6 ways to spend the bank holiday that don’t involve getting stuck in traffic

·3-min read
(PA) (PA Wire)
(PA) (PA Wire)

There’s a long weekend ahead of us which means you might be contemplating booking a last-minute break and heading to your nearest patch of coastline.

But before you jump in the car, you may want to rethink your plans, as drivers are being warned of traffic chaos over the August bank holiday.

Transport analytics firm Inrix said motorists should set off in the morning or after 7pm on Bank Holiday Friday, to miss major traffic jams.

But if you want to recharge without the tedium of sitting in a hot car for hours on end, there are plenty of things you can do that are closer to home. Here are a few local ideas that don’t involve car travel.

1. Get your culture fix

You don’t need the National History Museum or V&A on your doorstep to enjoy arts and culture this weekend. It’s estimated that there are about 2,500 museums in the UK, so chances are there’s a local cultural facility in walking or cycling distance from you.

If not, head to The Tate Modern website; the gallery is hosting a virtual Andy Warhol retrospective, with key works from the American pop artist’s career.

2. Take a dip

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What could be better than slipping into the cool waters of a secret lake or lagoon on a bank holiday? If you can’t make it to the beach, try taking a dip in a local lido, lake or river (safely).

The website wildswimming.org has details of safe outdoor swimming areas across the UK, where you can find hidden swimming locations close to your home.

3. Go to the cinema

After a year of curling up on the couch with Netflix, it’s pretty exciting to be able to watch movies in the cinema again.

There’s nothing better than treating yourself to a box of popcorn and getting immersed in the big screen experience. You could catch The Rock’s new film Jungle Cruise, or if you’re looking after the kids this weekend, check out Space Jam: A New Legacy.

4. Get crafty

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One of the upsides of lockdown is that we all discovered how satisfying crafty hobbies really are.

If you’re spending the bank holiday weekend relaxing at home, you could get inspired by Tom Daley and give knitting a go. Or why not, purchase some air dry clay and create your own pots, or get stuck into a DIY project like giving the front door a fresh lick of paint.

5. Upcycle

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Upcycling is all about is about taking something that’s already made and then improving on it. You can spend a pleasant morning trawling antique shops for furniture that can be upcycled with a little bit of care and patience.

For a beginner project, swapping out the fabric of a dining chair seat is really easy – all you’ll need is a staple gun and some scraps of fabric.

6. Go cycling

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Cycling is a great way to steer clear of traffic this weekend. You and your friends could cycle to a local coffee shop, or set yourself one of the various Strava cycling challenges that you can take part in each month. Each challenges riders to complete a set amount of mileage, riding time or elevation in a limited amount of time. Not only is it a great way to explore your local area, but you can get competitive and race virtually with your pals.

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