While we may still face some more cold weather yet, March officially marks the first sign of spring. And there are plenty of ways to make the most of this month, whether you decide to enjoy more time outdoors, explore new places, or get involved with some of the many fun events and celebrations happening across the UK.
To give you some ideas, we’ve put together a list of 12 things to do and places to visit in the UK in March. From spring flower shows to St Patrick’s Day celebrations and pre-coronation events, hopefully there’s something for everyone.
1. Celebrate St David’s Day, Wales
As the only native-born patron saint of Britain and Ireland, St David is considered the greatest Welsh saint.
St David died on 1st March 589 and St David’s Day has been observed on this day ever since. It’s considered ‘one of the most colourful days of the year’ in Wales, as bright yellow daffodils, green leeks, and traditional dress all come out in celebration.
If you’d like to get involved, there are plenty of St David’s Day celebrations happening across Wales. For example, there’s a National St David’s Day Parade in Cardiff city centre, a St David’s Day lunch with traditional Welsh food at Elan Valley, and a number of National Trust sites are hosting St David’s Day events too.
Or, for something more lowkey, a lot of people like to simply dedicate the day to the words of St David himself: gwnewh y pethau bychain (“do the little things”) by showing random acts of kindness to others.
2. Wander through a mini solar system, North Down
If you’re looking for a fun day out with family and friends, you might be interested in the new mini solar system trail installed on the North Down Coastal Path.
Designed by artist Oliver Jeffers and scientist Professor Stephen, Our Place in Space is a 10km sculpture trail of the solar system that aims to help people gain perspective on their lives by looking back on Earth from space. Having had great success in Liverpool, Derry, Belfast, and Cambridge in 2022, this is Our Place in Space’s final tour.
The trail will begin at Ulster Transport Museum and wind down onto the North Down Coastal Path, Crawfordsburn Country Park, before finishing at Bangor Pier.
There’s also an interactive app and an exciting events programme to enjoy. Our Place in Space opens on 24th February and will run until 26th March 2023.
3. Have a laugh at Glasgow International Comedy Festival, Glasgow
Dubbed the funniest place in Scotland, Glasgow is known to be one of the best cities for comedy in the UK. And once you’ve experienced Glasgow’s International Comedy Festival, it’s not difficult to see why.
The Glasgow International Comedy Festival brings together some of the city’s favourite comedians, along with newcomers, and other performers from across the world.
This year’s festival will run from 15th March-2nd April, hosting 380 events in 37 venues across Glasgow. Some of the top performers include Michael Herd, Zoe Lyons, Frankie Boyle, and Fern Brady.
Expect everything from hilarious sketches, drag, and improv, to music and family-friendly performances. You can read a full event line-up on the Glasgow Comedy Festival website.
4. Watch The Boat Race, London
The Boat Race is an annual sporting event between crews from Oxford and Cambridge universities.
The first Men’s Boat Race was held in 1829 – and it wasn’t until nearly 100 years later, in 1927, that a female equivalent was created. Today, it’s one of the world’s oldest and most famous amateur sporting events. This year’s race will mark the 77th Women’s Boat Race and 168th Men’s Boat Race.
If you’d like to join the crowds that gather in their thousands to watch The Boat Race this year on 26th March, you can find information on how to bag the best spot on The Boat Race website.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer to join in the fun from home, you can tune in on BBC Sport or livestream the race on YouTube.
5. Discuss your favourite books at York Literature Festival, York
If you love all things literature, then you won’t want to miss this year’s lineup at York Literature Festival.
Guests include television legend David Dimbleby, authors Juno Dawson and Julia Armfield, and historians Tessa Dunlop and Peter Frankpan.
There are also a range of exciting events and workshops to attend, including David Dimbleby’s reflections on his 50-year career with the BBC and a panel discussion on how to get published.
York Literature Festival will run from 11th-27th March 2023. You can find a full event programme here.
6. Take in the beauty at Falmouth Spring Flower Show, South Cornwall
Nothing marks the beginning of spring better than the blooming of flowers. So if you’re ready to kickstart the spring season, why not head to the Falmouth spring flower show this March?
This show dates back to 1910 when it was first held by Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Helena. Today, you can expect everything from daffodil classes to gorgeous displays of orchids, cacti, camellias, and magnolias. There are also opportunities to learn more about your favourite plants and get gardening tips from experts.
This year the Falmouth spring flower show will be held on the weekend of 25th and 26th March – and the good news is that it’s all free to explore.
7. Explore some of England’s coastal path
With the opening of England’s new coastal path, 2023 has been branded as ‘The Year of the Coast’.
The path has been developed by Natural England in partnership with local access authorities and, when completed, it will follow the entire coast of England. Spanning 2,795 miles, this will make it the longest coastal path in the world.
The picturesque paths will take you along long sandy beaches, to coastal towns with fascinating histories.
So if you fancy getting your walking boots on this spring, why not take a stroll along some of England’s new coastal paths? You can use this interactive map on the National Trails website to explore which areas of the path are currently complete and open to walkers. You can also keep up to date with the progress of other sections of the coastal path on the government website.
You might also like to check out our article, 7 of the best coastal walks to try in the UK, for more inspiration.
8. Meet some canine friends at Crufts, Birmingham
Recognised as the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts is a popular four-day event that celebrates everything dog. So if you’re a dog lover, you won’t want to miss this one.
At Crufts, you’ll find a range of adorable pedigree breeds, rescue dogs, and crossbreeds all giving their best performances in categories like agility, obedience, flyball, and heelwork to music. And, set on 25 acres with five different halls, Crufts is packed with over 350 stalls ready to meet every dog owners’ shopping needs.
Various charities working with dogs will also be there, and specialist displays from Medical Detection Dogs and the West Midlands Police Dogs will also take place in the arena.
Last year, 2.4 million television viewers tuned in from home to watch the show’s finale. If you were one of them, why not experience the magic of Crufts in person this year? Crufts 2023 will take place from 9th-12th March.
9. Join the Royal Coronation walking tour, London
If you’re planning to celebrate King Charles III’s coronation later this year, then you might be interested in the Royal Coronation walking tour, which is taking place in London on Sunday 19th March.
Ahead of the King’s coronation, the tour aims to be a celebration of royalty; looking back at the history of previous coronations – most notably that of the late Queen Elizabeth II.
Starting at the site of every coronation since William the Conqueror, Westminster Abbey, the tour (which is led by a qualified Westminster Guide Dr Stephen King) will take guests on a gentle 90-minute walk through the heart of London.
10. Celebrate St Patrick's Day, UK-wide
Every year, St Patrick’s Day is celebrated on 17th March in honour of Ireland’s patron saint who brought Christianity to the country. This year, it falls on a Friday, which for many will be even more cause for celebration.
Whether you’re Irish celebrating your heritage, or simply want an excuse to party, St Patrick’s Day is one to get involved in. There are plenty of ways to channel this Irish holiday, with events held across the UK.
St Patrick’s Day festivals, parades, and concerts are taking place across Northern Ireland – including Belfast, Derry, and Armagh. And across the rest of the UK, Leeds is hosting its own parade, Glasgow has organised a St Patrick’s Day family fun day, and the annual St Patrick’s Festival, hosted in Trafalgar Square, will include the best of Irish arts, food, culture, and music – as well as a spectacular parade.
11. Soak in the atmosphere at Cheltenham Festival, Gloucestershire
Cheltenham racecourse has hosted racing events since 1815. And today, its annual festival remains one of the most popular horse racing events around – drawing crowds from all over the UK.
Whether you’re a first-time goer or a horse racing expert, Cheltenham Festival offers an experience like no other. Over the four-day festival, there are a total of 28 races – including the famous Cheltenham Gold Cup – which will see the best horses, jockeys, and trainers go head to head.
This year, Cheltenham Festival will run from 14th-17th March.
If you’d like to extend your trip, the areas surrounding Cheltenham are always buzzing during the festival. Why not make a staycation out of it in the nearby Cotswolds?
Aside from the excitement of the races, with so many beautiful walks to enjoy, gardens to visit, and traditional pubs to relax in, March time in the Cotswolds is wonderful. Check out our article, 7 of the best places to visit in the Cotswolds, for inspiration on where to go.
12. Lookout for spring blossom, UK-wide
The appearance of blossom is a sure sign that spring has arrived, and from cherry to magnolia blossom, there are many different varieties to lookout for.
If you’re not sure where you can find blossom near you, the National Trust has created a guide to the best places to spot different types of blossom across their UK sites. For example, the cherry trees at Greys Court in Oxfordshire start to blossom towards the end of March, as do the magnolias at Blickling Estate in Norfolk.
Springtime is also a great opportunity to get your camera out as blossom, daffodils, bluebells, and emerging wildlife all make beautiful photography subjects. Why not check out our beginner’s guide to photography if you’d like to get started, or try one of these photography projects?
Many of us will be feeling excited that spring is just around the corner. And the good news is that whatever your interests, there are plenty of ways to make the most of this month.
For further reading, head over to the art and culture or travel sections of our website. Here you’ll find everything from fun days out in the UK to must-see National Trust sites and film set locations you can visit.