With shorts and T-shirt weather on the way, it’s time to blow away the winter cobwebs on a coastal walk. Options? Chalkup21 is a new 17-mile architecture trail along the top of the white cliffs between Folkestone and Deal, Kent, which highlights contemporary buildings en route, such as the Battle of Britain Memorial building at Capel-le-Ferne and the timber and glass cafe at the end of Deal pier (chalkup21.com).
If the change in temperature puts you in the festival mood, what could be more spring-like than one that celebrates cherry blossom? In Japan the arrival of the flowers is greeted with almost religious fervour. One of the best displays in the UK can be found at Brogdale farm in Kent. The home of the national fruit collection will be offering Hanami picnics until the end of April (booking essential) and a Japanese-inspired festival on 21 April with cultural demonstrations and food (brogdalecollections.org/hanami).
For a more formal floral display, the Harrogate spring flower show is one of the first big events in the gardening calendar – at the Great Yorkshire Showground from 26-29 April, with show gardens, floral displays and talks and demonstrations (flowershow.org.uk).
In Scotland the Celtic May Day festival of Beltane is celebrated with bonfires, torchlit processions, drumming and the arrival of the May on Calton Hill, Edinburgh, on 30 April (beltane.org). And in Wales you can witness the end of the lambing season at the RSPB Lake Vyrnwy organic farm in Powys. Tours of the lambing sheds will be available at weekends until the end of April (but booking is essential: go to rspb.org.uk).
For a magical experience, why not try one of the singing with nightingales events in Cambridgeshire, Essex and Kent throughout April and May? Organised by singer Sam Lee of the Nest Collective, these are intimate woodland concerts held around a camp fire. If you’re lucky, the musicians will be accompanied by the sound of nightingales singing, and you will be able to celebrate this very African bird that takes its summers in England (thenestcollective.co.uk.)
Enjoy an architecture walk along the white cliffs from Folkestone, ending with a snack at the cafe on Deal pier.