The four day Easter break is the biggest bank holiday weekend of the year for most office workers. An estimated 27 million cars in the UK alone are set to jam our motorways, and airports will be bursting at the seams as millions of travellers make the most of their Easter bank holiday allowance.
Why is it a bank holiday?
In the UK there are eight official bank holiday days a year, of which Easter and Christmas allow consecutive days off work for the majority of the population. In the late 19th century the term bank holiday was adopted in an era when bank employees didn’t get any time off due to pressures of their occupation. The tradition of giving them a break has stuck and although now redundant thanks to our relaxed trading laws and the impact of computing, many bank branches remain closed on bank holidays. Thankfully the wheels of the banking industry now turn effectively behind the scenes without a labour force and disruption to our lives by any closures are minimised by 24hr online banking and instant access to cash.
Where do we go?
For many of us, a bank holiday weekend is an excellent excuse to leave our everyday routines behind and experience the pleasures leisure time can bring in our overstressed existence.
According to Airbnb, the UK’s favourite destinations this year for the bank holiday weekend are a mixture of coastal, lakeside and mountain destinations. The southern coastal towns have long been a favourite with stressed office workers and this year Scarborough, Weymouth, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Lyme Regis and Inverness are top of the list for a weekend away. Water is a common theme, and the ever famous Lake District is once again in the top ten most searched on holiday destination. Barrow in Furness is amongst this years list as is Fort William which nestles on the shores of Loch Linnhe. Most surprising of all is Blaenau-Ffestiniog in north Wales. Recently transformed as an activity lead destination this quaint little town entertains all ages with the Porthmadog steam railway, slate mines, underground caverns, the world’s most giant subterranean trampoline and death-defying zip line.
Home or abroad?
Easter Monday is a non-working day throughout Europe except Portugal, which celebrates instead on Good Friday. Luckily for holidaymakers, it is business as usual in all but a few countries in Europe on Good Friday.
This Easter, the postponement of Brexit, has brought about a steady rise in the euro exchange rate and travel to Europe is once again an attractive prospect. The abundance of low priced breaks on offer from as little as two hundred pounds for a 3 night european city break over the bank holiday break is a temptation hard to ignore.
Unusually for the UK, the forecast looks fantastic. With warmer air set to flood across from the Mediterranean, a staycation is an alternative to tackling the airport queues over the bank holiday. Not quite set to reach the glorious temperatures of last year, a welcome high of 24-25C is forecast for the bank holiday week, which will bring a needed boost to the UK economy.