Now, not even the greatest lover of the UK’s bank holidays would argue with the statement that traffic can be a problem over these marvellous long weekends.
However, that does not have to be inevitable. Here are some top tips and ideas for destinations for the August bank holiday that might help you to miss the crowds and traffic queues. Of course, in what follows, we’re discussing caravan bank holiday breaks:
- think twice about the big coastal resorts if the forecast’s good. They’re lovely but if you’re determined to go to one, consider the train rather than road. Whatever you do, during the main travel hours the roads into the big seaside locations WILL be congested and the best sites likewise.
Top tip – favour inland destinations during bank holiday weekends. They’ll often be quieter;
- try Stratford-Upon-Avon (plus local Warwick, Royal Leamington Spa etc.) These are fantastic historic locations with lovely countryside as well. The nearby River Avon is great for water based leisure activities. As a destination, being in the Midlands, they’re also easily weekend-reachable from just about all areas of England and Wales. There are some really good sites nearby but as always – book early;
- explore Herefordshire/Shropshire. These are two of tourist England’s least-known counties and that’s such a pity because they have some lovely countryside. The towns are also charming and full of historic interest. Try Leominster, Eardisland (buildings dating back to 1300) and of course Hereford itself. In Shropshire, don’t miss Oswestry for its timbered buildings, Much Wenlock (arguably where the first modern Olympic games were held) and Shrewsbury for its lovely river, buildings and culture;
- drift lazily along in Leicestershire and Rutland. This is all about farming, rivers, fresh produce and historic towns. Oakham is Rutland’s county town and charming to visit with its stone buildings. Nearby Melton Mowbray was the original birthplace of pork pies and they’re still claimed to be the best in the world. Stamford is close-by (though in Lincolnshire) and that too is well worth a visit. Beauvoir Castle is also famous and the huge Rutland Water reservoir is a must if you’re into bird and nature watching;
- see rugged life in the Peak District National Park. This is some of the hilliest and wildest country outside of Wales and Scotland. It covers parts of Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Cheshire and Staffordshire. This is a weekend that’ll be associated with trekking and nature watching in the hills. You’ll be able to escape the crowds and take in some amazing natural beauty;
- sample the big skies of Cambridge and the Fens. Now it’s true, the scenery isn’t awe-inspiring in terms of hills and valleys but the peaceful vastness and openness of the Fens has inspired poets and painters for centuries. There are some great villages, thatched cottages and marvellous pubs too. For something a bit more lively and with inspiring architecture – try the world-famous city of Cambridge, which in August is likely to be quieter due to the reduced numbers of students there.
Hopefully some of the above ideas will have given you an alternative to the rush to the sea traditionally associated with the August bank holiday. Just make sure your touring caravan insurance is up to date before you depart.
So, off you go and enjoy yourself!