April is a time of spring cleaning, new beginnings and fresh starts. It’s also the perfect time to travel somewhere you’ve never been before. Check out our top ideas for the best places to visit for April holidays around the world…
1. Multicoloured Madeira
This subtropical island is a plant-lover’s paradise. Situated in the Atlantic Ocean, shrubs have arrived from South America, Africa, Europe and further afield – in fact, thanks to its fertile volcanic soil, almost anything seems to grow in Madeira. The dramatic coastlines are decorated with rare flowers and the levada irrigation system creates fantastic pathways for exploring the mountains.
In April, Madeira is in full bloom, so a visit to Funchal’s botanical gardens is a must, while the oriental Monte Palace Tropical Garden with its exotic trees, flowers and ponds, overlooks Funchal Bay.
BOOK IT See Madeira’s spectacular gardens during Good Housekeeping Holidays’ eight-day tour of the island with Gardeners’ World‘s Joe Swift, from £1,399 per person.
2. Charming Cotswolds
With the beaming yellow daffodils poking through the ground and warmer temperatures, the Cotswolds are perfect for weekend escapes in the country at this time of year. Exhibitions and events begin for a new season at Blenheim Palace, which is a must-visit during your spring break, when the light shines through the leaves of the Formal Gardens.
In Chipping Campden, bluebells fill the woods for a special but fleeting moment, and during the chillier nights you can still warm your feet in front of the fire with a hot coffee or a brew.
BOOK IT Stay at the cosy Noel Arms Hotel for two nights from £145 per person, which includes 31 per cent off the normal price.
3. Japan in bloom
Spring is a wonderful time to visit Japan, when mealtimes call for congregations of friends, families and even co-workers to picnic together beneath the blooming cherry blossom trees. These celebrations, lit up by bonburi lanterns at night, are to welcome the sakura blossoms and to celebrate the fleeting nature of life which they represent.
Dependent on the region, you can celebrate the sakura between February and May. To see the best spots and chase the blossoms, join a cruise ship stopping at some of Japan’s best ports, such as Kobe, Kyoto, Fukuoka and Aomori. You’ll get stunning views of iconic Mount Fuji and enter pastel-pink parks like picturesque Hirosaki Park.
BOOK IT Experience incredible Japan during cherry blossom season with Good Housekeeping Holidays’ exclusive 15-day tour, from £3,199 per person.
4. Delightful Danube
Flowing through ten countries, the Danube River has a seemingly endless list of names that you can explore for days. The three majestic capital cities which have grown on its banks – Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava – are home to Baroque and Neo classical architecture, countless churches, castles and palaces and splendid main squares.
Its waters reflect the peaks of snow-capped mountains in the Alps and picturesque golden vineyards on lower planes. Visit in April for temperate, sunny weather following the harsh winter and before the summer crowds arrive.
BOOK IT Attend an exclusive concert in Vienna from world-renowned tenor, Russell Watson, during Good Housekeeping’s eight-day Danube river cruise, from £1,719 per person.
4. Scenic Somerset
Spring air calls for great British walks and picnics galore, followed by well-earned drinks and seasonal grub. Taunton, in Somerset, has the untamed beauty of Exmoor, woodland trails and hilltop views of the Quantock Hills and trails leading to windy Glastonbury Tor.
It’s a wonderful spot to get out and about in the countryside, relax at a blissful spa and enjoy the simple things in life.
BOOK IT Stay at the grand yet homely Mount Somerset Hotel and Spa from £169 per person for two nights, which includes a 35 per cent saving this April.