Bank Holidays in MarchIf Easter is early enough, people in the UK get the bonanza of a four-day weekend during March. Both Good Friday and Easter Monday are bank holidays (or national holidays) in England and Wales.
Scotland does not observe Easter Monday as a bank holiday but many people do take the day off and some shops may be closed.
When I first arrived in the UK, you could not even buy a newspaper on Good Friday. Things have loosened up a bit, but the four day Easter Weekend is still one of the quietest weekends in the UK's cities that you can imagine.
UK Climate Averages for MarchMarch is wet but longer days make up for damp spirits. England experiences the odd phenomenon of more hours of sunshine and more rainfall. Things are beginning to warm up and, in England, it is even beginning to feel like spring. Here are the 30 year averages, to 2000, from the UK Met Office to help you decide what to pack:
- High - 49°F (9.3°C)
- Low - 36°F (2.4C)
- Average daily hours of sunshine - 3.31
- Average monthly rainfall - 2.62" (66.6mm)
- High - 44°F (6.9°C)
- Low - 33.62°F (0.9°C)
- Average daily hours of sunshine - 2.82
- Average monthly rainfall - 5.46" (138.76mm)
- High - 47°F (8.6°C)
- Low - 36°F (2.4°C)
- Average daily hours of sunshine - 3.00
- Average monthly rainfall - 4.67" (118.8mm)
Daylight HoursWith more than 13 hours of daylight by the end of March, there's plenty of time to see it all. In Scotland, expect to start experiencing the northern phenomenon of days growing longer at a much faster rate than down south; from March 1 to 31, days grow barely 2 hours in London and two hours and 20 minutes in Edinburgh.
- Happy St. Patrick's Day The parades and Irish festivals in England's biggest cities get bigger and better every year. Find the best St. Patrick's Day festivities in London, Birmingham and Manchester.
- Happy St. David's Day If you're Welsh you'll be honoring the patron saint of Wales by wearing daffodils, or a leek in you cap, and donning the Welsh national costume. Here's where to find St. David's Day celebrations in Wales.
- And dog lovers, brace yourselves. It's time for Crufts. Billed as the world's greatest dog show, more than 20,000 pedigree dogs compete to be the Kennel Club's top dog during four days in March. Will you be one of the more than 150,000 who see Crufts live at the NEC in Birmingham?
Culture and Heritage
- The Hawick Reivers Festival A colorful celebration of the 16th century Border Reivers - Scotland's "riding families" - in a turbulent era of in cattle thieving, plunder, raid, reprisal, blackmail and bloodfeud. Music, re-enactments, a 16th century market and encampment, falconry, storytelling, plays.
- StAnza Scotland's Poetry Festival. Mid March in St. Andrews. Scotland's only regular festival dedicated to poetry, held in Scotland's oldest university town.
- The Glasgow Art Show An international art fair, replacing the Glasgow International Art Fair
- Cheltenham National Hunt Festival Annual jump racing festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. Four days in March.
- Scottish Point-to-Point Race Meetings Steeplechase racing by amateur riders over three miles on courses set on farmland.
- Head of the River Race Spectacular processional rowing race between two London bridges. Boats start one after another in 10 second intervals and there are 420 eights - making this the biggest continuous rowing event in the world.
- Six Nations Rugby International continues.
Music and Performing Arts
- Chipping Norton Music Festival One of the oldest festivals of its kind, this celebration of music making in the Cotswolds celebrated its centenery in 2004. End of February to mid March.
- Sadler's Wells Flamenco Festival Annual gathering of flamenco artists from around the world (February or March - varies from year to year).
- Magner's Glasgow International Comedy Festival, 350 shows, 18 Days, 40 Venues, 99,000 Tickets.
- Inverness Music Festival Competitive instrumental and vocal music event for all ages with gala concerts. Inverness, Scotland, March 7 to 18, 2009
- Bradford International Film Festival The National Media Museum, Bradford, Yorks.
- Edinburgh International Harp Festival From traditional European harp music to modern New York Jazz. March and April.
- Birds Eye View Film Festival First UK film festival devoted exclusively to women directors. March 7-8 and April 3-10 at the National Film Theatre, Barbican and ICA, all in London.
Food and Drink
- Feast EAST Food Festival 75 stands showcase East Anglian fruit, vegetables, cheese, wine and beer while competitors for East Anglian Young Chef of the Year showcase their skills.
- Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival
- Leeds Beer, Cider and Perry Festival
- Leicester Beer Festival
- CAMRA Beer Festivals for March At least 16 festivals, all over the UK, run by members of the Campaign for Real Ale
Exhibitions and Shows
- Antiques for Everyone Fair NEC Birmingham, March
- King's Road Antiques Fair, Chelsea Old Town Hall
- National Stallion Show
- PBFA Antiquarian Book Fair Scarce and collectable books, maps and prints from sellers who focus particularly on Scottish books. Edinburgh, mid March.
- Edinburgh Science Festival - until early April.
- British Antique Dealers Association Fair Duke of York Square, Chelsea, London. In 2008, March 5-11.