Visiting Europe in April or May? Don’t miss these incredible events!

Awesome places to visit in April and May in the UK and Europe

Looking for places to visit in the UK and Europe in April and May? Look for further- here are some of the events and destination ideas for all interests and budgets.

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April and May is one of my favourite times in Europe – the weather is getting nicer, but the kids are still at school so many of the busiest spots are still fairly quiet.

If you’re not familiar with UK and European school holidays, they generally get two week’s holidays around Easter, and then a later week half-term in May- and those times can be very busy!

If you’re able to enjoy a trip outside of the school holidays in April and May, here are some of my favourite places and events to visit at this time of year.

5 Awesome Events happening in April and May around Europe

Sure, it’s fine just to tour, but visiting a place for an event or purpose is fun too. Here are some of the best festivals and events happening in April and May around the UK and Europe.

Tulips in Amsterdam

(and indeed all over the Netherlands!)

Tulip Field in the Netherlands

Best time to visit: Mid April- Mid May

How to get there: Drive to Amsterdam, or fly from many international airports

Where to stay: There are plenty of hotels in Amsterdam!

If you want to see the tulip fields in full bloom, mid-April to mid-May are the best times. If you’ve never seen them before, the Netherlands is FULL of tulip fields, and driving past miles and miles of blooms of all colours is an absolute joy.

Even better, you can easily visit Amsterdam just for a long weekend- it’s not as long a drive from the tunnel as you might think! Read more about motorhoming in the Netherlands

And if you do visit Amsterdam in April, try to be there for the 27th April, which is King’s Day. Expect there to be orange. Lots and lots of Orange!

Scotland (and the Beltane Fire Festival)

Best free castles in England and the UK- Kilchurn, Scotland
Scotland in Spring is just magic!

Best time to visit: Anytime in April and May. Beltane is end of April

How to get there: Drive north! You can also fly to Edinburgh, Glasgow or Inverness

Where to stay: There are plenty of hotels in all the major cities. Personally, I recommend Edinburgh- it’s one of my favourite cities in Europe.

April and May are great times to explore Scotland. The weather is a little warmer (I said warmer, not warm!) but the midges haven’t started making life miserable yet.

There are plenty of incredible places to visit in Scotland- far more than just the famous NC500. At this time of year, I’d suggest the busier places like the Isle of Skye, Edinburgh and the Hebrides. Read more about the best scenic drives in Scotland

If you’re free-thinking and want to enjoy a bit of a spectacle, check out the Beltane Fire Festival, which happens on 30th April to celebrate the start of summer. (A friend of mine’s daughter is the May Queen, which is exciting!)

Jersey Liberation Parade

Jersey Liberation Day (photo from

Best time to visit: Liberation Day is 9th May

How to get there: Ferry from England’s south coast, or plane from several airports in the UK (or ferry from France!)

Where to stay: St Helier is the capital and a great base to explore the island.

I was born in Jersey in the Channel Islands, and the Liberation Parade is one of the biggest events of the year.

The Channel Islands were the only part of the United Kingdom to be occupied in WWII, and they were liberated on 9th May 1945. Each year you’ll find a celebration of this freedom, including live music, historical re-enactments and plenty of food and othe entertainment. It’s a wonderful atmosphere and the weather is usually great too.

Madeira Flower Festival

Madeira Flower Festival is in April

Best time to visit: April or May. The flower festival starts 4 weeks after Easter.

How to get there: Flights are the easiest way

Where to stay: Funchal is the main area where the Flower Festival takes place, so you’ll want to stay near there.

Yep, we’re back to flowers (sorry, not sorry). The city of Funchal in Madeira burst with flowers every Spring.

The Madeira Flower Festival starts 4 weeks after Easter and takes place for the next 3-4 weeks. It’s centred in Funchal, but other events do take place around the island during this time.

You’ll find the Wall of Hope (where people place flowers) and blooms are strewn through the streets to create a carpet of flowers.

But one of the best sights is the Flower Float Parade, where you’ll enjoy over 1000 participants, plus numerous floats made of flowers.

If you stay a little longer, Madeira mixes the flowers with a classic car paradise as it hosts the Madeira Flower Classic Auto Parade.

Cheese-rolling, Gloucester

Gloucester Cheese Rolling is one of THE most crazy, insane, weird and fantastic events I’ve ever been to. In fact, it’s so insane I think only a video will do it justice, so here’s one I made from the event in 2023! (If you can’t see the video below, here’s the link)

So, to summarise, yes, there are a lot of crazy people who chase a wheel of cheese down one of the steepest hills you’ve ever seen… and risk losing life and limb… for street cred. But you can take a picnic and enjoy the craziness!

Best time to visit: The Gloucester cheese rolling always takes place on the late Bank Holiday Monday in May

How to get there: Drive to Cooper’s Hill in Gloucester, park as close as you can and walk. Be early- they close the roads off.

Where to stay: Gloucester or the surrounding area. Or, if you’re in a motorhome, park up and stay overnight 🙂

Other places I recommend visiting in April and May

Now is the time to visit some of the busier spots around the UK and Europe- before the busy tourist season really starts!

Cornwall, UK

Planning a Cornwall road trip? Want a map and itinerary to help guide your route and decide what to visit? No worries- we've shared our one week Cornish itinerary here, as well as 40 of the best places to visit in Cornwall- with a map!
Cornwall in April and May is wonderful!

I lived in Cornwall for a couple of years (my parents still live in Devon) and it’s beautiful, but getting anywhere near it in the summer is… not fun.

However, at this time of year, it’s beautiful. Sure, you might want a wetsuit to go in the sea, but you’ll find beaches fairly empty yet most of the attractions and shops have re-opened for the summer season.

If you’d like some ideas on where to stay and things to do, here are some of my favourite places in Cornwall.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

I love castles- and this is one of my favourites. Neuschwanstein Castle in southern Germany is the castle which inspired Walt Disney and is one of the most beautiful castles I’ve ever been lucky enough to visit.

Even in April and May, it will still be very busy, so be sure to arrive early. If you’re limited on time, you’ll probably want to prebook tickets for the tour of your choice so they don’t sell out.

Find out more about how to visit Neuschwanstein Castle here

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