SCOTT'S GROTTO: In a chalk hillside in Ware, Hertfordshire, you'll find a series of interconnected manmade chambers, collectively known as Scott's Grotto. It took 30 years to complete, and the walls are lined with shells, flints, and coloured glass. It opens to the public on Saturdays and bank holidays between April and September. 1 April-21 September (Hertfordshire)
TULIP FESTIVAL: One of our favourite castles in Sussex, Arundel Castle reopens for the 2020 with a wave of colour, thanks to its tulip festival. The gardens of the lofty fortress are covered in 80,000 flowers of several varieties, making for a photogenic spring day out. From 1 April (West Sussex). It's also worth keeping an eye on Pashley Manor on the Kent/Sussex border, to see when its tulips bloom for the festival this year.
SLYTHERIN: Warner Bros Studios opens a new exhibition dedicated to the darkest of Hogwarts houses, Slytherin. The Great Hall of the film studios is dressed to celebrate a Slytherin victory in the House Cup. Original banners which appeared in the films are hung, and the tables are laid out for a feast. Costumes and props belonging to Slytherin are also on display. 3 April-6 September (Hertfordshire)
CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL: It wouldn't be Easter without heaps of chocolate, so head to Cressing Temple near Braintree for the chocolate festival. Cocoa specialists and artisan chocolate makers sell their wares, including vegan and low sugar versions of the good stuff, and there are talks and workshops throughout the day. 4-5 April (Essex)
TRANSPORT FEST: Classic cars, military vehicles and other unusual types of transport are on display at the Museum of Power's TransportFest, along with stalls, music and entertainment. The museum's miniature steam train offers rides, and the model village is open too, for visitors to make a day of it. 12 April (Essex)
JOUSTING: Travel back to Medieval times and watch knights go head to head in a jousting tournament at Hedingham Castle. The display takes place in a bustling arena, surrounded by food, drink and craft stalls. Have a go at jousting yourself on the UK's only rolling jousting horse — a model which carries riders past targets for practice. 12-13 April (Essex)
BLUEBELL WALK: Hole Park Gardens in Cranbrook has one of the best bluebell displays in the country. Take a woodland walk and enjoy the spectacle — check the 'bluebell barometer' on the website in April to find out when the flowers are looking their best. Take a few snaps and watch the Instagram likes roll in. 13 April-8 May (Kent)
PETTING FARM: Visit Waddesdon Manor this weekend, and a visit to a petting farm is included in the ticket price. Get up close to the likes of sheep, goats, calves and rabbits, and learn about modern farming techniques. The house itself is worth a visit too, as it's home to the Rothschild Collection of art. 15-19 April (Buckinghamshire)
VISIT THE VULCAN: The Vulcan Restoration Trust invites the public to get up close to the planes at Southend Airport. See inside the cockpit of the former Royal Air Force bombers. A vintage fire engine is also on display, along with examples of 1,000lb bombs the Vulcan dropped on Port Stanley airfield during the Falklands War. 19 April (Essex)
WALKIES AT WISLEY: RHS Wisley doesn't normally admit dogs (except assistance dogs), but for one night only, Walkies at Wisley is very much encouraged. Take your four-legged friend for an evening wander around the gardens (max. two dogs per person) and show them what they've been missing. Dogs must be kept on leads at all times. 21 April
For further ideas for things to do near London, peruse our guide to day trips from the capital — we've even put together a handy map.