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Unmissable spring events

by Melissa Brobby

Category: Things to do
March 3 2015

From Exeter Food Festival to welcoming the cuckoo’s return to West Yorkshire, Melissa Brobby rounds up her favourite events in March, April and May.

Go cuckoo for one of the quirkiest events in Yorkshire

A large cuckoo model at the Marsden Cuckoo Day in Yorkshire

Head to rural West Yorkshire in May for a right old English knees up at the annual Marsden Cuckoo Festival. Hailing the arrival of spring and the return of the cuckoo to Marsden, it's one of the quirkiest events in Yorkshire, and the wider North East. Along with a colourful village procession, enjoy watching, and maybe even taking part, in maypole and morris dancing, artistic workshops and lively evening entertainment, all to celebrate the village’s love for its feathered friend.

Have an ethereal experience at Stonehenge

Join druids and pagans as they gather at Stonehenge in Wiltshire to mark the vernal equinox – the official start of spring – on the 21st March. Considered to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, marvel in awe as you witness the spectacular sight of the sun rising above the iconic stones marking the symbolic changing of the seasons, as we say goodbye to the chilly, short days of winter and hello to the longer, warmer and brighter days of spring.

Eat your way through the Exeter Food Festival

Burgers on show at the Exeter Food Festival

If you’re a foodie fanatic looking for delectable local produce, then look no further than the Exeter Food Festival in April. Showcasing a variety of the South West’s finest food and drink from over 100 food producers, this three-day festival is literally foodie heaven. In between all the eating and drinking, attend one of the festival’s cooking demonstrations and workshops held by well-known TV celebrities, whilst mini foodies can enjoy an exciting mix of food-themed activities.

Pull on your boots for a Peak District walking festival

Grab your hiking boots and explore picturesque Chesterfield on a Walking Festival of the area in May. Be at peace as you search for dragonflies and listen to the sounds of birds whilst strolling around Chesterfield’s pretty town, taking in its industrial heritage and stopping off for a pint at the local pub. Serious walkers up for a challenge can attempt the 34-mile Chesterfield Round Walk through the surrounding countryside, whilst families can enjoy a ramble of two or three miles. Most of the walks are free and are suitable for all ages and abilities.

Feathers at the ready for the London Burlesque Festival

A performer at the London Burlesque Festival

Enter the risqué and exciting world of burlesque and cabaret as you watch some of the world’s best performers at the London Burlesque Festival in May. Whether you’re an intrigued newbie or a hard-core fan, this glamorous and tastefully naughty 10-day festival showcases the most eclectic and diverse acts in burlesque, hosting performances from saucy striptease to boundary pushing acts at venues across London. 

Cheer on your favourite jockey at The Grand National

Fancy trying your luck? Don your glad rags and head over to Liverpool for a flutter on the horses at the Grand National in April. Running at the Aintree Racecourse since 1839, this historic steeplechase is watched by over 600 million people on television each year. Be a part of the 154,000 strong crowd as you watch 40 horses and jockeys covering two circuits of Aintree’s track and tackling the famous Becher’s Brook, Valentine’s and The Chair fences, cheering your horse on towards the finish line.

Celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday in his hometown

A street performance in Stratford-upon-Avon

Celebrate the birthday of the Bard this April with a weekend of celebrations in his hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon. This annual street party takes place on the nearest weekend to the 23rd April (Shakespeare’s birthday and also the day he died) and dates back more than 100 years. It features a packed programme of birthday-themed cultural activities, street entertainment and a birthday procession in the historic riverside town. If you’re a fan of the man and his works, there is no better place to celebrate the birthday of England’s favourite playwright.

Find more events in spring...

Melissa Brobby

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