Notting Hill Carnival and more: three great August bank holiday activities

Don’t let the long weekend pass you by. Visit London’s biggest Caribbean festival or one of these top events in Wales and Hampshire. Beat the traffic by taking a train, and you can sit back, relax and enjoy an onboard refreshment while you scoot from A to B.

Notting Hill Carnival

Europe’s biggest street party, Notting Hill Carnival, returns for another bank holiday extravaganza. The annual London event has been a mainstay since 1966, and it’s a beautifully-bright, colourful and vivid Caribbean festival that’s a must-see spectacle. Better still, it’s free to attend.

Notting Hill Carnival will begin at 6am, Sunday 25 August and will run through to 10pm, Monday 26 August. The main attraction will be the parade, full of dancers and street performers. Make sure you grab some great Caribbean food along the way.

The best way to travel there is by London public transport but note that many of the tube stations nearest the festival will be closed. Your best bet is to travel to areas on its outskirts, such as High Street Kensington, Holland Park, Queen’s Park and Shepherd’s Bush, and walk to the carnival from there. Paddington will be open as usual.

Take a GWR train to London Paddington station

Pride Cymru

Pride Cymru’s organisers look set to top last year’s event, which attracted 15,000 participants, and with a parade stretching over a mile and a half through the streets of Cardiff.

Scottish band Texas will perform on the main stage on Saturday 24 August, the second day of this fun-filled festival. There will also be appearances from Gok Wan, The Valli Boys – a tribute act which celebrates Frankie Valli – and Lady Gaga tribute artist, Donna Marie.

Take a GWR train to Cardiff Central station

Summer Garden Party

Motion, Bristol
Grab yourself a ticket for this fun, one-day event on 25 August at legendary nightclub Motion. Revellers can take the party outdoors, with a newly developed space overlooking the River Avon.

Alex Virgo and Elliot Adamson will play a special B2B set, performing side-by-side in the DJ booth, giving you more beats for your buck. This will be followed by local favourite Maxxi Soundsystem, playing his characteristic mix of house and disco.

Take a GWR train to Bristol Temple Meads station

Torbay Regatta

Head to Torbay for three days of spectacular boat racing, right in the heart of the celebrated English Riviera. Watch everything from junior dinghies to full-on yacht racing in some of the finest sailing waters in the world.

Renowned for its hospitality, the regatta is a great place for families, with some top shoreside entertainment. And of course, there’s always the beach, for when you need to cool off.

Take a GWR train to Torquay station