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Take a deep breath, spring is in the air

It's difficult to imagine spring is on the way when we consider the frost covered ground and icy car windows each morning. The signs are there though. Daffodil stems push through the leaves on the ground, and daylight lasts longer into the evening.

Spring is a beautiful time in the forest. The air is filled with the sounds of enthusiastic birdsong as our feathered friends get to work on their nests, bumble bees stagger hazily from their warm winter hideouts and even the ponds become noisier as the frogs bellow their mating calls.

If you are wondering how to fill your forest days, luckily it's not just nature that livens up in the spring time. Across the country, villages and towns begin annual festivities and cultural events from the notable to the notorious.

Here's our list of the some of the must-see events this spring.

Boat races and Bunny Hops in the South of England

There are a number of unusual customs that take place this spring in the south of England. Drop into Dorking on 5 March, and you can enter the UK Wife Carrying Race. Entering into its 10th year, the race is run over 380m, and includes spectator participation. Don't forget your water pistols!

A better-known event, perhaps, is The Boat Race, the annual contest between Oxford and Cambridge Universities. This year the race takes place on 2 April, and is easily accessed from our Blackwood Forest location by train to London.

For something a little more interactive for the whole family, join in the Easter Bunny Hop from 8 March to 23 April. Follow the clues around the City of Winchester and crack the code to win a treat.

Spring arrives in Gloucestershire

March is the month when the traditional Cheltenham Festival takes place, coinciding with St Patrick's Day on 17 March. The Festival marks the start of spring for sporting events across the UK and is second only to the Grand National (8 April) for size and popularity.

Closer to your cabin in Forest of Dean, another annual sporting event takes place. On 19 March take part in the Spring Trails Half Marathon and run through the woodland trails. And, as the forests awaken, some of local visitor attractions re-open for the year, including the mysterious Puzzlewood, a magical location for children who choose to enjoy the annual Easter Egg hunt.

A blossom of colour in Cornwall

Visit Deerpark in Cornwall, and join in the celebrations for St Piran's Day, the patron saint of Cornwall, with a parade in Bodmin on 6 March. The parade includes local children singing and dancing, before ending with a traditional Cornish pasty.

Alternatively discover the rainbow of colours in the first horticultural show of the season at the Cornwall Spring Flower Show, held at the Boconnoc Estate on 1 and 2 April. But don't worry, this isn't an April Fool!

Discover the spring forest in Nottinghamshire

The best way to find out how the forest comes alive as the seasons turn is to ask an expert. Join your Forest Ranger at Sherwood Forest and see how many animals you can discover emerging from their hibernation. Then grab your own trail pack from the Forest Retreat and follow the woodland trail, find the clues and win a prize.

It seems that hedgehogs are not the only spiky creature to be waking up this spring. Visit Creswell Crags over the Easter weekend and search the ice age caverns for dragon eggs. Watch out for mummy dragons and their fiery breath.

A spring fling in Norfolk

Celebrations of spring continue across the country, with fairs and events celebrating the warmer weather, colourful displays of flowers and dancing sheep! Make sure you don't miss The Sheep Show at the Norfolk Spring Fling on 4 April. A great day out for the whole family, the show is just a short drive away from Thorpe Forest.

Get on your bike in Yorkshire

There's something about the springtime that just fills us all with energy. Perhaps that's why the Yorkshire Moors attract all sorts of sporting events. There's The Tour de Yorkshire 28-30 April, a growing event for the serious cyclist.

And then there's the Kiplingcotes Derby, the oldest flat-race in the UK. Running on 16 March, the race is open to horses of all ages, and previous winners have reported it to be a wild ride. Alleged to have first run in 1519, the rules state that if it misses a year the race must never run again.

Both are great events to fill your days when you stay at Cropton or Keldy.

A spring celebration in Scotland

There is perhaps no better place to witness the spring bloom that the rugged wild landscapes of Scotland. A walk through the woods will reward you the scent of wild garlic flavouring the air while primroses, wood sorrel and dog's mercury all flourish.

Time your trip to Ardgartan Argyll or Strathyre for the weekend of 1 and 2 April, and make sure you fit in a visit to Springfest, the Scottish food and drink festival. As well as a variety of local traders offering a tempting array of tasty treats, the festival on the shores of Loch Lomond attracts top Scottish performers and plenty of new artists to the stage.

There is so much happening in the forests and plenty of attractions and events in the areas near our locations that you won't want to miss out. Book your forest break and watch nature burst into action first hand! What are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below!

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