The bank holiday weekend is just around the corner. As it is generally considered the “last hurrah” of the summer in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, it’s best to make the most of it.
We’ve put together some ideas on how you can prepare for the bank holiday weekend. We’ll cover everything from how you can afford to do something special on this public holiday to what exactly you should do to make the most of the last of the UK’s sunny days.
How to Best Enjoy Your Bank Holiday Weekend
From cutting costs in London to relaxing in the countryside, here’s how you can make 30 August the best public holiday of 2021.
Make it affordable
Like many people, you might be heading to the Big Smoke for a weekend of fun and culture. Except it might not be quite so smoky for much longer! This is your last chance to easily drive and park in London before the ULEZ expansion. ‘ULEZ’ is just a much easier way of saying ‘Ultra Low Emission Zone’, the government’s attempt at reducing environmental pollution and reaching sustainability goals quickly. But improving air quality doesn’t come cheap.
The ULEZ expansion will come into effect on 25 October 2021, introducing fees of £12.50 per day if your vehicle doesn’t meet ULEZ emissions standards. The August bank holiday weekend could be your last chance to visit London without those extra transport fees. Not only will you save money driving in now, it’s also the perfect time to visit. The theatres, museums, restaurants, and other entertainment venues are open but with fewer tourists and crowds. Many of the museums and galleries are free and the weather should make spending time in London’s beautiful historic parks appealing.
Make it active
The August bank holiday is the perfect time to get out and about in nature while the days are still long. Whether you love walking, swimming, kayaking, or cycling, it’s an ideal time to improve your mental and physical fitness. The UK is full of hiking trails, country rambles, coastal walks, and strenuous mountain treks. You can even go on walking tours of fascinating cities like London, Cambridge, Edinburgh, and York.
If you love to muck around in the water, you also have an abundance of options. Test your sea legs on a boat, jump in a kayak, hop onto a paddleboard, get your adrenaline pumping in the surf of South West England, or gently peddle a pedalo across a lake. You can make it as active as you like – no matter what you choose, all that fresh air is sure to clear your head and help you get some perspective.
Make it relaxing
After an exhausting year or so of uncertainty and change, you might just want to relax. While you’ve probably done more than your fair share of Netflix and chilling, this is your chance to get outside again. Most people are at least partially vaccinated so take advantage of this and use this time to bond with family and friends on a memorable road trip or daycation. Relaxation means different things to different people so you might want to head to a beach, amusement park, conservation area, or another local attraction. The UK is packed with national landmarks, castles, museums, and country estates perfect for a low-key day out.
After a year inside in front of your screen, you might even want to visit your favourite movie and/or TV show’s film set. For example, Chatsworth House in the Peak District has been featured on Peaky Blinders, Pride and Prejudice, The Duchess, and The Wolfman. Likewise, Highclere Castle in Hampshire was the setting for Downton Abbey and anyone can visit its beautiful grounds. Just look up your favourite British show and see where it was filmed.
Make it festive
Enjoy the end of festival season with plenty to choose from compared to last year. Firstly, foodies will love the family-friendly Harrogate Food & Drink Festival, which is taking place at Ripley Castle this year. The brand-new On The Farm Festival is taking place in Barnsley and features different stars from Channel 5 shows alongside animals, live panels, workshops, Q&As, and demonstrations. Meanwhile, in Scotland, you can also catch the final days of the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
For music fans, the twin music festivals in Reading and Leeds have an identical line-up performing on different days. This year’s line-up includes Stormzy, Post Malone, Mabel, and Sigrid. ‘All Points East’ is returning to London’s Victoria Park for a weekend of live music from London Grammar, Kano, The XX, and many more. Other festivals include Manchester Pride, Bolton Food & Drink Festival, and CamperFest in Chester.
Preparing for the August bank holiday is easy with so many options. Just use some of these ideas as inspiration and have a weekend to remember!