10 Best Places to Visit in the UK in April

February 22, 2024 in Destinations, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales & United Kingdom

April feels like a turning point in the year when we can firmly put winter and grey days behind us, and look forward to better days. ‘April showers’ are a saying for a reason, but even rainy days feel more manageable with warmer temperatures and the promise of sun to come.

That’s why April is the perfect time to embark on a motorhome holiday. You can’t be expected to wait until summer for your next getaway; you need a weekend off to surround yourself with nature, eat delicious food and shed the responsibilities of daily life. 

To help, we’ve rounded up a list of the best places to visit in the UK in April. From Caithness in the north of Scotland to Dartmoor in the southwest of England and many stops in between. These are the best places to go and things to do in April, which won’t require too much time off or distances travelled. Let’s get started.
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1. The Cambrian Way, Wales

The Lake District may be beautiful, but it’s also known to be crowded and expensive. Instead, visit the ‘Welsh Lake District,’ also known as Elan Valley. This region is considered to be a stargazing paradise, with an uninterrupted night sky you could stare at for hours. It’s also known for having huge damns and flowing rivers, which you can explore on the many hiking trails dotted around.

Visit the Elan Valley as part of the Cambrian Way, the perfect destination for an April motorhome trip.

Things to do on the Cambrian Way:

-Visit Blaenau Ffestiniog, which was granted World Heritage Status in 2021 in recognition of its mining legacy. To learn more about this legacy and its impact on the region, take a tour of the nearby Llechwedd Mine.

-Cyfarthfa Castle was commissioned in 1824 by 'Ironmaster' William Crawshay. This grand mansion overlooked his immensely successful ironworks and has been called "the most impressive monument of the Industrial Iron Age in South Wales”. It now houses a museum and art gallery, the perfect place to escape April showers.

-A great way to see the region and have a blast doing it, is to take a ride on the Brecon Mountain Railway. You can take a historically accurate steam train through the region. Dogs can come along for a small charge.
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2. Caithness, Scotland

In the far northeast region of Scotland, you’ll find the historic county of Caithness. It’s quite a journey to get there, but well worth the effort. It’s filled with a rich history, impeccable views, rolling farmland and the untamed wilderness of the Highlands.

Many visit Caithness as part of the North Coast 500 itinerary, but it also has enough to keep you busy on its own. Caithness faces the cold Atlantic and is home to countless species of sea life. Make sure to take a boat tour while here, and let’s hope the April weather keeps you warm enough! 

Things to do in Caithness:

-Caithness is known for having very low light pollution, which makes it ideal for watching the Northern Lights. There are several great places to spot the aurora borealis, such as Thurso Harbour, Duncansby Head or Dunnet Head. But personally, we love going to the charming lighthouse at Noss Head to gaze up on a clear night.

-There are thirty-one castles scattered throughout this region. Don’t worry, we don’t expect you to visit them all. We’d prioritise heading to Ackergill Tower, Scrabster Castle and Thurso Castle.

-The real highlight of your trip will be visiting Smoo Cave. This underground cave is filled with waterfalls, pools and more impressive waterways. You can visit on foot or by boat trip. We recommend taking a guided tour to gain insight into the geology and history of Smoo.
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3. The Cotswolds, England

One of the most beautiful places in spring is the Cotswolds. Don’t get us wrong, this incredible area is stunning all year round. But there’s just something magical about seeing this fairytale destination with flowers growing and a bit of sun. You’ll feel like you’re in the forest from Sleeping Beauty, strolling past cottages with thatched roofs and ivy creeping up their walls. 

But while this is a calming place to visit, it also features some of the best things to do in April in the UK. You can make your days as busy or restful as you like, and retreat back to your motorhome in the evening. 

For the full experience, check out our Cotswolds road trip itinerary Or, if you’re travelling with a furry friend, read our dog-friendly guide to the Cotswolds.

Things to do in the Cotswolds:

-With enough luck, April weather should allow you to explore the Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens. This huge park is home to over 260 different species of wildlife across 160 acres of landscaped parkland and gardens.

-We’ve recommended it before, and we’ll recommend it again: go visit St Edward’s Church. This stunning church has two trees growing into it and feels like something out of this world. Maybe something out of… Lord of the Rings? Many believe it inspired the Doors of Durin for J.R.R. Tolkien, as he frequently visited this area.

-There are many idyllic places to visit in the Cotswolds. One of the most beautiful towns is Stow-on-the-Wold, which is filled with cosy cafes and independent shops. Broadway is a great place to do a bit of shopping or visit art galleries. In Bourton-on-the-Water, you can get some lunch overlooking the riverfront, or head to the famous Bakery on the Water for the best cinnamon buns in England.
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4. Pembrokeshire Coast, Wales

If we could bottle the salty air of the Welsh Coast, we’d inhale it whenever we feel stressed or overwhelmed in our daily lives. Sadly, we haven’t worked out how to do that just yet, so we’ll settle for visiting the Pembrokeshire Coast whenever we get the chance.

This region is best known for the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, a designated National Trail stretching over 186 miles. Don’t worry, you don’t have to walk the whole thing (unless you want to). Instead, just select some favourite sections. 

For the full experience of this gorgeous region, check out our complete Pembrokeshire road trip itinerary.

Things to do on the Pembrokeshire Coast:

-Wales is known for its castles, and Pembrokeshire is no different. You can’t visit this area without seeing a castle or two (or five!). We’d recommend visiting Pembroke Castle. Built in 1090 AD, this castle is best known as the birthplace of King Henry VII in 1457. Additionally, Cardigan Castle overlooks the River Teifi and is a Grade I listed building. It was rebuilt in 1244, and is still in excellent condition, even hosting events occasionally.

-April is on the cusp of beach weather, so it depends on what you can stomach in terms of temperatures. But whether you swim or simply stroll, head to a beach while here. We recommend visiting either Barafundle Bay Beach, Saundersfoot Beach or Broadhaven Beach.

-There are many lovely towns to visit on the Pembrokeshire Coast. Tenby is home to Castle Beach, which was awarded ‘Britain’s Best Beach’ in 2019. You can also take a short boat ride to the monastery on Caldey Island, which is a beautiful sight, especially at sunset. Alternatively, Saundersfoot is just north of Tenby, and a quieter town known for its seafood. 
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5. Northumberland, England

Situated along the border of Scotland and England, this can be the ideal choice for where to go on holiday in April. It’s filled with majestic castles, tranquil beaches, bustling market towns and more. There is so much to explore in Northumberland, and it has a calmness that you’ll struggle to find elsewhere in the UK.

It’s a great destination for people who like to stay active on their holidays. You can go hiking, biking, paddle boarding and so much more.

Things to do in Northumberland:

-Lindisfarne is a tidal island just off the coast of Northumberland. It’s home to the majestic Lindisfarne Priory and has held great religious importance over the centuries. Now it is home to various wildlife, including various rare species of birds.

-Many history fans flock to Northumberland to visit the impressive castles housed across the region. For example, Bamburgh Castle was originally the location of a Celtic Brittonic fort known as Din Guarie and may have been the capital of the kingdom of Bernicia. Alnwick Castle was built following the Norman conquest and is currently the seat of the 12th Duke of Northumberland — it was also a filming location for Harry Potter!

-Northumberland is one of the few best places to see the stars in the UK. The Northumberland International Dark Sky Park is 572 square miles, making it Europe’s largest area of protected sky. On a clear night, you might even spot some planets as well!
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6. Dartmoor National Park, England

This list of things to do in April in the UK wouldn’t be complete without at least one national park, maybe even two — you’ll have to wait and see! There are so many incredible national parks to choose from in the UK, but we decided that Dartmoor National Park is the one we’ll recommend today. It feels like people don’t talk about Dartmoor enough, tucked away in the south-west of England. 

But Dartmoor National Park is a delight to visit, and can easily be combined with city trips to Plymouth, Exeter, or even down to Newquay. It’s one of the best weekend breaks from London, so ideal for people with only a night or two to get away. 

Things to do in Dartmoor National Park:

-This region is filled with prehistoric sites, all of which have been formally recognised as English Heritage sites. You can visit Merrivale Prehistoric Settlement, Grimspound, and the Upper Plym Valley in one day, or spread them throughout your trip. You won’t believe everything that was happening on these moors over 4,000 years ago…

-I’d like to pretend that visiting Buckfast Butterfly Farm and Dartmoor Otter Sanctuary is solely for the little ones, but let’s be honest: we all want to see those otters with their tiny paws and whiskers! They’re so well cared for here, along with other wildlife and plenty of nature to stroll through, so definitely spend an afternoon here.

-Grab your walking boots, as Dartmoor National Park is one of the best places for hill walking in the UK! We recommend the hike from Bellever Forest to the granite outcrop of Bellever Tor. You can then enjoy a well-earned rest and picnic by the East Dart River.
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7. Portstewart, Northern Ireland

Our list of the best places to visit in the UK in April wouldn’t be complete without a stop in Northern Ireland. Out of all the great destinations in Northern Ireland, we’re going to recommend Portstewart for your spring escape. 

Portstewart is an idyllic seaside town. It’s quite popular in the summer, while spring should be much calmer. This little fishing resort feels like something out of a novel and is the perfect place to catch your breath and fill up your energy reserve once more.

Things to do in Portstewart:

-Take a stroll through O’Hara Castle. It was built in 1834 and now functions as Dominican College. Set on the clifftop along the water, this looks like something right out of Game of Thrones. It’s part of the larger Causeway Coast Path and offers unbeatable views.

-An afternoon can be well spent at Portstewart Crescent. This promenade is filled with restaurants, cafes, shops, go-karting and much more. Time your visit so that you can enjoy a sunset stroll on the beach to top it all off.

-Portstewart is known for its delicious fresh seafood. Make sure to stop and taste some for yourself, such as at Harry’s Shack. You can also try fishing yourself, there are many specific boat tours available for this.
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8. Forest of Bowland, England

The Forest of Bowland is often referred to as the Bowland Fells and was formerly known as the Chase of Bowland. Whatever you want to call it, this is definitely in the running for where to go on holiday in the UK in April. 

The Forest of Bowland is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,  filled with some great motorhome campsites, gritstone fells, deep valleys and peat moorland. You’ll find many walking trails dotted around, as well as villages that rival even the Cotswolds. It’s ideal for a short weekend away in April, especially when motorhome camping.

Things to do in the Forest of Bowland:

-Spend a day in the bustling village of Downham. Many consider Downham to be one of the loveliest villages in all of Lancashire. It features a church tower dating back to the 15th century, stone-built cottages, and traditional tearooms.

-This is a great place to go cycling, so be sure to pack your bike. Otherwise, you can rent some upon arrival. We recommend the Lancashire Cycleway, an award-winning route. It consists of a north and south circular route, which meets at the historic town of Whalley, the perfect place for a spot of lunch or dinner. It’s designed to pass through the most beautiful areas and utilise minor roads with low levels of traffic.

-Right in the heart of the Forest of Bowland you’ll find the Bowland Wild Boar Park. Aside from adorable boars, it’s home to alpacas, llamas, sheep, water buffalos, badgers and more. You can hand-feed certain animals, play with tiny chicks, and more. A great way to safely introduce little ones to animals and ensure the wildlife are well cared for.
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9. Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, Scotland

Loch Ness may be great, but it’s not the only incredible lake in Scotland. One of our favourite places to go is Loch Lomond, which has the largest surface area of any loch in Scotland, stretching out over 28.5 square miles. This also makes it the largest inland stretch of water in all of Britain.

In the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, you’ll find endless acres of woodland, home to various wildlife. If you’re quiet enough, you might even spot red deer ambling about. 

Things to do in Loch Lomond:

-April is the perfect time to embark on the mystical Faerie Trail. You start at Luss and follow a map of magical spots, using the clues to guide your way. Along the way, you’ll pass through fairytale gates, open spellbooks, and find more than initially meets the eye.

-Can you brave a swim? While the water may still be rather chilly, cold water dips have been proven to be good for you. Open water swimming is very popular in Loch Lomond, as you won’t have to worry about pesky Nessie the Sea Monster. There are even organised events to make sure you follow through and feel more comfortable swimming as a group.

-Head for a bite to eat at Balloch, the largest town in the area, or its sister town Alexandria. You’ll find plenty to do between these two delightful towns. You can also visit the Maid of the Loch Museum to find out all about the historic paddle steamer ship that is currently being restored on the Balloch Steam Slipway.
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10. Gower Peninsula, Wales

The Gower Peninsula was actually the first place in Britain to be named an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956. It is beloved by birdwatchers, surfers and walkers, and soon by yourself as well! 

Filled with dramatic limestone cliffs, sandy beaches, wild moors and more, the Gower Peninsula stretches out for nineteen miles of unspoilt beauty. Combine your trip here with stops in Swansea, Mumbles and Rhossili.

Things to do in the Gower Peninsula:

-Adrenaline junkies and people looking to escape their comfort zone: it’s time to try your hand at coasteering. This is a great place to try this thrilling activity, and Adventure Wales will take you cliff jumping, swimming, scrambling and exploring caves along the Gower Peninsula. They describe it as “everything you weren’t supposed to do when you were a kid,” and there’s no better way to explore this stunning coastline.

-The Gower Peninsula AONB is home to over 1,200 archaeological sites, including caves, medieval castles, Iron Age forts, churches and more. So why not grab a bucket and a spade, and try your hand at an archaeological dig? 

-Poetry enthusiasts will love a visit to number 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, also known as Dylan Thomas’ birthplace. You can explore the home where Dylan was born, spent twenty-three years of his life and wrote two-thirds of his work. This living museum will provide a personal insight into one of Wales’ greatest poets.

We hope we were able to help you decide where to go on holiday in April. If you’re struggling to single out one of these great destinations, plan another getaway in May or June before the peak holiday season really begins! There are many benefits to travelling outside of summer, and you’ll experience them all during your trip in April. 
Best places to visit in the uk in april where to go on holiday in april So hire a motorhome, pack your bags and let your spring motorhome adventure begin.