The best places to visit in Great Britain in August

1st August 2023

With great weather, a packed events calendar and the school summer holidays in full swing, Great Britain really comes to life in August. Not only is it the perfect time to explore the country, but taking a domestic holiday is also better for the environment and can be easier on your wallet (even more so if you book your train tickets with a Railcard). From live music and quirky festivals to beautiful beach towns and outdoor events, here are the best places to visit in August.




With 45 miles of glorious coastline, Yorkshire is one of Great Britain’s most underrated beach holiday destinations.


Sure, there are well-known resorts, such as Scarborough, Filey and Bridlington, but between the bigger towns you’ll find wild beaches, pretty fishing villages and areas of stunning natural beauty.


Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire has all 3. At low tide, this hillside village – think a British Cinque Terre – has a broad beach that is perfect for paddling, crabbing and sunbathing. Other great Yorkshire beaches include Saltburn for surfing, Danes Dyke for peaceful nature and North Landing for sea cliffs and strolls.




Another one of the best places to visit in August if you’re looking for especially easy days at the beach is Devon – the county has 2 long coastlines to choose from.


In the north, you’ll find soft sand and surfing in Woolacombe, Ilfracombe and Broadsands. The first 2 are well known, but Broadsands, a small arch of sand that wouldn’t look out of place in Majorca, has managed to stay off the radar.


Head south for awesome family beaches. Long, sandy Bantham Beach has safe shallow water ideal for younger kids, while Teignmouth has a classic pier complete with rides and attractions.




The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is one of Britain’s most unique events.


Picture 100s of colourful hot air balloons sailing through the sky, while a carnival-style party – complete with food stalls, rides and entertainment – takes place below. It’s great fun for families and groups of friends.


This year, the festival takes place 10 to 13 August at Ashton Court estate. The nearest train station is Bristol Temple Meads and there are shuttle buses from here to the event.


The Llyn Peninsula, Wales


Extending out into the Irish Sea like a finger, the Llyn Peninsula might be Great Britain’s best-kept secret.


This Welsh wonder has beaches to rival anything you’ll find in Europe – Porth Neigwl, for instance, is an absolute stunner – with rugged sea cliffs perfect for walking and a handful of picturesque villages to explore.


And the best bit? There are hardly any crowds. For beach holiday destinations in August, you can’t ask for much more. Catch the train into Pwllheli and discover Llyn from here.


Reading or Leeds


August bank holiday sees one of Great Britain’s most popular music festivals come to Reading and Leeds. It’s the place to be if you love rock, pop and alternative music.


From 25 to 27 August, Bramham Park in Leeds and Richfield Avenue in Reading will welcome some of the biggest acts in the world, including Billie Eilish, Sam Fender, The Killers and the Foals.


The festival runs over the 2 locations at the same time, with major headliners appearing on different days during the weekend.




This northern county has a little bit of everything.


There are stunning beaches – such as Bamburgh and Alnmouth – rolling hills to walk through, history at every turn in the shape of crumbling castles and Hadrian’s Wall, and spectacularly clear skies for stargazing.


And with most people heading south to England’s southern beaches, there’s a good chance you’ll avoid the serious summer crowds.




Every August, Edinburgh transforms into one big celebration of creativity thanks to its packed festival schedule.


The most important is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. For the entire month, 1000s of acts descend on the Scottish capital for quirky comedy, avant-garde theatre, world-class music and more. It’s a packed schedule of fun and entertainment.


At various other points during August, the city’s book, film and art festivals all come to town, too.


Save 1/3 off your train tickets when you travel by train with a Railcard. There’s a Railcard for everyone, so take advantage of big discounts and great savings now.