51 Action-Packed Things To Do In London In April 2022

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 9 months ago

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51 Action-Packed Things To Do In London In April 2022
See The Fabric of our Nation at ArtsDepot

CHERRY BLOSSOM: The capital's cherry blossom trees should be in full bloom by April. Check out our guide to where to see these candy floss-esque trees in London, and flood your Instagram feed with pink.

BANK HOLIDAY WEEKENDS: Easter takes place mid-April, and the first May bank holiday weekend follows not long after. Make the most of them with our guide to spending a bank holiday weekend in London — we've got you covered, come rain or shine, whether you want culture, the great outdoors, or fantastic day trips.

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

View of the Grand Canal from the Palazzo Bembo to Palazzo Vendramin-Calergi by Canaletto. From the Woburn Abbey Collection

LONDON GAMES FESTIVAL: Thumbs at the ready! The London Games Festival returns for 10 days of video games and interactive entertainment. Events are both in-person and online, and include a large-scale exhibition in Trafalgar Square, an awards ceremony, and gaming industry networking. 1-10 April

SUPERHEROES: Foundling Museum opens Superheroes, Orphans & Origins: 125 Years In Comics. The exhibition explores the representation of foundlings, orphans, adoptees, and foster children in comics, graphic novels and sequential art from all over the world. 1 April-28 August

POWER UP: Science Museum's gaming extravaganza is back. Power Up has consoles, computers and video games dating back almost half a century (with modern ones thrown in too). They're all waiting to be played, across single and multi-player configurations, with leaderboards, family sessions, and adults-only nights. 2-19 April

Superheroes are the focus of a new Foundling Museum exhibition. Image: Copy of New York World’s Fair Comics, Vol. 1 #2, Jack Burnley ©️ & ™️ DC Comics.

CLIMB THE ROPES: 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

GOAT RACE/BOAT RACE: Yeah, yeah, the Boat Race. Oxford, Cambridge, rowing, Thames, people cheering, gilets... if that's your bag, deets are here. But any Londoner worth their salt gets more excited about the Goat Race — literally, two goats racing around Spitalfields City Farm. No confirmation or details for this year yet — we'll let you know when more info is released. 3 April

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

Get caffeinated up at the London Coffee Festival

TEDDY BEAR FESTIVAL: Teddy bear collectors, makers and dealers come together at the Hugglets Teddy Bear Festival, which has 75 stalls and thousands of teddies for sale along with clothes and accessories. Bears range from antiques to the very modern, and from a few quid to thousands of pounds in price. 3 April

FABRIC OF OUR NATION: See artist Gil Mualem-Doron's new take on the Union Jack flag at interactive installation The Fabric Of Our Nation. The flag celebrates the different communities that have contributed to the UK's cultural legacy, and has been an ongoing project since 2014. 3-14 April

EASTER HOLIDAYS: With the kids off school for at least two weeks, you'll need ways to keep them busy. Enter, our guide to Easter holiday activities and events in London. 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

DISNEY EXHIBITION: 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' and the wider Disney team took inspiration from 18th century French art and furniture. 6 April-16 October

Hugglets BearFest returns to Kensington

CITIZENS ART FESTIVAL: Blue House Yard — the north London shopping centre made from colourful sheds — hosts Citizens Art Festival, a four-day exhibition of works by 20+ artists, along with workshops. 7-10 April

ROY'S ART FAIR: Run by Roy Tyson, the artist best-known for creating miniature scenes, Roy's Art Fair was started as a fair run by artists, for artists. Emerging and established creators exhibit and sell their works, giving the public a chance to buy directly from them. This year's event is at Truman Brewery, with a curated selection of 80 artists. 7-10 April

SICILY FEST: Food and drink from the Italian region of Sicily are centre stage at SicilyFest, a four-day event at the Business Design Centre. Browse and buy pasta, sauces, jams, cakes, desserts and wine — and enjoy live music in the performance corner. 7-10 April

Roy's Art Fair takes over Truman Brewery

SCANDALTOWN: New satire play Scandaltown, by Mike Bartlett, debuts at Lyric Hammersmith. Inspired by Restoration comedies, it's set in post-pandemic London, as Miss Phoebe Virtue attempts to protect and restore the reputation of her twin brother Jack. 7 April-14 May

NOW PLAY THIS: Experimental game design is the focus of Now Play This, as it returns to Somerset House. The festival consists of an exhibition, plus talks, workshops and activities with professional game designers. 8-10 April

FOOTBALL EXHIBITION: 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

RAPHAEL: The National Gallery opens an exhibition about Italian artist extraordinaire Raphael, looking not just at his paintings and drawings, but his work in architecture, poetry and design as well. Loans from the Louvre, National Gallery of Art, Washington and the Vatican Museum feature. 9 April-31 July

Watch The Passion of Jesus in Trafalgar Square

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

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

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

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 watch 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

Image: Small Is Beautiful

SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL: An exhibition dedicated to miniature art opens in South Kensington, with 130 tiny artworks on show, as well as photographs. Artists play with objects such as sweets, toys and pencils to create scenes in miniature. From 15 April

EASTER WEEKEND: If you're lucky enough to have four days off over the bank holiday weekend, take a look at our guide to Easter weekend events, including egg hunts and trails. We also know a thing about London's best chocolate shops, if you need to do some last-minute shopping. 15-18 April

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

Join the Vaisakhi celebrations in Trafalgar Square

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 April

GUN SALUTE: The Queen's birthday falls on 21 April, so we're expecting a gun salute to take place on the day to mark the occasion, though this hasn't yet been confirmed. Listen out for 41 rounds in Hyde Park, followed by 62 rounds at the Tower of London. 21 April (we think)

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

Salon Privé comes to Royal Hospital Chelsea

SALON PRIVÉ: Into cars? Salon Privé pulls into the Royal Hospital Chelsea for three days, showcasing sets of wheels that you almost definitely can't afford. Still, it's a good chance to ogle the latest models from Aston Martin, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, Rolls-Royce and the like, many of which get their UK debut at the show. Classic cars are on show at the Concours de Vente, many of which are for sale from specialist dealers. 21-23 April

LONDON LATIN MUSIC FESTIVAL: London Latin Music Festival consists of concerts and gigs across several central London venues. Our picks include a performance by Venezuelan cuatro player and vocalist Luzmira Zerpa previewing tracks from her upcoming record, and the first UK screening of Cuban film Mambo Man, accompanied by a live soundtrack. 21 April-2 May

Luzmira Zerpa performs at The London Latin Music Festival

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

THE CYCLE SHOW: Ditching Birmingham to take place in London for the first time, The Cycle Show is aimed at anyone with an interest in bikes, manual or electric. Test ride new models on the demo tracks, watch shows in the theatre, browse the indoor exhibition, and shop for bikes and cycling accessories. 22-24 April

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

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

The Classic Car Boot Sale roars into town

CLASSIC CAR BOOT SALE: Another one for car fans, but also anyone interested in anything vintage. The Classic Car Boot Sale sees classic vehicles — cars, camper vans, scooters and motorcycles — parked up in Granary Square, King's Cross, with goods being sold from the boot. Shop for vintage fashion, homewares and accessories, as you admire the vehicles and tuck into street food dishes. 23-24 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

THE AID FUNDRAISER: Terry Alderton, Tony Law, Dane Baptiste, Glenn Moore, Paul Tonkinson, Hannah East, Charlie George, Arthur Smith and Patrick Monahan are the comedians on the bill for The Aid Fundraiser. The comedy show is raising money for homelessness charity Crisis. 28 April

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 soon.

The Midnight Apothecary reopens for the season

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 soak up the views as you tuck in. 28 April-30 June This year's launch date has been delayed until May

MIDNIGHT APOTHECARY: London's botanical cocktail bar in a roof garden, The Midnight Apothecary, reopens for the summer season. It's the work of Lottie Muir, who grows some of the ingredients for the cocktails in the garden, and is located at the Brunel Museum — your ticket includes an underground tour of Brunel's Grand Entrance Hall to the Thames Tunnel. From 29 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

Head to Little Venice for the IWA Canalway Cavalcade

LAST CHANCE: A few things are closing this month too. It's your last chance to see:

  • VIRTUAL VERONESE: Paolo Veronese's 1561 painting The Consecration of Saint Nicholas was originally commissioned to hang in the church of San Benedetto al Po, near Mantua, Italy. Though it's now in the National Gallery here in London, the Virtual Veronese exhibition uses VR to show visitors what it would have looked like in its original location. Until 3 April
  • LIFE BETWEEN ISLANDS: 70 years of Caribbean-British art is celebrated in Tate Britain's Life Between Islands. Paintings, photograph, fashion, film and sculpture all feature, with works by both Caribbean artists who made their home in Britain, and British artists whose work has been influenced and inspired by the Caribbean. Until 3 April
  • FRANCIS BACON: Irish-born artist Francis Bacon is the subject of a Royal Academy of Arts exhibition. Get a closer look at his visceral paintings in Francis Bacon: Man and Beast, which focuses on his fascination with animals and how it shaped and distorted his approach to the human body.Until 17 April
  • BOB MARLEY: Saatchi Gallery has an exhibition about the life and work of Jamaican musician Bob Marley. Music, memorabilia, fan art and previously unseen photos feature, including some which highlight Marley's connections to London. Until 18 April
  • KEHINDE WILEY: Works by American painter Kehinde Wiley — best-known for new takes on Old Masters works featuring people of colour — are on display at the National Gallery, including both paintings and films, showcasing Wiley's take on European Romanticism. Until 18 April
Last chance to see Beethoven at British Library
  • BEETHOVEN: British Library has an exhibition dedicated to the life and work of the great composer Beethoven. Find out about the challenges he faced, including a battle against hearing loss, and see objects including manuscripts handwritten by the man himself. Until 24 April
  • BODY VESSEL CLAY: This important exhibition celebrates 70 years of ceramics made by Black women across three generations. With more than 80 works by six artists, the show looks at how pottery has evolved in Nigeria and how this impact is felt by contemporary Black women artists who use clay as their medium. Until 24 April
  • PHOTOGRAPHING PROTEST: Bethnal Green's Four Corners has an exhibition of work by photographers documenting political struggle and social change in Britain from 1968 to today. In particular, it centres the voices and perspectives of women and non-binary photographers. Until 30 April

Last Updated 05 May 2022

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