Lonely Planet Writer

A right royal getaway: how to make the most of the public holiday

Great Britain jumped for joy when it heard about Prince William and Kate Middleton's engagement. The royal wedding offered the chance for a good old knees-up - and a welcome influx of tourists keen to get a glimpse of the happy couple.

Until, that was, everyone realised what a fantastic getaway opportunity the wedding was. Wills and Kate have chosen 29 April 2011 as their wedding date and the Government has declared it a public holiday. But the good news doesn't stop there.

Easter Sunday falls on 24 April this year which means those who are given bank holidays off work can take advantage of booking just three days' annual leave to receive 11.

How does it work?

Good Friday falls on 22 April, and Easter Monday on the 25th. You'll need to book the 26-28 April as annual leave. From there, the royal wedding public holiday is on 29 April, followed by the weekend and then May Day on the following Monday. Phew!

So what can you do with all those days? How about these ideas for starters:

Plan a weekend break (or two!)

The 11 days fall over two weekends, giving you double the opportunity to take a long weekend. Visiting Europe means you won't spend too long travelling, and European cities won't be too busy as the sometimes unpredictable April weather puts some tourists off. If you're looking for the best European weather then head south to Spain or Portugal. Want a bit of focus for your trip? Lonely Planet suggests 9 weekend courses in Europe from making chocolate to creating perfumes.

Visit Kenya - where it all began

Due to the instability in the region, North Africa may no longer be a viable option. But that doesn't mean you should rule out Africa altogether. Take a slightly longer flight from London and visit the country where the happy couple got engaged - Kenya. Mount Kenya is the spot where Prince William proposed and the area has many secluded hideaways if you want to recreate the moment yourself. It's a good place to splurge - if that's your style.

New York getaway

A four-day weekend suits a New York city break well. You won't have time to see all the sights but if you take an after-work, overnight flight on the 21st, pack in shopping, sightseeing and theatre shows for the next three days and then return on the 25th, you're guaranteed a fun-packed time away. Yes, you'll be tired when you're back at work on the 26th, but you'll only need to be there for three days before the following four-day weekend. Hooray!

Soak up some Caribbean sunshine

Top up your vitamin D intake with a week in the sun. The Caribbean sees sunshine and temperatures in the high 20s (Celsius). The 11 days come at a great time for a Caribbean getaway as US spring break will be over which means lower prices and less all-hours revelry.

- Find out more about London's royal wedding.

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