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Beat the bank holiday crowds – by a week

Here’s our top tip for beating the crowds and the traffic of the August bank holiday: bring your bank holiday forward a week.

Why have we not thought of it before? The summer holidays are beginning to drag, the kids are getting bored and everyone is ready for a break. But we’re all waiting for the bank holiday at the end of August. It’s time for a rethink. It’s time to bring your bank holiday forward a weekend.

To be honest, our cabins are already almost fully booked for the bank holiday anyway, but we still have some available for the weekend commencing 21st August. To help you make the leap, we’ve scoured the ‘What’s On’ pages and found a host of “not the bank holiday” events near to our forest locations.

1. Doune the Rabbit Hole at Strathyre, 21st-23rd August

A friendly little festival, Doune the Rabbit Hole is family (and dog) friendly and has a distinctly Scottish feel. Set amidst the ancient oaks of the Cardross Estate at Port of Monteith, you can buy a day ticket and stay at Strathyre, which is under half an hour away.

2. Birdwatching on Loch Lomond

Just half an hour from Ardgartan Argyll, RSPB Loch Lomond is one of the best spots for wildlife in the whole of Scotland. With woodland, grassland, floodplains, mires and fens it is home to a huge range of birds, animals, insects and plant life. Meet the RSPB team for a guided walk on 22nd August from 11am to 1pm and look out for swooping ospreys, late summer wild flowers and the endangered oxbow diving beetle. Don’t forget your binoculars!

3. Tribute bands in Yorkshire

Self-billed as the biggest tribute band music festival in East Yorkshire, probably the world, Tribfest bursts into life from 20th – 23rd August. A short drive from Cropton and Keldy cabins, it’s a family-friendly festival with a line-up that includes the Cheatles, The Beautiful Couch and The Joshua Tree. If you can’t work out who those bands are paying tribute to, then it’s probably not for you.

4. Medieval Mayhem in Sherwood Forest

Travel back in time on Sunday 23rd August. That’s when the Ravenshadow Group, dressed in full medieval costume, put on a dazzling display of ancient combat skills in the shadow of the Major Oak. Demonstrations are at 12pm, 2pm and 3.30pm and it’s just a short woodland walk from your Sherwood Forest cabin.

5. Putting the folk into Suffolk, 21st-23rd August

More than a folk festival, FolkEast is a celebration of the traditions and culture of this rural corner of England. Listen to folk bands, enjoy local food and drink, learn heritage crafts and take part in dance and music workshops. There’s lots for the small folk too at this wonderful “to-do” in the grounds of Glemham Hall in Suffolk which is just over an hour’s drive from Thorpe Forest.

6. Canal capers in Gloucestershire, 22nd-23rd August

England’s waterways are surprisingly colourful over the summer. If you are staying at the Forest of Dean, visit the Canal Festival at Over Basin. Complete with a heritage boat procession, fire brigade display, live music and the annual Beer, Cider and Perry Festival, it’s one of those gentle, typically English affairs that all the family can enjoy.

7. The Three Musketeers come to Winchester

All for one, and one for all! The Illyria open air theatre company bring their production of the Three Musketeers to the glorious setting of Winchester Cathedral on Friday 21st August at 7pm. Ideal for families with older children, this promises to be a delightful evening’s entertainment and is less than half an hour from our Blackwood Forest cabins.

8. Red Arrows at the Fowey Royal Regatta

You couldn't pick a better week than 16th -22nd August to come to Deerpark. The Fowey Royal Regatta is a spectacular event, both on and off the water. From the boat races to the giant pasty eating competition, from the carnival procession the Red Arrows fly past, it’s a full week of fun with a firework finale on Saturday 22nd August.

There you have it; 8 good reasons to make a break with tradition and take a break a week early….what are you waiting for?

When the bank holiday finally comes round, put your feet up in the garden and allow yourself a smile as you listen to the traffic and weather reports.