Tight squeeze! Over 5.5 million train passengers expected this Bank Holiday

Tight squeeze! Over 5.5 million train passengers expected this Bank Holiday weekendPA

A whopping 5.5 million passengers are expected to hit Britain's rail networks this weekend for the great Bank Holiday getaway.

According to the Association of Train Operating Companies, travellers will be taking the train to visit friends and family, festivals or beauty and holiday spots around the country.

But there's good news for passengers: around 1,700 more trains will be running this year compared to last August Bank Holiday, and 95% of all normal services will be running.

Generally, the rail network is actually quieter on Monday than usual, owing to the lack of commuters, but, there's usually a big boost to seaside destinations like Brighton, Bournemouth and Weston-super-Mare - weather depending!

Michael Roberts, Chief Executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) told rail.co: 'The vast majority of people taking the train should experience no disruption because of improvement works.

'Millions of pounds are spent all year round by train companies and Network Rail to improve the railways and ensure that that passengers can benefit from better stations and faster services.'

Robin Gisby, Network Rail's managing director, network operations added: 'As Network Rail and train operators continually improve their planning, at each bank holiday passengers will notice fewer changes to their journeys.

'In fact, this August bank holiday weekend around 1,700 extra trains will run compared to the same bank holiday last year – an increase of 3.5%.

'Over the last few years there has been a significant reduction in the number of replacement buses running at bank holidays – since 2009 there has been a decline of 34.4%.

'This bank holiday, in some parts of the country, work is on-going – just like any other weekend – to improve the network and benefit future passenger journeys.

'As always, passengers should check with their train operator or National Rail Enquiries before they travel.'

And if you're planning to drive anywhere this weekend, you might want to be up at the crack of dawn, because over 16 million cars are set to clog up Britain's roads.

Heading away for the weekend? You'll also need to check updates on the strike threat at the Eurotunnel.

If you're staying on British soil, it's the perfect time to discover some of our most beautiful gardens:

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Ten of Britain's most amazing gardens
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Tight squeeze! Over 5.5 million train passengers expected this Bank Holiday

Set overlooking the River Conwy and Snowdonia, the beautiful Bodnant Garden is a gardener’s haven and the ideal day out for all the family. The upper garden has formal and informal lawns and is full of colour in spring when its bright flowers are in bloom. The lower garden has a wild garden, a pond and the Old Mill. One of the garden's must-see attractions is the Laburnum Arch, which is delightful at the beginning in June when it's in full bloom, and the 18th-century Pin Mill (pictured).

How to get there: Arrive at Llandudno Junction railway station and take a number 25 bus to Bodnant Garden.

Kew Gardens is arguably the most famous in Britain and home to the world's largest collection of living plants. There are over 30,000 different kinds and more than just nature to entertain you. Check out the library with its huge collection of books, photos and maps. The Orangery is a great place to stop for lunch and children and adults alike will love a walk over the Treetop Walkway, which sways when the wind blows!

How to get there: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a five-minute walk from Kew Gardens London Underground station on the District Line.

If you're passionate about art and design, you'll love the lush Mount Stewart Garden for its architectural style. From Easter egg hunts to summer garden walks and the Hallow'een Enchanted Garden, there's plenty on offer at the Garden to keep you coming back to the intriguing National Trust property. Be sure not to miss the topiary arches of the Spanish Garden and the perfectly manicured Italian Garden, which give Mount Stewart a Mediterranean feel.

How to get there: Mount Stewart is 15 miles south-east of Belfast by car.

Waterfalls, sculptures and Monet bridges are just some of the treasures you'll find at Attadale Gardens in the Scottish Highlands. They’re set on 20 acres of landscape and include the beautiful Japanese Garden, the charming Sunken Garden and the Kitchen Garden, where you'll find fruit and vegetables. Some of the interesting sculptures around the gardens are of a torso, a chameleon and a crowned eagle. Look out for the bright blue poppies (pictured) that appear in spring if you're visiting at this time of year.

How to get there: Travel to Attadale by car, which is on the A890 between Strathcarron and S. Strome.

There's always something going on in the gardens of Hever Castle, which was Anne Boleyn's childhood home. In spring the tulips are in bloom, daffodils fill Anne Boleyn’s Orchard and the rest of the gardens and the walls are covered in camellias. Summer sees the Herb Garden looking its best, the 3,000 roses in the Rose Garden in full bloom and the Italian Garden looking superb. Autumn's also a treat with the roses still worth seeing and beautiful autumnal colours throughout the landscape. As the gardens of Hever Castle date back to 1901, history buffs will love discovering the stories of the enchanting surroundings.

How to get there: Take a train to Edenbridge Town Station from London Victoria or London Bridge and then get a taxi to the Hever Castle, which is three miles away.

The picturesque woodland gardens of Exbury is the ideal day out for gardening enthusiasts, children and those just looking to visit a beautiful place. Plants, trees, wildlife and conservation cover the magnificent space and the breathtaking Rhododendron Garden with over 1,000 flowering species that peak in May is a must-see. The Exbury Gardens Railway runs through the gardens and is a fun way to the flowers and plants on offer.

How to get there: The gardens are in the New Forest, just 20 minutes from junction 2 of the M27.

The magical Alnwick Garden opened just a decade ago but is one of the UK's most fun-for-all and unique landscapes. Let the kids get wet in the Serpent Garden, get the whole family learning about dangerous plants in the Poison Garden and marvel at the Taihaku cherry trees in the Cherry Orchard. Alnwick Garden's most unique feature is the Treehouse, built from Canadian cedar, Scandinavian redwood and English and Scots pine, and where you can stop for lunch at the restaurant with a roaring log fire, handcrafted furniture and trees growing out of the floor!

How to get there: Alnwick Garden is off the A1 and well signposted. By rail, the main east coast line from London to Edinburgh stops at Alnmouth and you can catch a bus or taxi to the Garden from there.

Play hide and seek in the maze, run wild in the woodlands and walk around the lake at Trentham Gardens. The gardens of Trentham Estate offer peace and quiet or fun and action, making it a great place for everyone to visit. The pretty Italian Garden is worth seeing all year round, the Floral Labyrinth in the Eastern Pleasure Ground has an abundance of bright colours and wonderful scents, and the Barefoot Walk allows you to tantalise your toes and enjoy a kilometre's walk through the meadows and woodland.

How to get there: Trentham Gardens is just five minutes from the M6, junction 15.

This gorgeous garden is set around the ruins of an Elizabethan house, with woods, farmland and amazing views of the faraway fields and meadows of Kent. Sissinghurst Castle Garden is one of the most famous gardens in Britain and some of its most stunning attractions include the romantic garden, which is full of colour throughout the seasons and the vegetable garden, which provides fruit and vegetables for the estate’s Granary Restaurant.

How to get there: Arrive at Staplehurst railway station, which is five miles away from Sissinghurst Castle Garden.

A visit to these sub-tropical, dreamlike gardens on the Isles of Scilly is a great way of combining a historical trip with one to Britain's most enchanting attractions. Because of Tresco island's mild winter climate and summer sunshine, it's home to thousands of exotic plants from all over the world. Tresco Abbey Gardens' most unique treasures is the Valhalla's collection of shipwrecked figureheads that date back to 1840. You'll also find ruined arches and walls from a medieval monastery that was housed in the gardens.

How to get there: Catch a ferry or plane from the main Isles of Scilly island, St Mary's.

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