With the ‘beast from the east’ in firm retreat and the first of the year’s seasonal flowers starting to emerge, there’s never been a better time to make plans for the coming of spring.

There is plenty of inspiration, ranging from walking holidays to days out that take in the best blooms of the season, suitable for groups seeking something this year and further ahead.

Don’t yet have an outing pencilled in the diary for this Easter? Look no further, we suggest three ideas perfect for a group trip.

1. Visit a tulip festival

In Sussex, over 32,000 tulips will be blooming in Arundel Castle’s gardens in April and May, providing visitors with what’s been described as one of the most impressive displays of its kind in the country. A wide range of varieties of tulips will be in flower, including Olympic Flame, Lilac Time, Swan Wings and Apeldoorn’s Elite. Group bookings are available.

2. Go to a garden

/Fullers Mill Garden

Pictured: Fullers Mill Garden.

Fullers Mill Garden in Suffolk is an enchanting seven-acre garden on the banks of the River Lark. The garden combines a beautiful woodland site with a huge range of rare and unusual plants. It opens from April through until September three afternoons a week but by prior appointment, groups can have exclusive access outside of normal opening hours - great for time spent spotting early spring flowers.

3. Take a walking holiday

HF Holidays offers a number of different spring walking breaks, ranging in length from three to seven nights long. New this year are Spring & Winter Walking Breaks in Dovedale (Derbyshire), Lulworth Cove (Dorset) and Derwentwater (Cumbria). These breaks all offer a choice of two walks, specially selected for the season, and will include a hot lunch in a cosy pub or tearoom.

4. See some new born animals

New lambs at Butser Ancient Farm.

Pictured: New lambs at Butser Ancient Farm.

Butser Ancient Farm in Hampshire has just welcomed its first lambs of the year and is preparing for visitors over the coming weeks. Current opening times are Monday to Friday 10am until 4pm and from April the farm is open seven days a week. Groups are welcome to visit this archaeological site and farm, and lectures can be prearranged for your visit on different historical topics.

5. Blossom spotting

Hanami is the Japanese festival dedicated to cherry blossom and is celebrated at Brogdale Farm in Kent every year. The farm is said to be one of the only places in the UK to celebrate the festival, and with a collection of over 4,000 varieties of fruit trees, there’s plenty of blossom for groups to see. Guided tours of the orchards are available for visitors.

Quick-fire Easter ideas for 2018:

Blenheim easter Festival

•    Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire will once again host its big Easter Weekend (pictured above) from 30th March to 2nd April, which will see the second run of a giant Easter egg hunt, plus a fun fair and activities to suit all ages.

•    Visit the Falmouth Spring Festival between 22nd March and 2nd April. This colourful Cornish event celebrates the arrival of spring, and free events, food and craft stalls, live music and activities can be enjoyed by visitors.

•    Take a ride down The Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. Groups can take advantage of extended spring opening hours; from 24th to 29th March, it will open from 10am to 6pm, and from Easter Monday to 15th April, it will be open from 10am to 7pm.

Have you got any plans or holidays booked for over the coming months? Inform us of your springtime adventures by e-mailing editorial@groupleisureandtravel.com – we’d love to hear from you.

Lead image: Arundel Castle’s Tulip Festival 2017. (Photo Credit: Julia Claxton).