While summer might be the most popular season to visit London, there’s something special about visiting in the spring. Unlike the nursery rhyme that “April showers bring May flowers,” London works a bit differently. Flowers and trees begin blooming in March, continuing on through the common rain showers in April until the whole city is verdant and lush in May. If you love seeing the change of seasons, there’s no better time to visit than April in London.
April also happens to be my favorite month in general, because it’s my birthday month. I have fond memories of celebrating when I lived in London – sharing pints with friends and literally taking time to stop and smell the flowers (daffodils, my favorite, in my case).
Whether you’re visiting for a special occasion like a birthday or finally taking that bucket list trip, this guide will help you plan your trip to London in April. Below you’ll find tips on the weather and how long days are, as well as what to pack and things to do in London in April. As always, you can also ask any questions you still have after reading in the comments below.
Cherry Blossoms and Wisterias (through late April)
You’ll never see London as colorful as in April. Every corner, every building, every front door, and every park is invaded by the subtle pinks and purples of cherry blossoms and wisterias. As a general rule, cherry blossoms start blooming in London in early March and into late April, whereas wisterias bloom in late April and into May.
London Games Festival (April 9-2)
Playing video games isn’t exactly what comes to your mind when you think of when planning a trip abroad. But, for those inveterate gamers, there’s good news: the city hosts the London Games Festival.
The festival is a celebration of video games and interactive entertainment. You’ll be able to learn about the gaming industry, listen to the heavy hitters, and even find out what the best new games are. Bear in mind the events are held throughout the city; some are free and others require tickets. Check out their website to find out the info you need.
The Grand National (April 11-13)
We all know about the Brits’ unwavering love for soccer. But, not everyone knows that they also love horse racing. There are tons of horse races throughout the year, one of them being The Grand National. Before you rule out this event from your itinerary, let me tell you, you won’t just see jockeys trying to make it to the finish line.
You’ll also see posh British ladies and gentlemen flaunting their best outfits, and even some celebrities and royals having a good time.
London Coffee Festival (April 11-14)
Ahhh, who can deny the feeling of satisfaction that sipping a cup of coffee elicits? London hosts the London Coffee Festival, where you can learn all about the beverage that helps us jumpstart the day, recharges our batteries during long work hours, and creates bonds with whom we share a cup.
The festival brings coffee masters who showcase their skills, share their best tips, and, of course, hundreds of stalls where you can sample delicious coffee.
Vaisakhi Festival in Trafalgar Square (TBD)
India and Britain have long been connected throughout history, which kind of explains why London is such a good place to find mouthwatering curry. In April, the city celebrates Vaisakhi Festival, the Sikh New Year festival. The festival celebrates and brings closer to people the Punjabi traditions through food, Sikh folk songs and dances, and martial arts (gatka) performances. Make sure to stop by!
Eid in the Square (April 20)
As the cosmopolitan city that London is, there’s no shortage of festivals that celebrate other cultures. Eid Festival marks the end of Ramadan and is one of the most popular Muslim festivals in the city. You can enjoy live performances, try out traditional delicacies, and get a closer look at the Muslim community and their contributions to London.
St. George’s Day (April 23)
If you’ve ever studied the British Flag, you might be aware that it is comprised of several other flags; the English contribution is the flag of St. George: a red cross on a field of white. St. George is the patron saint of England, and there are still observations of his festival on April 23rd – which also happens to be my birthday (as well as Shakespeare’s birthday and death day!). If you’re in London for the 23rd, there’s usually an event at Trafalgar Square.
London Marathon (April 21)
The London Marathon is a huge sporting event that takes place in April in London. From the early morning, locals start to find their spot to show their support for the brave runners who dare to push through the 26.2 miles that make up the route. The route is dotted with pubs and bars where you can sip a pint while cheering for the runners.
8 Other Things to Do in London in April
In case you still have time for yet another activity, here are other eight great things to do in London in April.
- Catch a performance in the West End.
- Enjoy London from a different perspective with a Thames River cruise.
- Indulge in a scrumptious afternoon tea in one of London’s fancy hotels.
- One of the perks of visiting London in April is that you can take advantage of the city’s green spaces – its parks. Do it by having a picnic in Hyde Park or Primrose Hill while admiring the view.
- Sip a pint of ale in an old pub.
- Soak up art in one of London’s museums.
- Don your fanciest outfit and grab a cocktail on the rooftop.
- Head to Columbia Road Flower Market to grab a fresh bouquet for your hotel room or vacation rental.
Have any questions about these things to do in London in April, or have you heard of other good events? Let me know in the comments below!