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Wondering how to keep yourself busy over the August bank holiday?
Tamara Hinson has scoured the country to find the most interesting free and cheap events on offer, from taking a tour of Concorde to getting muddy at the World Bog Snorkelling Championships.
When: August 28 and 29
How much: Free
More info: p1superstock.co.uk
This bank holiday, Cardiff Bay is set to be the backdrop as it hosts the P1 powerboat and jet-ski championships for the third time, with eleven powerboats taking to the water during the event.
The competition is part of Cardiff Harbour Festival, and there will be a huge funfair on Cardiff Bay Beach, along with craft stalls and live music. If you’re concerned that you’ll stand out as a newbie, simply pepper your conversation with the following words: milling area (starting line), cine (the part of the boat below the waterline) and sponson (a stabilising wing attached to a boat) – sorted!
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When: Throughout August
How much: £5
More info: manchesterairport.co.uk
Concorde’s flying days might be over, but there’s still the chance to take a look inside the world’s first supersonic aircraft. Budding plane-spotters who head to Manchester Airport’s Runway Visitor Park this August will be able to look around G-BOAC, British Airways’ first Concorde.
After an introductory video, you’ll be shown around this marvel of engineering. The price tag? Just £5 – a fraction of the £3,500 passengers once paid for a one-way flight from London to New York.
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When: May 14 to September 4
How much: £5 for adults, free for under 16s
More info: glasgowlife.org.uk
Egyptians didn’t just mummify humans – birds, jackals and cats were all bandaged up and presented to the gods. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum’s exhibition explores not just the practice of mummification, but also the Egyptians’ belief that the process allowed them to communicate with the gods.
You’ll also discover the important role that animals (especially mummified ones) played in Egyptian society and learn how technology – X-rays and CT scans in particular – allow scientists to discover what lies beneath the bandages.
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When: August 28
How much: Free
More info: green-events.co.uk
Entering the 31st World Bogsnorkelling Championships costs £15, but you can watch proceedings for free. And while we’re not expecting bogsnorkelling to make an appearance at the Olympics anytime soon, participants take this event extremely seriously.
The current world champion is Haydn Pitchforth (his winning time was one minute 26 seconds, if you were wondering), and in recent years, competitors from Holland, Sweden, Australia and Japan have all taken part. If you can’t take the sheer excitement of it all, enjoy some local cuisine at one of the food stalls or stock up on handmade gifts at the craft tent.
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When: August 26 to 28
How much: £10 per person
More info: hildenbrewery.com
Beer festivals are ten a penny these days, but there’s something a bit special about the Hilden Beer and Music Festival. To start with, its location – the rolling hills of Lisburn, on the outskirts of Belfast – is spectacular, and the entire event is organised by Northern Ireland’s oldest independent brewery.
You’ll be able to sample over 35 beers and ciders as well as some delicious food, from fine dining at the Tap Room restaurant to homemade ice cream.
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When: Until December 2016
How much: £9 per adult, £5.50 per child
More info: merseyferries.co.uk
Thousands of visitors to Liverpool take the ferry across the Mersey every year, but this summer there’s even more to reason to experience the 50-minute journey which inspired Gerry and the Pacemakers’ hit song.
This year, pop artist Sir Peter Blake was commissioned to adorn one of the ferries with Dazzle Camo, a colour scheme used on ships during WWI to confuse the enemy. The “dazzled” ship will ply the route until December 2016 and an onboard exhibition provides lots of information on the history of the design.
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When: August 25 to 29
How much: Free
More info: oxotower.co.uk
Prepare to feel old. The Mr Men and Little Miss characters celebrate their 45th birthday this year, and to mark the occasion a pop-up exhibition will be in place on London’s South Bank. You’ll be able to check out hundreds of items of rare memorabilia, and anyone with Mr Men or Little Miss-related treasures of their own can upload photos to a virtual archive.
Photos will then be displayed on enormous screens at the exhibition, and if you’re one of the first 45 people to submit an image you’ll receive a limited edition print signed by creator Roger Hargreaves.
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When: August 26 to 29
How much: £10
More info: isleofwight.com
This bank holiday weekend, hop on the Red Funnel ferry to the Isle of Wight and you’ll find the world’s biggest gathering of modern and vintage scooters – 7,000 aficionados are expected to attend 2016’s event.
After admiring the pimped-out two-wheelers, enjoy a pint of local ale at the craft beer tent, take in a DJ set or chow down on some exotic cuisine served up at one of the street-food stalls.
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When: August 29 to 31
How much: £2
More info: visitthorntonledale.co.uk
Scarecrows aren’t everyone’s cup of tea (although they are supposed to be scary!), but at least 60 of them will be on display at the Scarecrow Festival which is held every year in the picturesque village of Thornton-le-Dale in North Yorkshire.
Wannabe scarecrow supremos can enter their creations for free, and it costs just £2 to check out the scarecrow trail, along which the entries are displayed.
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When: August 29
How much: £5
More info: nationaltrust.org.uk/cherryburn
August 29 is National Bat Day, and this year budding bat-spotters can join forces with National Trust rangers to spend the evening seeking out these tiny creatures while learning fascinating facts about their diets and habitat.
The event, which starts at 7pm and finishes at 9pm, takes place at Cherryburn, a beautiful 19th century farmhouse which was the birthplace of late Northumberland artist, Thomas Bewick.
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When: August 28 and 29
How much: £7.60 for adults, £4.75 for children
More info: glastonburyabbey.com
Fancy channelling your inner royal? Head to Glastonbury Abbey for King Arthur Weekend. There will be re-enactments, children’s activities and a replica of a sixth-century military encampment, while some of the country’s top historians will be giving talks about life during the reign of King Arthur, with the help of archaeological records and rare historical documents.
Time to dig out that chain mail headpiece….
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What are you up to this August bank holiday weekend? Let us know in the comments below.
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