The Upsides of March
Written by larapiegeler
The weather in Northern Europe is at its least predictable in March. Will this March be a month of pastel-coloured flowers, baby birds and hesitant, watery sunshine, or a March of cold winds and ruthless downpours?
Given the number of possibilities for March holidays, you may well decide that the risk of a little rain isn't so dreadful – particularly if you have a 'Plan B'. For example: March means Spring bulb season in Holland, and the Keukenhof Gardens are as multi-coloured as Willy Wonka's factory, but Amsterdam's Van Gogh museum and Rijksmuseum, a selection of quirky-luxe hotels and comfort foods such as stamppot and bitterballen (to warm the hearts of those with wet feet), are under half an hour away.
St. Patrick's Day on March 17 is never going to be dismal, whatever the weather, particularly if celebrated in Dublin, with its legendary pubs, literary connections and boutique hotels to retire to to wash off the green face paint.
March is also time for the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race (- bring brolly and snacks and arrive early to find a spot on Chiswick Bridge if you want to see the finish), and Bath and Oxford literary festivals take place near the end of March.
If you'd prefer not to risk it, renounce the UK's changeable March weather and head for more dependable March climes – South Africa has a lot to offer during March. Their searing Summer is drawing to a close and the cusp of Autumn brings red and russet-toned vineyards and varied countryside, quiet beaches and long, warm, outdoor evenings – particularly in Cape Town, with its mountain backdrop, beautiful waterfront and internationally feted jazz festival, which takes place annually around the end of March or start of April.
The weather in Australia is similarly mellow in March; try Melbourne for great food, shopping and stylish hotels; or take an expedition to the Yarra Valley and enjoy a hot air balloon ride in the crisp March air over flat vineyards.
Try Buenos Aires in March for vibrant, stylish, sunshiny living; its synthesis of grand, old architecture, crazily colourful houses, boutique hotels and smoky coffee shops is unforgettable. Inland, you can explore 16th Century Cordoba's Spanish colonial history and play at being a rancher on the immense Argentinean plain, La Pampa.
A visit to Japan towards the end of March will allow you to attend the Fire Festival of Aso in Kyushu, as well as Hanami, the heavenly cherry blossom season. Your March holidays through the Japanese countryside or to temples and remote villages will be attended by pale, fluttering clouds of pink petals.
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