It’s hard to believe we’re almost half way through 2014!
With two Bank Holiday weekends in May and the weather (hopefully!) starting to feel like summer is on its way, we think it’s the perfect time to plan some Great British Days Out – all inspired by our love of flowers and nature! There’s still plenty of time for a Bluebell Walk, you can find your nearest bluebell woods with the Woodland Trust.
Kenilworth Castle is perhaps not as well known as its neighbour, Warwick Castle, but on Saturday 3rd – Monday 5th May it will be welcoming the Elizabeth I and her courtiers for the Bank Holiday weekend! Kenilworth Castle is also home to the splendid Elizabethan Gardens, a must for all garden lovers.
As well as being a brilliant place to visit all year round, the National Botanic Garden of Wales are treating visitors to their ‘Crafts in Action’ event over the early May Bank Holiday. The Great Glasshouse will the showcase for local craftspeople to demonstrate their skills.
The Royal Horticultural Society’s Malvern Spring Festival (above) takes place at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern from Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th May. Amazing displays from 80 top British nurseries will be the focus of the festival in the RHS Floral Marquee and celebrity gardeners, Carol Klein and Chris Beardshaw will be hosting events in the Village Green theatre.
On the same weekend in Derbyshire, Chatsworth House is being transformed by floral designer Jonathan Moseley for their spring flower festival, ‘Florabundance’ – a colourful celebration of all things floral from Friday 9th to Tuesday 13th May.
Taking a trip further south to stunning Arundel Castle in West Sussex, throughout May & June you can experience their Allium Extravaganza. Described as a ‘floral firework display’, these towering blooms are not to be missed.
National Trust property, Blickling Estate in Norfolk, are holding their Spring Fair over the Bank Holiday weekend, Saturday 24th – Monday 26th May. They’ll be celebrating village fairs past and present with historical displays and local arts and crafts. The gardens date back four centuries, and feature fragant double borders which are wonderful to stroll around – there’s even a Secret Garden and a walled kitchen garden with a lovely mulberry tree!
Head north to the Royal Botanic Garden, Benmore on the Cowal Peninsula in Argyll to the enchanting mountainside gardens famous for their Rhododendron collection. There’s a Family Open Day on Sunday 1st June, with a plant sale and craft fair.
And if you love Rhododendron’s RHS Harlow Carr near Harrogate have a Rhodedendron Show on May 10th & 11th.
For a unique day out it’s always worth discovering if gardens near to you or perhaps local to a place you’re visiting take part in the National Open Gardens scheme. The award-winning, charity-fundraising Driftwood Open Garden (below) on the beautiful East Sussex coast caught our eye on Twitter, so we wanted to give them a mention – they’re busy getting ready to open the garden to the public again in June.
On Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th June, as part of the Chelsea Fringe 2014, Walmer Castle & Gardens are hosting a family event exploring the wonders of the Great British Garden. Kids plant potting, garden games and a flower show are just a few of the activities to enjoy.
We hope these ideas have inspired you to plan a Great British day out over the next few weeks!
We’re sure you’ve got lots more recommendations for places to go, why not share them on our Facebook page or post a comment below? If you’re on Pinterest, you can also follow our Great British Days Out pinboard.