It’s the home stretch of term two and you’re not sure which is more stubborn: the British temperatures, or your four-week old cold. And, (while fresher’s flu seems to be adamant that we are still in the depths of winter) here you are, expected to rev up for a bout of coursework and revision as summer assessments loom. With the incentive of an ‘English summer’ being shady to say the least, the last weeks of term certainly put the meaning back into ‘spring escape’.
Easter is the perfect time to get away; it injects holiday destinations with cultural festivals, breathtaking scenery and (most crucially) chocolate. Whether your dream holiday involves an early tan, an Instagrammable street market or simply a bargain, here are the top destinations guaranteed to shake off the daily grind.
The City Breaker
Forget long-haul and 25 kg suitcases: sometimes, the weekday routine can be broken with just two days, a backpack and a train ticket. Among the vast array of destinations across the UK, a snow-capped Edinburgh literally comes alive in spring, with the Medieval and Georgian architecture punctuated by smatterings of daffodils. Traverse time periods exploring a castle in the morning and spending an evening perusing a confectionary conveyer-belt at the indulgent Chocolate Lounge. Farther afield, you can expect streets lined with flower adorned churches, ornate chocolate eggs, and specular processions as part of Holy Week (14th – 20th April) celebrations in Barcelona and Rome.
Go to a beach destination this Easter and you can ride through your assessments on a wave of Vitamin D and pina coladas. Consider Marrakesh and Lanzarote to be the perfect partner in holiday form: reliable (for temperatures that will finally let you shed that New Look puffa jacket) and they won’t drain your budget. These short haul destinations take under 3.5 and 4.5 hours to get to respectively and a change of scenery is guaranteed to help you dodge a wipeout from the monotony of home-uni relays. Head back after a week enthused with memories of low sunsets, crystal seas and laughing at your mates trying to picnic on the grass in 10-degree England.
Wet and Wild
Put some life back into your social media accounts with a culture shock. Mark Thai New Year at the Bangkok Songkran Splendours Festival and you’re in for a celebration that puts full-moon parties to shame. Aside from performances, the ritual bathing of Buddha images and world-class street food, picture a giant water fight and you’re not far off from what to expect on the 13th – 15th April. Alternatively, if the States are calling, make sure you travel to New Orleans to kick off the festival season. The Gay Easter Parade is set to be an unmissable showcase of fashion and creativity, while music lovers can celebrate the 50-year anniversary of Jazz Fest or immerse themselves in the unique ambience of the French Quarter.
Beauty and the Blossom
Lift your head above the canopy of coursework and into sky dotted with cherry blossoms during the Japanese tradition of Hanami. The annual celebration of Spring is held in sync with the widespread blooming of sakura across the country, which carpets the streets with hues of pink. A little closer to home, Colmar, Vienna and Prague’s Easter markets promise equally stunning sights, sounds and smells.
Think of the Easter break not as a luxury but as an investment. For anyone needing a dose of wellbeing to help tackle the weeks ahead, that photo on your noticeboard could be the perfect remedy for pre-revision inertia.
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