Holidaying in Britain in the spring is always going to mean taking your chances with the weather, but there’s one place in Cornwall where you’re guaranteed it’ll never be cold or raining – the Eden Project. This 35-acre patch of land has been transformed from a barren china clay quarry to an oasis of greenery. Set up by an ecological charity to promote education about the natural world, it’s home to two huge biomes that bring a taste of the rainforest and the Mediterranean to south-west England.
Springtime in the Netherlands means one thing – tulips – and if you want to see them in their thousands, the place to go is Keukenhof. Not far outside of Amsterdam in the town of Lisse, Keukenhof is the world’s largest flower garden. There are over seven million bulbs planted here each year, with daffodils, hyacinths and orchids as well as tulips in every colour imaginable. The gardens stretch over 32 hectares with lakes, sculptures and pavillions in amongst the flowers. Keukenhof was set up by the mayor of Lisse in 1949 as a way for tulip growers to show off their latest hybrid varieties.
Hidden away behind tall hedges near the Seine in Paris’ 5th arrondissement is the city’s Jardin des Plantes, or botanical gardens. These gardens stretch over almost 70 acres, with more than 4500 different plants – from rose and iris gardens to alpine plants and tropical greenhouses – filling it with beautiful colours and perfumes throughout the year. The Jardin des Plantes was originally set up in 1635 by Louis XIII as a royal garden to study medicinal herbs, and there’s still a school for botanists there today.