Record 8.6 million Brits plan holiday at home this August Bank Holiday, bringing £2.1 billion boost to economy

21 August 2019

VisitEngland’s August Bank Holiday Trip-Tracker survey shows that 8.6 million Brits are definitely planning an overnight holiday trip in the UK this Bank Holiday weekend, bringing an estimated £2.1 billion boost to the economy. The figures are the highest since this survey began in its current form in 2012.

The figures show an increase on last year’s results when 7.3 million Brits planned to take an overnight holiday trip during the August Bank Holiday weekend. In 2017 the figure was 6.9 million, and in 2016 it was 5.1 million.

Tourism Minister Rebecca Pow said:

“It's wonderful to see that a record number of Brits are planning a staycation this August bank holiday. The UK is the best place to holiday in the world - whether it be our historic castles, stunning landscapes or world-class museums and galleries there is truly something for everyone.

“Tourism makes a massive contribution to the UK economy and I’m thrilled that so many people will be enjoying and exploring destinations across the nation this weekend.”


VisitEngland Director Patricia Yates said:

“It is great to see that more Brits are planning a holiday at home this long weekend and will be out enjoying the outstanding destinations right on our doorstep, boosting businesses and local economies. From our stunning countryside and coastal towns to our vibrant cities, the UK is packed full of experiences that you can’t get anywhere else.

“We are hearing from many destinations and tourism businesses that they are experiencing a strong summer with late bookings also on the rise this year. The certainty of budgeting for a holiday at home, the ease and convenience and the quality on offer are all contributing to people choosing to take more domestic trips, spreading the benefits of tourism across the UK.”

The survey also showed that a further 7.9 million people are still undecided about whether to take an overnight holiday trip in the UK during the Bank Holiday weekend. Of those undecided, 42% said they are waiting to see what the weather is like.

Record numbers of Brits have been taking holidays at home. From January to April this year Brits took a record 15.4 million domestic holidays in Britain, up 9% on the same period last year.

Short breaks of one to three holiday nights have been one of the major drivers of growth in recent years. Brits are taking 21% more (6.4 million) short- breaks in Britain than they did 10 years ago, when comparing 2018 to 2008.

Tourism is worth £127 billion to the UK economy.

For further bank holiday break ideas visit:

The full VisitEngland trip tracker survey can be found here.


Notes to editors:

About VisitEngland’s August Bank Holiday Trip-Tracker Survey

  • VisitEngland commissions online omnibus surveys periodically in order to collect data on the number of GB consumers who plan to take an overnight trip at key times throughout the year. 
  • In this August edition, the survey was carried out on an online omnibus by Kantar TNS, with a representative sample of  1263 adults aged 16 and over in Great Britain. 
  • The fieldwork for the survey took place between 15th  and 19th  August 2019
  • Trip volumes are based on an adult (16+) population of 51m in GB (Office for National Statistics). 
  • For the full report visit our bank holiday trip tracker page.    


Leeds West Indian Carnival

26 August

Expect jaw-dropping costumes, infectious tropical rhythms, mouth-watering food and entertainment for everyone at Europe’s longest-running authentic Caribbean carnival parade. Held annually on the last Monday in August, this stunning display of colour joyfully winds its way through the streets of Leeds.


Freedom Festival, Hull
28 August - 1 September

Hull’s flagship cultural event, Freedom Festival, celebrates one of the city’s most famous sons, anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce, and 2019 marks the 12th anniversary of the Festival - as well as the 260th anniversary of Wilberforce’s birth. Now a firm fixture in the national and international cultural calendar, this year’s Freedom Festival has been extended beyond the usual weekend to embrace “five days of wonder”. Hull will come alive with events and shows for the whole family, weaving together street theatre, dance and acrobatics alongside community events, debates and exhibitions.


Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival Colne, Lancashire 
23 – 25 August
Head to Colne for the award-winning Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival. Every August this Lancashire Mill town immerses itself in the Blues, for a three day internationally renowned festival that takes place across 22 stages in Colne, attracting over 170 performers and welcomes visitors from all over the UK, Europe and the USA.  Prices from: Free to £99 Where to stay nearby:Fence Gate Inn

The Great British Food Festival at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire 
24 - 26 August
Stonyhurst College, a Grade I listed building set in the beautiful Forest of Bowland AONB will be the spectacular venue for The Great British Food Festival this August Bank Holiday. Packed with local producers, tasty street food, NEW BBQ stage, chef demonstrations and live music it is the perfect backdrop for a weekend of foodie fun. Prices From: £5.00 Where to stay nearby:The Shireburn Arms Hotel


England’s Medieval Festival, East Sussex

24 – 26 August

Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex is the fairy-tale setting for a totally different festival experience. Expect realistic battles, jousting competitions, archery, music, grand parades, storytelling, authentic crafts, medieval banquets and hog roasts, drinking, shopping and general day-in-the-life ephemera of our medieval ancestors. Highlights include an evening torch-lit procession and the infamous Mud Theatre. Wizards, jesters, knights, dragons and princesses await the kids – and adults. Guests can come for the day or enjoy medieval glamping, camping, or even a real bed in the onsite B&B.



Notting Hill Carnival, London

25 – 26 August

London’s famous free Caribbean festival and the largest street party in Europe is packed with great music, outrageous floats and fabulous costumes. Hear everything from traditional steel bands, Soca and Calypso to the latest dub, drum ‘n’ bass, R&B and reggae blasting out from pumping sound systems and moving floats. Live stages also feature local bands, top international artists and sounds from around the world, and there are hundreds of Caribbean food stalls.  


Alice in WonderlandOutdoor Theatre, Hatchlands Park
26 Aug, 6pm – 8.30pm

After a hot summer’s day there’s no better way to relax than open air theatre at Hatchlands Park, in the welcome cool of the evening air. It’s also a great way to introduce children to theatre, in a relaxed open setting, or take teens to see a play they are studying at school. Whichever play you choose, you’re sure to be transported into the story.

Price: Adult £16, child £8, family (2 adults, 2 children) £40, except for Alice in Wonderland: Adult £12, child £8, family (2 adults, 2 children) £32. Booking essential.


Cliveden, Buckinghamshire Outdoor theatre month – showing Private Lives

30 Aug, 7 – 8.30pm

This summer offers five opportunities to see outdoor theatre in the beautiful setting of the atmospheric Water Garden at Cliveden. From Shakespeare and Noel Coward to David Walliams, there’s a performance for every taste and age. Bring a picnic and a chair to make the most of the evening.

Price: Adult £17, Child £10.50. Booking essential.

Marathon du Malton, BRITAINS TASTIEST 10K’

25th August 
‘Marathon Du Malton’ Inspired by the Marathon Du Medoc in France's wine region, this gourmet food and wineathlon goes through an area of Yorkshire famous for its award-winning local produce and beautiful countryside. Starting and finishing in Malton's pretty market place, there will be plenty of food and drink stops around the beautiful 10k course.Runners are encouraged to take their time, pace themselves and enjoy the party atmosphere, fancy dress and gourmet food stops.


Summer Spirals at Beckford’s Tower

24th Jul–31st Aug
Climb up the 154 steps of the spiral staircase to admire the view from the top of Beckford’s Tower. Discover why it’s pink and called cantilevered, then make your own decorative spiral to display at home.


And some more general information about what’s on across England:


Bonnets and Bicorns at N0.1 Royal Crescent, Bath

Until 30 August

Little ones can make their own Georgian bicorn or bonnet to take home.


Heritage Tram Tours GOLD Weekend, Blackpool

23 – 26 August

Jump on board a Heritage Tram and enjoy a ride like no other as you cruise along Blackpool’s famous coastline on a piece of moving history. Blackpool is the only place in the UK that you can still ride on a Heritage Tram on the line for which it was originally built – making this truly a unique.


Science and Slime Workshop at The Grand Pier, Bristol

26 August

Join the scientists on The Grand Pier for an amazing science show packed full of awesome experiments, including fizzing potions, bubbling concoctions, giant smoke rings and weird and wacky science tricks.



The Faddle Fair, Gloucestershire

25 August

The Summer Faddle Fair will be taking over a street in Coleford on Sunday 25 August to host an eclectic mix of creative crafters, artists, organic & fair-trade retailers, local food & drink producers as well as live music all day long. Hot Pot Pottery will be showcasing impressive smoke-fired designs as well as easy to make products from their taster sessions.


Journey through History at Hever Castle, Kent

24- 26 August

Journey through History takes visitors from the age of the Romans, Tudors and Stuarts through to the Georgian and Edwardian times when William Waldorf Astor used this fortune to restore and extend the castle and right up to World War II. In the grounds experience medieval life with demonstrations of armour, medicine, cooking and weaving. There will also be the opportunity to watch archery displays and men at arms skirmishes.


Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, Lancashire

23 – 25 August

Head to Colne for the award-winning Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival. Every August this Lancashire Mill town immerses itself in the Blues, for a three day internationally renowned festival that takes place across 22 stages in Colne, attracting over 170 performers and welcomes visitors from all over the UK, Europe and the USA.


Ormskirk MotorFest, Lancashire

25 August

One of the North West’s premier free family events.  The Ormskirk MotorFest returns to the streets on 25 August with over 10,000 motor enthusiasts expected to enjoy this motoring extravaganza, bringing together over 300 cars and motorbikes for a day of high-octane fun.


Big Machines Weekend, Lancashire

25 – 26 August

BIG MACHINES is exactly what it sounds like. Head to Thornton Hall Country Park for the Bank Holiday weekend where the farm will be home to tractors, diggers and dozers. There will be demonstrations to enjoy, sit-on experiences and displays from the BIG MACHINES. Plus all the usual fun to be had on the farm.


Bubble & Bounce, Lancashire

8 – 26 August

A field full of fun with over 20 giant inflatables where the kids can bounce, squeeze, crawl and slide their way through every shape and size of inflatable imaginable. There is plenty to do and a range of activities to keep the little ones and the big ones entertained.


Manchester Pride Festival, Manchester

23 – 26 August

The Manchester Pride Big Weekend incorporates The Big Weekend at Manchester's world famous Gay Village, The Manchester Pride Parade on the streets of the City Centre and The Candlelit Vigil in Sackville Park.


Meet the Mermaids, Manchester

24 August

Come down and meet the Magical SEA LIFE mermaids!


Maui Waui, Suffolk

23 – 25 August

Maui Waui is a three-day international festival of music, performance and arts, with a strong focus on family-friendly activities which this year include Maui's Got Talent - an onstage talent show that festival goers are encouraged to enter in advance. Musical headliners include Henge and Lee Scratch Perry.