Best places to spot signs of spring

It’s hard to beat that spring feeling – the one when you can finally leave the house without a thick coat, and feel the sun’s warmth on your skin. With our handy guide you can go in search of the top signs of spring near you: from early-morning birdsong to fields of daffodils and bluebell woods. There are also plenty of tips to help the wildlife in your own garden, too.

Latest visiting update 

Our gardens, parks, cafés, shops, countryside locations and many houses are open. You no longer need to pre-book at many places. Some still require booking ahead, so please check the property webpage before you travel.​

Nymans spring in the garden

The science of spring

Science agrees that being outside is good for you. Our study has shown that spending just twenty minutes in nature can boost your mood, restore your ability to focus and reduce feelings of anxiety. Spring brings warmer weather and longer days, so it’s the perfect opportunity to take some time out and explore the great outdoors – you could also create a haven for spring in your own back garden when you make a promise for nature.

Spring wildlife

Lambs at places we care for

Spring blossom and blooms
Spring blossom on a tree at a National Trust site in May

Blossom 

Spring is the time when orchards and hedgerows are at their blooming best, and blossom usually appears from early March. From hawthorn and apple to ornamental cherries, it's easy to find trees covered in thick clouds of blossom. Why not take a stroll down your street or to your local green space to enjoy this natural show-stopper for yourself?

Magnolia tree in flower at Trelissick, Cornwall

Magnolias

From May til September, these goblet or star-shaped flowers found on garden trees and shrubs are always firm favourites, and for good reason. Their colours range from pure white to deepest purple and they fill the spring air with a gorgeous scent. Many people liken the smell to chocolate – what's not to love?

Wisteria in flower in May at Ham House and Garden, Surrey

Wisteria

Many gardeners at places we care for carefully prune wisteria during winter in preparation for spring. The blooms appear from May or June. The striking lilac flowers of wisteria grow in fluffy clouds and are hardy climbers, growing up to 10 metres in height.

Spring flowers

Make wild memories
Heading outside this spring? With warmer weather and more hours of daylight, it’s the perfect opportunity to slow down and explore the world around you. If you’re not sure where to start then have a go at these top tips: specially designed to awaken your senses, lead you to new discoveries and help you make the most of the season.

Learn to identify plants and animals
There’s something satisfying about being able to name a wild flower in a hedgerow, or a bird soaring overhead. All you need to do is pick up a wildlife identification book or download an app, then head outside and practise. You could even start a nature journal to note down all your favourite sightings.

Experience the dawn chorus
Even if you’re not a morning person, the dawn choruses of May and early June are worth waking up for. There’s nothing quite like being alone in the dim dawn light and hearing that first call of the morning, which builds to a loud crescendo just before the sun rises. Try getting into position an hour before sunrise for the best chance of hearing the birds: woodlands are usually the best place, but you could also try the local park or even your back garden.

Create some wild art
Nature has been inspiring artists since the earliest cave drawings, so why not let it inspire you too? Take a sketchbook out on a walk to draw the details and landscapes you discover, or practise taking creative photos with your phone or camera. You could even make art from the natural materials around you like broken twigs, lost feathers and fallen leaves.

Give wildlife a hand
Birds can struggle to find food in early spring, so it’s worth putting a feeder in your garden – they’re easy to make using lard and bird seed. You could also build a pile of rocks and dead wood to make the perfect home for insects, or create some seed balls to throw into your flower beds. Eventually they’ll bloom and bring colour to the garden, as well as making a tasty snack for bees and other insects.