Bank Holiday: Enlightening Days Out

Why not do something different this Bank Holiday? With a range of interesting, fun and educational events nationwide, there is something for everyone.

Parents Playing Exciting Adventure Game With Children In Summer Field

Dates: 19-24 May
Location: Sloane Square, London SW1W
Price: Free
Now in its ninth year, the Chelsea in Bloom Festival is showcasing floral displays to the theme of ‘Creation in Colour – a journey through fashion, food and lifestyle’. Witness the transformation of shops and restaurants into floral delights as businesses interpret the theme in hope of winning the overall prize. The event is even offering visitors a complimentary rickshaw ride to view the participating entries and the festival coincides with the running of the Chelsea Flower Show.
Dates: 24 May – 7 September
Location: Kew Gardens, London TW9 3AB
Price: Included in entry fee to the Gardens
Opening over the Bank Holiday weekend, the Plantasia Festival aims to celebrate and showcase the incredible powers of plants. Enjoy a Barefoot Walk, observe the medicinal powers of plants at the Healing Giant, take a Tai Chi class and relax in the Gin and Tonics Garden where you can discover the botanical properties and advantages of some of your favourite drinks. These are just some of the activities ocurring during the Plantasia Festival, all of which take place within the enchanting landscape of Kew Gardens.
Dates: 24-26 May
Location: Kentwell Hall, Long Melford, Suffolk CO10 9BA
Price: Various
Experience four centuries in one day through a range of era-specific activities and games. Visit a Medieval Village, discover Tudor Crafts and Cooking, enter the world of a Victorian Household and learn more about the camps in the Second World War. On Whit Monday, enjoy a performance by the East Suffolk Morris Men who traditionally participate in Kentwell’s celebrations.
Dates: 24-26 May
Location: Trentham Gardens, Stone Road, Staffordshire ST4 8AX
Price: Included in entry fee to the Gardens
In an effort to promote being active outdoors, Trentham Gardens is hosting a range of activities within its beautiful grounds. From hiring a rowing boat on the lake to enjoying a pony ride or horse drawn carriage around the park, and from learning Wilderness Survival Skills to Willow Weaving, there is something to suit everyone’s tastes. Other activites taking place include a Fairy Hunt, nature trails and scavenger hunts. For the more adventurous and physically able, there is also the possibility of challenging yourself to an Aerial Extreme Course which combines an off-the-ground obstacle course with the breathtaking views of the Trentham Estate.
Date: 25 May
Location: Helmingham Hall Gardens, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 6EF
Price: £6
Suitable for both experienced and amateur gardeners, the Plant Heritage Plant Fair exposes hundreds of unusual plants, garden accessories and local food, drink and music. Entry to the Fair automatically grants the ticket-holder access to the Gardens and for an extra £10 you can have a tour led by Lady Xa Tollemache, Chelsea Flower Show gold medalist, which begins at midday.
Dates: 24-26 May
Location: Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland, County Durham DL14 7NR
Price: Adults (16+) £8, Children (under 16) Free
Understand the Tudor lifestyle through a range of fun activities around Auckland Castle, including artistic workshops led by local professionals for the whole family to enjoy.
Date: 26 May
Location: Bucklebury Farm Park, Reading RG7 6RR
Price: Various
Celebrate the Bank Holiday as a family and enjoy a tasty BBQ, meet and feed the animals and enjoy a tractor ride around the Park.
Dates: 25-26 May
Location: Tatton Park, Cheshire WA16 6QN
Price: Included in entry fee to the Park
At 1.30pm, come and see local sheep shearer, David Norcott, in action as he prepares the flock for summer.
Date: 24 May
Location: Cromford [walk begins at Cromford Mills]
Price: £3
Discover the world in which Florence Nightingale lived as you are led on a 7.5 mile walk visiting sites associated with her and her family. The walk begins at 10am and finishes at 1pm followed by a picnic.
Dates: 24-26 May
Location: St. Mary the Virgin Church, Feathers Hill, Hatfield Broad Oak, Essex CM22 7HG
Price: Free
Join in with the community spirit and help celebrate the Festival’s 50th Anniversary. Expect wonderful floral displays along with local stalls and activities to entertain all the family. On Saturday a celebrity guest will be opening the event and there will be a BBQ and refreshments to enjoy, on Sunday a marquee lunch will be provided accompanied by the sounds of the organ and on Monday come and support the 10km run and listen to a rock choir.
Dates: 23-25 May
Location: The Amphitheatre and Waterfront Square, Harbourside, Bristol BS1 5LL
Price: Various
An innovative amalgamation of tasty Vegan food and live music at Bristol’s picturesque waterfront. During the day explore the 140 stalls, attend talks, cookery demonstrations and workshops and enjoy live entertainment. During the evening jump up and down to electrifying gigs, with Boney M amongst the headliners.
Date: 24 May
Location: Marine Hall Gardens, The Esplanade, Fleetwood FY7 6HF
Price: Free
Enjoy a family day out beneath the hot air balloons with live music, food and drink, street theatre, arts and crafts and a live performance from the Mexican high diving company, La Quebrada. Activities include rock climbing, zip-lining, a ride on the land train and the chance to win a trip in a hot air balloon!
Dates: 24-26 May
Location: Green Lane Showground, Chipping, Preston PR3 2TQ
Price: Adults £8, Pensioners & Teenagers (13-17) £6, Children (under 12) Free
View an array of steam engines and classic vehicles with the beautiful backdrop of the Forest of Bowland. In addition, expect a variety of crafts, demonstrations of local practices, food and drink, a train ride and a bouncy castle to amuse the younger visitors.
Date: 26 May
Location:  Middleton Lakes, Middleton Hall, Tamworth, Staffordshire B78 2AE
Price: £2.50 for members/£4 for non-members
Explore the habitats surrounding the Middleton Lakes in detail with knowledgeable guides and a wealth of wildlife. The tour begins at 10.30am and lasts for two and a half hours.
Dates: 23-27 May
Location: Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire GL54 5JD
Price: Adults £22, Children £14
Gifford’s Circus are touring with their show The Thunders which will be performing 11 shows at Sudelely Castle. Expect the unexpected as the talented acts grace the grounds of Sudeley – a family-run circus with vintage village green roots.
Date: 26 May
Location: Cooper’s Hill, Gloucestershire GL3 4SB
Price: Free
Join in with the annual festivities – join the masses at the top of the hill and roll down the steep slope chasing the cheese! For the faint-hearted, stand by and watch the madness which begins at midday.
Date: 26 May
Location:  Market Place, Tetbury, Gloucestershire GL8 8DD
Price: Free
From 10am be treated to a variety of entertainers along with a street market, village fete and charity auction before the race itself kicks off at 2pm. Watch the participants haul bags of wool along the streets, celebrating the area’s thriving wool background, in this annual event.
Dates: 24 May – 1 June
Location: Various National Trust Locations, Nationwide
Price: Various [see individual websites]
Encouraging children to explore the outdoors, the National Trust has created The 50 Things Challenge which is a list incorporating a variety of inspirational ideas to ensure that children can be as creative as possible outside whilst also providing an educational and fun experience.
Dates: 23-26 May
Location: Caldicot Castle, Church Road, Caldicot NP26 4HU
Price: Various
Currently in its 12th year, enjoy an amalgamation of delicious ciders, live music and entertainment all against the stunning backdrop of Caldicot Castle. Monday will be specifically family orientated with a Medieval theme and a range of games and activities. There is also availability for camping on site if you would prefer to soak up the atmosphere for more than a few hours.
The Scottish Boat Race, River Clyde
Date: 24 May
Location: River Clyde, Glasgow [Broomielaw Quay to the Riverside Museum]
Price: Free
Line-up along the banks of the Clyde and enjoy the annual Scottish Boat Race between the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, which has been running since 1877. Festivities begin at 10am with the races starting at 11.20am