How to Enjoy the Start of Spring

3 April, 2024

The first signs that spring has started to arrive is always an exciting time of year, especially after the cold temperatures and darker evenings of winter. It’s the perfect time of year for a fresh start and a more positive outlook, whether it’s finding ways to embrace the outdoors or simply just appreciating the lighter evenings.

With that in mind, here are just some insights on how you can enjoy the start of spring and how to recognise that it’s finally arrived!

When does spring start?

The start of spring can be defined by two different ways, depending on whether you’re looking at the astronomical or meteorological methods. While the former refers to the Earth’s position in orbit, the latter looks at the temperature.

Astronomical spring is measured by looking at the position of the Earth in relation to the sun. Astronomers will define the seasons by the significant points in the Earth’s orbit, as well as taking into account the solstices and equinoxes. With that in mind, astronomical spring typically starts around 20th March and ends around the 20th June, but these dates can change from year to year.

From a meteorological perspective, seasons are based on the Earth’s temperature cycle and the annual calendar. Meteorologists break up the calendar into quarters, with spring falling across March, April and May. By this definition, spring will always start on 1st March and end on 31st May.

4 signs that spring is here

As well as the definitions above, there are some clear signs that spring is on its way just by looking outside! It’s a great time for wildlife and the outdoors, so make the most of it by keeping your eye out for these signs that spring has arrived.

Birdsong: The birds will start to become more active as spring approaches, and you might even be able to spot bird’s nests as they start to expand their families. Just be careful not to get too close! You should listen out for the birdsong that usually begins in March as birds start to look for partners, defending their territory or calling out to other birds. Known as the dawn chorus, birds will sing most loudly at daybreak.

Daffodils: It’s long been recognised that daffodils are one of the first signs of spring, as they typically flower from February until May. They only bloom once a year in spring, delivering a beautiful pop of colour to gardens and wild meadows. As well as daffodils, you should also look out for snowdrops and bluebells which also bloom during this time of year.

Bumblebees: The lifecycle of a bumblebee starts in spring when the increased temperatures awaken the queen bee from hibernation! (Interesting fact: the queen bee is the only member of the colony that survives the winter!) She will lay her first set of eggs that develop into adult bees a few weeks later. Queen bees can be seen March but typically the first worker bees will start to appear in April.

As well as the sociable bumblebee, you might also spot a number of solitary bees that start to emerge in spring, including the early mining bee and tawny mining bee.

Lighter evenings: Possibly one of the most exciting signs of spring is the gradual disappearance of the dark evenings. As March draws to a close, the sun will set as late as 7pm, which changes to even later once the clocks have gone forward.

Spring activities for families

So, once spring is in full flow, how do you make the most of it? Here we have some great inspiration for activities for the whole family to enjoy during spring.

Start walking: There’s no better time to start embracing the outdoors than by getting out for a walk, no matter how long or short. It’s a great way to connect with family and friends while enjoying the fresh air, especially as it stays light after everyone has finished school and work.

Go on a nature hunt: Whether it’s in your back garden, the local woods or further afield, why not start a nature hunt and see how many flowers, trees, insects and birds you can see? From snowdrops to lambs, there’s so much to take in during the spring season, so don’t miss the opportunity.

Look after your garden: It’s also a great time to start tending to your garden again after the long winter. You can plant all sorts during this time of year, including vegetables like carrots, tomatoes and cucumber as well as flowers like marigolds and gladioli. It’s an activity the whole family can get involved in too.

Bake using in-season produce: There’s something to be said for using fruits and vegetables that are in season – not only are they incredibly tasty and nutritious, but it’s also much fresher and doesn’t have to travel as far! Fruits in season for spring include strawberries, rhubarb and apricots, so why not have a go at baking a tart or cheesecake that makes the most of these flavours?

Take a look at our spring factsheet

Learn more about the spring season with our very own factsheet! From the Vernal equinox to the best activities, this has everything you need to make the most of the current season. You can also download it here: