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The 17 Best Things to Do in London in May 2024

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London is a year-round destination, but that doesn’t mean we can all visit all year long. For many of us, some constraints determine when we will have time to visit London – and how far our London travel budget will stretch once we get there.

May is a great time to visit London, as it bridges the gap between spring and summer. Flowers are in bloom and the city turns a verdant green; you can still find deals on hotels and tours if you visit early in the month; and the weather is improving as the month goes on – but the summer crowds that descend once schools get out in the U.S. and Canada haven’t quite descended. I personally think May is one of the best months to visit London (along with April) for these reasons.

Things to Do in London in May Hero

If you’re planning a trip to London in May, you might have a few questions: “what’s the weather really like,” “what should I pack,” and “what is there to do” chief among them. In this guide to visiting London in May, you’ll find answers to all of these questions and more. Read on and by the end, you’ll have all of your questions about spending May in London answered.

This post was originally published in April 2022, and was updated most recently in February 2024.

Early May Bank Holiday (May 6)

May kicks off in London with a Bank Holiday weekend – that is, the first Monday of the month is officially a holiday; in 2024, that happens to fall on May 6th… a perfect way to start the month.

If you find yourself visiting London early in May, keep an eye on the forecast; if the weather is good, consider buying a picnic hamper from Fortnum & Mason and making a day of it at one of London’s best parks. If not, double-check your plans to make sure whatever indoor activities you plan will be open; generally, London’s great museums like the British Museum and Natural History Museum will be open though hours may be shortened.

Women’s FA Cup Finals (May 12)

London in May - Football

Sports fans will want to mark the mid-month for planning a London itinerary too; while culture vultures will flock to Central London for Photo London, football fans can head to Wimbledon for the Women’s FA Cup Final in May 14th.

In 2023, Manchester City was the men’s champs of this highly-anticipated tournament, while the women’s team from Chelsea beat out another UK team, Manchester United. All this to say – there’s a lot of energy surrounding the FA Cup Finals since the London teams generally do well and may likely end up in the finals.

Keep an eye on the FA website to secure tickets as the details and final competitors are confirmed.

Chelsea Flower Show (May 21-25)

London is a wonderfully green city, with more forested areas than most – but also plenty of gardens and parks which bloom throughout the spring and summer. To mark this transitory period between the cherry blossoms, magnolias, tulips, and daffodils of earlier months and the roses, hydrangeas, lilies, and irises of the hotter days, consider attending the Chelsea Flower Show during the final full weekend of May.

Laying claim to the title of “world’s greatest flower show,” gardeners, horticulturalists, and even amateur botanists will be amazed by the blooms, gardens, and other works of art honoring them.

London History Day (May 31)

Finally, May wraps up with a day all about London herself. London History Day is marked by Historic England, and honors the resilience of this city that has lived many lives from Romans to Normans to Victorians to modern times.

If you’re in London on this day, why not celebrate the city’s history by doing the London Wall Walk?

Spring Bank Holiday (May 27)

May is host to not one but two bank holiday weekends – so those of you visiting later in the month can also take advantage of a day “off” on the U.K. calendar. On this day, banks and other institutions may be closed, but it usually signals the beginning of Summer – and Londoners will flock outdoors if the weather’s cooperative.

As mentioned above, here are some ideas for how to spend the day if you’re visiting:

Belgravia/Chelsea in Bloom Festival (Multiple)

Much like the Chelsea Flower Show, there are other events across London that celebrate the return of (plant) life to the city. Belgravia is one of my favorite parts of the city, and is normally beautiful – but during the Belgravia in Bloom festival, it’s even more so.

This free event will see the neighborhood bedecked in floral installations and displays. Belgravia area shops and restaurants will also be blooming with floral-themed events, cocktails, and other experiences. The full details, dates, and schedule haven’t been announced yet, but you can check the website above or sign up for email updates.

Similarly, there’s a Chelsea in Bloom festival around the end of May (dates still TBA); this event will include floral displays, competitions, art shows, and more.

Photo London at Somerset House (TBA)

London in May - Somerset House

If you love photography as an art form, be sure to plan your London trip to coincide with the Photo London exhibit at Somerset House. The entire four-day event is focused on photography, featuring exhibits from the U.K., U.S., Germany, Italy, Japan, and elsewhere around the world. There’s also an exhibit called Discovery which highlights new and emerging talent. This is a fascinating pop-up art experience for those who love visiting London for that.

9 Other Things to Do in London in May

In addition to the above events, there are a number of other great things to do in London during the month of May. Here are some general ideas to inspire you:

  1. Plan a picnic in London’s parks.
  2. Enjoy outdoor terrace dining at one of London’s best spots like Claridge’s Bar Terrace or Jones Family Kitchen.
  3. Grab cocktails at one of London’s many great rooftop bars like Radio Rooftop or Aviary Rooftop
  4. Sip pints outside in the sun at one of London’s many historic pubs
  5. Stroll along the Southbank under the sun.
  6. Eat and shop your way across London’s markets like Borough and Spitalfields to find your favorite one.
  7. Similarly, don’t miss the opportunity to see Peter Doig’s exhibition at The Courtauld Gallery. This is the first time in ages that the famous painter is showing his works in London. (Tickets required)
  8. Splurge on bottomless brunch – a new London tradition – one weekend during your visit; there are literally dozens of offerings all month long, like Jamaican brunch, Asian street food, and Spanish tapas.
  9. Rent a boat to explore a new part of London in a different way; GoBoat offers boat rentals in Paddington, Kingston-upon-Thames, and Canary Wharf start from £89 for 1 hour (Reservations required)

Have any questions about these things to do in London in May, or have you heard of other good events? Let me know in the comments below!

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Valerie fell in love with London on her first trip to the city way back in 2011. Since then, she spent a year living in London and visits as often as she can (you can find her recent trip recaps here!). She launched LOMM in 2021 to help other travelers fall in love with her favorite city on earth.

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