Top things to do in the UK over May Bank Holiday

Plan something special for the late May Bank Holiday with our round up of things to do up and down the country. Discover something completely new, try an activity you’ve never taken part in before, or revisit somewhere you love. Read on for inspiration…

1. London

Visit the butterfly exhibit at the Natural History Museum

Where? Natural History Museum, London

When? Taking place until September 16th 2018

Cost: £5.85 – £6.50 per person

Opening times: 10am – 5.50pm

The museum has a packed lineup of events going on until late in the year but take the opportunity of a three day weekend to experience them. The Sensational Butterflies exhibit in the museum’s tropical house is great for the whole family. Witness stunning butterflies from around the world flying freely around the space. One or two may even land on you!

Take on a London Harry Potter tour

Where? Multiple locations in London

When? Any time of year

Cost: Varied travel costs and entry to certain locations

Opening times: Dependent on location

Here’s a quick itinerary to consider:

  • Kings Cross – Arrive in London, heading straight to the Harry Potter store and to take a picture at Platform 9 ¾.
  • London Zoo – The talking snake scene in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone movie was filmed in the reptile house here in 2001. Relive that infamous scene and check out the animals. Buy your tickets for the zoo online and enjoy a lower cost.
  • Tower Bridge – Take a walk along Tower Bridge, where Harry flew over on his Broomstick in the Order of the Phoenix as he made his way to a new safe location. You could also plan a visit to Millenium Bridge which was destroyed by Death Eaters in Deathly Hallow.
  • Leadenhall Market – Scenes for Diagon Alley were filmed here. Look for the blue door that was used for the Leaky Cauldron.
  • Warner Brothers Studio Tour – Once you’re done in London head to Leavesden where the studio tour is based. Walk through the Forbidden Forest, meet fantastic creatures and experience the props and sets first hand that were used in the films. During the bank holiday check out the goblet on fire that is on display.

Looking for other film locations to visit? Check out our guide here on the site.

2. Manchester

Museum of science and industry

Where? Liverpool Road, M3 4FP

Cost: Free

Opening times: 10am – 5pm

The museum has lots of exhibitions taking place all year round, where you can learn more about the UK’s industry and scientific advancements over the years. The Air and Space hall is a permanent exhibition featuring old plane designs and transport and how these have advanced over the years.

The Destination Stations exhibit is there temporarily and dives into how railway stations have changed and expanded over the years. It’s an eye opening experience and great for kids, with games to play and experiments to try out.

3. Belfast

Feed the otters at Exploris Aquarium

When? 28th May

Where? Exploris Aquarium, Portaferry

Cost: £7 for kids, £9.50 adults

Opening times: 10am – 5pm

To celebrate World Otter Day, Exploris is putting on a special event where you can get up close and personal with these cute critters. There will also be talks and demonstrations taking place, as well as otter themed crafts for the kids to enjoy.

4. Edinburgh

Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival

When? 25th – 27th May

Where? The Biscuit Factory, EH6 5NP

Cost: £35 for one session or £120 for the weekend

Opening times: 11.30am – 4.30pm or 6pm – 11pm (depending on ticket)

Sample craft beers from breweries around the world in an industrial setting as this popular beer fest. The ticket you choose is for a particular session – so whether you want a chilled afternoon sampling beers or a wilder evening with live DJs, the choice is yours. Expect delicious street food too, as The Pitt will be there with steak and halloumi, pizzas and seafood on offer.

5. Liverpool

Visit the Museum of the Moon

When? 25th May – 31st May

Where? Liverpool Cathedral

Cost: TBC – standard cathedral entrance prices are £5.50

Opening times: 8am – 6pm

If you’re visiting the city, check out the stunning lunar exhibition inside Liverpool Cathedral.
A giant, 23ft replica of the moon will take up the cathedral ceiling, with NASA imagery of its surface projected onto it. You can get up close and personal to experience this stunning spectacle and take a closer look at the craters and details of the moon. It’s a great activity for kids and adults.

Attend the Bordeaux Wine Festival

When? 25th May – 28th May

Where? Liverpool Pier Head, L3 1BY

Cost: £21.50

Opening times: Dependent on session booked

Setting up in the UK for the first time, the Bordeaux Wine Festival is renowned among wine connoisseurs and a great chance for you to sample the very best of what the wine capital of France has to offer. Your ticket lands you a three-hour session at the festival, where you can learn more about the wines, give them a try and buy a couple of bottles to take home.

6. Brighton

Spend the day on the seafront

When? All year round

Where? Madeira Drive, BN2 1TW

Cost: Free, activities vary in price

Opening times: 10am – 8pm

Stripy deck chairs, the noise of slot machines and twinkle of arcade games as well as sun, sea and sand (well, pebbles) – it’s the perfect day if the weather is warm this bank holiday. Try paddle boarding or kayaking via one of the water sport vendors on the beach and then stop off for an ice cream cone before tucking into fish and chips later.

Plan a trip to the Wild Wood Festival

When? 26th May – 28th May

Where? Pearcelands Wood, Wakehurst, RH17 6TN

Cost: £12.50 adults, kids go free. Additional cost for certain activities

Opening times: 10am – 5pm

Taking place just up the road from Brighton, the Wild Wood Festival is an event designed to capture the imagination of both kids and adults with a huge range of activities in the woods. Live music will be on throughout the day, as well as bird of prey demonstrations and archery shows. You can also listen to trees using special microphones to hear what’s happening under the bark, take part in a fire-lighting workshop and join a wood whittling demonstration to help you and your family truly experience nature for the day.

Ready to embrace that long weekend? Plan a trip to one of these destinations and savour that three day break.