Hi all! It’s been a lively start to half-term with a bank holiday weekend filled with thunder and lightning across the southern half of the UK. Flash-flooding, power cuts and “golf-ball sized” hail have been the disruptive result of temps in the high 20s and high humidity. In fact, this very blog was delayed by a terrific thunderstorm and subsequent power loss (see that video here!), and some very frightened children begging me to come away from the window.
And there’s more to come.
The week ahead isn’t a wash-out by any means, but we’ll continue with warmth and scattered downpours. So here’s weathertrending‘s 5 top tips to beating the weather this half-term.
1.) Don’t rely on weather apps
Weather apps are great! They give you a snapshot of the weather and help you plan your day. But there are some situations where they perform very badly, and thundery showers is top of the list. The computer algorithms choosing one symbol for any given place at any given time struggle to accurately portray the possibility or probability of a short cloudburst. We talk more about that in a QuickChat here.
2.) Book last minute
As we’ve already seen, the atmospherics this week are quite ‘volatile’, to say the least! Many forecasts are struggling to nail down the detail of sun, cloud and storms – even at quite short notice. These storms seem to almost have a mind of their own. So, if at all possible, save your final decisions on where and when to go until as late as possible, with a quick look at a weather radar if you have one to hand.
3.) Make a Plan B
None of us wants a washout to spoil the fun on these precious family days out. But there may be times when the weather gods put paid to the outdoor trip we were planning. So, with the ever-present risk of showers this week, it’s worth having an alternative indoor pursuit up your sleeve – just in case! There are plenty to choose from across the UK – see just a few below!
4.) Understand the meteorology
With all the thunderstorms of recent days and some weather apps looking very pessimistic, you might think the half-term is going to be a washout. Not so! We explain in our Popcorn QuickChat how some places may get a deluge, but many other will stay fine.
5.) Follow our QuickCasts
Every day, we provide you with a quick summary of the weather around the UK, without the jargon and the isobars, to help you plan your day.
We’re certainly not recommending you miserably stay inside all week. Here’s our guide to where we think might be best, day by day.
Where to go and what to do by day and by weather:
Weather: A few heavy thunderstorms, especially across southern England and Wales, mostly inland. Otherwise largely fine and very warm.
Visit Bantham for the day. Parking available. Gastro bus for lunch, drinks and ice creams. Great beach for families, sandcastles, boogie boarding. Surf lessons available. Then it’s time to head to the Sloop Inn for lunch or visit The Gastro Bus on the beach.
There are not only fantastic views of Burgh Island, you can walk across to the island or catch the sea tractor. Then visit the famous Pilchard Inn for a fish supper.
Weather: Cloudier and cooler across eastern England. Warmest and sunniest in the west of the UK. Many places dry, but some sharp downpours across SE England and Midlands
You could fill up on breakfast at Burford Cafe at the Burford Garden Company – they serve delicious breakfasts Monday – Saturday from 9 – 11.30 and on Sundays 10.30 – 11.30.
The Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens are a short drive away and well worth a visit. There are lots of animals to see and you can get up very close and personal with the Giraffes! There is a miniature train and ample space for picnics, be prepared to spend lots of time in the playground, oh and the ice creams are delicious!
Weather: The northwest again best for sunshine and warmth. More cloud and scattered downpours moving westwards across England and Wales
With its estuary location, Salcombe is a water sports haven – whether it be sailing, kayaking, surfing or paddle boarding – everyone wants to get in the crystal blue waters. The local beaches are nothing short of outstanding, with golden sand and turquoise
Weather: Many northern areas staying fine and warm. Central and southern parts of the UK at risk from slow-moving thundery downpours
East and West Wittering offer the family some quintessential seaside fun, but without the hoards that invade our larger resorts. Take a dip in the sea or alternatively on top top of it! Paddle and sailboard hire is cheap and convenient.
Having worked up an appetite, there’s plenty of options to eat. Try Billys on the Beach at Bracklesham Bay.
A short distance inland in the folds of the South Downs you’ll be transported back hundreds of years to experience interactively how our ancestors’ families lived and survived at the Weald and Downland Living Museum
Weather: Scattered heavy downpours drifting further north across the UK. Sunnier skies returning to the south
The Mermaid and Pirate festival runs from 26th May – 3rd June at Audley End Miniature Railway and is open from 10 – 5pm.
Tickets can be purchased in advance and include a Train Ride, Fairy and Elf Walk, Fairy or Elf Wand Making, meet the Mermaids and Pirates, Craft Making, Face Painting, Story Telling and Games Area. Don’t forget your fancy dress outfits!
The home of the first official Ninja Warrior UK Aqua Park and the World’s Largest Aqua Park set on one of the most beautiful private freshwater lakes amongst stunning parkland in the heart of Berkshire. With the option to wakeboard on our state of the art cable lake, clamber across our floating obstacle course or just to just relax on our beach by the bar, there’s something for all the family to enjoy.
But if that’s exhausted you and you fancy a different kind of fun, then just up the road is Cliveden. Whether it’s creating crafts, solving mysteries or getting lost in the maze; there’s lots of fun to be had. Good enough for Meghan Markle…!
And if all of that fails – try some indoor activities!
Star Wars – Secrets of the Empire A hyper reality experience On until 20th June. If you can get a ticket for this you won’t be disappointed.
DC Exhibition – Dawn of Super Heroes Features more than 200 original comic pages, around 300 preparatory sketches and concept artworks for the cinema, together with 45 original costumes, models and props used in the iconic films.
The Crystal Maze Dive inside The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience – the outrageously popular 90s TV show that’s now a stunningly immersive adventure you can experience for yourself.