Bank holiday on May 31st

Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 05:18 AM
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Bank holiday on May 31st

Hi,
I am wondering how this holiday will effect our travel plans as I will be in the UK during this long weekend. My friend is in London and I know she is off - I am assuming that this is a national holiday? Does that mean that tourist attractions will be open or closed? Will train schedules differ? Will accommodations outside London be jammed?

Thanks in advance,
Lilly
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 05:38 AM
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Is it also a bank holiday in Ireland on May 31st? I fly back to the States that day -- should I anticipate any problems?
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 05:42 AM
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If you're from the US, you'll find that "Bank Holidays" are much like our federal holidays - no mail, the banks and government offices are closed. The tourist attractions are all open for business, however, and are crowded (because, after all, it is a holiday, is it not?).

I've never had any problem with being in the UK on a Bank Holiday, except once pre-ATM machines (am I dating myself?) when we forgot to cash traveler's checques on Friday/Saturday. Fortunately, there were four of us traveling together and we had enough GBP to get by for the long weekend.

Gayle
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 06:29 AM
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Ireland's Late Spring Bank Holiday is the first Monday in June: in Britain it's the last Monday in May.

British railway schedules are obviously adjusted, since demand changes hugely. They're typically the services that would be provided on a Saturday: the web sites give details, which inevitably vary by route.

However, holiday weekends have the lowest traffic these days, and offer operators a window to do extensive engineering work which can cause havoc or outright cancellations. So far only Virgin, on its main London-NW England line, have announced serious disruption for that weekend.

It's now unlikely anyone else will announce anything as serious, but it's always wise to check close to the time (www.nationalrail.co.uk is good for this), as smaller projects can sometimes mess up someone's plans and aren't always announced months ahead..
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 06:37 AM
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Come to Scotland for the day

It's an English holiday, not a Scottish one. The only things closed here will be the banks
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 07:21 AM
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This holiday is the kick start to the summer in England, so you should certainly book accomodations now if you haven't already done so.

There "may" be disruptions to the rail network as the rail operators, in their wisdom, choose bank holidays as a good time to do maintenance work.

Tourist attractons and shops will be open as normal and will be busy.

If the weather is good, choose this as a good time to do indoors events (British Museum etc) as all the Brits will have found a seat in the sun outside a pub somewhere. We wouldn't DREAM of being indoors on a sunny day.

On the plus side, most Londoners will escape London so it'll probably be quiter than you imagine. Outside London will be a different story. London is great in the early summer, with everyone taking full advantage of good weather and it can feel like quite a party atmosphere. Make sure you take time to people watch in Hyde Park.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 08:18 AM
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That week is normally the school half-term holiday, so families with children may go away, and attractions that appeal to children will be very busy. After that week, children are back at school till mid-July.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 11:16 AM
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That is a great weekend to be in London since so many locals go away. But it is a terrible time to be on the road in any major tourist area such as Cornwall, The Lake District, the Cotswolds. Traffic jams and crowds can be REALLY horrendous.

So if you are in London - enjoy it to the hilt -- if you're out in one of the scenic tourist areas have plans well set.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 05:19 PM
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Thank you Sheila for the tip regarding there not being a bank holiday in Scotland on May 31st.
My partner and I arrive in Northumberland on May 27th visiting Hadian's Castle, and driving up the coast visiting Bamburgh Castle, Holy Island, etc. and arrive in Scotland May 30th.
We plan on just travelling around The Borders, and visiting various sites before heading down again into Yorkshire
We were worried that some of these sites may not be open because of this holiday, but we were relieved to be advised that it is not a holiday in Scotland.
Thanks again.

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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 05:08 AM
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Hi
I notice that some of the places you plan to visit are National Trust properties (Hadrian's Wall, Lindisfarne etc). Their website is very good - just click on the area you are visiting and it brings up a list of the properties in that area. You can look at individual ones to see the opening times. Website is www.nationaltrust.org.uk
The bank holiday weekend will see places busier than normal, especially if the weather is good (she laughs) but it will still be quieter than during July/August.
Be wary of the tides when you go to Holy Island as the sea covers the causeway at certain times during each day and leaves you 'trapped' on the island. You will find the tidal details posted before you cross the causeway so you can check. If you have a busy schedule and only plan to do a quick visit you will need to plan accordingly!
M
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 09:25 AM
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Just to be clear, holidays in Scotland with the exception of Christmas and New Year are local holidays. So there may be some places where, locally, this is a holiday. But not many.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2004, 10:41 AM
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sheila, It is a bank holiday in both England and Wales, and not just England.

Just thought l'd correct you on this mistake.
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