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This year, there are two May bank holidays. One falls on May 7th, 2018, the other on May 28th, 2018. In England, bank holidays are usually our excuse to get up later, have a day off work, and generally spend the day walking around in small festivals celebrating May Day, days out don’t need you to take out a loan and spend loads. May Day, May 7th, to be exact, is a day that celebrates the arrival of summer. Traditionally, it’s closely associated with Morris dancing, bright colours, flower garlands, and the Green Man.

If you don’t want to join in the festivities, think of the May bank holiday as a long weekend that you can spend with your family or friends. Go on a road trip, go camping, have the first BBQ of the summer. Your kids will appreciate an excuse to have ice cream and not wear a coat for the first time in months, and parents can enjoy what is said to be a coming heatwave in the garden with a cool, refreshing drink. 

If you’re more of a night owl, consider a movie night with some friends. You’re never too old for blank fort building, and there’s a whole stack of amazing movies that have been released this year for you to get on demand or buy off the shelf at your local supermarket. Of course, if you’re more of a “going out” person, then hit up the clubs for a 3-day extravaganza.

If you want to get out of your hometown for a little while, a Spring Festival might be exactly what you’re looking for. The Bavarian Beer house in London is hosting a mini Oktoberfest, so you don’t need to wait a few more months to get your fill of German food and beer in traditional steins.

When it comes to events, the big cities of England are where you’ll want to be this May bank holiday. Think London, Manchester, Liverpool, and Birmingham. Catch that Cross-country train to your favourite location and check out the flurry of events that will be hitting each city over those 3 days. London, in particular, has amazing May bank holiday events. Rooftop bars are making another comeback as a summer favourite, starting in May; look up Supa Dupa Fly’s Rooftop Sessions in Brixton, London.

For lovers of all things crafty, remember to check in at some of the best open markets coming to major cities across the UK for the bank holiday. Vendors love selling during bank holidays in summer because it’s the perfect time to pick up little gifts for friends and family that you can’t buy anywhere else.

Other than that, maybe it’s time to try something new. Get the gang together, ask another couple on a double date, and head out to a fun city. There are loads of restaurants that don’t mind walk-ins, so try eating somewhere you never have before. Try that café that you always walk past while shopping but never go in, or even head to a local Chinatown for a taste of culture.

Steve Campbell

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