Fancy getting out of London for a day, but not sure where to head? From a beer festival at a railway museum to spring flowers sprouting around a castle, here are a few reasons to (temporarily) leave London in March 2023.
See our Beyond London section for further inspiration for trips out of London for a day, a weekend, or longer.
WINTER BEER FESTIVAL: Other events on this list have a strong spring theme, but the winter outing of the Chappel Beer Festival is happening in March too. Head to the East Anglian Railway Museum near Colchester for the CAMRA event, where 35+ breweries are present, peddling their beers, ciders and perries. 2-4 March (Essex)
DAZZLING DAFFODILS: Here's that spring theme we were talking about. The magnificent Hever Castle is expecting 70,000 daffodils to bloom across its grounds. Explore them at your own pace, or sign up for a guided tour. 13-19 March (Kent)
SIR RANULPH FIENNES: Sir Ranulph Fiennes — named 'the world’s greatest living explorer' by the Guinness Book of Records — makes an appearance at Saffron Hall in Saffron Walden to discuss his life, travels and work. 16 March (Essex)
ORCHID SHOW: Missed the Orchids festival at Kew Gardens? Head just beyond the M25 to get your fill of the notoriously tricky flower, at the Orchid Show at RHS Wisley. Over one weekend, browse and buy orchids from 11 exhibitors, alongside orchid artworks. There's also a programme of talks and demos where you can pick up tips on caring for orchids. 17-19 March (Surrey)
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MOTHER'S DAY AFTERNOON TEA: Anyone can take mum to a fancy tea room for Mother's Day (we have a few suggestions here and here) — but what about taking her for afternoon tea at a place where vital work was done to help win the second world war? Codebreakers HQ Bletchley Park near Milton Keynes offers a Mother's Day traditional afternoon tea accompanied by live music, with a chance to explore the exhibitions and displays before you eat. 19 March (Buckinghamshire)
DOGS AND DAFFS: Leaving London for the day isn't just for humans. Take Fido or Rufus along to the Dogs and Daffs charity walk at Hatfield House for a spring stroll followed by a dog show, raising money for the Riding for the Disabled Association – Digswell Place Group, which offers therapy and enjoyment to disabled people through horse and pony riding. 19 March (Hertfordshire)
DAFFODIL SHOW: This month is promising more daffs than William Wordsworth himself would know what to do with. For another dose of the yellow buds, head to RHS Hyde Hall's Daffodil Show, with hundreds of cut blooms on display in the Hilltop Lodge, and plenty more growing in the garden. 22-23 March (Essex)
BATTLE OF ST ALBANS: The St Albans Museum & Gallery opens a major new exhibition, The Forgotten Battle of St Albans, telling the story of a lesser-known skirmish during the War of the Roses. In February 1461, the Yorkist army attempted to bar the road to London, north of St Albans, but were taken by surprise by the Lancastrians and defeated. 24 March-28 June (Hertfordshire)
CORONATION TRAINS: The coronation celebrations start early at Brighton's Toy and Model Museum (one of our favourite spots in the seaside city), as this month's vintage train running day has a royal theme to celebrate King Charles III's upcoming coronation. See different trains running on the central 0-gauge layout throughout the day — your ticket lets you pop in and out all day. 25 March (East Sussex)
GORDON BUCHANAN: He's lived alongside bears, wolves and reindeer, and now wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan is at The Spotlight in Hoddesdon for one date as part of his latest tour, talking about his 30-year career both behind and in front of the camera. 26 March (Hertfordshire)
THE ENCHANTED GARDEN: Wear the kids out at Borde Hill near Haywards Heath, which has an Enchanted Garden trail, themed on fairies and pixies. Dress for the outdoors as you go in hunt of the creatures, make a wish on the wishing chair, and pose for a photo in front of giant fairy wings. Until 26 March (West Sussex)
CHERRY BLOSSOM EVENING: The end of March and into April is cherry blossom season — here's where to see and snap the pink stuff in London. Further afield, RHS Wisley hosts an evening dedicated to the photogenic pink foliage. Take a tour of the garden's 140 Yoshino cherry trees, before dining on a four-course, Asian-inspired meal, and hearing from guest speaker Christopher Sanders about ornamental-flowering cherries. 30 March (Surrey)
FOOD AND DRINK FESTIVAL: As March fades into April, one corner of Kent becomes a foodie paradise. The Medway Food & Drink Festival takes over Rochester Castle Gardens, with stalls selling chocolate, cheese, jams, doughnuts, burgers, tacos, gin, coffee, milkshakes, beer and plenty more — much of it grown or produced locally. Peruse our guide to Rochester for other things to see and do in the area, and help you make a day of it. 31 March-2 April (Kent)
PETER RABBIT: All month, Canterbury's Beaney House of Art & Knowledge celebrates 120 years of Peter Rabbit with a family-friendly trail themed on the beloved Beatrix Potter character. The interactive indoors event has activities for younger visitors, who are encouraged to explore like the bunnies, by crawling under garden gates and hiding in watering cans. Until 16 April (Kent)
Note: check with organisers before setting off, particularly for the flower and plant-themed events, as inclement weather can cause the dates of these events to change.