It’s nearly the season of renewal, so Chris Leadbeater looks at some opportunities to enjoy the (hopefully) better weather
1. Flower power
A2020欧洲杯足球即时比分 round of applause for the Dutch who, as well as giving the world the epic combination of chips and mayonnaise, also do spring better than anyone else – in the floral flamboyance and tulip tumult of the iconic Keukenhof, in Lisse. Is it too late to catch this 79-acre marvel in bloom this year? Not a bit of it.
runs a seven-day “Best of Holland” escorted tour that visits the garden in spring, and has an April 19 departure on its books that should time its arrival perfectly – from £1,775pp; flights extra.
2. Jump to it
Right then. It’s time to suspend your disbelief at the sort of elevation that gives you vertigo, like one of those tightrope walkers who thinks that wobbling across the Grand Canyon on a line of cable is a fine idea. Because, contrary to the blustery evidence outside your window, tomorrow (March 1) marks the first day of spring. Or, at least, the meteorological first day of spring – the moment when, scientists say, the seasons change. Does that mean instantly warmer weather? Probably not. But we can at least dream of better. Where? Perhaps at the Falmouth Spring Festival, which, with true Cornish optimism, has its Spring Festival () slated for March 19-29. Bring a brolly.
3. Paris match
France’s capital needs no excuse to look sharp, and gives spring a grand welcome in the Jardin des Tuileries, which brightens its corners in March and April. There will be extra colour in the latter month, when the Paris Art Fair (artparis.com; April 2-5) takes over the Grand Palais. Three nights at the four-star Hotel Castille, through kirkerholidays.com, start at £896pp, including transfers and return Eurostar.
4. Garda honour
You don’t need to be a flouncy-shirted Romantic poet to appreciate the joys of an Alpine lake in spring. A seven-night stay at the three-star Hotel Bologna in Bardolino (on the east side of the Lake Garda), flying from Birmingham to Verona on May 6, starts at £450pp, including transfers and breakfast, with .
5. It’s a Sintra
Lisbon slips lithely out of winter amid river breezes and all the custard tarts you can shove in your face – and offers spring at its most verdant in the elevated outpost of Sintra, 20 miles west of the city, where grand palaces, aristocratic estates and 19th-century villas come wrapped in glorious greenery. Martinrandall.com has a six-day “Gardens of Sintra” guided tour planned for May 18-23, from £3,390pp including flights.
6. Keep a secret
2020欧洲杯足球即时比分The April 17 release of a new cinematic version of “The Secret Garden” – Frances Hodgson Burnett’s 1911 tale of an orphan finding new life in a Yorkshire oasis of shrubs and petals – will be saluted in Cornwall in the coming weeks. Stmaweshotel.com is offering a two-night “Secret Garden Escape” from £590 – with themed mocktails, film screenings and a chance to visit one of the filming locations, .
Japan revels in a perfect version of spring, its lanes alive with the shade and scent of cherry blossom. Hiking specialist walkjapan.com will be running an on-foot tour that peers at this pink persuasion on the third island, Kyushu. Its six-day “Oita Hot Spring Trail” (which will dally at onsen thermal baths en route) is scheduled for April 5-10, April 19-24 and May 10-15 – from £2,309 a head (not including international flights).
8. Powys Match
2020欧洲杯足球即时比分It should probably be viewed more as “hats and scarves are essential” than “ooh, look at the flowers”, but if you want to stride out into the Welsh countryside in the next fortnight, Crickhowell Walking Festival () will be celebrating the best of the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains from March 7 to 15.
9. May be warmer
2020欧洲杯足球即时比分Unlike some of its colleagues in the British cultural calendar, the Ludlow Spring Festival () should be able to bask in more clement weather – by dint of holding back its season-of-renewal festivities until May (15-17). Its mix of music, food and vintage car displays will roll around the Shropshire town in the middle of the month.
10. Messiah Complex
What does Windsor have that other UK destinations don’t? Apart from that big castle thing? It has its annual Spring Festival (; March 12-29), which moves matters out of the garden and into the arts – via lunchtime concerts at the Old Court, and a performance of Handel’s Messiah at the parish church (March 14).
Inspiration for your inbox
2020欧洲杯足球即时比分 for the latest features, advice, competitions, exclusive deals and comment.
You can also follow us on , and .