Both the Spring and Autumn equinox signify great change. Our clocks change, the weather changes, and we’re getting prepared for summer or winter. While the equinox signifies the start of hot weather, or cold winters, don’t forget to take in the beauty of the season, rather than looking further ahead.
There’s plenty of beautiful sights to take in around spring and autumn, especially in nature. We’ve put together a list of the best places to take in the seasonal changes this year, wherever you are in the world.
Whether you are in the Southern Hemisphere enoying the crisp golden magnificence of Autumn, or welcoming the sunshine and new seeds of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, this list has the world's best places to witness the changes in the season.
When you think of spring blooms, you think of pink cherry blossoms, and there’s only one place that springs to mind as the source of sakura trees. Tokyo in Japan celebrates cherry blossom season like no other. The whole country gets involved with festivals following the blooms across as they blossom. The word ‘hanami’ means the viewing of cherry blossoms. If you want to get involved, the best time to visit is mid-march, with blossoms in Tokyo set to flower around 22nd-29th of the month. Head to Shinjuku Gyoen, a park with over 1,000 cherry blossom species, or to Yoyogi park if you want to picnic around the flowers. The Nakameguro neighbourhood also makes for a visual treat in spring - the cherry trees lining up the river are a stunning sight.
The Dutch tulip fields are another spring sensation that you need to visit at least once in your life. The Netherlands are famous for their tulips, and the colourful bulbs in Holland are a great way to celebrate the seasonal change and appreciate nature. Lisse is the place to go, just south of Amsterdam, as it’s home to one of the best flower gardens in the world - Keukenhof.
Hire a bike and cycle around the fields to take in the sight fully. The flower gardens are only open from the end of march to the middle of may, so make sure you check your dates before heading over. The best time to visit? The end of April is when all the tulips are usually in bloom.
If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, Autumn will be arriving. Yes, this means longer nights and shorter days, but take some time to appreciate the seasonal change, and the beautiful fall leaves that accompany it. Armidale, Australia, is one of the best-known cities for Autumn beauty. With stunning tree lined historical streets, and countless local parks and gardens, it’s the perfect destination for a trip to see Autumn arrive. Try to visit during the Autumn Festival, or else drive out to the Wollomombi Falls to fully immerse yourself in nature.
Another Australian gem for seasonal beauty is Orange in New South Wales. It’s name is fitting, as every Autumn the trees become golden and bronze with fall leaves, lining the streets. There’s over 40 vineyards in Orange, to visit and see nature at its finest, or you can go apple-picking in Lake Conolas.
In the U.S., one of the most popular places to see cherry blossom trees is Washington DC during springtime. You’ll find the city covered in pink flowers, ready for the National Cherry Blossom Festival on March 20th-April 14th. The best time to visit for the peak bloom period is between April 3rd to the 6th. This peak period typically lasts between four to seven days, so stick around for the best views.
Head to the Tidal Basin for the best photo opportunities near the Jefferson Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial.
Umbria Piano Grande (Italy)
In central Italy on the Sibillini Mountains, there’s a vast plain covered in wildflowers. If you want to fully immerse yourself in nature for spring equinox, this is the place to visit. Surrounded by mountains, if you visit between late may and early june, you’ll catch this extraordinary display of flowers. From crocuses, to hyacinth, tulips, poppies and orchids, there’s plenty of rare and unique flowers to see. Drive up the mountain road from Norcia for the best views, or pick up your hiking boots and take a walk along the many trails. Castelluccio village is a great pitstop on the way.
Mayfield Lavender Farm (U.K.)
If you think living in London means you’re unable to see fields of florals, think again. Mayfield Lavender Farm is one of the most picturesque lavender fields, just a stone's throw from the city. Visit to take part in the annual photography competition, where the best photo wins £200. You can also go home with a range of lavender products, visit the popular tea rooms for a midday lunch break or afternoon tea while you look out onto the lavender fields. The fields open a little later than others on this list, at June 1st. However, the best time to visit would be between July and Augustto see the flowers in full bloom.
Kew Gardens (U.K.)
Spring is the perfect time to visit the famous Kew Gardens in the U.K. You can see blooms such as snowdrops, bluebells and daffodils in flower. To make a day of it, take a boat ride from the Thames all the way down to Kew, to take in the sights along the river. You can see over two million blue and white crocuses from February, and by mid april, the gardens 250 types of magnolias will be in bloom.
By Amy Cavill
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