Ok, so spoiler alert there isn’t a Wowcher code in this post for you to walk on a beach with Adrian Brody and a pack of dalmatians. Sorry. You will have to make that reality your own. There are however a few things that I think contribute to a rather lovely Bank Holiday weekend, should you be so inclined. If you want to sit on the sofa with a duvet and watch Archer for three days, you also have my full and unswerving respect.
1. Visit a museum
This may come as a shock to no-one given the archaeologically inclined bent of this blog, but I think a Bank Holiday isn’t really a holiday unless you partake in a little culture. I’m lucky to live in the museum capital of the world here in old London town, however there isn’t a Shire in the land that doesn’t offer some sort of local history institution within fairly close proximity. Museums are wonderful establishments and in this era of massive funding cuts in the heritage sector it does them good to keep visitor numbers up and with the ever changing exhibition schedule of many major museums, there is always something new to see. I myself am off to the Tate Modern to take in the new extension project.
2. The Hellfire Caves
The Hellfire Caves in West Wycombe are a weird and wonderful product of British eccentricity mixed with the unlimited resources of a largely bygone landed gentry. I won’t go into a full history of the caves but the very abridged version is that Sir Francis the 2nd Baronet commissioned them to be dug in the mid eighteenth century, ostensibly to create jobs in the local area, but this reasoning probably belied a vanity project of sorts, an argument further strengthened by the impressive Dashwood family mausoleum that stands directly on top of the caves. The Hellfire Club used the caves for meetings and mysterious happenings, and Benjamin Franklin even paid a visit. Exploring the caves today is a really fun day out, not least because they serve a rather nice cream tea in the cafe.
3. Make a rumpus in a park
Since recently moving I now have lovely Richmond park on my doorstep, which I have been tramping about in over the last few weeks and taking pictures of the deer who observe me with the languid disdain that I do tourists near Big Ben. Even if you don’t happen to have a Royal Park and grumpy deer near you, go and run about in some woods or parkland for a few hours. If you can kidnap the neighbour’s dog, so much the better. Then go to the pub for a roast and get squiffy on cider. Ah, weekends.
4. Bargain Hunt
Go to a car boot! I love a car boot. Where else can you have a grand day out for a tenner and come home with a two new table lamps, some Jem and the Holograms videos and a pair of 70s pixie boots with money left over for an egg bap? My particular fave is Denham Car boot sale, but you know the drill on Bank Holiday weekends, there will definitely be one near you.
5. Get drunk
Not to play into the age old British stereotype of binge drinking or anything but there is a particularly special thrill in cracking in to some cocktails on a Sunday night when you know you don’t have to be in school (read – grown up work) the next day. Find a swanky cocktail lounge (somewhere like this), get tizzied up in your diaphanous finest and have a few laughs with your friends. Make mine a White Russian (obviously).
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.