Easter holidays: 3.4m to enjoy break in the UK

AOL Travel
Beautiful pink flowers and Blue sky
Beautiful pink flowers and Blue sky

3.4 million Brits will enjoy an overnight Easter break here on UK soil, according to a survey by VisitEngland.

The poll showed that these holidaymakers are likely to provide an £800 million boost for the UK economy. Source: PA

Around 6.5 million Britons are also planning day trips over the holiday period, with a further 9% undecided whether to have a break involving an overnight stay, the survey revealed.

VisitEngland chief executive James Berresford said: "Easter is a fantastic time of year to spend a short break or day out with the family exploring the wonderful destinations in England.

"The industry has rallied following the severe weather earlier this year. It's business as usual for tourism with a full line-up of events and offers across the country, and destinations ready and waiting to welcome visitors this Easter break."

While those travelling in the UK will have to contend with packed roads and disruption on the railways due to an extensive programme of engineering works, an estimated 1.6 million Britons are heading abroad for the holiday.

Popular foreign spots for those going overseas include Spain and its islands, Turkey, Tunisia and Florida, according to UK travel organisation Abta.

Top city destinations are Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam, Rome and New York, while bookings for UK breaks are described by Abta as "healthy".

Over the Easter weekend, 370,000 passengers will leave from Heathrow airport, 200,000 from Gatwick, 120,000 from Stansted, 60,000 from Luton and 4,500 from Bournemouth.

In the north of England and the Midlands, 110,000 will leave from Manchester airport, 45,000 from Birmingham and 23,000 from East Midlands, while more than 100,000 will be leaving via the Scottish airports.

Thousands will also take ferry services to the continent, while Channel Tunnel high-speed train company Eurostar is expecting to carry more than 130,000 passengers over the holiday weekend - a 15% increase on numbers at Easter 2013.

The engineering work on the railways will affect services to and from a number of major termini, including London's Charing Cross, London Bridge, Paddington and King's Cross stations.

Southampton Central and Sheffield are among other major stations where services will be affected over the weekend.

Traffic information company Trafficmaster and the AA have forecast as many as 16 million cars will be on the move over the holiday, with drivers from Northern Ireland the most likely to get behind the
wheel and Scots the least likely to do so.

Another traffic information company, Inrix, has forecast that the worst-affected congestion hotspots in south east and south west England will be twice as busy over Easter as during non-holiday periods.

Meanwhile, as Britons prepare for trips at home and abroad, VisitBritain has announced that Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins will lead a renewed drive to attract international visitors to Britain.

She will be at the heart of VisitBritain's Countryside is GREAT advertising campaign which will be launched in September.

Before that, Jenkins will be collaborating in a range of projects showcasing the best of the UK's culture and heritage, including a festival in Istanbul in May and appearances in the US later in the year.

Tourism Minister Helen Grant said: "Katherine is a wonderful British talent with a reputation on the world stage that is going from strength to strength.

"I am delighted that she is playing a major part in promoting Britain to the world, particularly our stunning rural regions that will enchant overseas visitors. Our tourism sector is performing strongly, with record numbers of visits and spending and now it's about keeping this momentum up."

London Underground travellers will also face some disruption this Easter. Sections of the Bakerloo, District, Jubilee and Piccadilly lines as well as part of the London Overground will be shut at some times over the holidays while improvement work is carried out.

Commenting on the main line disruption, rail industry body the Railway Delivery Group said work was planned carefully to ensure the vast majority of passengers were not disrupted.

The group added that this Easter would see 20% fewer bus replacement services needed than last Easter.

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