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Ideas for Bank Holiday Fun

May can be a challenging month when it comes to long week-ends with two in one month and especially when it comes to pleasing the majority of the family. The professional domestic cleaning company, MOLLY MAID, has some of the following ideas to make the most of bank holiday fun that won’t break the bank!

Camping Pods with the YHA

If you’re desperate to get away for even just one night, but worried about expense, then camping pods may be the answer to your bank holiday fun! Why not entertain the children with a sense of adventure by spending the night being closer to nature by camping without the hassle of pitching a tent or worrying whether your bed will end up a soggy mess should it rain? The YHA have a number of different locations around the UK where families can enjoy wooden camping pods. You can even choose whether to bring your own camping equipment and bedding or for a small supplement you can pay to sleep in proper beds!  For more information, visit http://www.yha.org.uk/places-to-stay/camping-and-cabins/camping-pods

Car Boot Sale

Bank holidays are always a prime time for venues to host car boot sales. Investigate where your closest car boot sale is and ask your family to gather up items that are no longer needed or loved. What better way to have a ‘clear out’ with the added incentive of earning some pocket-money at the same time? MOLLY MAID believes that its good practise to keep on top of unwanted toys and items that are no longer needed, as it helps to keep your home clutter-free. Car boot sales tend to be well organised too with food outlets and family entertainment such as bouncy castles. As long as you are disciplined and don’t spend all your hard earned cash, this can be a lucrative and fun day out for all.

Pick Elderflowers and make cordial

There’s nothing more rewarding and delicious than tasting your own homemade elderflower cordial or even enjoying elderflower infused fizz on a bank-holiday evening. Moreover, elderflower picking is an activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family in the great outdoors during the daytime and can add to bank holiday fun.

  • How to spot an Elder? The Elder is a prolific, bushy coloniser of a tree that grows up to 10m and is found everywhere but favours hedges, footpaths, borders, lanes, roads and the edges of wood and waste ground. With blackthorn and hawthorn blossom mostly gone now, the large, flat-topped clusters of tiny, creamy fragrant flowers (five petals) that you’ll find hanging in such places are likely to be elder. Each cluster should measure between 10cm and 25cm in width. On the tree, the flowers will smell faintly sweet and of the finished cordial, but they may also have a little unappetising aroma – some say it has an air of ‘cat wee’!
  • For best results:
    • Use hessian weeding bags for picking or a sturdy black bin bag but make sure the heads don’t sweat in the plastic bags.
    • Pick the clusters (‘heads’), early in the morning before the insects rob all the flavoursome pollen. You need about 20 heads to make 4 litres of cordial, which is a fair amount.
    • Once picked, the flowers should be left in the cool and in the shade so they don’t go brown.
    • When picking a flower, simply slide your fingers up the stalk and snap the flower head off; it means you can pick quicker because you can hold three or four flowers in one hand before moving to the next branch.
    • Make sure you pick elderflowers and not cow parsley – you’d be stunned how many people make this mistake each year!
  • Recipe
    • 20 fresh elderflower heads with most of the green stalks trimmed
    • 2kg white sugar – granulated or caster
    • 2 litres of water
    • 2 unwaxed lemons
    • 80g citric acid (ask at any chemists)
  • Method:
    1. In the largest pan you have, add the sugar and 2 litres of water and gently heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Meanwhile, using a potato peeler, strip the zest from the lemons and slice them into thick rounds.
    2. When the sugar-water is just at boiling point (a gentle roll for a few seconds), switch it off and add the elderflower, lemon zest, lemon rounds (squeezing lightly as you do) and the citric acid. Stir a few times and then cover and leave for 24 hours.
    3. Finally, after the cordial has infused overnight, strain it through a muslin and pour into sterilised bottles. These can be plastic or glass and just need running through a dishwasher on a high temperature setting.
    4. The cordial will keep for up to three weeks in the fridge if you don’t drink it up before then!

 A day trip to the beach

If pleasant weather is forecasted, then you can be sure that there will be hordes of people flocking to the coast, but don’t let this put you off! The UK has some beautiful coastlines and why not enjoy them to the full when you have the opportunity – it just requires a little forward planning to make it a seamless daytrip.

  • Set your alarm early and make sure you set off and even have breakfast on the way, or in the car.
  • Pack a cool box full of drinks, snacks, sandwiches for the family to enjoy during the day.
  • Remember to pack a couple of rugs, towels, swim wear, flip flops, hats, sunglasses, wet wipes, a couple of beach games and the all important sun cream!
  • As you never know what can happen on a day out at the seaside, take a basic medical kit with you including antibacterial gel, antiseptic cream, plasters, paracetamol and anti-sting cream.
  • Take a spare bin bag for rubbish.
  • Remember a book, the camera and cash for those obligatory ice creams at the end of the day.

We hope you have some good times and lots of fun this bank holiday and enjoy being in the UK!