1. Bath - this is a great location for a scenic long weekend that needn't burn a hole in your pocket. There's something here for everyone, from naturally-hot spas and quaint Georgian shopping streets to Roman Baths and Jane Austen's house.
Where to stay: Located close to the city's bustling centre, the Radnor Guest House sleeps two people from just £70 per night, with breakfast included. Meanwhile, the cosy Lindisfarne Guest House offers a semi-rural setting slightly further from town, at £75.90 per night.
What to do: If you've got money left over, it's well worth looking into the experience Bath has to offer. The city's famous Roman baths offer an intimate after-dark experience at the torch-lit summer evening events. If you're feeling creative, you could take a trip to the Bath Aqua Glass Factory for a tour and interactive glass-making demonstration, with the chance to create your own glass-blown souvenir.
Getting there: Your transport need not be expensive – ridesharing as a passenger or driver means you can share the cost of fuel. On BlaBlaCar, you can save an average of 79% on the price of a train ticket, and the price stays the same no matter how late you decide to book. As a passenger, a journey from London to Bath costs just £8.
2. Hunstanton - If you're gunning for some late summer sun, look no further than this seaside gem in Norfolk. Located in the east but facing west, the town is renowned for being one of the only places on the East coast where the sun sets over the sea – perfect for scenic bank holiday snaps.
Where to stay: Peacock House, a stone’s throw from both the main promenade and town centre, has rooms from £75 per night for two people, with buffet breakfast included and a free afternoon tea on arrival. If you’re after an even more affordable room, The Shellbrooke offers sea-view rooms from £55 per night.
What to do: It will cost you nothing to walk the Wolf Trail across the Stripped Cliffs to St Edmund’s Point. There, you will find the ruins of the 13th century chapel where St. Edmund, the first patron saint of England, was martyred. A ten-minute bus trip will take you to Norfolk Lavender to see the beautiful local lavender fields, if you want to extend your adventure.
Getting there: On the train, the journey from London to Hunstanton costs around £37.60, including a final bus transfer from King’s Lynn. If ridesharing, the journey comes in at £8.
3. Cardiff - The coastal Welsh capital is a great bet for budget-conscious travellers this bank holiday weekend, with amazing scenery, fantastic free things to see and do, and a friendly Welsh atmosphere.
Where to stay: The Anchorage Guest House, located just opposite the famous Millennium Stadium and a mere ten-minute walk from Cardiff castle, is a family-run guesthouse, with rooms from just £30 per night and breakfast included.
What to do: Explore the Cardiff Indoor Flea Market, open Friday to Sunday, for good quality vintage treasures. Bute Park, next to Cardiff Castle, is known as the ‘green heart’ of the city, with numerous horticultural and wildlife attractions inside. St.Fagans National History Museum is a free museum chronicling the last 500 years of Welsh history – a must-visit for any history buffs.
Getting there: If you were to drive from Manchester to Cardiff, your petrol would set you back around £35. By ridesharing, you could save £24 by taking on two paying passengers.
4. Bristol - If you're looking for a bank holiday break with slightly more hustle and bustle, Bristol offers up a great mix of culture and nightlife.
Where to stay: With double rooms starting at £67 per night, boutique B&B Brooks Guesthouse is situated right in the heart of Bristol’s old town. If you’re planning a romantic break with a loved one, they’ve got you covered: for just £25 extra, you’ll be greeted with a bottle of Prosecco, a bowl of chocolate-dipped strawberries, and a rose on your pillow.
What to do: Explore Bristol’s graffiti trail, which maps through local legend Banksy’s iconic works through Park Street to Easton, and take a walk across the Clifton suspension bridge - one of the great feats of architecture in England – both are free!
Getting there: A journey from Birmingham to Bristol costs just £6 on BlaBlaCar, so you’d definitely have cash to spare for a drink or two at one of Bristol’s many bars.
5. Edinburgh - Given that this year's Fringe Festival will be in full swing over the bank holiday, Edinburgh is a fantastic choice of destination if you're looking for late nights, a mass of affordable things to see and do, and a buzzing atmosphere.
Where to stay: Edinburgh has no shortage of small and independent guest houses promising a comfy stay at great prices, though it’s worth noting that you might want to do your research as the city will be full of festival-goers. The Ardgarth Guest House is a great alternative to central B&Bs and hostels: located in Edinburgh’s seaside suburb of Portobello, it offers rooms with breakfast included from just £30 per night.
What to do: The Edinburgh Fringe festival plays host to over 30,000 shows and attractions, ranging from student performances to heavy-hitters from the comedy and acting worlds, including Frankie Boyle’s anarchistic ‘Work In Process’. The festival runs until August 31st, and attracts events across the entire town.
Getting there: Getting to Edinburgh can be expensive, particularly at the last minute. Flights from London to Edinburgh are fast booking up for the bank holiday weekend, and currently come in at around £130 return. By ridesharing, the journey from Manchester to Edinburgh costs around £15.
6. Cambridge - Usually full to the brim with the students studying at the city's famous university, a weekend trip to Cambridge before the academic year starts back up will mean you can explore the city's breath-taking buildings and scenery with a bit more space to yourself.
Where to stay: Cambridge benefits from a number of reasonably-priced guest houses close to the quaint city centre. Canterbury House is just a ten-minute walk from the heart of the action, and has double rooms starting at £65 per night with breakfast included. For a cosier but more expensive stay, the Art House, which is run by an ex-Cambridge academic and boasts its own art gallery, is available from £95 per night for a double room, with breakfast included.
What to do: You could easily spend hours exploring central Cambridge’s many cobbled streets and colleges. Before you do so, why not take tea like a true Englishman in the orchards of Grandchester, browse through Market Square, which is bursting with local food stalls, second hand books, and arts and craft, and cap it off with a famous Chelsea Bun at Fitzbillies, a Cambridge institution since 1921. Finish up with a walk along the River Cam, which flows through central Cambridge, for some of the best views of the colleges.
Getting there: A journey from London to Cambridge costs just £4 on BlaBlaCar; as a driver, you can cover your costs completely if you take on three paying passengers.
7. Brighton - Widely considered to be one of the UK's best nights out, Brighton boasts no end of bars, clubs and restaurants, and is an ideal destination if you're itching to spend your long weekend out on the town – just watch out for the seagulls.
Where to stay: The Brighton Inn, in the heart of trendy Kemp Town, offers luxury double suites from £95 per night with breakfast included, while closer to Brighton’s famous seaside and marina is the Whitburn Lodge, which has double rooms from £90 per night.
What to do: Outside of its famous nightlife, Brighton is also home to one of the great Victorian English piers, Brighton Pier, which has various food outlets, fairground attractions and an arcade. Investing in an £11.50 history pass can be a savvy move, too, letting you explore the Royal Pavilion, a mixture of regency grandeur and Indian and Chinese design, along with Preston Manor and Brighton Museum.
Getting there: Rail services that cut through London to get to Brighton are notoriously busy – and pricey- over the Bank Holiday weekend. The cost of ridesharing is based on petrol costs alone, so you won’t be lumped with peak-time prices; journey from Leeds to Brighton, for example costs £18 on BlaBlaCar.
8. Truro, Cornwall - Truro can lay claim to being the most southerly city in mainland Britain, and also to being one of the most pleasant, with its famous cobbled streets, cathedral, and Cornish charm.
Where to stay: Guest house The Donnington has rooms available from £30 per person per night and is a mere ten minutes by foot from the city centre.
What to do: Truro is perhaps best known for the staggering Truro Cathedral, located in the centre of the town; visiting it is free, with a small donation suggested. The Skinner’s Brewery, home of the ‘hoppiest’ beers in Cornwall, offers a tour along with samples of the product. For something a little different, Llama Land has one of the largest ‘clouds’ of llamas in the country, and allows guests to meet llamas and take them for a walk of the area.
Getting there: Travelling from London to Truro costs £19 on BlaBlaCar’s free ridesharing app, meaning a cheap Cornish retreat is just a few taps away.
9. Porthmadog - Lying at the foot of Snowdonia, the charming town of Porthmadog on the Welsh coast has both sea views and stunning mountain scenery to boot, and is a great place to get away from it all for a couple of days – perfect if you're looking to escape the everyday humdrum.
Where to stay: Boasting a beautiful view over the ocean, the Rose Cottage has rooms available from £80 per night based on two people sharing, with breakfast included.
What to do: Explore Black Rock Sands, a vast beach full of rock pools, coves and gorgeous views, or take a trip to nearby Criccieth Castle,is a medieval town that evolved into a popular Victorian seaside resort and still stands today.
Getting there: Making your way to the Welsh coast via public transport is likely to involve a great deal of changes and waiting at train platforms – by ridesharing, you could make the journey in one clean trip, and at a great price: a journey from Yorkshire to Porthmadog costs just £13 on BlaBlaCar.
10. Peak District - Up for an adventure this Bank Holiday? You'll find plenty of opportunities for hiking, cycling and a good old ramble in the Peak District – and the views aren't bad, either.
Where to stay: Given the size and scope of the Peak District, it’s no surprise that a great deal of budget-friendly accommodation options are dotted around: The Roseleigh at Buxton, for example, has lake view double suites starting at £48 per night.
What to do: Explore Poole’s Cavern, a two million year old limestone cavern, beneath the beautiful Buxton country park. Hike through the scenic English countryside on a self-guided walk, which can range from two to 12 miles depending on how brave you’re feeling. Chatsworth, one of the most beautiful estates in Britain, is worth visiting for its extensive garden full of trails and walks, as well as its maze.
Getting there: Making your way to one of the Peak District’s neighbouring cities from London will cost in the region of £80 if you’re taking a train. The same journey costs just £16 if you share a ride.