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Your Ultimate Bank Holiday Event Guide

Bank Holiday events
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The first of the two bank holiday weekends in May is now not far away at all. We can hear you all cheering from here!

We know you’ll be looking for things to do – perhaps to keep the kids entertained, to try something new or to visit somewhere you hadn’t thought of before. Well, it just so happens that you’re in luck! We’ve rounded up the best events and things to do that are taking place across the country this weekend. Now there’s no excuse not to get out and about to make the most of that extra day off!

We’ve organised our favourite events by region, so scroll down to find a fun, family-friendly event near you.

South East

Canalway Cavalcade
When: 29th April to 2nd May 2016
Where: Little Venice, London
Cost: Free

Bank Holiday events

Brighten up your bank holiday by visiting the waterways of Little Venice. There you’ll find around 130 traditional narrow boats moored together to celebrate the annual water festival. You can expect fun galore including morris dancing, real ale tents, trade stalls, live music, children’s activities and yummy street food.

Photography Tip: The sheer volume of narrow boats will be one awe-inspiring sight! Get your phones and cameras set up beforehand so you can get some fantastic shots of the colourful canal and easily edit and upload to tag that you were there at the event. 

Kentish Town City Farm May Day Festival
When: 1st May 2016, 1-4pm
Where: Kentish Town, London
Cost: Adults £1, Kids 40p

Bank Holiday events

What ‘moooooo’re can you ask for on a bank holiday weekend with the whole family! There will be tonnes of fun for everyone to get involved in, including pony rides, face painting, dancing, a BBQ, live music, craft making, children’s games and plenty of animals to meet too!

Photography Tip: You will be able to capture some great shots of the kids playing, dancing or stroking the animals. Trial out some new compositions, looking to experiment with different angles and zooms. Don’t forget to treasure those special memories and pop your photos into a photo book so you can relive them for years to come. 

Feel The Force at Legoland Windsor Resort
When: 30th April to 2nd May 2016
Where: Windsor
Cost: Adults £50.40, Kids £46.20

Bank Holiday events

In a galaxy not so far away, you can immerse yourself in Star Wars themed activities including viewing some of the most famous scenes in Lego format, watching a special animated Lego Star Wars series and appreciating the level of detail in the Lego models, complete with sound and lighting effects. What’s more, come to the event in fancy dress as your favourite Star Wars character to be entered into the daily competition.

Photography Tip: Don’t forget your cameras to capture the kids in their fancy dress. This is going to be a great one to embarrass them when they are 18 or 21!

Jack in the Green Festival
When: 29th April to 2nd May 2016
Where: Hastings
Cost: Free (Except for particular events)

Bank Holiday events

Want to celebrate the May Day in true British style? This festival in the gorgeous seaside resort of Hastings could be just what you’re looking for, and is perfect for everyone in the family. This festival has grown in popularity every year, with thousands now flocking here to enjoy the variety of live music, wild costume parades, dancing, May Queen celebrations and plenty of food and refreshments. You really can’t go wrong here!

Photography Tip: The challenge is on… can you capture a great photo of the parade? Over to you! Tweet us @cewephotoworld if you manage a great shot.

South West

The Lyme Regis Fossil Festival
When: 29th April to 1st May 2016
Where: Lyme Regis, Dorset
Cost: Free (Small charge for talks)

Bank Holiday events

Fancy something a little more educational for the kids over the bank holiday weekend? Combine fun with learning at the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival, which aims to enthuse youngsters about all things science. You can enjoy walks, talks, theatre, music, comedy, exhibits and lots of hands-on science for all ages.

Photography Tip: With so many intricate fossils, this is going to be a great event to trial out your macro photography skills and the best thing is, it’s super easy to capture this style of photography too. 

Sherborne Crafts and Garden Fair
When: 30th April to 2nd May 2016
Where: Sherborne Castle, Sherborne
Cost: £6 (Admission to the castle is separate)

Bank Holiday events

Be tempted by a range of handmade traditional and contemporary crafts, where you can see and meet the craftsmen in action alongside a huge selection of beautiful plants, garden furniture and ornaments. No crafts or garden lover will go home empty handed! Hosted on the beautiful sweeping lawns surrounding the stunning Sherborne Castle, it truly is a fantastic setting for a fun-filled family day out, with plenty of refreshments and children’s entertainment on hand. After a spot of shopping, take a stroll around the gardens (perhaps you can capture some gorgeous photos of the castle grounds) or pick the perfect place for a picnic.

Photography Tip: When taking photos of the castle, try getting lower to the ground when close up to capture its real grandeur, height and scale. 

English National Surfing Championships
When: 30th April to 2nd May 2016
Where: Newquay, Cornwall
Cost: Free

Bank Holiday events

‘Seas’ the day and get outdoors this weekend at the English National Surfing Championships, the UK’s longest-running surfing competition. You’ll see the next generation of young surfers battling it out to knock established competitors off the top spots! After a blast of high winds on the coast, you’re sure to gain a healthy appetite. Stroll over to some of the nearby restaurants and pubs for a mouth-watering feast. What a way to spend the long bank holiday weekend!

Photography Tip: Don’t forget to use ‘burst mode’ on your phone to capture the surfers in action. 

St Ives May Day
When: 2nd May 2016
Where: St Ives, Cornwall
Cost: Free

Bank Holiday events

St Ives has truly revived the traditional May Day weekend, with a festival that offers fun and excitement for the whole family. It all kicks off at midday where the May Queen and Kings are crowned and the horn blowers herald the start of spring. At 1pm you’ll find a parade through the town, ending at the harbour where you can watch the maypole dancers and enjoy Cornish dancing, local music, choirs and best of all, homemade pies! Throughout the day, you can also explore the lively harbour market selling some of the best local produce from the region.

Photography Tip: There will be a lot going on at this event, so to capture some great photos, you’re going to have to think a bit more out of the box. Consider the composition and zoom you use. 

Midlands & East

Warwick Racecourse Family Fun Day
When: 2nd May 2016
Where: Warwick
Cost: Advanced tickets from £10

Bank Holiday events

Saddle up and get ready for the best bank holiday weekend at Warwick’s family fun day at the racecourse. Trust us, this is going to be one not to miss, with plenty of entertainment for both the adults and the kids! From watching the racing, face painting, falconry displays, ferret racing, inflatable adventure courses to design competitions of the Warwick race card cover, there is most definitely something for everyone here! We recommend booking early for the best deal.

Photography Tip: Can you capture some great photos of the horses racing? Here are some tactics to help you get the perfect shot. It all starts with mastering burst mode and reducing the amount of zoom you use. 

Mildred’s Maypole Mayhem
When: 30th April to 2nd May 2016
Where: Norfolk
Cost: £15.50

Bank Holiday events

This is a brand new event at BeWILDerwood’s Curious Treehouse Adventure park. You’ll have to be ready to be at one with nature as you’ll be following clues and climbing through the treetops! Get ready to hear the birds singing, see fantastic spring flowers blooming and if you dare, you might get some fantastic photos from being so high up. An adventurous day out that is sure to create some special memories you’ll remember for years to come!

Photography Tip: When in the treetops, try taking a panoramic shot to capture the amazing 360 degree views you’ll be able to see from up there. 

A Day at the Lake
When: 30th April to 2nd May 2016
Where: Staffordshire
Cost: Adult £14, Child £7

Bank Holiday events

This event is on for May bank holiday weekend only and it’s one not to miss! ‘A Day at the Lake’ is an ambitious, large-scale outdoor experience aimed to reimagine Rudyard Lake in Staffordshire as it was in the late 1800s as an excursion destination for thousands of day trippers. With a series of spectaculars on the lake, you’re going to have the opportunity to watch some spellbinding outdoor arts and performances, such as the daring tightrope walk.

Photography Tip: Don’t forget your telephoto lens to capture the daring tightrope walkers up above! 

May Day Plant Hunter’s Fair
When: 1st – 2nd May 2016
Where: Weston Park, Shropshire
Cost: £3

Bank Holiday events

Why not visit the award winning stately home of Weston Park over the bank holiday weekend. The plant hunter’s fair will be held on The Dairy Green, close to the Stables coffee bar and main house. After you’ve browsed the huge selection of plants on offer, the kids can explore the great adventure playground or play on the selection of outdoor games in the courtyard. To end the day, go and treat yourself to afternoon tea at the cafe, with the perfect selection of coffee, cakes, snacks and light bites, before taking a stroll round the 1000 acres of land surrounding Weston Park house to see the gorgeous spring bulbs come to life.

Photography Tip: Get extra close to the plants to capture the intricate details of each different flower, and don’t forget to put your macro photography skills to good use. 

North West

Day Out with Thomas The Tank Engine
When: 30th April – 2nd May 2016
Where: East Lancashire Railway, Bury
Cost: Adult £18, Child £10

Bank Holiday events

Choo choo! Are you ready to bring your childhood memories back to life this bank holiday weekend? Arrive at East Lancashire Railway to be greeted by the Fat Controller, Thomas and his friends. Alongside riding on the trains, there will also be a host of magic shows, circus workshops, Punch and Judy shows and face painting to keep the whole family entertained on a brilliant day out.

Photography Tip: Your kids’ faces will be the ones to watch on this day out. Snap them when they are busy having fun to get informal, natural photos and avoid any camera shyness. Have your camera or phone out all the time and be ready, especially the first moment they see Thomas!

Lancaster Food & Drink Festival
When: 30th April – 2nd May 2016
Where: Lancaster
Cost: Free

Bank Holiday events

Lancaster’s food and drink festival is back for its fifth year running. It truly is a foodie’s heaven that now attracts thousands of visitors. With over 50 stalls, the products on offer are vast, with a range of street food, baked goods, meats, breads, cheeses and wines to name just a few. The event provides you with a great opportunity to spend the bank holiday browsing the stalls, tasting, sampling and chatting to the exhibitors about their food and drink passions.

Photography Tip: Photos of the stalls often don’t look great. Chat with the producers and ask if you can take some close up photos. If you’ve got a camera, try switching to macro mode to get some really awesome shots. 

Wild in the Woods!
When: 2nd May 2016, 11-4pm
Where: Norton Priory, Lancaster
Cost: Adult £3.50, Child £2.70

Bank Holiday events

This is a great option for all the family to get involved in, within a safe outdoor environment at Norton Priory. Wild in the Woods allows the kids to really get mucky and stuck into nature through getting hands on with campfires, den building and camouflage crafts. Throughout Monday 2nd May, there will be drop-in activities happening all day, which will cover a fun mix of traditional bushcraft skills for all family members.

Photography Tip: Allow your kids to embrace nature in all its glory and get mucky. They’ll have huge smiles on their faces and it will be a great opportunity for you to capture some photos that are a little bit different to the usual pristine ones! 

Steam Transport Weekend
When: 1st – 2nd May 2016
Where: Lion Salt Works, Northwich
Cost: Free (£1.50 donations recommended)

Bank Holiday events

Take a blast into the past at the Lion Salt Works steam transport weekend and explore a collection of gorgeously old steam engines. Take a walk down memory lane and see how we used steam power to start to build the modern world. A fantastic, educational day out for all the family.

Photography Tip: As this is likely to be an indoor event, you’re going to struggle with natural light. You may need to ensure you have a flash at the ready or download editing apps so you can brighten the photo afterwards.  

North East

May Day Doodles
When: 30th April – 1st May 2016
Where: Palace Green Library, Durham 1-3pm
Cost: Adults £7.50, Children £6.50

20 Image CEWE Photoworld May Day Bank Holiday Weekend Events Guide

Head to Durham for the long bank holiday weekend to visit the award-winning attractions such as Beamish Museum or visit the great awe-inspiring Durham cathedral and castle World Heritage Site. If you love the great outdoors, escape to the peace and tranquillity of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, home to the high force waterfall which is a magnificent sight and the perfect photo opportunity. After lunch, take the kids to the Palace Green Library between 1 and 3pm, where they can get involved in making their own May Day flower garland.

Photography Tip: Durham is filled to the brim with photo opportunities. A picture of the high force waterfall is a must have for any photographer. To capture the fast movements, use burst mode and keep your camera really still. 

Ted and his Merry Owls
When: 2nd May 2016
Where: Walworth Castle, Darlington
Cost: Adults £6.50, Children £4.50

Bank Holiday events

Fancy doing something a little different this May Day? Head over to Walworth Castle where you’ll see Ted the huge Turkmenian Eagle owl and his friends take flight at 11:30am. After that there are plenty of other activities to keep you entertained such as archery, nature trails, quizzes and other activities in Ozzy’s workshop.

Photography Tip: Photography of animals takes time and patience. Be still, calm, camera at the ready and you’re bound to get a good photo. Remember, avoid the flash and go with natural light to avoid alerting the animals. 

Sponsored Onesie Walk
When: 2nd May 2016 11-3pm
Where: Hardwick Park Visitor Centre, Sedgefield
Cost: Minimum sponsorship of £50 per family

Bank Holiday events

Dress the kids (and yourself) in your onesies and join this one mile sponsored walk around the beautiful Hardwick Park to raise funds for Heel & Toe Children’s Charity. After the walk, there will be a range of activities to get involved in such as the birds of prey display, face painting, a drumming group, the motorcycle and trike display and many games for all the family. All ages can take part and dogs are welcome too if kept on a lead!

Photography Tip: Give your child the camera and see what sorts of photos you come back with. You might be surprised by the creative shots they capture as they walk around the park.

Very Best of British Fayre
When: 30th April – 2nd May 2016
Where: Wynyard Hall, Tees Valley
Cost: Adults £6, Children £4

Bank Holiday events

Enjoy a weekend filled with all the best bits of classic British heritage! It will be a fantastic day out for all with children’s face painting and fairground rides, not to mention the huge array of food, drink and crafts that will be available to browse and purchase.

Photography Tip: With so much going on, we say capture as much as possible. After the event, get a collage app, which will allow you to display your lovely photos in a creative way. 

Whatever you end up getting up to, we hope you have a fantastic bank holiday May day weekend 🙂

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