Short breaks are a godsend, especially if you can’t afford a full holiday abroad and you’re super stressed from work or uni. If you’re unsure of where to go during the next Bank Holiday, here’s a few places in mid-southern England and Wales you should definitely take into consideration.
Nottingham – Nottinghamshire
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Nottingham is Robin Hood, the Disney movie. I can’t help picturing Sherwood Forest, foxes, bears and all those cute little bunnies… It’s a magical place to visit, and there are a lot of activities and fun things to do. The Robin Hood Town Tour certainly sounds like something I wouldn’t want to miss… An adventure around Nottingham to discover the truth of the legend? Where do I sign up? A trip to Sherwood Forest to see the legendary Major Oak is also worth taking. This summer is packed with lots of events: the Outdoor Theatre at Nottingham Castle is hosting a series of great performances, the Riverside Festival promises lots of activities while relaxing along the banks of River Trent, and cricket lovers will be happy to follow the 2015 Investec Ashes Series.
Bristol & Bath
I visited Bristol & Bath a couple of years ago, it wasn’t a Bank Holiday, but I spent four days there and it was fantastic! I grouped them together because the distance between one another is 10 minutes by train, so if you’re visiting one, the other is definitely worth including in your trip. Both cities have the tourist bus tour, which I recommend buying tickets for. This way you have a general overview of the city’s sightseeing locations, and you can always go back and visit your favourite places in depth. The Clifton Suspension Bridge is a stunning view and the Brunel’s ss Great Britain is surely unmissable, since it’s believed to be haunted. 2015 brings another fantastic event: if you’re a fan of Wallace & Gromit, you may remember the excellent exhibition that took place a few years ago, where a handful of decorated Gromits were scattered across the city. I only saw a few of them, each one painted by a different artist, and they were truly beautiful. Well, this time Bristol will repeat the success with Shaun in the City. 70 giant sculptures of Shaun the Sheep created by artists, celebrities and designers will be placed in iconic locations and beautiful green spaces across Bristol. Why would you want to miss that? If you happen to visit Bath, I definitely recommend the Jane Austen Centre, as it offers a snapshot of life during Regency times and explores how living in this magnificent city affected Jane Austen’s life and writing.
Canterbury – Kent
When I think about Canterbury I always end up remembering my high-school years. I attended a private language school for a couple of years and we studied English Literature. Somehow, the familiarity of this traditional location is inevitably associated with that period. The Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey and St Martin Church are essential parts of the city’s history, so you definitely need to make time during your trip to check out those. The guided walking tours are a great way to discover the gems that Canterbury has to offer, and I would also suggest the historical River Tour. I’ve never done this but they seem lots of fun, and I think it’s a very cool way to go sightseeing! And I’m certain beer lovers will not want to miss the Kent Beer Festival at the end of July.
St Ives – Cornwall
This seaside location in the north of Cornwall is not to be mistaken with St Ives in Cambridgeshire. Regarded as the jewel of Cornwall’s crown, a beautiful seaside town, set in breathtaking coastal scenery – St Ives is set to give something special that will make you want to return again and again. The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden is an absolute must, as it offers a remarkable insight into the work and outlook of one of Britain’s most important 20th century artists, making this a unique experience. Because it’s summer, coasteering is an activity to seriously consider. The idea of wading through rock pools, swimming in the sea, negotiating rock jumps and exploring caves makes me just want to drop everything and go have fun!
Little Haven – Wales
I’ve never been to Wales, but I always try to find places outside of the major tourist locations, and Little Haven is the one which spoke to me. On the west coast of Pembrokeshire at the southern end of St Brides Bay, this old fishing village has a good deal of charm and character. Although there is not a lot in terms of historical attractions, this village offers everything one is looking for when in need of de-stress: a cosy beach and a marvellous landscape which stands up against the beautiful lands we all know and love in Game of Thrones! If you’re looking for a break from technology, the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path is definitely what you need. Hugging the coastline for 186 miles, this trail promises some of the most breathtaking scenery in Britain. Forget about your phone and tablet, and enjoy nature at its core.
Have you been to any of these places? Tell us in the comments!