This April head to Edinburgh for a pagan festival to welcome Spring. Cheer on the 40,000 runners in the London Marathon and take an epic walk around the wild and beautiful Islands of the Inner Hebrides, in Scotland. It will change your life.
Where: Aintree, Liverpool
When: 6 April. Starting at 5.15pm
Cost: Tickets start at £29. Free to watch on ITV
The Grand National is a world famous horse race, with 600 million viewers tuning into to see 38 jockeys battle it out for the £1 million prize money. The race started in 1839 and has remained a popular sports event for Brits, with more than 70,000 people attending the race.
The Grand National is much more than a horse race. Brits attending get dressed up in their finest. Especially ladies who are known for wearing elaborate hats.
If you can get a ticket, do. The atmosphere and the racing will be something you’ll enjoy whether you a horse racing fan or not.
Watching it on TV is equally as fun. Follow the British tradition and have some mates over and have a Grand National party.
The only rules are you have to place a bet and go crazy cheering your horse on.
Where: Inner Hebrides, Scotland
When: 21st – 26th April
Cost: £5 per walk
Fancy hiking around the wild and beautiful Inner Hebrides of Scotland? Then the week-long walking festival across the Isles of Islay, Jura and Colonsay is just what the doctor ordered.
You can join any of the walks over the six days depending on your level of fitness.
The walking festival is a great way to take in the beauty of this remote part of Scotland. You’ll see everything from beaches, lochs and plenty of wildlife, including eagles, otters and deer.
You will need to arrive with food, water, good hiking boots, wellies, warm clothes and a waterproof jacket. If you are going to use public transport you can fly, get a ferry and drive. And the organisers have set-up a Facebook page for people to car share.
Shakespeare’s birthday celebrations
When: 27-28 April
If you like a good old birthday party and are looking for a weekend break to somewhere that is steeped in history, is pretty and away from the hustle and bustle of city life then head to Stratford-upon-Avon when the town hosts the annual birthday celebration for their most famous former resident, William Shakespeare.
The weekend-long party brings together performers, artists and fans from all over the world to remember the legendary poet and playwright.
Where: Blackheath to Buckingham Palace, London
When: 28 April
Cost: Free to be a spectator
The first London Marathon race took place in 1981 and it is dubbed a “historical jog around London” but don’t be fooled into thinking this is not a gathering of the fittest runners. It is and for a second year Mo Farah will be participating.
Every year more than 40,000 people run the marathon for many reasons. Some are doing it for the challenge and some are doing it to raise money for a charity.
Whilst the Marathon is televised on BBC1 and BBC2 from 8.55am if you can try and see the runners on their route because London goes into carnival spirit. The atmosphere is truly electric.
Where: Calton Hill, Edinburgh
When: 30 April
Cost: Tickets cost £8 for adults (£10 at the door)
This unusual festival staged on one of Edinburgh’s hills offers plenty of sparks. Beltane – a word that translates loosely from Gaelic as ‘bright fire’ – is a modern take on an Iron Age ritual held to celebrate the ‘death’ of winter and the ‘birth’ of summer.
The performers include acrobats, drummers and dancers . They form a procession that is led by the May Queen, a familiar figure in pagan mythology who symbolises fertility, rebirth and the community’s hopes for the new year. When the procession reaches a spot called the Bower a massive bonfire is lit, and the festivities move into top gear. It’s wild stuff and a great example of an ancient British tradition getting a contemporary twist.
credit: Dan Mosley