August Bank Holiday Events in the UK and Abroad

There’s always a panic as the bank holiday weekend creeps up on us. What to do!? Whether you want to jet off for a quick break in Europe or risk the British sunshine, we’ve found 5 super fun events for you in the UK and abroad this August bank holiday!

Uitmarkt Amsterdam

Amsterdam is already a popular destination for a quick city break all year round, but this August bank holiday Amsterdam will hold the largest annual festival in Holland – and it’s free! The Uitmarkt is a three day celebration of The Netherlands’ art scene. Over the course of the weekend, thousands of performers showcase their talents from dance to literature , all in front of almost half a million visitors. The venues are mostly near the museum square, next to the Van Gogh Museum and the grand Rijksmuseum. However, Amsterdam isn’t too big so you can rent a bicycle or catch the tram to zip around the city in no time. So your hotel options aren’t limited to just one part of the city.


Notting Hill Carnival

One of the most popular street festivals in Europe, Notting Hill Carnival is a super fun party with tons of bright colours, vibrant outfits and lively music. The parade is a beautiful celebration of Afro-Caribbean culture and traditions. It all started in the 1960s and it just keeps on getting bigger and better each year. Thousands of people flock to West London every August bank holiday to watch the floats and musicians on the World Music Stage. There will also be 38 static sound systems dotted around that will play all types of different music!

Notting Hill Carnival London Bank Holiday

The event is split up into 2 days to make sure the whole family can enjoy it. Sunday is always Children’s Day so this is the day to go if you want to all go together. But whichever day you choose, there will be feel-good music, tasty food stalls, and fascinating performances.

Top tip: plan your way to and from the carnival in advance because there are a lot of closures to the tube, overground and bus routes. If you want to reduce the travel time, check out some of these hotels in London and stay a little closer to the party.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is a large arts festival and it all comes to a climax on the August bank holiday. The festival is over 50 years old, however only a handful of theatre groups entertained back in 1947 but now there are thousands of shows, in over 300 venues, across Scotland’s capital city. They range from comedy, dance, circus, cabaret, opera, and spoken word to name but a few. The Fringe is huge! A lot of the shows are ticket only but there are also plenty of free ones, too. With so much happening every single day, there is something for everyone.

As you can imagine, rooms get booked up quickly. But there are still plenty of hotels to choose from if you haven’t already booked your stay.


Belgian Grand Prix

One for the Formula One fans out there! Belgium will play host to the Grand Prix this August bank holiday, just outside one of its main tourist destinations, Spa. And yes – you guessed it – Spa is full of natural springs. It’s where the English word derives from. It was renowned throughout Europe as far back as the 1st century for the healing powers of the mineral water from the Ardennes Mountains. Spa is moments away from the Curcuit de Spa-Francorchamps so it’s a great place to stay if you’re there to enjoy the full weekend of racing. But Belgium isn’t that big so you can easily stay in one of the bigger cities if you’d prefer to combine a weekend of sport with an awesome city break in Brussels or the quirky urban nightlife of Liege.


Beach East at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

If you can’t make it abroad this summer, why not bring the beach to you? In London, a thousand tonnes of sand has been brought to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to create the UK’s biggest urban beach. But it’s not just sandcastles and deckchairs – there are paddling pools, fairground rides and a bunch of activities to keep the kids entertained. There’s live entertainment and beach bars so you can swap your shoes for flip flops, dig out your sunglasses, pile on the sunscreen and pretend to be on Copacabana for the afternoon.

This beach is actually already up and running but it finishes on 4th September, so make the most of it before this shy British sunshine hibernates for the winter.

Whatever you choose to do this August bank holiday, we hope you have an awesome time!