My wife and I are planing to visit England, Wales and possibly Scotland in the spring of 2016. We want to avoid winter as we will plan on spending as much time out of doors as possible. In consideration of my wife's job, we must avoid summer and go as early in spring as is practical. So, my question is when does spring, including such things as lambing, wildflowers blooming and a general greening up of the countryside, occur? We plan on starting in Somerset and working our way north to the Lake District and possibly Scotland over a three week time frame.
"my question is when does spring, including such things as lambing, wildflowers blooming and a general greening up of the countryside, occur?"
Usually towards the end of March BUT in some years because of our unpredictable weather, it can be around the end of April(ish).
Any time from mid-March until, if you're unlucky, early May. There's even a traditional proverb "Cast not a clout, till May be out", where "cast not a clout" is archaic English for "don't stop wearing your undershirt". No way to predict in advance.
My late sister-in-law, at one time a teacher in a girls' school in England, explained to me once that ..."till may is out ..." refers to the mayflower, not the month, which makes sense.
My first visit to Britain was in late March and early April, including Easter that year. Small lambs were abundant in the countryside, as were planted daffodils and English daisies in the towns (most memorably in Cambridge). According to the rain charts, these months have equal or better numbers for days-without-rain as any other month.
Most smaller tourist sites that close for the winter will re-open on or near Easter (March 27 in 2016). FYI, on that same trip, I was not able to just show up and find a room in York on the day before Easter (the town is busy with services at York Minster), and so drove on to find one in Thirsk in Yorkshire.
Yes, Keith, I like your May better than my may.
My experience, of several trips in the Feb to Apr period, run from rain in all weeks, to snow in two middle weeks, to sunny days nearly every week. So...it depends and England's weather is dependable to be different constantly. Bring clothes to stay dry, and layers to vary need as the day changes too. Love the changes and hard-to-predict days because that is England.