We’ve all just about had enough of winter – and luckily it’s nearly over! At last we can start to think about doing something fun, taking a trip, and venturing out and away from the sofa and the central heating. Whatever it is you feel like doing, this list should contain something that appeals to you. Let’s go!
First, how about a trip to the races? Even people who never usually bet on horses get caught up in the excitement of the Grand National, held at Aintree in Liverpool on Saturday 11th April. The big race is the climax of a three-day festival which includes Ladies Day on the Friday, so you could make a long weekend of it. Choose your horse wisely – the Coral Aintree page is a good source of news and tips.
Next, speed and power of a different kind. Saturday 25th April brings the Performance Car Action Day to Castle Combe circuit near Chippenham in Wiltshire. Petrolheads will enjoy the hundreds of muscle cars on display, though you can bring your own and compete against others. Tickets start at around £12 for adults.
Now for something a little more refined – the Wallace Collection’s Joshua Reynolds exhibition, which starts in mid-March and runs for three months. If you’re an art lover visiting London this spring or early summer, a visit to the Manchester Square gallery is going to be a must. Reynolds’ work will be on display from 10am to 5pm daily, along with detailed analysis and explanation of the 18th century portraitist’s importance. Admission is free.
Keen gardeners will be looking forward to the RHS Malvern Spring Festival, which takes place from 7th – 10th May this year. There’ll be some amazing displays of garden layout and design, as well as colourful floral exhibits in the marquee. It’s a fantastic way to start the season; there’ll be experts on hand to offer horticultural tips and advice, as well as a wide selection of interesting things to eat and drink, both local and international. Advance tickets start at £32.
Finally, something seriously traditional; the Shepley Spring Festival in West Yorkshire. Interest in folk music and its offshoots has grown in recent years, and Shepley offers both traditional music and dance, and the opportunity to participate in, and learn about both. Like all proper festivals, Shepley takes place in a field; bring a tent if you’re staying the whole weekend! The town is around 8 miles south of Huddersfield; one-day tickets start at £25.