Find out where to go and what to do this August bank holiday and right up to the end of the school holidays. We have pulled together a host of exciting days out around the UK that you can enjoy, come rain or shine.
Why does it always seem to rain on a bank holiday? And why do we plan things regardless? There’s something wonderfully optimistic about the British character, that has perhaps been forged by our unpredictable (or is it predictable?) weather.
In the words of British fell walker, Alfred Wainwright, there is no such thing as bad weather; only unsuitable clothing.” With this in mind, here are some ideas and inspiration for the August bank holiday weekend and the last week of the summer holidays; events and activities that you can enjoy whatever the weather.
Blair Drummond Safari Park, Stirlingshire
Do you think animals rush indoors at the first sign of rain? A drive through Blair Drummond Safari Park, near to Strathyre, tells you otherwise. Take a boat trip around Chimp Island too and, if the sun does shine, enjoy the amusements and playpark areas.
This striking lochside village is a must-visit if you are staying at Ardgartan Argyll. Head for Inveraray Castle to explore the seat of the infamous Clan Campbell and discover how tough life was for prisoners in the 19th Century at Inveraray Jail. And back outdoors, trust us, staring out across the loch on what the Scots call a dreich day is better for the soul than a month’s worth of mindfulness.
Beck Isle Museum, North Yorkshire
The Beck Isle Museum is a delightful collection of artefacts and activities which purports to tell the history of the market town of Pickering, next to Cropton and Keldy, and in doing so, tells the history of rural Victorian England. There are activities for children throughout the summer holidays and a rural craft day on 30 August, the Wednesday of the bank holiday week.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway
While we are in Pickering, we can’t pass up the opportunity to mention the delightful North Yorkshire Moors Railway that heads from Pickering through Goathland, a famous filming location recognisable from the Harry Potter films and TV’s Heartbeat. Catch a steam train or a heritage diesel, through the rain swept moors to the coast at Whitby and enjoy ice creams and fish and chips, whatever the weather throws at you – it’s the British way!
City of Caves, Nottingham
One way to escape the weather is to go underground. Nottingham’s fascinating City of Caves, a 45-minute drive from Sherwood Forest is a network of over 500 sandstone caves beneath the streets of the city. Find out about their history from the Dark Ages through to World War Two. Rather conveniently they are also situated below the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre, for undercover retail therapy.
The Norfolk Broads
Boating is an outdoor, all-weather activity, but if you want to explore the Norfolk Broads under cover, take a guided river trip. The Broads can be quite magical on a rainy day, with lots of wildlife to spot and an atmosphere that can feel as if you are at the edge of the world. This particular edge of the world is just under one hour from Thorpe Forest.
Coleford Festival Saturday, Gloucestershire
OK. It may rain. But we couldn’t resist bringing this lovely little festival to your attention. The Scarr Bandstand at Sling, near Coleford in the Forest of Dean has been restored after 30 years of neglect. On the Saturday of the bank holiday weekend (26 August), in a revival of old local customs, the band will play and bread, cheese and cider will be served. Remember Alfred Wainwright and bring a raincoat and umbrella. You may or may not need them.
One of the UK’s top attraction, Beaulieu shouldn’t really be on the back burner as a rainy bank holiday activity. But, if that’s what it turns out to be for you, it certainly won’t disappoint. The Motor Museum is a must, the Palace House gives a glimpse of Victorian life above and below stairs and a host of holiday activities run up to the bank holiday and beyond, meaning you can book a cabin at Blackwood Forest for a midweek break starting on bank holiday Monday and still catch all the action.
The Eden Project, Cornwall
The jewel in Cornwall’s crown, the Eden Project is just 10-minutes’ drive from Deerpark. The British summer could be behaving in typical fashion but once you enter the vast biodomes you are transported to a sultry tropical rainforest or a bright Mediterranean landscape. This summer you can also take the Journey into Space, a series of activities which carry on until 3 September.
Embrace the weather and Go Ape in the forest. The woodland ropes course remains open whatever the weather (almost - lightening, high winds and ice are exceptions) and the rain adds to the fun, heightening the sense of adventure. Never let it be said that rain stopped play in the UK. All our locations are near to a Go Ape and Forest Holidays guests are offered a discount on their Go Ape tickets.
Don’t let your summer peter out under a raincloud. Make the most of the bank holiday weekend and the week that follows it by staying in one of our Forest locations. With so much to do, there is every reason to head to the forest, whatever the weather.