Spring is finally here signalling the start of new beginnings. Flower buds begin to bloom, baby lambs begin to arrive, maypole dances, beer festivals and cherry blooms adorn the streets as the sun returns to start warming up the weather thawing away the last days of winter. 

To celebrate the season of new starts, why not fall in love with a brand-new destination or re-explore it with a new lens? Here are six stunning spots for springtime adventures you’ll want to visit this season.

Oktoberfest Munich

Munich, Germany: Beer and Blossoms in Bavaria

Several German cities host their own versions of a Spring Festival and in Munich, this takes the form of Frühlingsfest, an incredible spring-time beer festival that offers all of the perks of its famous bigger sister, Oktoberfest, but with fewer crowds. 

Taking place at the end of April/​beginning of May on the same festival site – and if you need a guide to Oktoberfest, here’s everything you need to know — Frühlingsfest offers many of the same experiences but just on a smaller scale; two large beer tents instead of the sixteen, all filled with singing, dancing and of course, barrels of beer. Once the effects of Frühlingsfest have worn off, head to Eisbach to join the legions of surfers carving the city’s river. 

Originating from traditional Bavarian towable plank-riding but merged with Polynesian surfing, the city’s river surfing sport has won over the hearts of the surf community. If you’re beginner, there’s a good spot besides the Floßlände that’s perfect for novices but those looking to push their limits need to take on the legendary Eisbach.

However, if you fancy beer-fest hopping, Erlangen Bergkirchweih, an annual Volksfest (beer festival and travelling funfair) takes place in the city of Erlangen, about 2 hours north of Munich where beer tastings take place throughout the city’s caves perched up on the mountainside between trees and small alleyways. 

1st May also marks the eruption of marvellous maypole celebrations throughout Bavaria where small towns and villages in the region will host their own. To experience it for yourself, head to Weiden in der Oberpfalz for a day trip. 

Bonn Altstadt

Bonn, Germany: Cherish cherry blossoms flourish close to Cologne 

Bucolic rural landscapes in full bloom, Bonn is a photographer’s paradise in the springtime when the city’s picturesque promenades are painted pink with cherry blossoms blooming.

Brought over from Japan in the 1980s, thousands of ornamental cherry trees were planted all over the city’s Altstadt (Old Town) and today, each April sees spring floral display unfold as carpets of delicate pink petals coat the cobblestones.

One particular street to visit is Heerstraße (aka Cherry Blossom Avenue) located on the fringes of the Old Town between Gründerzeit buildings and old-fashioned streetlamps, where lines of trees transform the area into a fragrant candyfloss-coloured tunnel.


Provence, France: You Cannes Count on Provence For a Sunshine Filled Spring

Famed for its glitz and glam, France’s sensational south coast offers sun and sand in abundance. There’s no better time to visit the region than in Spring as not only is it well out of the way of peak season (typically July and August), but the warm waters lapping at the golden sands is met with a cooler sea breeze, creating the perfect climate to take in the sights and scents in and out of the waters. 

Take a dip in the fresh ocean or wander the charming streets meandering along the crowd-free harbour, and if you fancy a mini-adventure, head to the seaside resort of Agay renowned for the beauty of its landscapes. 

Here, in the shadow of the Esterel massif you’ll find phenomenal views of nearby islands and unobstructed vistas of the Mediterranean coast flanked by a dazzling harbour.

Loire Vineyard

Loire Valley, France: Fairy tale landscapes and UNESCO listed wine routes

Châteaux and Vineyards can be found in abundance when you visit the stunning Loire Valley tucked away in the centre of France, and the springtime will see all opening their doors once again after having closed for the winter season.

If you love to be by the sea, the seductive sweeping curve of La Baule, home to France’s most beautiful bay is a must while thalassotherapy treatments can be enjoyed on the island of Yeu.

Visit Cheverny to experience trailing wisteria or the charming Château de Chambord, said to have been partly designed by Leonardo da Vinci, to admire the architectural beauty. 

And if you’re an oenophile, the 800km long UNESCO-listed wine route, where 250 million bottles of wine are produced each year, offers a romantic cycling trip through the Fiefs Vendéens or Anjou-Saumur vineyards, sampling local delicacies and chatting to winemakers en route. You can even eat right among the vines at La Table de la Bergerie, south of Angers.

Cotswold Garden

The Cotswolds: See Britain in Bloom in England’s County Garden

Lovingly called England’s country garden, the Cotswolds is postcard-pretty villages, fields of wildflowers, thatched cottages, country pubs and teashops on tap. 

While the villages of Bourton-on-the-Water and Bibury are popular photo spots, the Cheltenham Festival heralds the start of the British Social Season in March. While it may not attract the sea of derby hats that Ascot does, it’s a popular sporting event on the social calendar.

For something more extravagant, head to Cooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire where the annual Cheese-Rolling takes place each Spring Bank Holiday and sees enthusiastic participants race down a 200-yard-long hill chasing a 7Ib round Double Gloucester cheese wheel rolling down. 

Knaresborough Viaduct in Yorkshire

Harrogate: Yorkshire’s Spa Town

A quintessential Victorian spa town in the north of Yorkshire, Harrogate has been voted the happiest place to live in the UK and among the most romantic destinations in the world.

Prim, pretty and long associated with old-fashioned Englishness, flower shows and gardens centres fill the town with magnificent displays of colour throughout the spring season.

Explore the town’s ancient springs that contain waters believed to have healing properties by soaking in a Turkish Bath or instead, visit the enclosed medieval city of Ripon, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Additionally, Harrogate’s enviable location perched on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales makes it the perfect springboard from which to venture through the National Park for a day of rock climbing, caving and canoeing in the gorge. 

Looking for more destinations to make the most of a staycation? Don’t miss these must-visit destinations in the UK.

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