August Bank Holiday Getaway destinations within 2 hours of the UK Part 1
The August bank holiday is looming on the horizon, like a huge, shiny, beach-shaped beacon. Its a whole free day off work and theres still enough time for you to get organised and do something great with it! Today were going to have a look at how far you could potentially get, without your threeday break being eaten up with travel time.
Were also going to look at how you can extend your break, so if you havent already booked the time off around the 25th-27th August, nows the time to beat your co-workers to it! Have a read through our August bank holiday inspiration post and then give us a call here at Aspen Travel to get it booked!
An exciting European metropolis, practically on our doorstep, you can reach Paris by plane or by train, if youre not a happy flyer. It takes just over an hour to get there and once you do, youll have so many iconic monuments in your eye-line, youll wonder where to start. France is also one of Europe’s most popular August Bank Holiday getaways, according to last years figures.
Obviously getting to the top of the Eiffel Tower as quickly as possible is how most visitors to Paris spend the first part of their day and its well worth the trip. Youll have a view of the whole city and if youve chosen to walk to the top, instead of take the lift, youll have plenty of steps on your Fitbit too! Theres a restaurant at the top if you want enjoy to moules and frites from a higher altitude and a glass floor that has to be stood upon to survey just how high you are, even if it is heart stoppingly frightening for those with a fear of heights. You need to be able to say you did it! From the Eiffel Tower, its short walk to the Arc de Triomphe and the Htel des Invalides; two must-see sights for fans of European history.
The Notre Dame is the cathedral made famous by Victor Hugos book and is an architectural wonder, due mainly to its flying buttresses. Its a pleasant walk to get here, beside the Seine. Youre on the right side of the city here to then pay a visit to the Picasso Museum and the Pompidou Centre; both huge bastions of modern art, before heading over to the Louvre, where the art gets even more famous. This is where the Mona Lisa famously hangs, but the walk to get here; along the incredibly chic and upmarket Champs Elyses shopping street is a real joy. If the weathers fine, you can enjoy a caf and croissant in the picturesque Orangerie gardens next door to the gallery.
In the North of the city you can visit the Sacr Coeur; a basilica with a tremendous view of the city. Youre very close to Montmartre here; the quirky, leftfield, artists area, with a bustling pavement caf culture.
Extending your Paris August bank holiday break
There are so many escorted tours in France, its hard to know where to start. Wine enthusiasts will love touring the vineyards, while fans of Impressionist art, will want to explore Monets garden; the place that inspired so much of his art. Historians might want to explore the beaches of Normandy and gourmets will spoilt for choice. France is, after all, a country that prides itself on the quality of its cuisine. You could even travel further afield with a river cruise and take a trip that will take you through The Netherlands, Germany and Austria. Give our team a call to find out all the possibilities available to you.
This city of famous canals, flat lands and cycle routes is the perfect August bank holiday getaway. It wont cost you much to hire a bike and get yourself lost on purpose in order to explore the back streets, charming churches and pavement cafs. Amsterdam is famous for its relaxed attitude. The red light district is an eye opener, as are the brown cafs, where you can have coffee, smoke, or both. Its also worth having a look at some of the citys impressive museums; which range from quirky to highly cultured.
Whether you have foodie tendencies or not, you simply have to try thick Dutch fries. Theyre traditionally served with mayonnaise, as were sure youre already aware the Dutch famously serve their chips with mayonnaise! Other popular snacks here include raw herring, Stroopwafels (which you can find in most big coffee house chains in the UK, but pre packaged), Bitterballen; a type of breaded meatball and Gouda cheese!
Extending your holiday here
The Netherlands are very centrally located in Europe. From here, you could travel west to France and then Spain, or east to Germany, Austria and Hungary. Were you to go north, youre just a short trip away from Denmark, Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia. Amsterdam is a gateway to a huge number of European adventure possibilities.Seeall our escorted tours to find out more.
Its only 2 hours away and it has a sun-soaked beach, city attractions to suit every taste and great food. You can enjoy a great seaside holiday here; drinking wine while you take in the marina from of the surrounding cafs and restaurants, or lounging in the sand, waiting for the melon guy to turn up and sell you a slice.
You can also enjoy some brilliant sights here. Many of the big attractions were designed by Gaudi, a Barcelona native who created the Sagrada Familia. The architecture of it is just astonishing. With narrow, lofty spires that pierce low lying clouds, youll never forget the moment you turned around from the metro stop and were rewarded with your first glimpse of the place. You can enter and climb the towers, but its not for the faint hearted. Gaudi Park is also a place you have to visit while youre here. It has a fascinating patio, a great view and plenty to entertain you.
Additionally, this is a great city for shopping. If youre in the market for gifts, try to stay away from the touristy La Rambla; a fun thoroughfare which has plenty of market stalls and street performers, but also tourist prices to boot. Instead, head over to the old town, near the Cathedral, or visit one of the citys many marketplaces.
Extending your Barcelona trip
A large city, with so much to amuse you, you may well need a few more than three days here; even if you just want to fit in a few more warm evenings enjoying the tapas and short beers (known as caas) while you survey all around you. We can help you book a longer break in the city, or take a tour that will transport you to other parts of Spain.
Madrid is in the centre and a magnet for upmarket shoppers and lovers of high culture and the north is where you need to be to walk in the footsteps of the pilgrims, beginning in Bilbao, with its spectacular Guggenheim, on to Oviedo and finishing at the incredible cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.
If you want to explore the South of Spain, you could head to the gypsy-influenced land of Andalucia and take in the Alhambra in Granada, the mosque-cathedral of Crdoba and the Alcazar of Seville. For culture of a different kind, right on the south coast, is where you need to be; thats if you fancy a full English experience in the sunshine. Malaga and the Costa del Sol is UK holidaymaker central and you wont be disappointed.
Spain is just a 2-hour flight away. Make the most of an August bank holiday break here, by calling us and finding out more about the places you could be experiencing. Need a bit more inspiration? Head over the to our Travel inspiration page and learn all about the wonders of the world, from the dancing northern lights show to the mesmerizing Taj mahal.