The next bank holiday is on Monday 25th August, and if you're anything like me you'll be looking for fun ways to spend your extended weekend. But, when you're looking to enjoy a quick trip away for the bank holiday, you don't want to have to travel too far. Fortunately, with a quick 35-minute journey with Eurotunnel le Shuttle, you can be across the tunnel and making your way over to your dream getaway in no time whatsoever. So, pack up your car and make the journey to one of these top destinations.
Ghent is a beautiful Belgian city, bursting with fantastic medieval architecture and rich with culture and history. Be sure to make a visit to the city's historical centre before anything else; its car-free streets, magnificent buildings and local boutiques make for a great way to spend your first day of the bank holiday.
If you're a fan of art, after your exploration of the city's centre, be sure to pay the Museum of Fine Arts a visit. Chock-a-block with amazing examples of art, ranging all the way from the Middle Ages, to the 20th century. There's also a variety of styles on display; so, whether you prefer the odd bit of romanticism, or have more of an interest in surrealism and expressionism, you're bound to find an area of art you love.
On your way for a bite to eat, make a detour along the Werregarenstraat - a popular street where the walls are covered in colourful graffiti art. Make sure you bring your camera along, to capture the latest vibrant designs. After that, take a stroll to the Koffies du Draak café to enjoy a traditionally roasted drink and cake.
Located in the north of France, and just an hour and 30-minutes from the Calais terminal, Amiens is a city of beautiful gardens and even prettier architecture. For a day out in the sun, make the journey to Parc Saint-Pierre, a stunningly modern park that was designed by the landscape architect, Jaqueline Osty. Enjoy a picnic on the lush green lawns, or slowly meander around the lake and between the park's towering trees.
After completely unwinding at Parc Saint-Pierre, make your way over to the city's centre where you'll get the chance to explore the enchanting La Cathédrale en Couleurs. The cathedral is a UNESCO world heritage site, and with its giant scarlet doors and intricate carving, it's no surprise as to why. To truly enjoy the cathedral at its best, visit during the evening when bright beams light up the colourful sculptures of saints and apostles.
Feeling peckish? Pop over to the French restaurant of Les Deux Mondes, where you can gorge on lobster bisque, perfectly cooked steak, and toasted baguettes with grilled goats cheese - divine.
Bern is the capital city of Switzerland, and as such has so many amazing things to see and do, making it tricky to fit it all into one bank holiday weekend. If you're with your kids, why not take the whole family to the Bear Park; a vast piece of land where a collection of captive bears can explore and play, as well as hunt for fresh fish from the park's lake. It's a great opportunity for you and your kids to get up close and personal with these captivating creatures in a natural environment.
For somewhere a little more relaxed, explore the city's Rose Garden. An amazing 220 different types of rose can be found here, as well as the newly introduced beds of azaleas, rhododendrons and irises. The garden has been public since 1913, and is the perfect place to relax with a picnic or kick around a ball with the kids.
If you're interested in trying out some traditional Swiss cuisine, then stop by the rustic Klötzlikeller for a delicious, home-cooked lunch.
Looking forward to a well-deserved break?
If you're in need of a decent bank holiday break, then book your 35-minute journey to Calais with
Eurotunnel Le Shuttle
Ghent © Ed Webster
Amiens © Ines Saralva
Bern © Martin Abegglen