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How to Make the Most of the British Springtime

As the clocks go forward in late March, it heralds the start of a new season - Spring! The natural world slowly reawakens after a period of dormancy, and fresh green shoots herald what is to come. Snow-white lambs frisk around their mothers, insects appear from who-knows-where and begin their search for nectar, and hedgerows are filled with nesting activity from native birds such as house sparrows and blackbirds.

With longer days and more hours of sunshine, it's time to get outdoors and shake off the lethargy of winter. Spring flowers are a great incentive to plan summer colour as gardens are transformed with shocking pink azaleas, creamy cupped magnolias, golden-trumpeted daffodils and the frilly carmine blooms of camellias.

Cornish Spring Countryside (c) Mark A Coleman via Flickr
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Where to Find Spring Flowers

Spalding Tulips in Wood (c) Jin Linwood via Flickr
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If you really want to overdose on spring flowers, Spalding in Lincolnshire has acres of flowering tulip bulbs which offer a breathtaking display of solid colour. Do attend the Spalding Flower Festival.

Visit one of the beautiful Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) show gardens at North Yorkshire's Harlow Carr, Hyde Hall in Essex, Wisley in Surrey or the beautiful Devon gardens at Rosemoor.

The National Memorial Arboretum at Westonbirt has 16, 000 trees and the magnolias are at their very best in spring. Elsewhere, shady woodland areas burst into life with a carpet of bluebells that offer a surreal blue haze beneath the budding branches.

Arlington Bluebell Walk in East Sussex has eight trails through a sea of bluebells and the Woodland Trust offers many more wooded walks throughout the UK.

Bluebell Band (c) Dominics Pics via Flickr
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Another sign of spring is the cherry blossom which fleetingly covers fruit trees and then showers its delicate petals like snow on the ground beneath. The Vale of Evesham in Worcestershire has blossom trails, cycle rides and coach tours in April.

Brogdale in Kent is the location of the National Fruit Collection and their orchards of apple, pear, cherry and plum trees are a stunning feature in spring. You may want to return in autumn to sample the delicious fruits too!

Things to do in Springtime

Easter celebrations generally mark the start of the tourist season and many attractions host Easter egg hunts, egg painting and good old fashioned Easter bonnet making events.

Spring in London (c) Cristian Bortes via Flickr
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The World of Beatrix Potter organizes a grand Easter egg hunt with 100 extra special Easter eggs hidden across the county of Cumbria, so keep your eyes peeled!

April Fool's Day is a day for pranks and Muncaster Castle in the Lake District gets into the spirit with Tom Fools Day. Look out for the official Fool, Will Tease, who will be up to his usual tricks, or score a goal against Max Meadow Vole in the Foolish Football competition.

For me, the epitome of spring has to be a visit to the West country, where spring arrives extra early. Walk along the firm sandy beaches and let the breeze blow the winter cobwebs away, or drive along the narrow winding lanes, their high banks studded with pale yellow primroses.

Daffodils In Greenwich Park London (c) Russell james Smith via Flickr
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Visit the fabulous Lost Gardens of Heligan for a blazing show of azaleas, or enjoy the long-established gardens at Lanhydrock and finish your visit with a clotted cream tea.

Spring has sprung; it's time to get out there and celebrate!

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