Britain’s Best Easter Events and Activities 2017

Bluebells

Birdsong, bluebells, lambs and lighter evenings – the return of spring is always joyful. From the dawn chorus and Easter bonnet parades to beautiful blossom in Kent and chocolate heaven in York, our country has so much on offer to enjoy and explore.

So, make the most of the sunshine (and showers) with our guide to the most relaxing, adventurous and eccentric events this Easter…

Easter Dog Races, St Agnes, Cornwall

Cornwall beach

Clinging to the wild north Cornwall coast, on Easter Sunday, 16 April, gorgeous St Agnes’ golden beach holds one of the UK’s more eccentric events. The annual Easter Dog Races see a gang of assorted dogs chase a man dressed as a bunny along the sands. Give your own pooch a shot; have a flutter on the winner, or simply enjoy the spectacle. www.stagnessurflifesavingclub.co.uk/annual-dog-racing-on-the-beach-on-easter-sunday

Survival skills at Wray Castle, Cumbria

Most parents feel like they need a survival course to cope with the holidays, but this free event is a dream for your budding Bear Grylls. Under the eye of a ranger, kids learn basic survival skills and build their own shelter, whilst you enjoy the castle’s gothic grandeur. 8, 13, 20 and 22 April. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wray-castle

Chocolate heaven, York

At the centre of our love affair with chocolate, the city of York’s chocolate heritage dates back to the 18th century with the iconic producer Rowntree. Check out York’s Chocolate Story and their new exhibition celebrating local confectioner Terry’s, or gaze at the gorgeous, hand-crafted eggs at Bettys tea room. www.yorkschocolatestory.com

Flowering fruit orchards, Kent and nationwide

Apple Blossom

The pastel prettiness of fruit trees bursting into bloom is a heart-lifting joy of spring, and nowhere does it happen more dramatically than in the orchards the ‘Garden of England’, Kent. Brogdale Farm, near Faversham, is home to our National Fruit Collection and by mid to late April both the cherry and apple trees should be at their beautiful best. www.brogdalecollections.org

Easter ‘Eggs’travaganza, Eden Project, Cornwall

The world-famous biosphere with its indoor/outdoor capabilities is the ideal location for an unpredictable English Easter day out. And Eden has gone all out on the egg theme. From 1-17 April, egg-spect (couldn’t resist) games such as ‘Nest Ball’ plus a huge ‘Egg-scramble’ course and an egg hunt. www.edenproject.com

St Georges Day Charity Festival, Lytham St Annes

On the Lancashire coast, near Blackpool this lively festival offers busking, a tea dance, a choir competition, comedy and a St George’s Day lunch, ball and parade all in aid of local charities. The streets of the seaside resort fill with music and laughter from 19-23 April. www.stgeorgesdayfestival.com

Wildflowers and seabirds, RSPB South Stack Cliffs, Anglesey

Anglesey seabirds

Spring is a wonderful time to visit the stunning South Stack Cliffs, a protected seabird colony, just off Holy Island, Anglesey. Listen out for skylarks, spy on breeding seabirds and experience an explosion of floral colour carpeting the heathland cliff tops. http://www.rspb.org.uk

Sub-tropical colour at Inverewe Garden & Estate, Scottish Highlands

Heading to the highlands, doesn’t usually take you towards warmth but the Gulf Stream around the National Trust for Scotland’s gardens at Inverewe creates a clement micro-climate where you can marvel at mountains whilst walking amongst swathes of sub-tropical colour. www.nts.org.uk/Property/Inverewe-Garden-and-Estate

Dawn chorus, nationwide

The dawn chorus actually begins in the dark with birds singing whilst they wait for the light to help in their search for food. Set the alarm to enjoy it in parks, gardens and woodlands all over Britain. Alternatively, head to the RSPB’s Wood of Cree – the largest ancient wood in southern Scotland – or to its Minsmere reserve in Suffolk for a guided walk. www.rspb.org.uk

Lambing, nationwide

Easter lambs

Nothing says spring quite like a gambolling little lamb. At Tatton Park, Cheshire they’re having a special, open Lambing Week from 8 -17 April. You can feed orphaned lambs on an organic farm in the Brecon Beacons on various April dates and at Doonies Rare Breeds Farm near Aberdeen you can enjoy a bevy of rare breed babies. events.tattonpark.org.uk; www.gooddayout.co.uk/experiences/lambing-organic-farm; www.dooniesfarm.co.uk

‘Where is Peter Rabbit Treasure Trail?’,   Bowness-on-Windermere, Lake District

How very 2017. A digital Easter Egg hunt organised by The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, where families search for ceramic eggs hidden in secret locations in the Lake District to win lovely prizes. You’ll need a car and a Smartphone and probably some excitable children. The Treasure Trail goes live on 12th April.

www.hop-skip-jump.com/events/event/peter-rabbit-treasure-trail-2017

Vintage festival, Great Central Railway, Loughborough, Leicestershire

A must for vintage vehicle fans of all ages, Great Central Railway’s Easter Vintage festival runs from 14 to 17 April with a traditional country fair at Quorn & Woodhouse station. There’ll be big wheels, vintage cars, traction engines and more, plus real ale and live music to keep the less enthusiastic happy!  www.gcrailway.co.uk/special-events/easter-vintage-festival

Spectacular sunbathing, Three Cliffs Bay, Gower Peninsula, Wales

Three Cliffs Bay on Gower

Located in one of the most magnificent areas along the Gower & Swansea Bay Coast Path, the view over Three Cliffs Bay beach, and, of course, its trio of striking limestone cliffs is often cited as Britain’s best.  Walk amongst wildflowers in crystal clear light or simply recline in spring sunshine and take it all in.  www.visitswanseabay.com/listings/three-cliffs-bay-beach  

Dyfi Osprey Visitor Centre, mid Wales

A lesser known herald of spring, Ospreys return to our shores in March after wintering in Africa and were reintroduced to this part of Wales in 2011 for the first time in 400 years. Only open April to September, the Dyfi Osprey Centre has a 360degree observatory and is accessible to wheelchair users. www.dyfiospreyproject.com

Ducks and Easter Bonnets, Nunney, Somerset

Centred around its commanding castle, the village of Nunney holds its annual Easter Bonnet parade and duck race this Easter Sunday, 16 April. There are prizes for the best decorated bonnets and a sea of yellow duckies ‘race’ down the picturesque Nunney Brook, all in aid of local, community projects. www.visitnunney.com/easter-sunday-bonnet-parade-duck-race

Bluebells, nationwide

From the middle of April, our woodlands, glades and gardens are graced with a striking lilac-blue carpet of bluebells. Of particular note is Hinton Ampner, Hampshire where you can picnic and recline on ‘sofas’ carved from fallen trees amidst the flowers, and the parkland National Nature Reserve of Dinefwr Park and Castle, Carmarthenshire. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hintonampner; www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dinefwr


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