With winter, (almost) behind us and a little more warmth in the air, there is no better time to sample the delights that our fabulous capital can offer. London’s world famous parks, for example, are awash with spring blooms galore, so if you’re visiting during March, April and May it’s an absolute must to stroll amongst all the fragrant scents that are associated with springtime in London.
One great example is Richmond Park, famous also for its free roaming deer and cute baby animals. The park is adorned with cycle paths and playgrounds so is ideal for families who want to experience the great outdoors. Within the park, the Isabella Plantation is a 40 acre Victorian woodland plantation planted in the 1830's. First opened in 1953, it’s best known for its evergreen azaleas, flowering in April/May which line the ponds and streams.
As temperatures begin to rise and the days grow longer, there’s definitely more opportunities to take advantage of the plethora of London’s outdoor activities. Other examples of the city ‘springing’ to life (forgive the pun!), include;-
London’s Gardens (Throughout the Spring)
To experience a sea of crocuses and daffodils blooming in all their glory, make a visit to Kew Gardens. If you’ve never been then now’s the time – as although Kew is beautiful at any time, in spring when many of the most beautiful blooms start making an appearance. Snowdrops, crocuses, bluebells and daffodils abound and you can also enjoy a guided tour around the gardens on the Kew Explorer land train to learn about its historic buildings and flora and fauna.
Alternatively the lovely Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, originally planted in 1908, has been transformed over the years into a tranquil ornamental garden of classical proportions. There are traditional rotational flower displays in spring/summer with vibrant colours and exotic planting adding to the atmosphere.
St Patrick's Day in London showcases Irish culture at its best. With food, dancing and music along with
a free festival in Trafalgar Square, Many of London’s bars also host events.
Mother's Day (March)
Why not spoil your mum and treat her to a day out in the city this year? There are plenty of great things to do, from river cruises along the Thames, a fabulous musical like The Phantom of the Opera or a sophisticated afternoon tea at the Ritz, perhaps.
Oxford/Cambridge Boat race (April)
The annual clash between Oxford and Cambridge, is a uniquely British rowing race on the River Thames. Running for over 180 years, the race amasses crowds of over 300,000. So get a prime position beside the river, bring your picnic and enjoy!
Oxford Cambridge goat race (April)
Coinciding with the above race, you could opt for something rather different… with two aptly named pygmy goats (Oxford and Cambridge) racing around a prepared track at Spitalfields City Farm. With all proceeds going to the farm, witness the goats, (rather than their counterparts in the boats) going for gold! The spectacle has bands, including ‘Goat-e-oke’, (I kid you not… get it?), along with other goat-related fun. Tickets are popular, so book early.
Easter in London is certainly a place for children and chocolate lovers alike. This year it falls on Sunday 21st April, although the run up to this date has some exciting activities going on throughout the capital. Special Easter events for young and old, from the obligatory Easter egg hunting, Easter themed afternoon teas, to a free performance of the biblical story ‘The Passion of Jesus’ held in Trafalgar Square on Good Friday.
This play commemorates the day Jesus was crucified and the run up to it. 100+ actors and numerous animals create authentic recreation of the time. Alternatively, join a London trail on the quest for chocolate Easter Eggs. Track down Easter bunnies at the National Trust property of Morden Hall Park. This is a popular event for families, where you'll search all across the park for clues that will lead you to Bunny's secret stash of chocolate.
Alternatively head along to London Wetland Centre, an urban oasis for wildlife and people, just 10 minutes from Hammersmith. Here you can stroll among the lakes, ponds and gardens, relax and enjoy coffee at the café, whilst the children let off steam in the play areas. You can also go ‘quackers’ and challenge your family to explore the wetland areas searching for the giant yellow ducks hiding amongst the reeds, trees and their real-life cousins. Special activity cards help you to find where these cheeky ducks are hiding. You may even win a delicious prize, all whilst learning about the wildlife in the area. There are also plenty of other fun activities at the centre for the whole family to enjoy this Easter, including pond dipping, wild play and nest building, where you’ll learn how birds behave in spring, handle a real nest and build a giant bird’s nest. Or you could be an Animal Track Detective, exploring animal tracks and signs and make your own footprint necklace to take home. A must do day for those with children.
Free outdoor events (April)
Experience London’s many free outdoor events this spring, including the London Marathon, where you can enjoy all the festivities and cheer on all the participants as they pass many of London’s famous landmarks. The festival of Vaisakhi, a Sikh cultural celebration, is also a real treat with performances, arts events and family activities on offer. Another great free event takes place on the Queen’s actual birthday, (21 April). There will be various gun salutes taking place in Hyde Park and the Tower of London. to mark this event.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show (May)
If you want to see innovative show gardens and stunning floral displays then this show is for you. Book early though as tickets sell out fast.
London Wine Week (May)
Back for its third year, with pop-up bars, alfresco parties and special tasting sessions London Wine Week is not to be missed. Celebrating the capital’s wine scene across 100 venues across the city, there are self-guided wine tours, masterclasses, supper clubs and tasting sessions.
Open air Activities
Watch plays ‘al fresco style’ in some of London's largest open-air theatres' such as Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and Regent's Park Open Air Theatre.
Why not experience culture after dark by taking part in ‘London Lates’? A series of late openings by many London museums and galleries, featuring talks, performances, workshops and films.
FA Cup finals (May)
Watch the men's FA Cup final. If you aren’t lucky enough to have scooped a ticket for the venue then join the footie fans in pubs and bars throughout the capital and mingle with others to watch the game.
Witness the State Opening of Parliament (May)
For the royalists amongst you, why not go along to see the Queen travel in her processional carriage along the streets in Westminster for the State Opening of Parliament this month?
If you are interested in visiting any of the above attractions this springtime, or indeed any of London's iconic or historical sites and have an interest in photography or just want to see some great pictures, check out Emily Ford's blog Photographing London: Iconic Locations and Hidden Gems
Whether you’re interested in the latest in theatre and art exhibitions, the finest restaurants or experiencing the great outdoors, there is always a great variety of things to do in London during the spring. If you wish to make your visit into a longer stay, to experience more of what London can offer, then Euracom can help! We are experts in finding you the best serviced apartments, all centrally located, at very affordable prices. So forget that impersonal hotel and try something with that ‘home from home’ feeling. You won’t regret it!
Our featured apartments for this month…
These newly refurbished, modern studio apartments are perfect for short stay holiday rentals in the Hyde Park area of London. Within a residential street and moments from Hyde Park these apartments are set in a historic Georgian terraced building and offer close proximity to bustling shopping centres (Whiteley’s), restaurants and cafes. Each apartment is designed and decorated with warm & vibrant interiors offering an inviting space for guests. With a fully equipped kitchen, ideal for self-catering, these apartments offer compact living at an affordable price. With nightly rates starting from £96, they are certainly not to be missed!
These fabulous serviced apartments provide easy access into Central London and Canary Wharf. With the O2 Westfield shopping centre and the Excel exhibition centres only minutes away and excellent transport links, this splendid development consists of 111 apartments. Designed by architects to meet the increasing demand for top-quality, long-stay accommodation in London without the city price tag, these high-spec, serviced apartments provide space and comfort to suit every guest's needs. With premium quality fittings, superb soft furnishings throughout and equipped with the most up-to-date technology including broadband, wide-screen televisions and stunning kitchens and bathrooms, these apartments are a snip, starting from £93 per night.
These beautiful, individually designed Edwardian styled serviced apartments are presented in a comfortably furnished setting with high ceilings & well-proportioned rooms. Close to the Earls Court Exhibition centre and the well renowned shopping areas of Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, the apartments range in size from studios to spacious four bedroom apartments, that can sleep eight. Only minutes from Earls Court Exhibition Centre and the famous Albert Hall, Natural History Museum and Kensington Palace, this accommodation is not to be missed, especially for the reasonable prices, which start from £153pn.
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