The August bank holiday is a gift at the end of the summer, giving us an extra day for a final hurrah before the kids go back to school, the autumn sets in and we start counting down to Christmas. We can’t guarantee the weather, but we can promise these three cities offer everything you need to make the most of the bank holiday weekend.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Hello I'm Nik
A creative and fun-loving city, Bristol is a great destination to discover at any time of the year, but especially in the summer. Its harbour offers a lovely backdrop to unwind in a variety of bars and restaurants; iconic sights such as the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the SS Great Britain are ready to reveal their secrets; and the kids will enjoy exploring the Aardman connection from Wallace & Gromit to Early Man.
Take advantage of events being staged specifically for the bank holiday, such as the East Bristol Brewery Tour. We’re sure an Easton IPA from Dawkins Ales or a Bristol Cider will slip down easily, especially if the sun decides to shine. With five breweries involved, there’s bound to be a craft ale or two that suit your tastes.
For a real treat, book yourself in for a swim and steam at Bristol Lido, followed by a delicious meal. You’ll feel like you’ve earned your lunch after slashing about in the pool and feel totally relaxed making use of the sauna and hot tub. A bit of extra time for yourself is what bank holidays were made for!
Need help with packing your suitcase for a trip to Bristol? Check out our packing hacks here.
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This northern city has the dual benefits of a packed cultural calendar and being just 30 minutes away from the coast by Metro. See the intricate artworks of Nigerian Ifeoma U Anyaeji, which are currently on display at the Baltic Art Gallery, and enjoy the iconic view of the Tyne and its bridges from the old flour mill’s many viewing galleries.
Get the kids excited about the history of innovation through the medium of Lego at the Discovery Museum. More than 40 intricate models have been created by local Lego artist Steve Mayes, including Stephenson’s Rocket and the Great North Run.
Hop on the Metro from the centre of town and you can be enjoying the great British seaside in just half an hour. At Tynemouth, you can choose from the famous Longsands Beach, which is a popular surf spot, or the more intimate King Edward’s Bay, where Riley’s Fish Shack serves up fresh seafood to enjoy in its deckchairs on the sand. Alternatively, choose Whitley Bay and indulge in fish and chips from its newly renovated Spanish City, whose instantly recognisable dome dates back to 1910.
Be sure to pop a Shampoo Bar into your luggage to wash the sand out of your hair and avoid suitcase spillages on your trip up north.
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Heading to Scotland can seem like a bit of a trek for the weekend, but with an extra day you’ll have more time to play with. Glasgow is often overlooked in favour of Edinburgh, but those who venture to this city on the Clyde are rewarded with everything from a medieval cathedral to a state-of-the-art hands-on science centre.
You may not know this but Glasgow is the perfect destination for vintage lovers, as it boasts a wide selection of retro shops and arcades. Head back home with your suitcase full of treasures from the likes of Glad Rags and Mr Ben Retro Clothing, where you can spend hours discovering designer labels and quirky pieces from across the decades.
Glasgow’s music scene is legendary, so a trip to the Barrowlands or King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut is a must if you love live music. Greenock four-piece Black Dove will be gracing the stage of King Tut’s on bank holiday Saturday, with another Scottish offering The Eves playing on the Sunday. If you prefer your live performances a little more civilised then both the Scottish Ballet and the National Theatre of Scotland are based in Glasgow.
With just a weekend at your disposal, you’ll want to pack lightly, just like travel blogger Barefoot Em, who is delighted that we’ve produced our Body Washes in carry-on sizes.