Notting Hill Carnival
The Carnival will take place on Sunday 30 and Monday 31 AugustOli Scarff/Getty

The UK is counting down the hours until the August bank holiday (in England and Wales) in hope of some brighter weather and a wonderful three-day weekend. From carnivals to music festivals and foodie markets, here are some of the best ways to make the most of your extra day off.

London

The streets of West London will come alive again this weekend as thousands of visitors head to one of the largest street festivals in the world to enjoy the vibrant Caribbean atmosphere. Entry to the Notting Hill Carnival is free, but do plan travel to the Carnival in advance, leaving plenty of time to get there as it will be busy.

Up to 15 ships will drop anchor for the Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival, a maritime festival at Woolwich Arsenal Riverside. Enjoy the free Tall Ships Festival Day on Saturday 29 August with free entertainment from 10am until 10pm. There will be fireworks over the Thames after dark and you can wave off the fleet from Greenwich on Monday 31 August from 2pm.

Manchester

From Friday 28 to Monday 31, Manchester Pride will host live music from the likes of Kylie Minogue, street performers and more in the city's world-famous Gay Village, marking the 25th anniversary of charity fundraising events celebrating LGBT life in Manchester. For a full line-up and tickets, visit Manchester Pride's Big Weekend website. Saturday's parade will be led by actor Sir Ian McKellen.

Greenwich ships
Ships are moored up outside the Royal Naval College in Greenwich, LondonDan Kitwood/Getty

Liverpool

The Liverpool International Music Festival is Europe's biggest free music event and kicks off this weekend with performances from Basement Jaxx, Laura Mvula and Echo and the Bunnymen.

Leeds

Taking place on Monday 31 August, the Leeds West Indian Carnival is one of the country's longest-running Caribbean carnival parades with amazing costumes, delicious food and entertainment for everyone. For a quieter weekend, the Kirkstall Deli Market boasts more than 40 stalls and is open over the bank holiday in one of Britain's best preserved abbeys.

Birmingham

Head to Cofton Park for Fusion Festival to see McBusted, Ed Sheeran and Rudimental and many more acts. General admission each day is £49.00.

Cardiff

Welsh brewers Tiny Rebel and Otley Brewing Company have come together to create a new beer and cider festival, Cardiff Brewfest, over the bank holiday weekend. Street food will also be available to line stomachs for beer tasting.

Brighton Mod Weekender
Riders relax on their scooters during the Brighton Mod weekender on August 24 2014Alan Crowhurst/Getty

Edinburgh

The city's six major theatre and concert halls and other venues host the best music, theatre, opera and dance from around the globe for the Edinburgh International Festival and the Festival Fringe until Monday 31 August. Visit the websites for events and tickets.

Nottingham

Even though Nottinghamshire is one of the most landlocked counties in England, the Nottingham Beach has come to the city for its seventh year at the Old Market Square – complete with beach bar and a giant paddling pool. For those looking for a cultural weekend, the annual Southwell Music Festival – a classical music festival – will take place for the second time on Saturday and Sunday.

Newcastle

Tributes to Jamiroquai, the Killers and Oasis come together for the UK's only touring tribute festival, the South Shields Fake Festival. It takes place over the bank holiday weekend at Bents Park on the South Tyneside coast with food stalls and entertainment for kids.

Brighton

The 1960s Mod scene will return to Brighton over three days from Friday to Sunday for the Brighton Mod Weekender, featuring evening music and events at Komedia and daytime activities at the Volks Bar and Club near Brighton Pier.