All Articles 12 ways to enjoy spring in London

12 ways to enjoy spring in London

Spring blooms in front of the St Paul's Cathedral in London
Image: Gary Yeowell / Getty Images
Amelia Ang
By Amelia Ang6 Feb 2024 5 minutes read

The sun’s lingering, the bees are busier, there’s a pep in your step… That’s when you know spring’s here in London. With 3,000 parks of varying sizes (London is the world’s first National Park City), you can imagine how colorful the city is in springtime.

But why imagine when you can see it for yourself? March through May is a sweet spot where you’ll get to experience London without summer crowds or winter chills. London’s weather in spring is generally mild, but you might experience some rainfall. Prepare yourself for rain or shine by packing a light jacket, jeans, and comfortable waterproof shoes.

Ready to explore? We’ve rounded up the best indoor and outdoor activities around the city for you to make the most of London in spring.

1. Attend the world’s greatest flower show

Spring RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London
Spring RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London
Image: tentgirl / Tripadvisor

Since 1862, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has held an annual Spring Show. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the floral equivalent of a fashion show, and is attended by more than 150,000 visitors each May, including members of the Royal Family. Drop by to admire gardens dreamed up by famous designers, check out rare plants, or shop for gardening supplies. This popular event requires tickets, so we advise booking early. If you miss out on a spot, you can also get your floral fix at the nearby Chelsea Physic Garden, London’s oldest botanic garden.

2. Join St. Paddy’s Day festivities

St Patrick's Day in London
Image: Jérôme Servais - EyeEm / Tripadvisor

March 17 is a special day for the Irish community in London, who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Kick off the festivities by watching the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, held on the nearest Sunday. The vibrant procession of dancers, marching bands, and floats travels through the city from Hyde Park Corner to Whitehall. You’ll also find Irish food, craft stalls, and performances at the festival market at Trafalgar Square. For a more intimate celebration, head to any Irish pub to grab a pint of Guinness—remember to wear some green to honor the day.

3. Channel your inner James Bond on a high-speed cruise

high-speed cruise on the River Thames in London
Image: Haley G / Tripadvisor

When you think of cruising down the Thames River, words like “peaceful” or “tranquil” come to mind. For an unconventional sightseeing experience, hop on this high-speed cruise to see London like never before. The rigid inflatable boat takes you past the Houses of Parliament, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and St. Paul’s Cathedral, before speeding up to twist, turn, and tumble through the water. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or just looking to spice up your vacay, this cruise is sure to make a splash (maybe literally).

4. Get lit at the Spring Festival of Light

Spring Festival of Light at Brent Cross in London

The Spring Festival of Light is an annual mobile theme park. Situated at London’s Brent Cross Shopping Centre, the Spring Festival has everything from pendulum rides to bumper cars. As its name suggests, the attraction features spectacular light displays that brighten the night sky. Snap some shots on your ride up the observation wheel, where you can enjoy a state-of-the-art LED light show.

5. Stop and smell the flowers at Kew Gardens

Spring bloom at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in London
Image: MrsWYN-R / Tripadvisor

While the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens are worth a visit any time of the year, it’s springtime when the Gardens transform into something out of a fairytale. Take a stroll down Cherry Walk during April’s cherry blossom season to see the pink blossoms. Or wander through bluebell woods to spot the dainty bell-shaped blooms surrounded by dancing bees and butterflies. Spring weather is perfect for an alfresco meal, so we recommend packing a picnic basket for lunch among golden daffodils and delicate snowdrops.

6. Grab a pint at an outdoor beer garden

Finger food and drinks at the The Monkey Puzzle
Outside The Monkey Puzzle in London
Image: Martin Cutler (left), Tomek0873 (right) / Tripadvisor

Embrace the spring sunshine by enjoying a pint in the open air. London’s beer gardens are as diverse as the city, ranging from intimate garden terraces to casual courtyards. Most have some form of shelter prepped, so you can keep the drinks flowing even when the skies turn gray. We like The Monkey Puzzle for its burger, beer, and namesake monkey puzzle tree, and The Swan for the buzzing vibes and view of Kensington Gardens.

7. Stay magically dry in the Wizarding World

Dragon display at the Warner Bros. Studio Harry Potter exhibition
Image: Yvonne D / Tripadvisor

The weather app predicting a rainy day ahead? It’s not all doom and gloom. Hide away from spring showers in the wizarding world at Warner Bros. Studio, featuring sets, props, and costumes from all eight Harry Potter movies. Tread the original stone floor of the Hogwarts Great Hall, wander down Diagon Alley, and pick up a Chocolate Frog from the gift shop. With transport to and fro, this Making of Harry Potter tour will ensure you stay warm, dry, and unfrazzled by London traffic.

8. Frolic around Holland Park

Spring blooms at Holland Park in London
Image: Carmen C / Tripadvisor

Everyone knows about Hyde Park, but Holland Park is a hidden gem. Spring is when the park shines even brighter. Head to the Dutch Garden to admire a magnificent sea of red and yellow tulips, or find your inner zen amidst the sakura and waterfalls in the Kyoto Garden. Keep a keen lookout and you’ll even spot subtle splashes of purple wisteria winding along the perimeter walls.

9. Play “I Spy” on the London Eye

View from the London Eye
Image: Lovethetravel85 / Tripadvisor

Get up close to spring’s bright blue skies on the London Eye. Suspended in a glass capsule, you’ll get to view London’s panoramic skyline from 443 feet off the ground. As you spin slowly above the Thames, spot icons like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and even Windsor Castle on a clear day. Avoid a long wait with a fast-track ticket and breeze past snaking lines.

10. Catch a footy match

Watching a football match at The Famous Three Kings in London
Crowd watching a football match at The Famous Three Kings in London
Image: Management (left), yerostucchi (right) / Tripadvisor

What’s more English than football? Spring is when the popular Football Association Challenge Cup (FA Cup) hits its stride towards the finals. It’s an exhilarating time for footy fans all over the capital. Soak in the intense atmosphere at a traditional London pub (with big screens) like The Dickens Inn, or don a jersey and join the crowd at sports-obsessed boozers like The Famous Three Kings.

11. Pay the Queen a visit at Windsor Castle

Spring time at Windsor Castle in London
Image: leek1972 / Tripadvisor

Eager to catch a glimpse of royalty? Head’s up: you won’t find the Queen at Buckingham Palace in March or April. Every spring, Queen Elizabeth resides in Windsor Castle to receive official state visitors and celebrate her birthday. The royal residence has stood tall since the 11th century and is the longest-occupied palace in Europe. St. George’s Chapel, within the Castle’s grounds, is also where royal weddings like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s are held. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes as Windsor Castle sits on top of a steep hill.

If you have limited time in London, it’s worth combining this trip with other landmarks of Southern England. Consider taking a quick yet informative coach tour that will allow you to visit Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Bath all in one day.

12. Have a wild time at the zoo

A lemur at the ZSL London Zoo
Image: Management / Tripadvisor

You won’t be the only one out and about at the ZSL London Zoo. Many animals love the springtime, and will happily take advantage of the warmer weather to venture outside for longer periods. Meet more than 650 species of animals and learn more about ZSL’s conservation work along the way. Don’t forget to say hello to the zoo’s adorable new tiger cub.

Amelia Ang
Amelia is a writer and traveler based in Singapore. Some of her favorite cities include Tokyo, New York, and Taipei. Amelia is fluent in English, Chinese, basic Korean, and intermediate Japanese.