Spring is one of the best times to visit the UK as there’s a good chance of some sunshine, crowds are fewer, daylight hours are longer and prices are generally cheaper.
If you’re planning on visiting the UK in spring, here are some top things you should know, including when spring starts in the UK, what the weather will be like, what the best things to do in the UK during the spring are and what to pack for a springtime trip!
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When is spring in the UK?
If you look online to see when spring is in the UK, you might be faced with two separate start dates.
This is because the start of spring depends on whether you’re using the meteorological or the astronomical calendar.
The meteorological calendar splits the year into four seasons of three full months, which means spring in the UK is from March 1st to May 31st, at least according to this calendar.
Whereas, the astronomical calendar states that spring starts on the date of the Spring Equinox, usually on March 20th, although it can fall on the 19th or 21st in some years, and lasts until the Summer Solstice, which is usually June 21st. According to this calendar, spring would be from March 20th until June 21st.
Generally speaking, British people usually stick with the astronomical calendar, stating that spring is from March 20th until June 21st.
What’s the weather like in the UK in spring?
Spring in the UK is usually when Brits start rejoicing that the sun is starting to come out more and is getting us geared up for the summer.
But don’t let frequent blue skies and sunshine fall you, the temperatures can still be very cool, especially towards the start of spring. Spring temperatures in the UK typically range from 8°C to 13°C.
Although the sun can shine quite frequently, the UK is still an island, and is subject to very unpredictable weather, so you should also expect rain on some days too, especially in April when “April Showers” are common.
You’ll find a packing list section further on in this blog, specifically for the spring, which suggests tips for packing for such unpredictable weather. You can also read our more general UK packing list here.
10 best things to do in the UK in spring
It’s a good time to be out in the great British countryside during the spring. The sun frequently shines (although it can still be a little chilly), flowers bloom and lambs frolic across fields.
It’s all highly picturesque and well worth it.
From searching for bluebell woods, to city breaks and fun road trips, here are our top ten recommendations for how to make the most of the UK in spring…
1. Search for bluebell woods
There are very few places in the world that have bluebell woods and bluebell fields as large or as common as the UK does. During the spring months, various locations all across the UK become awash with purples, blues and greens. Some of the best places to see bluebells are Leigh Woods in Bristol, Bodnant Garden in Wales, Blickling Estate in Norfolk, Godolphin in Cornwall and Stourhead in Dorset.
Read More: Where to Find Bluebells in the UK
2. Have a chic city break
With the UK experiencing more daylight hours and blue skies than in winter and autumn, and with prices being much lower than in the summer, visiting the UK in the spring can be both a joy in terms of what you’ll see and how much you’ll spend. This is a great time to get out on two feet and have a chic city break or two. Some of the most popular cities in the UK for a long weekend include: London, Bristol, Edinburgh, Manchester, Oxford, Bath and Brighton to name just a few.
- Through The Eyes Of A Local: London
- Epic Bristol Itinerary: How to Spend One Day in Bristol
- Through The Eyes Of A Local: Edinburgh
- How to Spend the Perfect Day in Bath
3. Look for Harry Potter filming locations
One of the UK’s greatest draws for tourists is to find Harry Potter filming locations around the country, and with spring providing you with blue skies as a backdrop and less crowds to get in the way of your best shot, this season seems as good a time as any to go in search of lots of different locations.
4. Take out a National Trust membership
When you think about the UK, it is more often than not the quintessential chocolate box landscapes that will spring to mind. You will think about the green rolling hills, the farm lands, the bluebells and the historic castles. The National Trust owns a large proportion of these lands and buildings and helps to care for them. As a charity in its own right, the majority of their funds come from membership fees and donations. Whether it be walking out in the countryside, learning about historic buildings, or just saving money on car parking fees, being a member of the National Trust brings so many rewards and there are simply so many places to visit that your membership would be widely used, especially when visiting the UK in spring. Find out more here.
- 33 of the Best National Trust Places in the UK
- National Trust Dog Friendly Places [Contains Free Directory]
5. Soak in all of the unique history
History reveals that the UK became inhabited more than 800,000 years ago. Many different groups of people have lived here over the years, including the Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, which means the UK has a very rich and diverse history. From marvelling at how the Stonehenge was built by our Neolithic ancestors, to the ingenuity of the Romans and their infamous baths, to stunning Regency architecture, no matter what your historic interest is, the UK will have something to offer you. And with a UK spring seeing fewer crowds, you should discover some incredible finds.
- A Quick Guide to Cheltenham’s Regency Architecture
- Tintagel: The Most Beautiful Village in North Cornwall
- Through The Eyes Of A Local: Chester
- Exploring England & Wales: Historic Chester & Ceiriog Valley
- Burley Witch Shop: Witchcraft & Smuggling in Burley Village
- The Legend of Giant’s Causeway
6. Go on a fun road trip
As the UK is a small island, it’s so easy to see a lot in a short space of time if you have access to a car. And as there are more daylight hours in the spring in the UK, you could drive for miles and miles and still get to spend the best of the day somewhere picturesque and interesting. Some of the best places for road trips in the UK include Scotland, Cornwall, the Cotswolds, Wales and the Lake District.
- UK Trip Itinerary: Travel Around the UK in 10 Days
- The Best of Cornwall Itinerary: 3 Days Road Trip
- Scotland Road Trip Itinerary: How To Explore Scotland By Car
- 5 of the Best (And Prettiest) Villages in the Cotswolds
7. Marvel at the wonders of the lambing season
The UK spring lambing season is typically from February through to April, however, it’s in March and April that you should expect to see fields across the UK rife with lambs frolicking across the grass after their mothers. This is such a special season in the UK and you certainly won’t have to go far to spot your first lamb out in the countryside.
8. Go badger watching
In the UK, badger cubs start to emerge from hibernation in April. It’s difficult to find badgers as they tend to roam around through dusk and nighttime, however, by following the advice on badger.org.uk or by visiting an underground hide with the Devon Badger Watch, you may just spot something very special during your spring trip to the UK.
9. Take in the views from way up high
With longer daylight hours and clearer skies, spring time can be a very good season for heading to the top of a city observatory, mountain or overlook to see some incredible sights. Whether you choose to see iconic sights from up high, such as Bristol’s Clifton Suspension Bridge, or London’s city skyline from the top of The Shard, picturesque Lake District from on top of the surrounding hills, or even venture to the top of the UK’s highest peaks such as Ben Nevis or Snowdon, you’re sure to see some amazing sights. You could even do it for free as the UK is a very hilly island, so you’ll never be too far from an amazing view. Just remember to wrap up warm as the winds will be very cold when up high during the spring!
10. Visit the country’s best museums
And on those days in April when the heavens have opened, there are a myriad of museums to visit all across the country, with some even being free to enter! Some of the country’s best museums include the Natural History Museum in London, The British Museum in London, Brunel’s SS Great Britain in Bristol, Tate St Ives in Cornwall and The Roman Baths in Bath to name a select few.
What to pack for a UK spring trip
As with visiting the UK in any other season, you should be prepared for unpredictable weather. Although the sun should shine fairly frequently, you should also expect rain (especially in April), alongside chilly temperatures and high winds.
Because of this, we recommend wearing layers in spring — you may need to strip off a little when the sun shines, while wind and rain call for extra layers.
Generally speaking, here are a few essential items you’ll need when visiting the UK in spring:
- Long sleeved tops, jumpers or cardigans
- Trousers, jeans or leggings
- Waterproof coat or jacket
- Walking boots for countryside rambles
- Smart waterproof boots for city breaks in case of rain
- Umbrella (‘cos duh!)
- Hats, gloves and scarves (just in case and for when out in the countryside)
We hope you’ll enjoy visiting the UK in spring! What are you planning to do? And where do you want to visit? We’d love to know; just drop down a few notes in the comments below…
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