It seems that Spring is finally creeping up on us after the eternally long winter, bringing (hopefully), warmer weather, allowing us to enjoy the wealth of seasonal activities on offer in our glorious capital.
With the forthcoming Spring Bank Holiday, (26th to 28th May) on the horizon, London venues are gearing up for the forthcoming season. Here are our top ten picks for you to get out and about. Activities cater for both young and old, ensuring something for everyone. So why not shed that winter wardrobe, don those shorts and get out and about without delay?
Aside from the usual famous attractions, like The Tower of London and Buckingham Palace, there are loads of other superb things to see and do during the extended Spring Bank Holiday weekend.
The City Visitor Trail (www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/visit-the-city/walks)
This is a must for those on a sightseeing mission! The 90 minute, self-guided tour enables you to find many of London’s hidden gems, feast on its world famous attractions and experience the great culture, history and heritage of the capital’s famous Square Mile. Combine this with taking a well-deserved rest in one of the great eateries on route and you have the makings of a very memorable outing. Free City Visitor Trail maps are available from the City Information Centre, located opposite St Paul's Cathedral, or you can download the app for your mobile.
All Points Equal, Victoria Park 28th May (allpointseastfestival.com)
This is a day of free activities celebrating the 100th anniversary of votes for women. The venue, Victoria Park, is significant, as this was the end destination of Sylvia Pankhurst’s 1913/1914 processions. There are a variety of workshops on offer such as banner-making, children’s theatre and aerial circus performances. Outdoor screenings, along with a participatory performance of a Suffragette rally and live music featuring various brass bands, add to the atmosphere. A street food Market and pop-up bars will also be available.
Early Man Family Fun Day, Museum of London, 28th May (museumoflondon.org.uk)
For a range of drop-in, family-friendly activities, visit The Museum of London this Bank Holiday Monday, for a foray back into the Stone Age. Free screenings of ‘Early Man’ a recent Aardman film, will take you back to the time when prehistoric creatures roamed the earth. The caveman hero, Dug and his tribe, take on Lord Nooth, voiced by Tom Hiddleston, to save their home. Other child friendly activities include handling real prehistoric artefacts and learning the art of flint-making using soap, along with other drop in activities.
Spot Angry Birds at Madame Tussauds 7th May – July (madametussauds.co.uk)
Since first opening over 200 years ago, millions have visited this iconic establishment to see its famous wax figures, past and present. It remains just as popular today as it ever was. Much of its success is how the venue has moved with the times, and people are still just as curious as they have ever been. One of its most recent attractions features the characters Red, Chuck and Bomb, who make their debut this May, ahead of the release of the Angry Birds Movie.
Visit the Natural History Museum
This year’s summer season sees the beginning of this fine museum’s transformation into a museum fit for the future. Within the glorious Hintze Hall, a huge blue whale skeleton has now joined the plethora of other natural marvels, helping to tell the story of evolution and the part we play in our planet’s future. The 83 foot long whale skeleton forms an important part of the hundreds of new specimens across several floors, which includes ten other star specimens within the museum’s ‘wonder bays’. Further highlights include the dinosaur section, where you can meet a roaring T-Rex whilst the ground shakes beneath you on the earthquake simulator. A venue not to be missed!
Feria De Londres, South Bank 25th-27th May (feriadelondres.com)
Why not join this vibrant celebration of Spanish cuisine and culture? It’s inspired by the annual spring fairs that take place in Andalucia, Spain and takes place in Bernie Spain Gardens on the South Bank of the Thames. The festival includes interactive workshops, live Spanish music and Flamenco dancing shows, as well as a range of activities suitable for all ages, including arts and crafts, face painting and hair styling. The glorious setting of the South Bank be buzzing with a colourful display of ‘casetas’ (booths) all serving delicious Spanish delicacies, like tapas, Iberico ham, tortillas, pimientos de padron and churros, and you’ll also be able to experience many of the region’s wines and cocktails. Tio Pepe, one of Spain’s favourite fino producers, will be there, hosting a series of sherry masterclasses.
Picnic at Hampton Court Palace 26th May- 2ndJun (www.hrp.org.uk)
For a super family day out why how about head off to Hampton Court Palace to see a resurgence of some of Britain’s most gruesome characters being brought back to life in an open-air performance of Horrible Histories? Prepare yourselves for a unique production of Horrible Histories live on stage, where you’ll not only learn about Britain’s past but also experience some of the nasty bits too! Whilst you’re there you could also confront mysterious mythical beasts, storm the battlements and besiege the towers whilst exploring the Magic Garden’s secret grotto. Each area represents some of the legends and stories relating to the palaces’ fabulous history. After this innovative way of exploring the past with your family, you could then go on to discover real objects and hidden stories of Britain’s history, in and around the palace. Well worth a visit.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 22nd-26th May (www.rhs.org.uk)
This superb flower extravaganza returns again this year with even bigger, better and more thrilling floral displays. The 12,000 sq ft Great Pavilion marquee will feature the finest displays from the world’s best growers and nurseries. This year’s ‘health and wellbeing’ gardens will help to demonstrate how plants and green spaces improve lives, whilst other features include the ‘Space to Grow’ Gardens, which will provide suggestions for those with smaller, urban gardens. On Friday 25th May, the Chelsea Late Event also enables visitors to combine seeing the show with bands, wandering artists and an artisan food market.
Festival of Science (Space) -Albert Hall - 5thMay-10thJuly(www.royalalberthall.com)
Supported by the UK Space Agency, and as part of their inaugural Festival of Science, the Royal Albert Hall celebrates and explores space through a range of concerts, talks, screenings and comedy events, for space and sci-fi fans whatever their age. This unmissable intergalactic experience, spectacularly celebrates the wonder of space in the iconic setting of one of the world’s most beautiful venues. Culture at its best!
Visit London Zoo 26th May-3rd June (campaign.zsl.org/londonheroesandvillains/)
The kids will love donning their capes this bank holiday in a novel way for them to learn about the threats facing wildlife. London Zoo’s ‘Superheroes and Villains’ excellent celebration of the world’s most incredible wildlife and their amazing super powers, enables them to meet the zoo’s own ‘superheroes’, tirelessly striving to protect vulnerable animals from many of the planet’s greatest villains. You’ll encounter some of the world’s environmental super-villains and discover just what we can do to help the animals fight back. So dust off that Batman outfit and join in the fun!
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These splendid Victorian, luxury short stay apartments are set within London's exclusive Sloane Square. Close to the exclusive Knightsbridge’s famous shops, they provide the perfect base within central London for a family stay. From £2184 p/w, these elegant serviced apartments are located within a mansion block dating back to the 19thC and boast Queen Anne high windows along with other grand features. They are finished to the highest standard with a unique character, making them the ideal, high-quality London accommodation. If you are seeking individual design, reflecting the very best of traditional English decoration, then these apartments are for you. Close to many local cafes and restaurants, they are also convenient for visits to many museums within the locality, such as The Natural History Museum.
These spectacular, high quality Southbank serviced apartments are perfect for corporate guests and holiday makers alike. They offer views over many major attractions like Big Ben and the London Eye, which are just a stone’s throw away. They provide a superb place to relax after a hard day sightseeing, whilst being close enough to Southbank and its huge variety of restaurants, bars and attractions, giving you the best of both worlds. Ranging from £171p/n for a 1 bedroom apartment, sleeping 2, these contemporary apartments feature floor to ceiling windows, allowing spectacular panoramic views over London. Each high quality apartment offers spacious city living, with fully equipped kitchens and luxurious bathrooms. If you want to explore many of London's cultural and historic sites, then these superb apartments are ideal.