BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  UK: England
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Thursday, 28 March, 2002, 19:08 GMT
Easter sun attracts the crowds
Children on beach
More than two million journeys will be made in England
The chance of fine weather at home and abroad has led millions of travellers to join the Easter get away.

Nearly two million holidaymakers are expected to leave the country by air over the weekend, with the Mediterranean being the most popular destination.

Another half a million are expected to cross the Channel bound mainly for France, the Netherlands and Spain.

More than 2.5 million trips are expected in England over the weekend, raising hopes of a boost to tourism after last year's foot-and-mouth disease crisis.

Holiday lift-off

For those destined to remain in the UK the weather is set fair with temperatures expected to reach 17C (63F) in south-east England, above average for the end of March.

More than 1.75 million British holidaymakers are heading abroad, with the Canary Islands, mainland Spain, Majorca, Ibiza and Portugal the most popular short-haul destinations.

Orlando in Florida remains the number one long-haul holiday spot.

Heathrow airport in west London had its busiest day of the Easter break on Thursday, handling 195,000 passengers, a total of 800,000 passengers are expected to pass through the terminal over the holiday period.

Possible rain

The most popular destinations for Heathrow passengers this Easter are New York, followed by Amsterdam, Paris and Dublin.

Around 80,000 passengers were leaving from Manchester airport over the holiday weekend, with 66,000 departing from Luton airport in Bedfordshire and 35,000 from Birmingham.

A holidaymaker relaxing on a beach in Spain
The beach in Spain is the most popular destination
For those staying at home, the weather should stay dry and sunny for most of Britain for the first part of the weekend, but then rain could affect all areas except south-east England.

"London and the South East should be dry and sunny for most of the weekend and we could get temperatures as high as 17C (63F) which is above average for the end of March," said a PA Weather Centre spokesman.

"But rain will push into northern England, south-west England and Wales on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday will see some rain in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and northern and south-west England, with the South East staying dry."

Tourist officials were hoping that the generally fine weather would boost visitor numbers to attractions and resorts following last year's foot-and-mouth outbreak, which devastated the Easter tourism market.

The English Tourism Council said about 2.6 million trips were expected to be taken in England this Easter, resulting in spending of around 40m.

Forecasting company CEBR said that English tourism revenues over the Easter fortnight could be as high as 1.1bn.

See also:

28 Mar 02 | England
Crash chaos marks Easter rush
28 Mar 02 | England
My M40 nightmare to work
28 Mar 02 | England
Airport staff's Easter strike
22 Mar 02 | England
New strike action at airport
11 Mar 02 | England
Trains stopped in overtime row
24 Aug 01 | UK
Bank Holiday exodus begins
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories