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The August bank holiday weekend will see an estimated 1.8 million holidaymakers head off from the UK to overseas hotspots, with Spain the top destination for Britons. Particularly popular are Spain's Balearic and Canary Islands, while Barcelona is also a popular choice for people taking a long-distance break from August 23-26.

The figures for those flying off come from Abta, the Association of British Travel Agents, a body for tour operators and travel agents. Other overseas countries which Britons have set their sights on are France, the Greek islands and Turkey, but other top break destinations - in cities - include Paris, New York, Berlin, Dublin and Amsterdam. In England, airports have issued their figures for passengers expected to fly out. They amount to 425,000 from London's Heathrow Airport, 255,000 from Gatwick, 125,000 fromStansted Airport, 70,000 from Luton Airport, and 15,000 from Southend in Essex, so airports in south east England can expect a very busy weekend. The bank holiday weekend is always one of the busiest of the year as people fly off to make the most of the end of their summer holidays, said Mark Tanzer, the chief executive of Abta.

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