It’s been a long time coming, but August bank holiday weekend of the year is finally here. And if you’re lucky enough to not have to work during it, we’ve tons of activities from around the country for you be getting up to.
From Notting Hill Carnival (obviously) to a Gilbert and Sullivan festival in Harrogate, via zip-lining, safaris and sailing, here’s an eclectic mix of fun and frolics to keep you entertained.
Experience Notting Hill Carnival
The 69th celebration of London’s Caribbean culture will have the classic line up: parades of ornately-dressed dancers, lots of live music and streets lined with sizzling foot stalls. Sunday’s the more family-friendly day, before party-hard Monday, so a good time to take the kids - but things kick off on Saturday evening, when the Panorama national steel band championship is hosted at Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance Park. Set under the stars, it’s super chill and a lovely way to welcome in the more exuberant fun.
Admission: free, 25th, 26th August and 27th August, parade meet point: Great Western Road, London, W11 1AF nhcarnival.org
Swing through the trees of Northumberland
Combine getting outside more with an adrenalin hit by swinging and zipwiring 30 feet up through the trees of a densely packed forest in Maften, 15 minutes outside of Newcastle. Book in a three hour slot at the Go Ape adventure playground, and enjoy the true bonding that only arrives as a result of being thrown into a slightly scary situation together.
Admission: £33 for a 3 hour slot, Matfen Hall, Matfen Village, Northumberland, NE20 0RH, goape.co.uk
Head to the Harrogate Gilbert and Sullivan festival
A celebration the eccentricity of one of the UK’s most bonkers theatrical partnerships (hello, The Pirates of Penzance) that’s been going on for over 20 years, this year’s festival features 40 productions of the pair’s work. lolanthe, HMS Pinafore and Patience will all be performed by various international theatrical companies at Harrogate’s Royal Hall.
Performances are on all through the week, with matinee performances on offer, too. One for the lovers of all things over the top, of you.
Tickets: various prices, until 27th August, Royal Hall, Ripon Rd, Harrogate, HG1 2RD, gsfestivals.org
Take the kids to the Lauren Child summer exhibition
The children’s author and illustrator (and Waterstones Children’s Laureate for 2017-
Admission: free with price of entry to Newby Hall (£12 adult, £9.50 children, under 4s free), between 11am-5pm until 7th September, newbyhall.com
Go on a summer night safari
Catch the final few late night safari drive-throughs at the West Midland Safari Park, where you can see cheetahs, zebra and elephants roaming around under the dusky sky. Each night of the summer lates will have activities focused on various conservation themes, such as saving the bees.
Tickets: adult, £24, kids, £19, under 3s, free, daily until 9pm until 2nd September, West Midland Safari Park, Spring Grove, Bewdley, DY12 1LF, wmsp.co.uk
Go on a sunset sail in Brighton
See out the last of the summer with a mini voyage on a sailing yacht. A three hour trip departs from Brighton Marina and takes you away underneath the sun’s setting embers. Sit back and enjoy, or get involved with skippering.
2 x places on sailing trip, £180, selected weekdays or weekends until September, Brighton Marina, intotheblue.co.uk
Visit the Serpentine Pavilion 2018
For 18 years, London contemporary art gallery, the Serpentine, has invited an architect to erect a temporary pavilion on its lawn. This year’s choice is particularly cool. Mexico-city native Frida Escobedo, the youngest person to be asked, has created a courtyard of latticed walls, intended to invoke a typical feature of Mexican homes.
Complete with a wall of roof tiles, through which soft light filters, from the courtyard, the park appears as a haze of blues and greens. Inside, a shallow, built-in pool, pairs with reflected and refracted light to create shimmering shapes on the water.
Admission: free, Kensington Gardens, London, W2 3XA, serpentinegalleries.org