The term 'Spring Break' means different things to different people. In the US, for example, Spring Break is a synonym for 'Young People Get Wasted During Easter', whereas here in the UK we tend to associate the long Easter weekend with chocolate eggs, cute bunnies, haunches of garlic-stuffed lamb, and bracing walks in deceptively cold northern hemisphere sunshine. We know which version we prefer.
It's a great time to get outside, even if it is just to purloin a few mini eggs before the children's egg hunt starts. The more adventurous however, will be stretching their legs further afield, burning off the cocoa solids across our green and glorious land. So with that wholesome vision in mind, we've curated a short but perfectly well-advised list of places to visit in order to imbibe the cold British air, elevate your mood, and take in a well-earned beer or two.
Firle Estate, East Sussex
Nestled at the foot of the South Downs, Firle is a stunning English village from which to access the South Downs Way, a roughly 160km long trail from Winchester to Eastbourne. From Firle, you walk through the beautiful estate, and following a short but steep ascent, meet the trail path affording some of the best views of the south coast. Walk past lazily grazing sheep (to remind you the fine minty garlicky dish you're slow cooking back at home) before looping back to Firle via Charleston House, the former country home of the Bloomsbury Set artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. Then it's back to Firle where the Ram Inn awaits, a delightful old pub serving local craft beer by the Burning Sky Brewery and excellent grub.
If you find yourself in the southwest this Easter weekend then a trip to Trelissick, near Truro, is a must, especially if you're of the gardening persuasion. With 40 acres of woodland, formal lawns and mixed herbaceous borders to explore - and all with stunning views of the River Fal - it's a great spring destination if you're looking for inspiration for your own patch of green. We have it on good authority that the camellias, flowering cherries, rhododendrons and magnolias are some of the most spectacular in the UK, while the spring bulbs situation is no joke.
Rye and Camber Sands, East Sussex
Rye was once an integral English port town and medieval citadel, and the home of much smuggling and maritime battles. It has been miraculously preserved in time, its cobbled streets and higgledy piggeldy shops and homes looking out over the banks of the River Rother. Spring is a great time to visit since the absence of tourists makes it pretty easy to get a table at the excellent Globe Inn Marsh, or a drink and lunch at the swish George Inn. Before all that though (you need to earn your calories), hike out to the stunning Cambers Sands to fill your lungs with sea air. It's a six-mile round trip from the centre of Rye but worth every step.
The Jurassic Coast, Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door
Everyone needs to see Durdle Door, the iconic sea stack on Dorset's Jurassic coast and the Easter weekend is an excellent time to do it because if you go on any given sunny day in the summer, you'll find a swarm of burnt humans in your way. The circuit that starts at Lulworth Cove is about 5 miles long, heading first to Durdle Door, Durdle Door, then back through the village of Scratchy Bottom (no word of a lie), round the back of Hambury Tout, before the descent to West Lulworth and the scamper back along the beach to Lulworth Cove. From unparalleled coastal views to beautiful English villages, this route has it all.