We all know how painful it is when the cost of your family break jumps by thousands of pounds, just because it falls during the school holidays.

But here in Leicestershire, we're luckier than most as we still have remnants of the July fortnight, when factories shut for the first two weeks of the month and all the workers headed for the coast by rail or road.

Although it tends to take place slightly later now, it means we still break up for the summer school holidays in mid-July, ahead of everyone else.

Parents can take advantage of cheaper deals to get away, just like those north of the border in Scotland, where the summer break starts at the end of June.

This year, the July fortnight will start on Wednesday 12th, while those in neighbouring Derbyshire finish school on July 21th and in next door Nottinghamshire on July 25th.

One friend is taking her kids to Disneyland Paris, while others will be jetting off to foreign climes from East Midlands airport.

Read More On School Summer Holidays

Cheap UK caravan breaks during school summer holidays – from £10pp a night

Legoland hotel stay from £65pp in school summer hols – with park ticket & freebie

And while I won't be heading away then, my sons and I will enjoy having lots of local visitor attractions to ourselves, as the county is noticeably quieter with everyone else away.

The July fortnight first started in the 1960s and many people have fond memories of visiting the closest beaches on the Lincolnshire coast, such as Skegness and Mablethorpe.

Some companies even put on coaches for workers to get away on holiday.

My parents remember arriving in Leicestershire as newly qualified teachers and finding that the summer holidays could be up to nine weeks long, thanks to the July fortnight.

Most read in Family


Travelodge has thousands of rooms on sale from £8pp a night & kids eat free deal


Cheap UK caravan breaks during school summer holidays – from £10pp a night


Haven has UK breaks from £3pp a night in September


The cheap kid-friendly staycations where kids eat FREE – from £6pp a night

We certainly made the most of the extra time – some of my happiest childhood memories come from the weeks we spent at Butlin's as a family, when the whole site seemed to be populated with folk from Leicestershire.

I even went on to work at Butlin's as a lifeguard after my A levels, so it definitely left an impression on me.

As I headed into my teens, we'd sometimes use the July fortnight to travel over to France on the ferry, staying in gites in Brittany and Normandy.

Having those extra couple of weeks before everyone else had finished for the summer gave us lots of holidays opportunities we might not have managed otherwise.

Just a couple of years ago, both Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council asked whether it was time to do away with the July fortnight and move our holidays into alignment with the rest of England.

One downside of starting summer holidays early is that the autumn term starts in August and sometimes even before the bank holiday, making the term even longer in Leicestershire than it is elsewhere.

In the past, older schoolchildren sometimes started back before receiving their GCSE results, which could make life tricky if their grades weren't as expected in their chosen sixth form subjects.

But the consultation with parents, teachers and other interested parties rejected the idea of getting rid of the July fortnight, so it looks like it's here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Read More on The Sun

Major supermarket announces it’s CLOSED over Easter

Mum slammed for giving her 7-month-old ‘Jeremy Kyle’ version of baby led weaning

While it can make life tricky if you're trying to meet up with friends elsewhere in the country whose kids aren't on the same termtimes, it works in your favour if you want to pay off-peak prices in neighbouring counties.

Staggering the start of the summer holidays certainly makes a lot of sense when it comes to spending less and keeping crowding to a minimum.

Source: Read Full Article