12 Ways To Spend The Bank Holiday If You Don't Want To Swim In Poo

Sewage putting you off a seaside jaunt? We've got you covered.
Klaus Vedfelt via Getty Images

Heavy rainfall returned in parts of the UK this week, which has overwhelmed the country’s Victorian sewage system.

‘Why does this impact me?’ you may ask. Well, dear reader, we’re sorry to inform you that raw sewage is being released into the sea – and it may scupper your usual bank holiday plans.

Over 40 beaches and swimming spots in England and Wales – mainly on the southern coast – saw pollution warnings in place after downpours followed months of little-to-no rain.

Sewage water could be seen gushing into the ocean at Bexhill Beach in East Sussex on Wednesday. Southern Water said electrical issues at a wastewater pumping station had caused the discharge. So, it’s safe to say our plans to go to the beach during the bank holiday are a little less appealing now.

Not to worry though, there are plenty of other ways you can enjoy the last weekend of August that don’t involve stomaching the stench of poo at the seaside. If you’re out of plans, keep reading.

Notting Hill Carnival

After three years, the UK’s favourite Caribbean celebration is finally back. Carnival was put on pause in 2020, along with so much else, but this year it’s back with a bang and we know it won’t disappoint. There’s music, dancing, Black joy and lots of food. And the best part of it all? It’s free!

Picnic in the park

You can’t go wrong with a classic picnic. Get all your friends together and go to your local park. Bring some snacks, drinks and a speaker and appreciate the outdoors. It’s warm across most of the country this weekend too, so it could be the last chance to have a picnic in the sun.

All Points East

What’s a better way to say goodbye summer than a festival? If you’re a music lover then All Points East is where you want to be. It’s running all weekend and you’ll be able to hear music from acts like Tame Impala, Disclosure and James Blake. Get your tickets here.

Edinburgh Fringe

It’s not too late to make it to Edinburgh for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This is the place to be if you want to experience some arts and culture this weekend. There are many, many plays and comedy gigs to choose from. Buy tickets here.

Two performers promote their show during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Ken Jack via Getty Images
Two performers promote their show during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Cornwall’s Seal Sanctuary

In the mood to see some animals? You should head down to the seal sanctuary in Cornwall. Here you’ll find seals (naturally) and also penguins and sea lions! You’ll be happy to know their mission is all about rescuing and helping injured or distressed animals. An ideal place to go for a family day out.

Get some free fish and chips

Yes, you read it right, you could get some free fish and chips this weekend courtesy of Sarson’s Vinegar. With the rising cost of living affecting some of Britain’s most-loved institutions, they want to give back. To be in with a chance of a free dinner, fish and chip fans need only snap a photo of their order (complete with Sarson’s vinegar, of course) and share it to Twitter or Instagram (post or story) tagging @SarsonsUK and #SarsonsFryday. The company will choose 400 people who’ll have their meal reimbursed this bank holiday weekend.

Go to a bottomless brunch

Who doesn’t like a boozy brunch on the weekend? If you haven’t tried a bottomless brunch yet, this is the time to do it (with an extra day to get over that hangover). There are several restaurants all over the country that offer a bottomless brunch on the weekends.

If you’re in London and want to continue with the theme of carnival, head over to the The Laslett in Notting Hill for their Carnival brunch. If you’re in Manchester, head to The Pen & Pencil for a free flowing brunch or go to the Lost Cat for their bottomless brunch, which they serve everyday. For those of you in Birmingham, check out the Bristol Pear or The Lost & Found.

The Big Feastival

Love food? Love music? The Big Feastival has both, with big-name chefs leading cooking demonstrations while bands play on into the evening. There’s also a lot of street food to try. The festival is happening Friday – Sunday in the Cotswolds and tickets are still available.

Visit a different city for a day

Bored of what’s on your doorstep? Get a train or a coach ticket to a different city for a day. Why not try going to Plymouth, Southampton or Newcastle for a day? You’ll be surprised at how much fun you have.

A new book

Book lovers! If you’re looking for a recommendation for a new read to help you relax this weekend, we have plenty of suggestions on our Shopping channel. From otherworldly books to reads that have a cathartic release, you’ll find something to suit you.

Cookery (and foraging) classes

Extend your cooking skills this bank holiday by attending this bread making or pasta class. Running on August 27, the class will teach attendees the key pillars of bread-making and pupils will leave with freshly baked focaccia, milk buns, tiger bread and soda bread. Or enjoy a pasta filled class run by pasta evangelists.

If you’re more of the outdoorsy type, the Foraging, Cookery and Lunch for Two course with Totally Wild is right up your street. They have 18 different locations across the UK and they’re all about teaching you how to make delicious meals with ingredients in the countryside.

If you’re a fan of asian cuisine, try the Asian Masterclass at the Smart School of Cookery for Two. They have classes in London, East England and South East England.

Visit Manor Wildlife Park

Situated in Tenby, Wales, this wildlife park is the home to several exotic and endangered animals from all over the world. They also have a bouncy castle, indoor play and a cafe that serves homemade pizzas. Take a look here.