Field of bluebells with few trees and fence , grass field in the background

Spring: Things To Do Across The UK In 2023

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It’s time to get out and enjoy spring. Or, at least, it’s time to start dreaming about the fun things we’ll get up to when the sun dares to return. Even if it is just a walk to your local park, a jog along the river, or a hike up a remote hill away from it all, get outside and soak it all up. To get you excited about the arrival of warmer weather, if you’re looking for the best places to visit and things to do in spring in the UK, your search ends here. From lovely staycations to festivals to the Coronation of King Charles III, we’ve rounded up the best seasonal sojourns from every corner of the country…

Read the C&TH Responsible Tourism Guide

Spring Guide: Things To Do & Where To Go in the UK

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Cheltenham Festival

Head To Cheltenham Festival 2023

14–17 March 2023

The Cheltenham Festival heralds the start of the British Social Season. While it doesn’t have the pomp and ceremony of Ascot, it’s a serious sporting event and you can always wear a hat if you wish (but you may prefer a flatcap).

Stratford-upon-Avon

Celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday

22 April

Pay tribute to the Bard on his birthday at Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon, where you can tread the floorboards of the home where he was born and admire the gardens of Anne Hathaway’s cottage.

Prince Charles and Camilla

Celebrate King Charles’ Coronation

6 May 2023

King Charles III and Queen Camilla’s coronation will take place on 6 May at Westminster Abbey, but it will be celebrated up and down the country. Time to start planning your street party…

Cliveden dining room

Enjoy Regal Afternoon Tea at Cliveden House

Cliveden House has hosted every British monarch since King George I, and is celebrating its illustriously regal history with a special afternoon tea for 2023. The Great Royal Gardens Afternoon Tea will be served in the Cliveden Dining Room with views of the impressive grounds, gardens and woodland. It will be served all year but, of course, best enjoyed in the month of our new monarch, May.

BOOK IT: The Great Royal Garden Afternoon Tea is served in The Great Hall on Sundays (from 4:15 pm) and in The Cliveden Dining Room Monday–Saturday (from 12 noon). From £50 per person, with a vegan option available. clivedenhouse.co.uk

Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight at Sundown

Join the Isle of Wight’s Walking Festival

Saturday 13–Sunday 21 May 2023

Avoid the crowds and the summer heat and get fit at the same time by taking park in the Isle of Wight‘s annual walking festival each May, or do your own version. For those up for the challenge, you can walk round the whole island (72 miles) in 24 hour. isleofwightwalkingfestival.co.uk

Dylan Thomas Boathouse Laugharne Wales

Celebrate Dylan Thomas Day

14 May 2023

Celebrate Wales’ most famous literary son on International Dylan Thomas day also in May. Do make sure you visit his boathouse in Laugharne, where he wrote many of his most famous works.

Cheese Rolling

Try Cheese Rolling

29 May 2023

Yes, you read that right. Ever rolled a cheese down a hill? Perhaps not, but every Spring bank holiday, health and safety goes out the window and runners hurtle down the exceedingly steep Cooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire after a 7lb Double Gloucester.

You may well ask, but its a centuries old tradition that has even earned a dedicated episode of Netflix documentary series, We Are The Champions.

Tides out and the sun rises on Cromer beach, Norfolk, uk

Go Crabbing in East Anglia

Crabbing season starts in late April. While Cromer is the obvious choice, gillying in Blakeney Quayside and Wells Harbour is also popular. Wait for high tide and use bacon as bait if you’re using a line.

Image: Cromer Pier

Elderflower Fields Festival

Visit A Boutique Festival

If smaller is more your speed, head to one of the nation’s smaller music festivals for all the fun with less of the stress. This year, Sussex’s Elderflower Fields will be taking place from 26–29 May, brimming with brilliant music, sports, nature and art.

Check out our full guide to the UK’s best boutique festivals for 2023

Ashridge Estate: What to do and visit in the UK in spring

Bluebell Views

Between April and May, follow the woodland path on the Ashridge Estate in Hertfordshire, admiring the springtime carpet of bluebells as you go.

Spring is coming blossoming tree cherry, almond, sakura. Beautiful white pink flowers, blooming tree. Beautiful trees in park. Blossoming alley

See Beautiful Cherry Blossom

Forgo the long-haul flight to Kyoto and head to the Japanese gardens at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens instead. From as early as the end of February, nature’s confetti decorates the trees here. But, for the best cherry blossom vista, visit in April or May when the blossoms are in full bloom.

Programme for Schools at Hay Festival 2019 credit Sam Hardwick

Enjoy A Literary Festival

At the end of every May, the literati gathers at the UK’s favourite book festival in Hay, where the small town, with more than its fair share of bookshops, attracts names as diverse as Eddie Izzard, Miriam González Durántez (and her husband Nick Clegg), Helen Fielding and Colm Toíbín.

25 May–4 June 2023, hayfestival.com

Image (c) Sam Hardwick

puffins

Visit Lundy Island

Step back to a simpler time on Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel. Here you’ll find puffins, seals… no cars. Bliss. You can stay in castles, old school houses and lighthouses through the Landmark Trust.

Photo by Sarah Kilian on Unsplash

The village of Kingsand on the Rame Peninsula in South East Cornwall England UK Europe

Escape For A Spring Staycation

Escape the crowds and head to Cornwall for a spring staycation. Check out our guides to the best things to do in Cornwall (better still, the best sustainable things to do in Cornwall), and Cornwall for kids.

Looking out from a telescope view point across the Surrey and Sussex countryside from the North Downs to the South Downs. Taken from the top of Leith Hill Tower in England, UK

Climb Leith Hill Tower

Count counties from Leith Hill Tower in Dorking on a clear morning. It’s the highest point in south-east England, which means you might even spot a boat on the Channel.

Exbury Gardens

Spring Sprung at Exbury Gardens

See winter shake off its torpor and the year really come alive at Exbury Gardens, the vision of Lionel de Rothschild, who planted copious colourful rhododendrons and azaleas, which are best seen in May.

Glenfinnan Viaduct

Take A Trip To Scotland

Hop aboard a steam train and take in the Scottish landscape from the comfort of a railway carriage. Harry Potter fans will be delighted to cross the Glenfinnan viaduct, recognisable from the films.

If you’re in Aberdeen, relax and unwind in an outdoor space if you’re able to. Try the Japanese-inspired Johnston Gardens, with flowing waterfalls, trickling streams and gorgeous blooms.

 

View of Aber Falls in Snowdonia National Park

Visit A Waterfall

Take a spring walk to see the Rhaeadr Fawr waterfall (Aber Falls), home to many rare and beautiful birds from the Great Spotted woodpecker to the pied flycatcher.

Lindisfarne

Take a Trip To A Castle

Visit the stunning formal gardens of Alnwick Castle, redeveloped by the Duchess of Northumberland, which has its very own poison garden and a fantastic restaurant in a treehouse.

Or venture up to Scotland or across to Ireland for more castles galore.

Lindisfarne Castle from the Rocks with rock pool in foreground

Step Back In Time at Lindisfarne

Step back in time on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, Northumberland, and marvel at all that has been preserved. From ponies to seals, the wildlife on the island is also spectacular.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Visit Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, set in the glorious parkland of Bretton Hall estate, displays works by leading sculptors of the 20th century and is an absolute must-see. Until September 2024, there are four magnificent Damien Hirst sculptures on display.

Joana Vasconcelos, Solitaire, 2018. Photo © Jonty Wilde, Courtesy Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The Avocet Bird

Spot Birds at Havergate Island

Hop in a boat to Havergate Island in the middle of the River Ore to spot wading birds. It’s best-known for breeding avocets and terns at this time of year. The boat goes out at 10am on the first Saturday of every month, taking just 12 people, so plan ahead for a birdwatching experience that’s far away from the crowds. thesuffolkcoast.co.uk

Deptford Creek

Visit London’s Very Own Nature Creek

Who said you need to leave London to soak in some nature? Deptford Creek is one of the last natural creeks in the UK and it’s bursting with 120 species of wild flowers.