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Spring flowers

7 things to do now spring is here – UK events in April

It’s official: spring has officially sprung in the UK. The clocks have gone forward, which means evenings are longer and we’ve got less than 12 weeks until British summertime begins. So, what can you do between now and then? Here are seven springtime events you won’t want to miss…

1. Go for a springtime walk in the woods

What says spring more than a blast of country air and a walk through the woods? In spring, a blanket of bluebells heralds the end of winter in parks and woods across the country, and the National Trust has a handy list of places across the UK where you can see this natural phenomenon at its best. Take a camera and a picnic and enjoy the view – winter will soon be a distant memory.

2. Cheer on the runners in the London Marathon

Don’t fancy taking on the 26.2 Virgin Money London Marathon circuit yourself? No problem. Head to London to cheer on the runners on April 22nd and use the handy spectator info on the official site to get the best vantage point. Her Majesty the Queen will kick things off from Windsor Castle, and the roads around the route will be closed to traffic for the day.

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London-runners

3. Follow the culture trail in the capital

While you’re in London, go and see the Monet and Architecture exhibition at the National Gallery. The new exhibition brings together 75 paintings of buildings and architecture by the French Impressionist, who’s better known for his dreamy landscapes and paintings of nature. And in the spirit of culture, it’d be rude not to take in a show at the open-air Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre while you’re here. Hamlet and As You Like It are playing in repetition this spring, and you can watch both shows in one day on certain dates.

4. Celebrate St George’s Day in style

April 23rd is St George’s Day, AKA the day dedicated to England’s patron saint. Parades, fetes and fayres take place across the country and you’ll spot red-and-white flags in pubs up and down the land. Saint George is most famous for slaying a dragon, according to legend, and is now the patron saint of several countries and cities. In England the day is no longer a public holiday, but there’s usually something fun going on anyway.

St-George's-Flag

6. Race a cheese down a hill in Gloucester

Yes, really. Every May, thousands of people gather around Cooper’s Hill in Gloucester for the Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake. In a nutshell, someone rolls a massive wheel of cheese down a hill and anyone brave enough is invited to race it down to the bottom. The prize? Said wheel of Double Gloucester cheese. It’s been running for centuries, and it all happens on the spring bank holiday – May 28th. Just be warned if you’re participating – you may well leave with an injury.

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7. Head to the Edinburgh International Film Festival

OK, so the Edinburgh International Film Festival technically runs in summer, but it starts right on the cusp of the seasons in the second half of June, so now’s the time to get your tickets booked. It’s a melting pot of British and world cinema that’s a must for any film lover. And, running just before it is another highlight in Edinburgh’s calendar: the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival, which runs from May 26th to June 3rd.

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