Make the most of that precious extra day and jet off for a Bank Holiday beach trip. We’ve rounded up three of our favourite destinations for a short-haul, mid-haul or long-haul break from London. You might be surprised at how much you can do in 72 little hours…
Short-Haul: Comporta, Portugal
The secret may slowly be getting out about Comporta – the effortlessly chic seaside town just an hour south of Lisbon – but for now it still retains its quiet charms. Perched on the Atlantic coast, head here for a weekend of tranquillity and simplicity: think blue skies, golden beaches and a glass or two of excellent Portuguese wine.
How to get there: Flights from London to Lisbon are just under three hours. Comporta is a 70-minute drive from Lisbon airport.
Where to stay: The impeccable Casas na Areia started life as a weekend house but has ended up as a unique small hotel. Fully embracing its beachfront location, soft sand replaces traditional floors, juxtaposing beautifully with fresh, sleek interiors.
Mid-Haul: Essaouira, Morocco
Slip out of the hectic hubbub of Marrakech and make a beeline for laid-back Essaouira. This historic port city is well-loved by surfers and backpackers, but a new set of travellers are discovering its atmospheric charms. Along with rich cultural offerings, Essaouira is the perfect active beach escape, as strong winds whip up waves for surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing along the city’s wide crescent beach.
How to get there: Fly directly from London Luton to Essaouira (approximately three hours).
Where to stay: Soak up those ocean views with a stay at Madada Mogador. Set in an enviable location poised between the ancient medina and the beach (make sure to nab a room with a private ocean-facing terrace), the hotel also offers yoga classes for a truly blissed out stay.
Long-Haul: Cape Town, South Africa
Fancy being a multitasking maestro this Bank Holiday? Savvy sleepers can pack in a 6,000 mile trip with an overnight flight to Cape Town. With only a minor time-zone change (GMT+2), hit the ground running with a hike up Table Mountain to get the lay of the land. Back down in the city, set off to find your own slice of paradise along the rugged coastline; where mountains, sand and sea make for dramatic vistas around every corner – more than justifying that 12-hour flight.
How to get there: Flights from London to Cape Town are just under 12 hours.
Where to stay: Prepare for some seriously eye-widening views upon checking into Cape View Clifton. This intimate hotel has just seven bedrooms and suites, making it feel like you’re stepping into a friend’s (unbelievably) alluring home.