or a day trip somewhere. 

Here are some great side hustles: 


There are lots of apps and websites that will pay you for your opinions. Most of them cash into PayPal when you reach a certain amount. If you sign up using the links below, you usually get a small amount of money to start you off and I’ll get some too. 

  • Attapoll: always lots of surveys, some are quick and easy and the money builds up fast. Some aren’t worth doing though as they’re for such measly pay! If you use my code (zgpir) to sign up you’ll get 40p to start you off. 
  • Qmee: also has lots of surveys and a friendly user interface. They have a daily pop quiz which you can earn 3p on per day – it all adds up! 
  • Influence: easy video surveys that take less than 30 seconds and pay 25p – £1. There aren’t as many surveys as other survey platforms but it adds up well! If you use this link you’ll get £1 to start you off. 
  • OnePulse: I quite like this app, it has fun surveys based on current affairs, some are paid (they’ll alert you when paid ones come up) but others are just quite interesting and a good take on the news. The more paid and unpaid surveys you complete, the higher the rewards. 


Earning Cashback has revolutionised the way that I shop. You can earn Cashback on literally anything with the right platform and can redeem it with cash or vouchers. There are a few Cashback websites flying around, but two that I use are: 

  • Top Cashback: all you do for this is create an account and click through from their website for it to track your purchases. There are loads of brands on here including some travel companies! 
  • Daali: this app connects with huge brands like Amazon, Uber and Tesco. Whenever you spend with them, you’ll collect points which you can redeem with gift cards. 


A must for you travel fans! My friend owns an app called NaviSavi, and it’s a great way to earn a bit of cash while you’re exploring. 

Simply take 30-second videos of wherever you are, and upload them to the app. Most of the time they are approved (they will give you feedback if they aren’t), and you can earn $1 per video. 

As you browse the app, you’ll see some of my videos there for South West England!

Save money with these tips!

Whether you want to seek free things to do in the West Country, make a few investments for free entry or cheap travel, make use of seasonal deals OR supplement your income with a side hustle, these tips should help you to still see some of the West Country this winter while keeping the bills down!

Don’t forget to keep visiting the website if you want a guide for somewhere – I’m updating it a lot at the moment!

I’m a small business and your support, whether that’s reading through a blog post, following me on my growing Instagram, keeping up to date with my newsletter, or purchasing anything through my affiliate links (it doesn’t cost you any extra but helps me out a lot!) means the world, especially in these uncertain financial times.

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