The summer is here, which means Bank Holiday break season is upon us. Across the land, British people are planning their Bank Holiday weekends away, from the simple pleasures of time in a nearby beer garden, to weekend escapes to the continent and adventures closer to home. With that in mind, we're looking at our Top 10 ideas for a great Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK.
1. Cruise the Ouse
York is one of the best-loved places for Bank Holiday visitors, and the city has an array of attractions on offer. A really great way to get to know the city on a summer day is via the River Ouse, which runs through the heart of York. Opt for a short river cruise on board one of the touring vessels, for a guided experience with audio commentary, or hire a four-person boat for a more independent adventure.
2. Visit London
The capital boasts an array of enticing museums, dining options and days out suitable for all ages. Although it's not a cheap city to visit, London is easily accessible by rail, and once there, the public transport network allows you to cross the city efficiently for a reasonable cost.
3. Enjoy a picnic
A time-honoured British tradition, the humble picnic is a charming way to soak up some summer sun. Spread out a blanket in your local park or even your back garden, and enjoy lunch outside, for fresh air and summer spirit.
4. Visit a heritage site
The UK's history is long, and in many instances, well-preserved, leaving many a heritage site intact for a spot of exploration. From Roman ruins to Viking pottery and Tudor houses, there are a vast number of heritage sites to enjoy, with fascinating facts to be gleaned about the nation's long nad varied history of invasion, rule and change.
5. Board a steam train
In-keeping with our last point about heritage sites, steam trains offer a glimpse into a world gone by. Many are still in operation today, including the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, the Jacobite Steam Train and the Poppy Line, or North Norfolk Railway, that runs through Victorian Sheringham. Check out a timetable to make sure the service you board is steam-hauled, and enjoy a relaxing ride through the countryside.
6. Visit the seaside
There's nothing better than a day beside the sea, so why not use this opportunity to wander along the British coastline? Enjoy an ice cream cone on the beach, visit a lively arcade, watch donkeys roam across the sand, or tuck into a seaside special: fish and chips.
7. Explore English gardens
Take a gentle stroll through one of the many cultivated gardens the UK has to offer. With English Heritage and National Trust properties scattered across Britain, there is no shortage of delightful places for an afternoon of genteel enjoyment. With many of these great gardens attached to charming period properties that are also open to the public, you could choose to make a day of exploring the house and grounds of a former stately home.
8. Talk a walk through the woods
If you love the great outdoors, then look no further than your local woodland. Woods provide a wonderful setting for a scenic walk, as well as being a haven for bird-watchers. Try to spot rare wildflowers, look out for squirrels, or simply enjoy the peace of a walk in the woods on a sunny Bank Holiday weekend.
9. Have afternoon tea
Another typically English affair, afternoon tea is a delicious tradition that can be enjoyed in teahouses across the land. Sample finger sandwiches, delicate cakes and a pot of your favourite brew, for a splendid way to spend part of your Bank Holiday weekend.
10. Explore somewhere new
There's nothing more delightful than an adventure, so why not take the time to visit somewhere you've never been before? Discovering the charms of a destination you've never been to before can be rewarding, especially if you plan ahead for attractions you might like to see. With most UK cities easily accessible by rail, this could be the perfect opportunity to explore an urban centre you've always been curious to see, so pick a new destination and enjoy the spirit of travel with a short getaway.
What will you be doing for your next Bank Holiday weekend? Let us know in the comments.