UK set for busy weekend of travel

While Britain welcomes Olympics arrivals, around two million people will be heading abroad at the start of the school holidays this weekend.

And there was a promise of better weather for those taking breaks in the UK, with conditions expected to be warmer, drier and sunnier. The AA warned that major road routes were likely to be busy.

Travel organisation Abta said that for those travelling overseas, Spain and its islands were the number one destination followed by Turkey and Greece.

Those choosing a foreign trip are being boosted by a marked improvement in the number of euros they will get to the pound. Abta added that prices in restaurants and bars in Europe were falling.

Over this weekend, around 482,000 passengers will leave from Heathrow, 275,000 from Gatwick, 132,500 from Stansted and 70,000 from Luton.

More than 100,000 will fly from Scottish airports, including 50,000 from Glasgow. It is expected that 297,000 will leave from Manchester, 64,000 from Birmingham and 45,000 from Bristol.

About 50,000 will depart on Channel Tunnel high-speed Eurostar trains, while regional airports, ferry terminals and Eurotunnel's Channel Tunnel services will all be extremely busy.

Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: "This weekend marks the start of the summer holiday getaway and is expected to be one of the busiest of the year at UK airports, with thousands also arriving for the Olympics."

Those staying at home who have had to endure one of the UK's coldest, wettest and dullest summers ever, can at least look forward to something better.

Forecasters predicted that although it could be wet on Friday and showery on Saturday, at least in southern England, will improve considerably on Sunday and Monday, with temperatures as high as 27C (81F).