Five great spring breaks

From late-season skiiing in Austria to a spot of hanami in Tokyo, Chris Carter looks at the best places to enjoy the arrival of spring.


Shinjuku Gyoen: in Japan, cherry blossom is a serious business

Tokyo, Japan

The enjoyment of cherry blossom is a serious business in Japan, says Danielle Demetriou in The Daily Telegraph. The Japanese even have a word for it: hanami. In Tokyo, 26 March has been marked out as the date the sakura, or flowers, arrive, when "a sea of cherry trees" will (hopefully) be "awash with perfect pink blooms".

The capital excels in hanami nature spots, from picnic-friendly locations to riversides "choreographed" with "clusters of cherry trees". Ueno Park attracts "epic-sized" crowds who come to admire its blooming cherry blossoms. Shinjuku Gyoen is a "surprisingly serene" alternative, while the cherry tree-lined canal at Nakameguro is a cult favourite for a spot of hanami.

£3,385 per person for a ten-night tour of Japan, including Tokyo see

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Trevorrick Farm, Cornwall

"Nothing says spring' quite like a newborn lamb tottering to its feet," says Chris Leadbeater in The Independent. Trevorrick Farm at St Issey, near Padstow in Cornwall, is the perfect place for children and parents alike to "coo over these flossy creatures".

It is a working farm just five minutes from the beach at Harlyn, where children can hunt eggs, pet chicks, bottle feed lambs and groom Shetland ponies. You won't be able to tear yourself away. The good news is, you don't have to. Trevorrick Farm offers a range of self-catering cottages for families and couples as well as an indoor swimming pool and games room.

From £385 for seven nights in the Owls Roost Cottage for four see


Fort Lauderdale, Florida

American college students flock to Fort Lauderdale every year for a little spring break hedonism. But as Elise Hall notes in InStyle magazine, the Florida town has far more to offer than around-the-clock partying. Take the Sonesta Fort Lauderdale. This "contemporary" and "spacious" hotel has views over seven miles of golden sand.

If relaxing by the pool with a martini is your thing,the hotel's cabanas are just the place to unwind. The bedrooms, meanwhile, are "pure Miami chic". For dinner, pull up your paddleboard beside the Coconuts Grill and Bar, where oysters are the speciality. "True dock dining."

Tuscany, Montestigliano, near Siena

Spring might still be a little early for most people to take a dip outside. But for hardier types, there's the Merse, says Emily Mathieson in The Guardian.The river flows through the scenic country estate of Montestigliano and is ideal for swimming and bathing. It even has "shallow paddling areas for younger children".

Shops, cookery courses and traditional Tuscan restaurants are all in reach of guests staying in one of the many farmhouses and cottages. From the pink stone balcony of the Virginia B, a wing of an old farm that sleeps four, why not admire the Chianti hills with a glass of the famous wine in your hand?

From £654 for seven nights see

Fieberbrunn, Austria

If you're looking for some last-minute spring skiing, this is the real deal, says Tamara Hinson in the Daily Mail. But don't hang about the wider Fieberbrunn ski area is open until early April. The good news is that the quieter Fieberbrunn is now linked to the large Saalbach-Hinterglemm ski area by a new gondola the Tyrol-S.

"Small and quaint," the resort town feels "like the setting for a Bavarian fairy tale", with its "beautiful" old church and fountain, said to have once cured a Tyrolean princess of a fever. Be sure to visit before the masses get here, or the odd oligarch arrives to "spray champagne all over its rustic charm".

See for details.

Chris Carter

Chris Carter spent three glorious years reading English literature on the beautiful Welsh coast at Aberystwyth University. Graduating in 2005, he left for the University of York to specialise in Renaissance literature for his MA, before returning to his native Twickenham, in southwest London. He joined a Richmond-based recruitment company, where he worked with several clients, including the Queen’s bank, Coutts, as well as the super luxury, Dorchester-owned Coworth Park country house hotel, near Ascot in Berkshire.

Then, in 2011, Chris joined MoneyWeek. Initially working as part of the website production team, Chris soon rose to the lofty heights of wealth editor, overseeing MoneyWeek’s Spending It lifestyle section. Chris travels the globe in pursuit of his work, soaking up the local culture and sampling the very finest in cuisine, hotels and resorts for the magazine’s discerning readership. He also enjoys writing his fortnightly page on collectables, delving into the fascinating world of auctions and art, classic cars, coins, watches, wine and whisky investing.

You can follow Chris on Instagram.