Holidays & Travel

Check out these amazing affordable getaways for May

Bag a late spring holiday with these great deals, says Sarah Marshall.

Looking for a last-minute May getaway?
Looking for a last-minute May getaway? (Ahmed Amir)

Throughout history, May has always been a month to make merry. This period of the year has been celebrated in songs, poems and plays since as early as the 16th century and one of the oldest festivals in England is May Morning, celebrated at dawn every year on the first day of the month.

But even in modern times, there’s still good reason to be cheery when the fifth notch in our calendar comes around. For starters, there are two bank holidays on May 6 and 27 – both good opportunities for short breaks. Families can also make plans for half-term when flights and accommodation are often cheaper than the peak summer months.

If your diary is still wide open, don’t worry. There are still plenty of last-minute offers ready to be snapped up.

Between branch and beach

A Dartford warbler in Hurn Forest
A Dartford warbler in Hurn Forest (Alamy Stock Photo)

Balance woodland walks with strolls along the beach during a caravan stay at Oakdene Forest Park in Dorset. Lined with conifers, Hurn Forest has several decent trails suitable for hikes and bike rides. Spend time in small glades searching for insects such as the silver-studded butterfly and one of England’s native snakes – the non-venomous smooth snake. For families with young children who can travel off-peak, Shorefield Holidays offers up to 40% off stays in a statement caravan. Activities like archery, crazy golf and mini jet skis will keep kids amused, along with a selection of pools. During quiet moments, parents can tune into the sound of birdsong.

How: Four nights from £8.79pp in a caravan sleeping four. Visit

Paradise for families

OZEN Life Maadhoo
OZEN Life Maadhoo

Once a romantic destination aimed exclusively at couples, the Maldives has expanded its appeal to welcome families. On the cusp of the summer low season, May half-term is an ideal time to visit; prices are lower but there’s still up to 10 hours of sunshine per day, with temperatures around 26-30 degrees. A 40-minute speedboat ride from main island Male, where international planes land, OZEN Life Maadhoo is a hit with all ages. Occupying a private island in the South Male Atoll, the 94-room property has white sand beaches and an underwater restaurant, where diners can watch black-tip reef sharks swim past. Great value all-inclusive packages include all food, premium drinks, snorkelling and other activities.

How: From £2,078.50pp for a family of four, with return flights from Heathrow and speedboat transfers. Departs May 26. Visit

Grown-up getaway

Casa Cook Samos
Casa Cook Samos (ANA SANTL)

Couples seeking to dodge family crowds during the May holidays can find guaranteed peace and quiet at Casa Cook Samos in Greece, with a 30% reduction on stays of seven nights or more. The adults-only hotel is tucked between forest and beaches lining the Aegean Sea on the pretty island, which was once a spiritual centre of the Mediterranean world. Stay in buildings designed to echo Greek houses known as ‘kamares’, featuring earthy textures, rustic woods and leathers. Explore the island’s archaeological sites – the fortified ancient city of Pythagoreion and the ancient Temple of Hera – or relax at in the resort’s six swimming pools, outdoor yoga shala and hammam.

How: Rooms from €207/ £179per night, with breakfast. Visit

Rural bliss

Rose Cottage
Rose Cottage

Simple pleasures lie at the heart of a good holiday. Dip into village life along East Norfolk’s North Sea coastline in former fishing hub Winterton-on-Sea, near Great Yarmouth. One of several self-catering properties in the area managed by Winterton Cottages, the two-bedroom Rose Cottage is an easy walk from the local pub, tearoom and chippie – promising a quintessentially British getaway, without an amusement arcade in sight. The area is also a magnet for wildlife lovers. Search for the rare natterjack toad in the Winterton Dunes National Nature Reserve and spot grey seals basking along the shore.

How: A three-night stay in May costs from £500. Visit

Perfect pedalling

Cycling on the Camel Trail in Cornwall
Cycling on the Camel Trail in Cornwall

During the summer months, parts of Cornwall risk becoming overrun by tourists. But travelling in late spring is a way to enjoy mild weather in the absence of crowds. Cooler temperatures make May a pleasant month for bike rides too, exploring coastal trails and country lanes. An 18-mile recreational route for cyclists, runners and horse riders, the Camel Trail runs along a disused railway line between Wenford Bridge, Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow. Give it a whirl on a two-night Pedal in Padstow break, offered by TV chef Rick Stein, who has multiple accommodation options in the town. Fuel up with a generous breakfast and dine in The Seafood Restaurant, opened by the famous foodie in 1975.

How: From £146pp (two sharing), including B&B accommodation, a deli picnic and a three-course dinner at The Seafood Restaurant. Available until June 30. Visit