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An age-old conundrum: on a bank holiday is it worth the risk of spending half your weekend in the car to get a day or two at the coast?

An age-old conundrum: on a bank holiday is it worth the risk of spending half your weekend in the car to get a day or two at the coast?

Earlier this year I decided to spend the May bank holidays in town, so it was almost obligatory to pack up the car  last weekend and make the most of three glorious days off work. And I definitely made the right decision. Yes I barely crawled around the M25 and of course the M4 around Reading was almost at a standstill thanks to the festival goers, but actually the drive down to The Gower was surprisingly pleasant. Heading straight from work I was around Bristol by the time the sun was setting and for half an hour or so it looked as pretty as a picture. By the time I was on the Severn Bridge the vast stretch of water was lit up by twinkling lights on the banks either side and it looked – dare I say it – magical. The entertainment on the radio varied from county to county (who knew Magic FM wasn’t nationwide?!) but in all I found the journey – the countryside and the solitude – really very relaxing. As my friends and colleagues will confirm, it’s not often I spend five straight hours without talking, just listening.

By the time I woke the next morning to a glorious sea-view and (thankfully) blue skies, I felt like I had been off work for a week or more. And while I was tackling the waves with my surfboard an hour later, there was nowhere I would rather have been. We managed four hours surfing each day before the tide beat us. 

So do the sums add up? A ten-hour round-trip for eight hours in the water? Absolutely, I’d recommend it to anyone. Polly Tracey

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