Thanks to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s plans to get married in April, us workers have been given an extra bank holiday to celebrate. It means we’re rewarded with two consecutive four-day weekends – so by booking just three days off in between, we get an 11-day holiday. Wunderbar!
To help you make the most of it, check out our inspirational travel ideas, which will be so much more fun than watching the royal wedding on the box.
Celebrate all things British with a road-trip around the UK. Campervan company Wicked Campers (wickedcampers.co.uk) has put together a 12-day Royal Road-Trip itinerary, visiting key landmarks.
Explore Windsor Castle, the Queen’s weekend pad, and Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, the seaside palace where Queen Victoria lived. Then head west to the Cornish coast and up to the Royal Forest of Dean, also known as the Queen of Forests, with a 20-mile Royal Route around the National Park where you can goggle at caves and lakes, and make like a royal by trying clay pigeon shooting.
Watch the royal wedding in a charming country pub before travelling north to the royal family’s Scottish holiday home, Balmoral Castle, and, of course, a visit to St Andrews University where it all began for the two love-birds.
Prices start from £173pp, based on five sharing a multi-seater van. It includes pick-up on April 21 and drop-off on May 2, insurance for drivers over 25 and a free sat nav with a pre-programmed route.
It’s guaranteed to be a right royal laugh.
Vinatge camper tour of France
Pay homage to retro by touring France in a vintage-style VW campervan. Origin Campervans (origin-campervans.com) is offering 10 per cent off van hire for anyone who wants to book for 10 days or more.
A van that sleeps two to three people is €711 (£602) for 10 days (with the discount), including taxes and insurance.
After picking up the van from Lille, France is your oyster. Choose from gorgeous surf-friendly beaches in Biarritz, vineyards dotted with tempting wineries or the charms of City of Lights Paris.
Check out some of the planet’s amazing wildlife on a trip to Costa Rica or Kenya. STA Travel (statravel.co.uk) is offering a nine-day Costa Rica Quest tour for £479.
Departing on April 23, this trip features a trail to the base of a waterfall, as well as an opportunity to melt away in thermal springs and bliss out on a beach. Price includes tour accommodation, transport plus selected meals, but not flights.
Spot Africa’s Big Five in the vast open plains and rolling hills of the Masai Mara on STA Travel’s Kenya Wildlife Adventure for £1000 (was £1249).
Departing on April 23, explore the best game parks and reserves, walk among wildlife at Lake Naivasha and pap flamingos at Lake Nakuru.
You’ll be in a small safari vehicle, which makes it easier to snap the animals.
Price includes all accommodation and transport. Excludes flights.
On yer bike
Burn calories with an action-packed cycling adventure. Saddle up for an eight-day tour of Andalucia, where you’ll cover 36km each day. Departing April 24, Explore’s Backroads of Andalucia tour (explore.co.uk) combines time in Granada, Cordoba and Seville.
A standout moment includes a cosy stay in a cave hotel in Benalua.
Costing from £960, the tour includes flights, accommodation, bike hire, a tour leader and back-up vehicle.
Touch of the exotic
Jet off to Thailand where you’ll discover exotic markets, sumptuous foods and ancient ruins.
Intrepid Travel (intrepidtravel.com/ttsk) offers an eight-day Explore Northern Thailand tour, departing April 24, for £540, excluding flights.
Ride an elephant through the rainforest of Lampang and browse the bustling markets of Chiang Mai. But the real highlight is a homestay where you’ll enjoy a traditional khan toke dinner.
If you’d rather just chill on a beach with a bit of city break thrown in for good measure, Travelbag (travelbag.co.uk) is offering a 10-night break to Thailand for £669, including three nights in frenetic Bangkok and seven nights in upmarket beach resort Hua Hin, including flights and accommodation. Departs April 21.
Go on a Greek island-hopping adventure with Topdeck (topdeck.travel) to discover sparkling seas and characterful villages.
Departing April 23, the Greek Island Hopper Tour costs £820 and includes visits to Athens, Paris, Mykonos and Santorini.
The price includes accommodation and ferry transport between islands.
Can’t afford a big trip? Anderson Tours (andersontours.co.uk)has a three-day Germany & Rhineland tour for £265, departing April 29.
Price includes accommodation and travel. You’ll visit a traditional Weinhaus for wine tasting and enjoy a Rhine river cruise.
Or celebrate in style with Anderson Tours’ Paris & Champagne trip – £265 for three days, departing April 29. It includes a visit to two champagne houses with glasses of bubbly at each.
Make a beeline for Wales if you’re sticking close to home, it’s a feast of unspoilt natural wonders.
A three-day tour is £139 with Haggis Adventures (haggisadventures.com), including the Welsh Valleys, Brecon Beacons, coastlines and castles. Departs April 23. The eye-popping moment of the trip is in Blaenafon and the Big Pit where you’ll visit one of the UK’s leading mining museums, loaded with information about the conditions of the miners in the area.
Plucky types can even descend 300 feet to witness a real mine. Don’t leave without buying a fluffy sheep or two. For your niece, natch.
Anzac Day (April 25) falls on the Easter weekend, so take the time to attend the evocative Dawn Service at Anzac Cove and then extend your stay to see more of Turkey.
On The Go Tours (onthegotours.com) is offering an 11-day Anzac Bonzer tour from £599, including visits to Istanbul, the WW1 battlefields of Gallipoli, the mineral-rich pools of Pamukkale, the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia and the legendary ruins of Ephesus. Tour departs on April 23.
Meanwhile, Traveltalk (traveltalk tours.com) offers an eight-day Anzac Tour for £399, also departing on April 23. Price includes Istanbul, Gallipoli, Pamukkale, Ephesus and Cappadocia.
Queen’s Day, Amsterdam
Forget the British royal family and celebrate the Dutch Queen’s birthday on April 30. Get decked out in orange and join revellers for Amsterdam’s event of the year, known as Queen’s Day.
Up to one million people flock to the city for one of the world’s largest street parties. Beat boxes are put out on the streets, unregulated flea markets litter the pavements and all clubs stage special events, creating a carnival-like atmosphere. The Jordan quarter will be flush with traders, food stands and beer taps where you’ll hear traditional Dutch songs.
Busabout (busabout.com) is offering a three-night Queen’s Day Tour for £289, including coach and ferry travel, accommodation, a bike tour and an Orange Party pack. Departs April 28.
Or stay in London for our own Queen’s Day celebrations in Trafalgar Square. See holland.com.
– Janine Kelso