Best August Bank Holiday days out in the UK

Make the most of the late August Bank Holiday with our pick of some of the best days out and summer activities across the UK.

Children peering out of campervan,watching a big screen

Whether you fancy outdoor movie screenings, fruit picking or wildlife walks, here is our pick of some of the best days out across the UK this August Bank Holiday weekend.

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Best family and outdoor activities to enjoy this Bank Holiday

Children peering out of campervan,watching a big screen
Catch an outdoor movie at a beautiful country location this summer. Credit: Rebecca Nelson/Getty Images

Enjoy a bumper year of local festivities

When major events such as music festivals are cancelled, local ones have the chance to really flourish. This year, see what’s springing up on your doorstep – whether it’s a scarecrow trail, a street festival or outdoor cinema screening.

At the RSPB Arne reserve, experts from the Ancient Technology Centre will be keeping kids and adults busy with ancient crafts, including natural paint-making and roundhouse daubing as part of their Iron Age Weekend. Check the RSPB events page for things in your area.

Since lockdown in 2019, outdoor cinema has grown exponentially around the country, offering a safe, socially distanced evening out. It looks like the trend is here to stay, with more beautiful rural venues cropping up than ever, from stately homes to tranquil meadows. See Summer Screens for a good selection across the UK.

Pack a picnic for a late summer walk

From long coastal walks and mountain climbs to riverside rambles and wildflower strolls, there are hundreds of beautiful summer walks to enjoy in the countryside and coast. Pack a picnic and choose a spot with a view to enjoy halfway and celebrate the end of summer.

Wide shot of beautiful Barafundle Bay beach, from above with blue sky and light cirrus clouds
Barafundle Beach, Pembrokeshire

Cook dinner on the campfire

Food from the campfire always seems to taste better! Whether it’s campfire bread on a stick or halloumi and veg kebabs, campfires are a great way to encourage children to learn a bit of bushcraft. See our recipe section for inspiration.

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Roasting marshmallows around a campfire is a great family activity. Getty

Explore Britain’s coastline or waterways by kayak, canoe or paddleboard

Head down to the sea or a river and try your hand at canoeing, kayaking or paddleboarding. It’s a great way to exercise and can help you reconnect with nature. You can do it on any stretch of water, but you can’t beat paddling along your local coastline. It’s easy to license your boat, kayak or canoe – make sure you do this first.

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Credit: Alexandre Moreau/Getty Images

Summer foraging and fruit picking

The late summer is a perfect time to forage for berries such as blackberries and wild strawberries. Alternatively, the UK has a number of ‘pick your own’ soft fruits which children will love.

Strawberry farm
Pick your own strawberries at one of the UK’s farms/ Getty images

Go for a bike ride

Pump up your tyres and peddle through the countryside. Cycling is a great way to reconnect with nature and get off the beaten track. Take a ride on a local cycle path, or if you’re a bit more ambitious, why not take a family bikepacking trip somewhere local.

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The countryside is home to many cycling paths with beautiful scenery/Credit: Getty images

Enjoy a wild swim

On a warm summer’s day, it doesn’t get much better than taking a dip in the sea, lake or river. If you live in a big city, don’t be put off as there are many wild swimming spots near London.

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Wild swimming has grown in popularity in recent years/Credit: Getty images

Sleep under the stars

Pitch a tent and spend an evening beneath a starry night-sky. Wild camping allows you to escape the constant buzz of modern life and get back to basics. While not legal in some parts of the country, there are a number of smaller campsites in secluded locations, where you simply pitch up and savour the tranquility. Alternatively, kids will love sleeping in the back garden for a mini adventure.

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Wild camping
Grab your tent and sleeping back and embark on a wild-camping trip/Credit: Getty images