Spring is a new awakening with new life wherever you look. Hours of daylight increase, especially after the clocks go forward one hour at the end of March. While hibernating animals will not manifest themselves in cities like London, there are plenty of vast green spaces in the city where the drab colours of winter begin to change. You can never guarantee warm and dry weather in London, but there are still plenty of sunny days through the spring. If you are planning outdoor activities, dress appropriately, and take a coat for late afternoon and evening.
While London welcomes visitors all year round, significant tourist numbers and hence crowds have yet to build up on weekdays in spring other than during the Easter holidays. To be certain of avoiding queues, however, it takes minimal effort to organise tickets in advance if you know your itinerary while in the city. So here are some ideas on how to enjoy spring in London, some of which depend upon the exact time of your visit. Others are activities that you can enjoy on any spring day.
- Spring In London
- 20 Things To Do In London In Spring
- 1- Channel Your Inner Wizard On A Harry Potter Walking Tour
- 2- Cruise The Thames From Westminster to Greenwich
- 3- Ride The London Eye
- 4- Gawk At The Crown Jewels In The Tower Of London
- 5- Enjoy The Spring Flowers In Kew Gardens
- 6- Wonder At Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
- 7- Step Up To The Shard
- 8- Enjoy The Lights On The River Thames Dinner Cruise
- 9- Watch The Changing of the Guard
- 10- See The Exhibits In The Natural History Museum
- 11- Visit London Zoo
- 12- See The Houses Of Parliament
- 13- Enjoy A Picnic In The Park To See The Spring Flowers
- 14- Join In The April Fun
- 15- Climb Aboard the Cutty Sark
- 16- Attend The Chelsea Flower Show
- 17- Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day
- 18- Watch The Pancake Day Races
- 19- See The Boat Race
- 20- Attend The Vaisakhi Festival Celebrations
- 20 Things To Do In London In Spring
Spring In London
20 Things To Do In London In Spring
1- Channel Your Inner Wizard On A Harry Potter Walking Tour
Warner Brothers knew it had a hit on its hands when it decided to make the series of Harry Potter books into film.
J. K. Rowling wrote seven stories of wizardry and witchcraft, and the walking tour around locations in the films is great fun.
You may find this tour interesting even if you have not read the books or seen the films and could even become a serious fan of Harry.
The tour starts at Southwark Cathedral, passing Borough Market, the London Eye, Great Scotland Yard and Trafalgar Square.
Your guide will ensure you learn all you need to know as you walk. The Harry Potter Guide Walking Tour is a fun experience for all ages.
2- Cruise The Thames From Westminster to Greenwich
A Thames cruise will give you a new perspective of London’s highlights.
One of the most popular tours heads east towards the Thames Estuary from the heart of London.
You can listen to a commentary with several language options as you cruise along.
Westminster, the Houses of Parliament and Tower Bridge are part of the journey.
On bright days, you can sit outside, but there is the alternative of being undercover if a spring shower comes along.
3- Ride The London Eye
The London Eye on the Thames was part of the Millennium celebrations in London, opening on 31 December 1999.
It remains the highest observation wheel in the world at 135 m (nearly 450 ft).
If you buy a ticket in advance, you can avoid the queues that are likely to be there at weekends and over the Easter holidays.
You will have great views in all directions when you are at the top from St. Paul’s Cathedral close by to Windsor Castle in the distance.
It is fun picking out the major landmarks in the city from your seat in the sky aboard the London Eye.
4- Gawk At The Crown Jewels In The Tower Of London
William the Conqueror built the Tower of London in the 11th century, and it has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site housing the priceless Crown Jewels.
Yeomen guard the Tower and its contents and inform visitors of its history, with several interesting stories part of the “commentary.”
During the Tudor era, the Tower became the focus of infamous activity.
This was a prison for Henry VIII’s “enemies”, with executions also taking place there.
Years earlier, Richard II secured his succession by ensuring the sons of Edward IV could not make their case for succession because of their confinement and subsequent disappearance (presumed dead) in the Tower of London. Skip the line and pre-book tickets here.
5- Enjoy The Spring Flowers In Kew Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens, popularly just described as Kew Gardens, employs over 1,000 workers; that alone will demonstrate the size of the research project.
You can enjoy flora from all over the world with Kew collaborating with more than 100 countries on an ongoing basis.
Over two million visitors walk through Kew Gardens every year, so you can see the logic of buying a ticket in advance to avoid queues.
6- Wonder At Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Tottenham Hotspur is a Premier League soccer side with a great history, and although it has had minimal success in recent years, it maintains a huge supporter base.
It is unlikely that you can get tickets to watch a league game but what you can do is take a stadium tour.
Spurs (the club’s nickname) has the newest and most modern stadium in Europe, capable of hosting a crowd of 60,000 for soccer and other events.
The build cost is £1 billion, which is a burden, to say the least, yet the investment is essential to keep pace with the country’s elite.
During the tour, you will see inside the stadium and can walk on a glass walkway 50 m above the ground, revealing some great views of London. This is what you will see on a tour of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
7- Step Up To The Shard
If you want to enjoy the highest viewing platform in London, head to the Shard and the 72nd floor.
From there, you get a 360-degree view over London from 800 ft (244 m).
Take your time and do not rush in the Shard, where several multimedia exhibits will teach you more about the city’s history.
On a clear spring day in London, you can see as far as 40 miles in any direction.
That means the Thames Estuary, Heathrow or halfway to the English Channel.
There is a champagne bar to enjoy, and the shop sells photos as souvenirs. So skip the line and reserve your tickets to The Shard here.
8- Enjoy The Lights On The River Thames Dinner Cruise
Get a great perspective of London from a Thames cruise.
One way to enjoy that view is to be wined, dined and entertained while you sit down for a four-course meal.
During the three-hour trip, you will hear songs from the West End shows, not recorded but live.
It starts at Westminster and goes to the Thames Barrage, passing Canary Wharf, the O2 Arena and City Hall.
The Houses of Parliament are impressive day or night on the return trip and the menu caters for vegetarians naturally. Book a table on the River Thames Dinner Cruise.
9- Watch The Changing of the Guard
Buckingham Palace’s Changing of the Guard takes place every other morning unless something extraordinary happens in London.
There’s lots to experience in this part of London which you can combine with the couple of hours you will wait for, and see the Changing.
It is a colourful affair with the guards donning bearskins and red uniforms.
Sentry duty is warm work in such clothing on a hot summer’s day but far more comfortable in the spring.
Find out more about the Changing of the Guard here.
10- See The Exhibits In The Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum traces life from the very beginnings of Earth, with fossils, examples of extinct animals and birds, and the chance to see exhibits relating to Pompeii, which was demolished when Vesuvius erupted in 79AD.
Inevitably, only a tiny portion of the museum’s items can be seen on display at any one time.
There are five categories; zoology, botany, entomology, mineralogy and palaeontology.
Some of Darwin’s samples taken from the Galapagos Islands are there for you to see.
The skeleton of the blue whale is a highlight, an exhibit measuring 25 m (82 ft) and weighing 4.5 tonnes.
If you can’t get enough of museums, the Victoria & Albert and the Science Museums are nearby in South Kensington. Skip the line and reserve your tickets to the Natural History Museum.
11- Visit London Zoo
London Zoo in Regents Park is ever-evolving; you can see everything from the magnificent tiger to lions, African and Asian.
You will learn about conservation efforts to safeguard the future of these endangered predators.
Penguin Beach is where these fun creatures play, swim, eat, and generally enjoy themselves.
There is a marine section, another highlighting Galapagos, Gorilla Kingdom, while the African plains include huge giraffes.
You should buy a ticket in advance, especially at weekends and at Easter time.
At almost two centuries old, London Zoo is the oldest scientific research zoo in the world. Skip the line, save time and book your tickets to the London Zoo here.
12- See The Houses Of Parliament
Downing Street is the venue where the Prime Minister and his Cabinet plan their management of the country, but Parliament is the public icon that the world sees.
These days, the House of Commons televises the Prime Minister’s Question Time and special debates.
You can attend proceedings in the Commons and the House of Lords if there is room in the public gallery.
You cannot just walk around without being guided by officials, but you will get an idea of the atmosphere whether you are accompanied or not.
13- Enjoy A Picnic In The Park To See The Spring Flowers
The city has large stretches of open land, parks and heaths.
Blackheath, Hampstead Heath, Richmond Park and the Central London Green and Hyde Parks are all places that come alive in spring in London.
Spend time in these and other open spaces, and on a bright day, a picnic is a great way to enjoy a midday feast.
Sit on the grass and spread a blanket on a dry day; the menu is up to you, but plenty of shops sell every food imaginable.
All you need to do is pack a hamper or a carrier bag and enjoy this simple pleasure for a relaxing break from sightseeing.
14- Join In The April Fun
Hampton Court Palace was the home of Cardinal Wolsey, whom Henry VIII arrested for treason but died before any punishment was meted out.
It became the Tudor king’s most popular home in 1530 and has been a royal possession ever since.
Spring is the time when such palaces open for visitors.
In the case of Hampton Court, there is the building itself and the beautiful gardens designed by Capability Brown to enjoy.
In all, there are 60 acres (24 ha) of pristine gardens.
The Bunny Hunt and the Tulip Festival have become part of the programme at Hampton Court.
The Hunt is great fun for children searching for the maze’s golden statues and the Rose and Tudor Knot Gardens.
15- Climb Aboard the Cutty Sark
The Cutty Sark was a famous ship of its time and is now a museum in Greenwich, open daily.
A clipper built in Scotland, it was one of the last of its kind to be constructed and one of the quickest before steamships became the norm.
It worked the tea trade for a short period after the Suez Canal opened in 1869, heading to China but later to Australia for wool.
Even though steamships began to dominate, the Cutty Sark, renamed Ferreira by its new Portuguese owners, became a training ship in 1922, carrying cargo up until that point.
It has been in dry dock in Greenwich since 1954.
16- Attend The Chelsea Flower Show
The Chelsea Flower Show, formally the Great Spring Show, takes place over five days in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
The Royal Family regularly attends an event that dates back more than a century.
There are a series of gardens within the show for visitors to enjoy, and more than 150,000 visitors walk through its gates each year.
The limit on attendance is based upon the size of the venue, 45,000 square metres or 11 acres.
You must buy tickets in advance, with the general public only allowed for the last three days.
Television coverage allows those unable to attend or get a ticket and helps to promote the show. You may also like this secret gardens of London full-day tour.
17- Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick (the patron saint of Ireland) would be delighted to know that St Patrick’s day in March arouses celebrations worldwide.
In recent years, the calendar of the Lord Mayor of London includes celebrating St. Patrick in Trafalgar Square, where you can enjoy the best of Ireland, its culture, art and music, food and drink.
It recognises the considerable contribution made by Irish people to the growth and prosperity of London.
That day’s procession can include up to 50,000 with bands, dancers and much pageantry.
That procession starts at Hyde Park, passing Piccadilly, Pall Mall and Whitehall, with Trafalgar Square then taking over.
18- Watch The Pancake Day Races
Pancake Day, Shrove Tuesday, varies each year depending upon when Easter falls.
It is just before the start of Lent, with 40 days of fasting, hence the excuse of eating filling food.
There are several races held in London on that day.
Greenwich Market is a popular event where spectators can watch and eat pancakes for most of the day, although the race is around noon.
Proceeds go to charity, as they do at other such races.
Mansion House, Guildhall, Borough Market, and Southwark are other venues to consider.
In all cases, spectators and participants will leave well fed at the end of the day.
19- See The Boat Race
This annual spring race between Oxford and Cambridge Universities takes place on the Thames between Putney and Mortlake in southwest London.
Huge numbers line both banks, with some running to keep up with the boats.
The first of these annual races dates back to 1829, although it was in 1856 that it became yearly.
An equivalent women’s event has been an annual competition for nearly half a century.
The races were unofficial during the two 20th Century World Wars, so the only real interruption was in 2020 because of Covid.
The highest recorded attendance was 270,000 in 2009, with around 15 million estimated to watch it live on television.
20- Attend The Vaisakhi Festival Celebrations
Vaisakhi is a Sikh festival, one of its most important celebrations on the calendar.
It recalls the origins of Sikhism at the end of the 17th century. Hindus also celebrate the beginning of the solar New Year.
There is no cost to attend this April event, held in Trafalgar Square.
You can expect some light food, tea, displays of Sikh art, martial arts displays and other forms of entertainment.
Demonstrations of Sikh food preparation are interesting, while a large screen will show several different performances and a series of messages from prominent Sikhs.
If you go there as a family, you can be sure there are things that will keep the children happy.
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