After a bit of a dusting from Doris, Mother Nature has ordered an early ‘curtain up’ for the theatre that is spring. As I write, snowdrops are already on stage, daffodils are warming up for their big show, birds are set-building apace and mayblossom is waiting in the wings ready to cloak the hedgerows well ahead of the prompter’s call.

So what are we waiting for? How about a morale boosting spring time break in the great British and Irish countryside? The colours become more intense every day, the landscapes get sharper and the sun rises higher in the sky.

A fun way of discovering new parts is to join Easter egg hunts and trails. Once again, the National Trust and the National Trust for Scotland are holding Easter egg fun and games at hundreds of their sites (www.nationaltrust.org.uk) (www.nts.org.uk).

Why not laugh yourself silly and revel in glorious Mid Wales’ stunning springtime countryside at the Machynlleth Comedy Festival? See www.machcomedyfest.co.uk. Spring is the time to see Scotland’s castles at their finest. Join the Aberdeenshire Castle Trail – 17 castles including Craigievar, the inspiration for the ‘Disney Castle’. See www.visitscotland.com. And eat, drink and be merry…and stunned by the springtime majesty of the Wild Atlantic Way in a visit to Ireland. Food, Drink and Arts festivals for all. See www.ireland.com and www.discovernorthernireland.com.

In our website we are featuring our National Parks. Take a look at what these 15 wonderlands have to offer. The watery wilderness of the Norfolk Broads; the inspirational Lake District; the majestic Cairngorms; mysterious Exmoor; the gentle South Downs; Pembrokeshire Coast’s seaside spectacular…and so much more.

We mentioned that the wildlife is busy early this spring. Make the most of this by visiting our tremendous variety of nature reserves (www.rspb.org.uk) and (www.wildlifetrusts.org). And catch our wonderful woodlands as they prepare for summer (www.woodlandtrust.org.uk).

It is also a great time for walking the lanes, woods, moors and heaths. There are walking festivals planned for all parts this year. The Ramblers will help you out and about (www.ramblers.org.uk).

A few more ideas from our Days Out Diary:

March 17 – 19 St Patrick’s Festival, Cork;  March 9 – 19 Aye Write! Glasgow

March 18 – 19 Marmalade Festival, Penrith;  March 14 – 17 National Hunt Festival, Cheltenham

March 24 – 29 Anglesey Drama Festival;  April 1 – 16 Whitby Boat Fishing Festival

Apr.14 – 17 Teddies Go Free Muncaster Castle, Cumbria;  Apr. 21 – 23 – 50th Northumbrian Gathering

Apr. 22 – 23 Wonderwool Wales, Builth Wells;  April 27 – May 1 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival;

April 28 – 30 Lyme Regis Fossil Festival; – April 29 – May 1 Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza;

May 25 – June 4 Hay Festival;  May 5 – 7 Orwell Bluegrass Festival, Suffolk;

May 7 Maldon Mud Race, Essex;  May 20 – 21 Crab & Lobster Festival, Cromer, Norfolk;

May 21 – 25 International Shakespeare Festival, York;

May 26 – June 4 Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival, Ireland;

May 27 – 29 Dumfries & Galloway Springfling… and………..

May 28 Welsh Open Stone Skimming Championships, Llanwrtyd

You might also find these websites useful:

There is so much to see and do. And it’s easy to find great places to stay to enjoy the great British and Irish way of life. Use our brochure of bed and breakfast accommodation – The Little Green Book – and websites www.bedandbreakfastnationwide.com for B&B homes, and www.holidaycottagesnationwide.co.uk for self-catering.

All the B&Bs and cottages have been specially selected and inspected and provide high quality accommodation. They range from country cottages to town houses, manor houses to farm houses – all offering a warm welcome and good value. The hosts are all keen to promote their part of the country and suggest trips out and how best to get there.


Obtain a free 112-page brochure by paying for postage and packing using the payment facility on our website: http://www.bedandbreakfastnationwide.com/bb-brochure/

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If you live in the UK you could also send your name and address with three first-class stamps or a cheque for £2, to:


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