August Bank Holiday 2014: Five ways to make the most of it

From food festivals to urban beaches, there are fantastic events happening across the country this weekend

Will it rain? Will the traffic be awful? Will we all fall out and drive home in silence? If you want to avoid the answer to those questions being “yes”, pick a bank holiday activity that keeps everyone occupied.

It’s the last three-day break until Christmas, so make the most of the long weekend by taking advantage of the hundreds of events – some of which are free, others that require no booking – happening across the country. Take in a food festival, head to the beach or seek shelter in a museum.

At a food festival

John Torode, Gregg Wallace and Gennaro Contaldo are among the chefs slated to appear at the BBC Good Food Festival at Hampton Court Palace (23-25 August; bbcgoodfoodfestival.com). Artisans will be doling out samples, while Richmond’s celebrated Bingham hotel and restaurant –  which is marking its 30th anniversary this year – is hosting a pop-up serving seasonal British dishes, including an intriguing starter of aged beef with pickled cucumber and hay emulsion. Street-food outlets such as Churros Garcia will also be in residence and families will be well catered for with the Kids’ Cookery School. Adults £15.50; under-16s free.

With the band

For a family-friendly music festival, head to Southsea in Portsmouth for the Victorious (23-24 August; victoriousfestival.co.uk). Established acts such as Seasick Steve, Razorlight, Ocean Colour Scene and British Sea Power, will perform alongside newcomers including Tom Odell and Scouting for Girls. There will also be a seaside stage overlooking the Solent, a BIG Recycle swap shop for clothes and a Kids’ Arena, where children can brush up on the circus skills and make cupcakes. Adult day tickets £20; children five-15 £6; under-fives free.

In Dorset, the Purbeck Folk Festival (21-24 August; purbeckfolk.co.uk) also targets a wide age-range with its combination of storytellers, jugglers and puppet shows for children and a poetry slam, open-air movie screen and bands such as Idlewild for older visitors. Adult day tickets £40; children £5- £20; under-threes free.

On the beach Nottingham’s urban beach Nottingham’s urban beach

If the sun shines, Britain’s coast will feel the bank-holiday crush. But those in the land-locked city of Nottingham have a trick up their sleeve to avoid crowds: an urban beach. Head to Old Market Square before 2 September, where 250 tonnes of golden sand have been deposited to create a Nottingham-style riviera, complete with a beach bar for grown ups, a paddling pool, pony rides, bungee trampolines, waterballs and a pirates’ ship (nottinghamriviera.co.uk; admission free).

Down south, Brighton’s Sand Sculpture Festival will see 4,000 tonnes of imported sand crafted into iconic landmarks from around the world, until 28 September. Expect elaborate creations that range from the Great Sphinx of Giza to the Leaning Tower of Pisa at the Black Rock site on the seafront (brightonsandsculpture.co.uk; adults £4.50; children aged 3-15 £3.00; under-threes free).

At a country house

Spend the weekend at Tredegar House, a 17th-century beauty that stands in 90 acres of Welsh parkland near Newport. Once home to the influential Morgan family, it now welcomes all as a National Trust property. From 23-25 August, its calling card is the Summer Garden Fun Weekend – a three-day party filled with skittles, quoits, hula hooping and potato racing (11-4pm). Family crafts take place every Friday (noon-3pm) and there are hour-long Nature Clubs on Mondays (11am-3pm). Afterwards, indulge in an afternoon tea in the Orangery, overlooking the house’s parterre garden (01633 815880; nationaltrust.org.uk; adults £7.20; children £3.60).

In a museum

If the weather dictates you have to take shelter, there are few better places than the Eden Project in Cornwall. Until 2 September, the award-winning attraction near St Austell is taking visitors back some 65m years with Dinosaurs  Unleashed. Children can go in search of the great beasts in the Lost World, step into the Crater of the Tyrant King, rummage for fossils and dodge the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex. Adults £19.50; children £9.50; family £52 (edenproject.com).

At the other end of the country, Dundee’s celebrated Science Centre has teamed up with the British Antarctic Survey to create Ice Station Antarctica, where young explorers can test out their survival skills in sub-zero temperatures, until 30 September (dundeesciencecentre.org.uk; adults £7.25; children £5.25).

Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
News
i100
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
Life and Style
fashionThe Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Small winemakers say the restriction makes it hard to sell overseas
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
News
Clare Balding
peopleClare Balding on how women's football is shaking up sport
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Arts and Entertainment
Jerry Hall (Hand out press photograph provided by jackstanley@theambassadors.com)
theatre
Sport
Tony Bellew (left) and Nathan Cleverly clash at the Echo Arena in Liverpool
boxingLate surge sees Liverpudlian move into world title contention
Voices
Neil Findlay
voicesThe vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
food + drinkMeat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Excellent opportunities are available for par...

    Investigo: IT Auditor

    £60000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: A global leading travel busi...

    Recruitment Genius: Chef De Partie x 2

    £16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This charming and contemporary ...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £20,000 Uncapped

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Day In a Page

    Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

    Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

    Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
    Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

    The last Christians in Iraq

    After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
    Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Britain braced for Black Friday
    Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

    From America's dad to date-rape drugs

    Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

    The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
    Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
    Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

    Flogging vlogging

    First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

    US channels wage comedy star wars
    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

    When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
    Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

    Look what's mushrooming now!

    Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
    Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

    More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

    The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

    Oeuf quake

    Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
    Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

    Terry Venables column

    Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
    Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

    Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

    Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin