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).

PROMOTED VIDEO
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: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £30,000 Uncapped

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there