Things to do during spring in the UK

Charity and Sponsorship, Seasonal, Activity

Posted by Courtney on 2nd March 2022

The sun breaks through the mist on a lovely spring morningPhoto credit: Facebook Russ Cribb

Springtime: the end of frosty mornings, the beginning of warmer, drawn-out evenings, and the flourishing of flora and fauna across meadows, parkland and forests alike. This season of renewal and rebirth is an enchanting time of year, seeing newborn animals raised and blossoming trees creating canopies of marshmallow cover.

But this period is also full of wonder for those of us on two legs, with everyone finding fun things to do in the spring. This may well include traditional games from your childhood that you’ve happily passed on to your own offspring, such as Pooh sticks, conkers or wheelbarrow races.

Just in case you need further inspiration for things to do in spring, below we’ve collated some of the best photos from the 1,100 sent in by our followers as part of our Spring Holiday Watch competition in partnership with RSPB. They cover illustrious locations such as the Lake District, Yorkshire and Kent.

Holiday cottages for spring


Budle Bay in NorthumberlandPhoto credit: Twitter @WellHelloSally

Stroll through the dunes at the seaside

Budle Bay, Northumberland

We begin with a photo that looks to us like it could have been taken on the first day of spring. With a sky that can’t decide whether it’s moody or majestic, this dune-backed beach in Northumberland offers spectacular panoramic views of the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve.

Whether you’re with your whole family group, just your partner or a four-pawed companion, a wander over these wide golden sands is a wonderful first day of spring idea. Given that this is an important bird sanctuary, you are likely to see a birdwatcher or two studying the wildfowl and waders as they nestle on the mudflats. However, this bay is unlikely to be busy and the walk from here to the village of Bamburgh is not to be missed, with the view as you approach the village unparalleled.

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Guildford Castle and St. Mary's Abbey in YorkPhoto credits: Twitter @djaskew (left) and Twitter @WellHelloSally (right)

Explore castle grounds and ruined abbeys

Guildford and York

Sticking with partially moody skies, this photo on the right taken at St. Mary’s Abbey in York, shows that the backdrop needn’t be perfect in order to capture a beautiful spring photo. Daffodils are in full bloom, breathing new life into a scene that, despite its beauty, has fallen on hard times.

On the left, a return to bluer skies takes us to Guildford Castle, where the first blooms of spring meander in pretty rows. Castle grounds are a pleasant place to wander in the cool, early-spring sun and when the primroses, hyacinths, white tulips and daffodils are laid out as elegantly as they are here, it’s easy to forget oneself and while away an entire afternoon.

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Kirkham PrioryPhoto credit: Twitter @WellHelloSally

Find symmetry, whether natural or manmade

Kirkham, Lancashire

We assure you this is, in fact, a photograph and not a landscape painting by the likes of Constable or Monet. This image is so striking, and it said so much to us that we absolutely had to include it. The contrast of the marmalade bridge at Kirkham Priory with the natural green beneath and beyond it creates a colour palette more associated with autumn but one that is nevertheless memorable.

The symmetry created by the reflection in the near-still water is a reminder of the calmness of springtime and the peace that it brings. The image as a whole creates an eye, with hanging branches as the eyelashes, giving the photograph an extra dimension of beauty.

So, head out with your troupe and find symmetry in the wild. For us, this is one of the best simple and free things to do in spring.

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Haystacks in the Lake District and a river in LeedsPhoto credits: Instagram @erincampbelldj (left) and Twitter @BeccaNdaisy (right)

Spend quality time with family

The Lake District and Leeds

With the Easter holidays being closely followed by the May bank holidays, this time of year is often the ideal time to embark on some spring activities with the kids. On the left, it looks as though camping is in order as a well-prepared adventurer gets ready for another quest up Haystacks in the Buttermere Valley in the Lake District. Although not the most elevated of the hills in the area, Haystacks offers unrivalled views of Buttermere and Crummock Water, which are only heightened in quality by a near-setting sun. Can you imagine having an Easter egg hunt here?

On the right, we have a youngster who has found herself a rope swing by a river. The water looks so refreshing that it may be remiss not to have a paddle as the little one swings giddily to and fro. If you find yourself by a river or stream this spring, why not try out some of these river activities?

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A girl looking at Whitby AbbeyPhoto credit: Twitter @GrahamLawn

Take in the coast and some heritage in one go

Whitby, Yorkshire

A trip to the Great British coast is always a winner but couple it with clear skies and some Gothic heritage and you’ve got the makings of a fantastic spring day. The 13th-century Gothic ruins of Whitby Abbey lie on the North Yorkshire coast and provide ample opportunity for exploring its extensive remains and learning about its history, including how it inspired Bram Stoker’s magnum opus: Dracula. Read more about the most famous houses in literature that you can visit in the UK. 

The young girl in this photo seems to be on her way home, yet she cannot take her eyes off the ruins. So, she sets herself down to soak in the view one last time. And what a view it is, with the blues of the sky and ocean providing a nice balance to the saffron of the land and architecture.

If you like to visit the coast at springtime, why not download our beach treasure hunt to keep the kids occupied?

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A sunset park in DidsburyPhoto credit: Twitter @escapeveloxity

Take the dog for a walk

Didsbury, Manchester

When you take the dog out for their walk, it’s mutually beneficial: they get some exercise, you get some fresh air, and both of you have fun. Undoubtedly, the dog usually has more fun than you though, with their tail wagging and their nose sniffing everything in sight. But on occasion, it can be argued that the two-legged rambler gets the lion’s share of enjoyment. This photo was taken on one such occasion.

With the sun was setting over a pond in a park in Didsbury, Manchester, this image was snapped capturing a lone goose out on the water. Words almost don’t do it justice, but the colours provide a kaleidoscope of wonder that is only enhanced by the mirroring effect of the water. The vibrant pinks and oranges of a setting sun are complemented by the vivid green of the weeping willow hanging directly over the calm pool.

If we had to choose our favourite spring nature activities, we think we’d choose to come here with our four-legged friend. Read more of the best dog-friendly days out in the UK. 

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Sunrise paddleboarding in Normans BayPhoto credit: Twitter @thewonderpigeon

Get out on the water

Normans Bay, East Sussex

The waters are getting warmer and, let’s face it, if some folks deem it acceptable to have a sea swim on New Year’s Day, then there’s no real excuse not to get into the water this spring. So, don your life jacket or wetsuit, grab your oar and head to the coast or your nearest river.

This image was taken at Normans Bay in East Sussex just as the sun was rising over the horizon. It’s certainly worth setting the alarm clock for an early wake-up call when a sunrise paddle is on the cards. These two fellow paddleboarders have the bay to themselves, save for a couple of nonchalant water birds, and the slowly intensifying sun makes for a wonderful shimmer on the rippling water.

So, if you’re still asking yourself what you can do in spring, a sunrise water sport is one of our top picks - find out the best places to paddleboard with our expert's tips. 

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Haworth villagePhoto credits: Twitter @WellHelloSally

Specialist shopping in an old-timey village

Haworth, West Yorkshire

If, for the time being, you’ve had your fill of the coast and parkland, maybe it’s time to scratch your retail itch…but with a twist. Haworth in West Yorkshire is a haven for specialist shopping with the cobbled streets seemingly bragging about their displays of antiques and collectables through their old-fashioned windows. Pick up an heirloom or a rare second-hand book as you make your way to the top of the hill, where, luckily, there are plenty of tearooms to choose from.

As if the streets themselves don’t exude enough quirk, there are strange and unusual events in abundance. From the Scroggling the Holly Weekend to the Pipes, Bows and Bells Weekend and even the weekend dedicated to everything 1960s, you’ll find charm, excitement and antiquity in equal measure when you visit this heritage town.

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Blossom on the trees by Leeds Castle, KentPhoto credit: Facebook Anne Baron

Visit the loveliest castle in the world

Maidstone, Kent

It wouldn’t be proper for us to create a spring blog without including some beautiful blossom. And where better to enjoy this natural flourishing than at the (self-proclaimed) loveliest castle in the world? Again, watery reflections are really resonating with us this spring, with the sandstone-like façade of Leeds Castle gleaming in the moat and one of the bridge arches creating a beautiful, imperfect symmetry.

The maze and underground grotto at this castle are certainly a draw, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a better way to spend your spring visit than wandering around the moat and exploring the islands this great castle sits upon, all the while taking in the beauty of the blossoms in the gardens. Find out where else you can see spring flowers in the UK this season. 

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A chapel and Bronte Parsonage in YorkshirePhoto credits: Twitter @SayHelloAnn (left) and Twitter @WellHelloSally (right)

Head to the country and get historical

Yorkshire

This chapel in the Yorkshire Wolds on the left would provide a great day out in the country, especially if the sun was shining as it was on the day this photo was taken. Just imagine taking the kids and setting up a countryside treasure hunt as a surprise – you’ll definitely be in their good books.

On the right, is the Bronte Parsonage Museum near Bradford, home to the famous literary family of the 19th century. Housing authors who have penned some of the country’s best-loved books, this wonderfully preserved Georgian building reveals how Emily, Charlotte and Anne would have lived, showcasing their furniture, clothing and personal items. An excellent insight into some important UK heritage and a delightful activity this spring. While you're in Yorkshire, why not check out these other literary days out?

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Find a place to stay this spring

With the last frost coming and going, spring is a magnificent time to get away and experience new things in a self-catering holiday home. Whether you desire a hot tub for two and spa facilities for a romantic retreat to the country, or a coastal cottage with a games room to accommodate the whole family, we’ve got the holiday property for you. Just click below to explore.

Holiday cottages for spring

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.