63 Of The Best Things To Do In London This Spring

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63 Of The Best Things To Do In London This Spring
Ogle colourful blooms at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Things to do in London in March, April and May 2022.

Cultural events in London in spring

WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH: March is Women's History Month, so there's plenty going on to celebrate the achievements of women and non-binary people, including exhibitions, one-off events, and the unveiling of a very special plaque. Browse our pick of events.

WOMEN OF THE WORLD: Southbank Centre's annual Women of the World Festival is back, in time for International Women's Day. The extensive line-up looks at the state of gender equality across the globe today, with topics including politics, cancer and race, tackled. 11-13  March

AFFORDABLE ART FAIR: Browse and buy contemporary artworks, priced from £50-£7,500, at Affordable Art Fair, which pops up in Battersea. Galleries from all over the world have a presence, plus there's a display inspired by this year's Pantone Colour of the Year; late night openings; and a chance to watch artists at work. 10-13 March

Affordable Art Fair is back

ST PATRICK'S DAY: Around the middle of March, many Londoners remember their tiny bit of distant Irish heritage, and embrace it by getting involved in the St Patrick's Day celebrations. The main event is the St Patrick's Day festival and parade on 13 March, but look out for plenty of other Irish-themed parties, supper clubs, menus, bar crawls and various hijinks. 17 March

THE OTHER ART FAIR: Now in its second decade, the previously-postponed The Other Art Fair takes over the Old Truman Brewery for four days of artwork that's accessible to all, without the stuffiness of more traditional art fairs. Affordable and original pieces are for sale, alongside immersive installations, live performances and a bar. 17-20 March

PUNCHDRUNK: One of our most anticipated events of 2022, immersive theatre company Punchdrunk is back with its new show, The Burnt City. It's centred on the fall of Troy but in true Punchdrunk style, little else has been revealed — and we wouldn't have it any other way. From 22 March

EARTH HOUR: For one hour on a Saturday evening, London's switching the lights off for WWF's Earth Hour, raising awareness of the effects of global warming. Individual businesses and households are encouraged to take part by turning off the lights, but several of the capital's major landmarks will be plunged into darkness too. 26 March

Climb Cutty Sark. Image: Royal Museums Greenwich

LONDON GAMES FESTIVAL: Thumbs at the ready as the London Games Festival returns for 10 days of video games and interactive entertainment. It includes both in-person and online events, such as a large-scale exhibition in Trafalgar Square, a games award ceremony, and gaming industry network events. 1-10 April

CLIMB CUTTY SARK: Ever looked at the Cutty Sark and thought "hmm, wish I could climb that"? Us neither, but now you can, as a new rig and rope climbing experience launches on the famous tea clipper. From 2 April

SOMERSET HOUSE LATES: This year, Somerset House launches three new special late-night events, the first of which takes place in April. Visit the complex after-hours for special artist and curator activities, bars, street food and live DJs. Sculpting demos and events linked to the current Van Gogh exhibition all feature in the April event. 13 April

Celebrate Vaisakhi in Trafalgar Square

VAISAKHI TRAFALGAR SQUARE: Vaisakhi — the Sikh and Punjabi cultural festival — takes place on 14 April this year, but London's main celebration returns to Trafalgar Square a couple of days later. The free festival features live entertainment and performances, martial arts demonstrations, a showcase of Sikh art, plus food and drink stalls. 16 April

LONDON ART FAIR: After being postponed from January, London Art Fair returns to Islington for five days of arty goodness. More than 100 galleries from around the world showcase and sell works by a variety of artists, both established and new to the scene. 20-24 April

ST GEORGE'S DAY: Celebrate England's patron saint at a free event in Trafalgar Square, happening for the first time since 2019. Live music and performers, food and drink, a market, and family-friendly activities are all on the programme. 23 April

Underbelly Festival is back at two locations. Photo: Pasco Photography

UNDERBELLY FESTIVAL: Performing arts festival Underbelly returns to two London sites this summer; Cavendish Square (28 April-21 July) and Earl's Court (5 May-16 July). Full details are expected to be announced mid-March.

OUTDOOR CINEMA: As soon as the sun comes out, London's cinemas go al fresco, pitching up on rooftops, at palaces and in lidos across the capital. We'll provide 2020 details as soon as they're announced — in the meantime, browse London's 2021 outdoor cinemas to get an idea of what to expect (bear in mind they were operating under Covid restrictions last year, so looked a bit different from usual). Usually from early May

GUNPOWDER PLOT: A new immersive experience opens, based on the infamous Gunpowder Plot, in which Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament. This one takes over the Tower Vaults for an educational look at the events of 1605, with you in the role as co-conspirator — you'll have to work out who you can trust and who's a traitor. From 6 May

The Regent's Park Open Air Theatre season begins in May

EID IN THE SQUARE: The Muslim festival of Eid-al-Fitr is celebrated in Trafalgar Square to mark the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting. Muslim art, music, culture, literature, history and fashion are all celebrated, alongside food stalls selling dishes from around the Islamic world. 7 May

OPEN AIR THEATRE: For a high-brow night under the stars, head to London's open air theatre in Regent's Park. Legally Blonde, 101 Dalmatians, and Antigone have been confirmed for the 2022 schedule. From 13 May

DULWICH FESTIVAL: A celebration of art and culture in the local area, Dulwich Festival has yet to announce its full programme, but will include an artists' open house weekend, and the Dulwich Festival Fair on Goose Green. 13-22 May

The highly anticipated ABBA Voyage show lands in May

EUROVISION: If you're partial to sequins, disco balls and cheese by the truckload, put 14 May in your dairy. That's the date of the Eurovision final this year — we'll put together a guide to London parties and screenings closer to the time. 14 May

CHELSEA AND BELGRAVIA IN BLOOM: Two separate (free!) events running at the same time as the Chelsea Flower Show (see below): Chelsea In Bloom and Belgravia In Bloom bring colour to their respective postcodes. A series of stunning and dramatic flower installations are erected outside shops, restaurants and cafes in the area — Chelsea has a British Icons theme this year. 23-28 May

CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW: A highlight for any green-fingered Londoner, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show takes over the ground of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, with gardeners from all over the country showing off their work; stalls where you can buy flowers and plants to take home; and a chance to pick up tips from gardening experts. 24-28 May

The Chelsea Flower Show

FLOWERS: For more even more flowers, take a look at our guides to where to see cherry blossom, wisteria and roses in London.

ABBA VOYAGE: Mamma Mia, look who's back! Avatars of ABBA members Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid take to the stage for Abba Voyage, a series of concerts at a purpose-built venue in Stratford, combining the Swedish group's iconic tunes with newer releases. From 27 May

LONDON HISTORY DAY: In the past, Historic England has held London History Day on 31 May, celebrating stories from around the capital with cultural events. Keep an eye on this website to see if it's going ahead this year. 31 May

Family events in London in spring

Find things to do in the Easter holidays

EASTER HOLIDAYS: With the kids off school for at least two weeks, you'll need ways to keep them busy. We'll update our guide to Easter holiday activities and events in London when more 2022 events are announced. With exhibitions, theatre shows, nature trails and more, you're bound to find something to suit them, whatever their age and whatever your budget. 4-18 April

BANK HOLIDAYS: What, with the Easter bank holidays, plus the double dose in May, and an extra one for the platinum jubilee in June, our guide to spending bank holidays in London should come in handy over the next couple of months. Just remember to check opening hours before you travel, as some venues operate to different hours over bank holiday weekends.

Unique London events in spring

Forget boats - it's all about goats

GOAT RACE: If you're watching the Boat Race on the river, you're doing London wrong. The highlight of the weekend is actually the Goat Race, an annual event at Spitalfields City Farm. Two goats — one representing Oxford and the other Cambridge — race around the farmyard cobblestones while a crowd cheers them on. It hasn't been announced yet this year, but it always sells out in advance so book early, as soon as details are revealed. 3 April

THE PASSION OF CHRIST: As a gift to the people of London, the Wintershall Players perform a rendition of the Easter story for free every Good Friday. The event takes place in Trafalgar Square, and thousands of people turn up to watch every year, so turn up early to get a good view. 15 April

Head to Little Venice for the Canalway Cavalcade

WIDOW'S BUN CEREMONY: One of London's oddest traditions take place on Good Friday every year. Head to The Widow's Son pub in Bow, to watchj the Widow's Bun Ceremony. A hot cross bun, with the year baked into to the top, is hung from the ceiling, to honour a widow who apparently used to continue baking them for her son, even years after he stopped returning home and was presumed dead. It's usually followed by a free buffet. 15 April

CANALWAY CAVALCADE: If you go down to the canal over the May Day bank holiday, you're in for a big surprise. Dozens of canal boats moor up in Little Venice for the Canalway Cavalcade, a vibrant festival with live music, children's activities and boat-based fun. 30 April-2 May

Sport events in London in spring

Sign up to take part in the Westminster Mile

PALACE HALF: If ever a half marathon route was fit for a king/queen, it's the Palace Half. Start your run at the gates of Hampton Court Palace and take in the local area — including crossing the Thames twice, before finishing in the palace gardens. Plenty of charities are still looking for runners to take part on their behalf. 20 March

RIVER RACE: The Head of the River Race is rowed annually from Mortlake to Putney, with up to 400 crews of eights taking part. Get down to the river's edge to watch the action. 26 March

BOAT RACES: If you missed out on tickets for the Goat Race (above), you might as well watch the Boat Races. The women's race begins at 2.23pm, with the men's an hour later, and the four-mile course runs between Putney and Mortlake, with crowds lining the river bank to get a good view. 29 March

VITALITY WESTMINSTER MILE: A series of races for various age groups and categories takes place on a one-mile course along The Mall, finishing right outside Buckingham Palace. Find out how to enter the Vitality Westminster Mile — or turn up to cheer the runners on. 1 May

VITALITY LONDON 10,000: If a mile's not far enough for you, consider taking part in the Vitality London 10,000. The 10k course starts on The Mall and finishes back near Buckingham Palace, going out as far as Bank. Again, there are plenty of chances to cheer the entrants on, even if you're not much of a runner yourself. 2 May

RideLondon has a new route for 2022

150TH FA CUP: The first FA Cup Final was held in 1872, making this year the 150th anniversary. Though that first event was held at Kennington Oval, rather than the current venue of Wembley, we expect there to be a bit of a fuss made about the anniversary, especially once the final teams are decided. Oh, and if you miss out on tickets for the men's final on the Saturday, the Women's FA Cup Final takes place at Wembley the following day — and this is a big year for women's football. 14 May

RIDE LONDON: There's been a bit of a change to this year's RideLondon — instead of veering into the Surrey countryside, the 100-mile bike ride is routed through Essex, beginning at Victoria Embankment and heading out to Braintree, before retuning to the finish line at Tower Bridge. Sign up to take part, or line the route on the day to cheer the riders on. Either way, be aware of road closures across the capital and beyond. 27-29 May

Music events and festivals in London in spring

The Royal Albert Hall hosts Teenage Cancer Trust fundraising gigs

COUNTRY TO COUNTRY: Three days of country music comes to The O2 as Country To Country festival returns. Rising Nashville stars take to the stage between sets from headline acts including Miranda Lambert and Darius Rucker. 11-13 March

LONDON HANDEL FESTIVAL: Each year the London Handel Festival celebrates the work of composer George Frideric Handel with a programme of concerts and walks, and an international singing contest. Venues range from churches to the more surprising former-warehouse-turned-club Village Underground in Hackney. 18 March-18 April

TEENAGE CANCER TRUST: The annual series of gigs in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust returns to the Royal Albert Hall. 2022's performers include Madness, Liam Gallagher and Ed Sheeran. 21-27 March

Enjoy a smooth weekend at Brick Lane Jazz Festival

RE-TEXTURED: An "arresting visual and sonic experience" is what we're promised at Re-Textured, a multi-venue festival combining experimental electronic music with industrial architecture and lighting installations. 24-27 March

LONDON REMIXED FESTIVAL: 25 bands and DJs across three floors, four stages and two days is what we're promised at London Remixed Festival at Rich Mix. The festival celebrates emerging artists from all over the world, including Arabic, African and Latin music. 25-27 March

BRICK LANE JAZZ FESTIVAL: Spend three days bouncing around five different venues for the Brick Lane Jazz Festival, which brings together 24 artists to celebrate London's thriving jazz scene. Kansas Smitty's headlines the first night, with Cubafrobeat, The Banger Factory and Tru Thoughts Records among the weekend's line-up. 22-24 April

New exhibitions in London this spring

The Vagina Museum has a new home

WILD AND CULTIVATED: The Garden Museum's latest exhibition explores the use of roses in fashion from the Victorian era to present day. Find out how designers such as Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy, and Comme des Garçons have used the rose as a symbol in their work. There's a special late event on 25 March. 16 March-19 June

FASHIONING MASCULINITIES: As men's fashions become ever more creative (hello, Harry Styles), The V&A launches an exhibition looking at how designers, tailors and artists have constructed and performed masculinity, and unpicked it at the seams. From 19 March

VAGINA MUSEUM: After leaving its Camden home in 2021, The Vagina Museum reopens at its new home in Bethnal Green this month. The new space is twice as big as the old one, meaning plenty of space for new displays and exhibitions. 19 March

It's all rosy at the Garden Museum. Stephen Jones, La France, photography Peter Ashworth

KYŌSAI: The Royal Academy's latest exhibition is dedicated to Kawanabe Kyōsai, a 19th century Japanese painter whose work hasn't been shown in the UK for almost 30 years. Paintings, woodcut prints and illustrated books all feature. 19 March-19 June

SORTING BRITAIN: The Postal Museum opens a new exhibition dedicated to the topic of postcodes (something we've delved into ourselves in the past). Sorting Britain: The Power of Postcodes looks at how the invention of postcodes changed how mail was delivered, and the effect that had on life in Britain. From 30 March

CANALETTO'S VENICE REVISITED: Royal Museums Greenwich displays the complete set of 24 Venetian views painted by Canaletto in the 1730s. The National Maritime Museum exhibition looks at Canaletto's life at the height of his career, and the techniques he used to bring Venice to life. From 1 April

Disney animation takes centre stage at Wallace Collection. © Disney

DISNEY: Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella are the Disney animation films taking centre stage at Wallace Collection's exhibition, Inspiring Walt Disney. It looks at how 'Uncle Walt' himself and the wider Disney team took inspiration from 18th century French art and furniture. 6 April-16 October

FOOTBALL: The world's most popular sport is the subject of a new Design Museum exhibition. Football: Designing the Beautiful Game focuses on the design of all aspects, including stadiums, kits and logos, to the materials used in modern football boots. 8 April-29 August

WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS: Ogle portraiture, landscape, architecture, wildlife and street photography by talent from more than 200 countries at the Sony World Photography Awards exhibition. The shortlisted images takes over the East and West Wings of Somerset House. 13 April-2 May

Football: Designing The Beautiful Game at Design Museum

BREAKING THE NEWS: Challenge and change the way you think about news at The British Library's Breaking The News exhibition, which questions whether news reporting can ever really be objective, and how your own opinions influence the news you read. It looks back at five centuries of news reporting, from the Great Fire of London to #BlackLivesMatter. 22 April-21 August

PHOTO LONDON: International fair Photo London is back at Somerset House for a celebration of all things snap happy. As well as a chance to collect and purchase photos from around the world, there are talks, tours and workshops on all aspects of photography. 11-15 May

ASMR: Design Museum examines the world of ASMR — Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, a physical sensation of euphoria or deep calm, triggered through sound, touch, and movement. From 13 May

Dippy's back! © Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

GOLD!: Sit back down, Spandau Ballet fans — this one's about the precious metal. The British Library displays 50 manuscripts from around the world in which gold has been used, delving into the effects this had on the stories contained in the manuscripts. 20 May-2 October

CANCER: Get an insight into how cancer is detected, prevented and treated, at Science Museum's Cancer Revolution exhibition. It features objects and personal accounts, and aims to dispel myths about the disease, as well as highlighting the progress that's been made towards tackling it. From 25 May

DIPPY RETURNS: One of London's most famous museum exhibitions, Dippy the (replica) diplodocus returns to the Natural History Museum after its national tour, starring in a special exhibition. However, it's only here until December, so be quick if you want to welcome it back. From 27 May

Food and drink events in London in spring

Dare your dine at London in the Sky?

LONDON COFFEE FESTIVAL: Get your fill of caffeine, and then some, at the London Coffee Festival, a four-day programme of tastings, demos, competitions, shopping and more. 31 March-3 April

MARYLEBONE FOOD FESTIVAL: Celebrate culinary prowess at Marylebone Food Festival, which kicks off with a launch dinner hosted by food critic Jay Rayner. Other events throughout the week include masterclasses, food tours and tastings at local restaurants, bars, cafes and food shops. 26 April-1 May

Brew LDN is back

LONDON IN THE SKY: You'll want to hold on tight to your cutlery at London In The Sky, a dining experience which takes place 100ft up, close to The O2. Choose from breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, cocktails or dinner, get strapped into your chair around the floating table, and enjoy the views as you tuck in. 28 April-30 June

BREW LDN: Beer, food and music combine at Brew LDN, a beer and cider festival with some top-notch food traders to soak it all up, and DJ sets from the likes of Rory Cordz and Secretsundaze. 6-7 May

Last Updated 10 March 2022