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1.8m set for bank holiday getaway

Around 1.8 million Britons will head abroad this bank holiday weekend, with those staying at home set to endure cool and wet conditions.

While those jetting off will seek to soak up the sun in places such as Spain, Turkey and Greece, it is likely to be umbrella time for those attending festivals and sporting events in the UK.

The Highways Agency said about 194 miles of roadworks will be completed before the weekend and 59 miles of further works will be suspended over the holiday period.

But a number of key routes will still have roadworks, including a section of the M1 near Luton in Bedfordshire.

On the railways there will be some engineering work but 94% of services will run as normal, with replacement bus services reduced by 58.5% compared with last August bank holiday.

Travel organisation Abta said Spain and its islands were the most popular overseas destinations for Britons this weekend.

Paris, Amsterdam and Dublin were among the most popular city breaks while domestic tour operators reported the south and south west coasts of England were favourite spots for those taking breaks in the UK.

An estimated 400,000 people will fly from Heathrow over the weekend, with 250,000 leaving from Gatwick, 150,000 from Manchester, 124,000 from Stansted, 68,500 from Luton and 62,500 from Birmingham.

Channel Tunnel high-speed train company Eurostar will carry 60,000 departing passengers this weekend and ferry services and Eurotunnel trains will be busy.

Forecasters are predicting possibly heavy and thundery rain across Wales, south west England and Northern Ireland on Friday, followed by a very unsettled day across the UK on Saturday with plenty of cloud and heavy, sometimes thundery, downpours.

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