17 things to do in spring & summer 2019
Forget about new year’s resolutions. Spring is the time to make a change for the better! Get outside, smell the roses (literally), try something new or reconnect with an old hobby. Everything seems possible in spring. Here’s a list of ideas to get you started!
1. Join a walking group, discover hidden gems
If you’re a keen walker, you should consider joining the Ramblers. This year, they’re running the Walk About festival from 26 May until 3 June, during which you’ll be able to join hundreds of free group walks, many of which visit hidden gems.
Alternatively, if you want to unearth a few offbeat treasures under your steam, have a nosey around on Atlas Obscura, find something near you and go check it out. Museums, castles, sculptures and legends await.
2. Go on a woodland bluebell walk
Did you know that more than half the world’s bluebells flower right here in the UK? Aren’t we lucky? This explosion of colour is one of the quintessential signs of spring, and undoubtedly one of our favourite times of year. Make sure you get out and see the best of it - check out our guide to the best bluebell walks around the country
3. Go on a last-minute country or coastal break
With new flowers in bloom and leaves sprouting all over, so many parts of the UK look their absolute best in spring. Why not head off on a last-minute hotel deal (Travelzoo is great for UK breaks), an Airbnb escape or a camping getaway. You don’t have to travel far - just find somewhere on the map you’ve never been before (or somewhere you really want to return to), pack a bag and go.
4. Go for a walk somewhere you’ve never been before
Again, it doesn’t have to be somewhere remote or far from where you live - the point is just to do something new. If you need some inspiration, you can search by region on our website to find walking guides covering all areas in England. We’re bound to have some ideas for places near you.
5. Join the National Trust
Is it worth it? It definitely is. From £6 a month for an individual membership (half that for 18-25-year-olds, £10 for under-17s and free for under-5s) that’s less than the cost of a cinema ticket. Or two Sunday papers. Or three cups of coffee. In return you get entry to over 500 special places, free parking at most National Trust car parks, a brilliantly detailed handbook full of ideas to help you plan a visit and a magazine delivered three times a year. Family memberships (two adults and up to 10 kids) are £126 a year - which sounds like a lot, but is incredible value when you think what you’re getting. Join now and never regret it.
6. Stop & smell the roses
You’ve heard this phrase before. It’s easy to dismiss it as a cliché, but don’t. This spring, when you’re walking to work or the shops or the tube, take a moment to stop for a few precious seconds when you come across some flowers. Actually stop and smell them. £10 says you’ll be glad you did.
Oh, and if you really want to see roses done properly, this is the place.
7. Go fishing
Wetting a line is a great way to reconnect with nature. The coarse fishing season begins on 16 June, but many private fisheries remain open all year round. Spring is also prime time for fly fishing - mayfly season (often referred to as duffers’ fortnight) provides a feast for trout and the best chance for even the least capable of anglers to catch one. More info and rod licences available here.
8. Make the most of long evenings
At least once, between now and 21 June, set one evening aside to do something special - something you might only really do on a warm and light evening.
Drive to the coast after work just to walk on the beach or have fish and chips while listening to the sea. Or pick somewhere in the country to go and watch the sun set (there are a few ideas here to start you off). Remind yourself you don’t have to wait for the weekend to do something exciting and fun.
9. Go for a picnic
Amazingly easy, cheap as chips (literally) and surprisingly good for the soul. There’s something about lying out on a blanket on a warm afternoon or evening, surrounded by your favourite humans and eating simple food, that just works. Providing you don’t drop your Scotch egg or spill red wine down your front, you’re guaranteed to come away 50% more relaxed (approximately).
10. Go bird-spotting
Did you know that the first Sunday of May is International Dawn Chorus Day? This is the day to get out and celebrate nature’s symphony. Even night owls should make a point of rising early and heading out to really appreciate this incredible daily event. There are events happening up and down the country.
11. Make your own bird-feeder
Of course, the other option is getting the birds to come to you. Turn your garden into an avian gourmet destination by making and installing your own bird-feeder. Here’s a video that shows how to make a basic one.
12. Get up & watch the sun rise
Force yourself out of bed one morning and watch the sun rise. When was the last time you actually watched that big orange orb climb above the horizon as a new dawn arrives? It’s a simple thing, but powerful and uplifting. Plus, you’ll be up so early you’ll feel like you can conquer anything the day throws at you…
13. Go on a road trip
One of the many great things about living on this little island is that, well, it’s a little island. Going on a road trip is surprisingly easy - you don’t have to drive that far to find somewhere altogether unlike your everyday setting, where the people speak and behave differently; somewhere you can embark on new adventures. This way for a few ideas.
14. Go to a food festival
The food festival season really gets going in April; the curtain-raiser being the Exeter Festival of Southwest Food and Drink running from 17-19 April. There’s also the Porthleven Food Festival (26-28), Surrey Food Festival (27-28) in April, with key dates in May including the Sussex Street Food Festival and the River Cottage Food Fare. For loads more ideas, check out The Festival Calendar.
15. Pick your own fruit & veg
Did you know that the asparagus season officially starts on St George’s Day (23 April)? Well, you do now. Beyond that, most of the berries start coming into season from approximately the end of June onwards. A quick online search should reveal the location of your nearest PYO destination - be sure to check what they’ll have in season when, then plan accordingly. If you want to take things up a notch, you could try foraging for wild herbs and plants - this guide from the Woodland Trust is a great starting point.
16. Take the kids to meet newborn lambs
Fact: there’s not a child on earth that won’t be bewitched by an encounter with newborn lambs. This guide from the National Trust has some ideas for where to see spring lambs, but there will be more opportunities to see lambing at farms near you. There are even some farms where you can stay for a spring break and watch the lambs being born.
17. Go badger-watching
Great fun and fascinating for adults and children alike, this is a chance to get up close to one of Britain’s most secretive animals. From April onwards, badger cubs emerge from their setts, foraging for food and generally getting up to mischief. Devon Badger Watch is one of the best places to see them.
Want more ideas? We can help!
- Find pub walks guides for your area
- Find dog-walking guides for your area
- Find family-friendly walking guides for your area
What would you have put on the list? Let us know in the comments!
- Alex Batho