25 fantastic free events to attend in March 2022

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boy and girl on swing

From Paddy's Day celebrations, classic cars to crime fiction, there are so many free things to do in the coming month

Spring is in the air – and that means there are lots of exciting things to look forward to.

Not only is the weather getting warmer and the flowers starting to bloom, there are also loads of fun events to scribble into your diary. As well as the usual things that happen around this time of year – including Shrove Tuesday and St Patrick's Day – there are numerous unique activities to get excited about. Come and take a look...   

1. Unravel a mystery

Culbin: The Disappeared Village, until 16 March – Elgin

Culbin beach in Scotland

In 1694, the Scottish village of Culbin was engulfed by the Great Sand Drift. Though there are scientific explanations for why the village disappeared, numerous myths and legends have arisen over the years. This fascinating exhibition at Elgin Library explores the mysterious incident in detail, and attempts to shed new light on one of the local area's most enduring legends.  


2. Take a trip back in time

The 1920s: Beyond the Roar, until 11 June – London

old fashioned woman in piccadilly circus

You've heard of the 'Roaring '20s', but what was it actually like to live in those times? This long-running exhibition at The National Archives in Richmond aims to shed some light on the decade, displaying a diverse series of documents from photos to letters, textile samples to lonely hearts ads. How much has the world changed in the past century? Now's your chance to find out.


3. Bask in the glow

Bristol Light Festival, 1-6 March – Bristol

Light show

And then there was light! Some of Bristol's most iconic streets and buildings will be illuminated during the first week of March as part of this unique festival. This year's event will feature no fewer than six world-premiere works, including a 'circle of light' and a 'waterfall of light'. As if that wasn't enough, there will also be a variety of activities and installations to enjoy throughout each day.


4. Delve deep into history

About Us, 1-6 March – Paisley

Paisley abbey

The 12th-century Paisley Abbey provides the stunning backdrop for this outdoor show, which explores more than 13 billion years of history through scintillating live performances and eye-popping installations. Part of the UK-wide UNBOXED event, which celebrates creativity in all its forms, the 25-minute show will be presented multiple times each evening and is free to attend. 


5. Hear a historical talk

National Treasures: Saving the Nation's Art, 2 March – Online

woman in front of empty artwork

It wasn't just British children who were evacuated as war broke out across Europe in 1939. As the turmoil erupted, plans were hastily put in place to protect the nation's most precious artworks and antiquities from damage. To coincide with her new book, Caroline Shenton presents this free online talk, in which she recounts some of the more extraordinary art-rescue stories from that turbulent period.


6. Join a musical debate

Tim's Twitter Listening Party, 2 & 16 March – Online

man listening to music

Charlatans singer Tim Burgess has been winning plaudits for his regular social media presentation, in which he listens to classic or hyped albums and comments on them in real time. This month, he'll be analysing The Tipping Point by Tears for Fears (2 March), along with Reeling by up-and-coming Liverpool band The Mysterines. Feel free to log in and join in with the conversation.

 


7. Rev your engine

Ace Cafe Classic Mini Meet, 3 March – London

mini cooper parked

Music and machinery will come together at this lively gathering, held at the legendary Ace Cafe in London. Classic Minis are indelibly linked to the Mod movement of the 1960s, so sounds from that era will emanate from the venue while up to 50 vintage vehicles and their owners gather together to talk about their cars and share stories from days gone by.


8. Broaden your knowledge

We Love History Live, 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31 March – Online

library

If the weather's not too great, why not stay indoors and log on to a live, online history session. We Love History Live takes place weekly, giving members of the public a chance to ask the panel questions about a range of topics. With everything from castles to climate change having been covered in the past, you're sure to learn something new every time.  


9. Take part in a fundraising event

Big Bath Sleep-Out, 4 March – Bath

Pultenay bridge bath

For many thousands of people across the UK, sleeping rough every night is a reality. To help solve this problem, the Julian House charity launched the Big Bath Sleep-Out, in which people are invited to lay out their sleeping bags in the city's Alice Park, or in their own gardens, to raise money via sponsorship. Why not join the cause and do your bit for those less fortunate than ourselves.


10. Marvel at some musical talent

BMS International Festival of Chamber Music, 4 March – Belfast

chamber orchestra

The final-year music students at Queen's University in Belfast have been working hard to prepare for their climactic show, and this afternoon you'll get a chance to see and hear it. The city's Sonic Arts Research Centre is the setting for this showcase of talent, which will feature compositions from some of the world's most famous chamber musicians – played beautifully, of course.


11. Go to the movies

Watersprite Film Festival, 4-6 March – Cambridge

girl sitting in cinema

Love the silver screen? Then set your sat nav for Cambridge, home of the UK's largest student film festival. Now in its 13th year, Watersprite showcases emerging movie talent from around the world, offering up a programme of screenings, talks and other related events – all of it free. Could this be the year they uncover the next Spielberg or Scorsese? We'll have to wait and see...

 


12. Buy something unique

Ocean Terminal Market, 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 & 27 March – Edinburgh

woman in market

Whether you're looking to buy a gift for someone or treat yourself, markets are a great place to find something special. This one, held inside Edinburgh's Ocean Terminal, sells a range of arts and crafts, along with a choice of artisan foods, many of them locally produced. Why not come and have a browse – we guarantee you won't leave empty-handed.


13. Remember a musical legend

Indian Sun: Highlights from the Ravi Shankar Archive, 4 March – 15 May – London

person playing sitar

Composer, peacemaker and the man who taught The Beatles' George Harrison how to play sitar, Ravi Shankar enjoyed an extraordinary life and career. In this free exhibition at London's Southbank Centre – part of the Shankar 100 programme – the Indian legend's life is celebrated through a series of photos and other artefacts selected by his official biographer, Oliver Craske.  


14. Enjoy a special art viewing

Teachers' Twilight: Louise Bourgeois, 10 March – London

woman looking in art gallery

Legendary artist Louise Bourgeois is currently the subject of a major retrospective at London's Southbank Centre, The Woven Child examining how she used fabric and textiles to depict themes of identity, sexuality and trauma. Tonight, teachers are invited to attend the exhibition after hours, so that they can analyse how they might make the most of Bourgeois' work in their classrooms.


15. Meet an astronaut

Nicole Stott: Back to Earth, 11 March – Online

astronaut in space

A NASA veteran of 28 years, Nicole Stott has written a book about her experiences in space and how they've helped to shape her perspective on life. In this enthralling online talk – part of the Wigtown Book Festival – Nicole will share what life as an astronaut has taught her about problem solving, and discuss ways that we, as a global population, can help to preserve the planet.


16. Have the craic!

London St Patrick's Day Festival, 13 March – London

st patrick's day headwear

With music and merriment galore, you just know you're guaranteed to have a good time on St Patrick's Day. If you happen to be in London, head down to Trafalgar Square, which will be bustling with Irish-themed entertainment. With everything from community choirs to camogie games, face painting to food stalls, it's sure to be an unforgettable occasion.


17. Listen to a pioneering pilot

An Officer Not A Gentleman, 15 March – Online

fighter jet in hanger

Think flying fighter jets is a job for the boys? Try telling that to Mandy Hickson, who's been an elite pilot for the RAF for the best part of 30 years. To coincide with her new book, Mandy is presenting this online talk for Boundless members. In it, she'll recount her story, from how she became one of the UK's first female fast-jet pilots, to her experiences flying during the war in Iraq.


18. Pay tribute to Her Maj

Sing God Save the Queen for Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee, 15 March – Online

union jacks on regent street

Her Majesty is celebrating a very special milestone this year – an amazing 70 years on the throne. To help her celebrate, Choir of the Earth is inviting people from around the world to record a new arrangement of the national anthem, composed by Ralph Allwood MBE. The live, online rehearsal for the recording takes place today, led by Ralph himself. Come and sing yourself hoarse! 


19. Be dazzled by art

International Women's Day: Tina Ziegler, 17 March – London

artwork on canvas in studio

To celebrate International Women's Day, one of London's leading art curators will be taking over the big screens inside Adidas's four-storey flagship store. Tina Ziegler, creative director of the Moniker Art Fair, will be showcasing some of the world's most exciting female talent through a series of spectacular NFTs and jaw-dropping live art installations. Prepare to be impressed!


20. Discover the secrets of a crime novelist

Chris Nickson, 17 March – Leeds

typewriter writing first chapter

One of Yorkshire's favourite authors, Chris Nickson writes crime novels set in Leeds between the 18th and 20th centuries. During this intimate talk at the city's Chapel Allerton Library, he'll discuss his latest book, The Blood Covenant, the realities of factory life for children, and how he incorporates real-life history into his work. A must for book worms.


21. Watch an online talent show

The Bell Pettigrew Sessions, 17 March – Online

girl peeping through stage curtains

Settle back and enjoy a night of free music, streamed live into your home from St Andrews' quirky Bell Pettigrew Museum. A collaboration between the University of St Andrews, the Students' Asssociation and STAR (St Andrews Radio), The Bell Pettigrew Sessions will showcase some of Scotland's best student talent, from singer-songwriters to jazz musicians.


22. Learn how to discover your past

Have A Go At Genealogy, 24 March – Online

person holding old photographs

Creating a family tree can be a fun and fascinating pastime, enabling you to piece together your heritage and even discover ancestors you never knew you had. In this online event – an exclusive for Boundless members – Sarah Williams, editor of Who Do You Think You Are? magazine, will talk you through the process and introduce you to the best tools for uncovering your past.


23. Get your wings

Compton Open Day, 26 March – Dorset

light aircraft

Fancy learning to fly but don't know where to start? Here's your opportunity to see what's involved. Compton Abbas airfield in Dorset is hosting a free open day, giving would-be pilots the chance to come along and chat to the resident flying instructors. As well as being given a full briefing on this exciting pastime, you might even get to look inside one of the aircraft hangars.  


24. Pick up a part

North Wales Auto Jumble, 26 & 27 March – Rhyl

man passing car part

Need a new exhaust pipe? Or maybe a spare tyre or two? Well, you're sure to find what you're looking for at this large auto jumble, held monthly at Morfa Lodge near Rhyl. There will be dozens of stands to browse and fellow car enthusiasts to chat with – and there's even camping available if you're travelling long distance and need somewhere to stop for the night.

25. Take part in some frying pan fun!

Pancake Races, 1 March – London

people racing with frying pans

You probably don't need us to remind you that it's Pancake Day today, but what you may not know is that there are a series of pancake races happening at Greenwich Market in London this afternoon (from 12.30pm). Anyone can enter, either on their own or as part of a team, and there will be prizes and medals for the winners. Fancy dress is optional – but heartily encouraged!  


Do more with Boundless

If you are a public sector worker, you can make some fabulous year-round savings on holidays, motoring services, insurance, shopping and much more by joining Boundless. To find out more, visit our dedicated membership page.

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