Last Updated on April 3, 2019 by Sophie Nadeau
The sun is (mostly) shining, the crowds are fewer, and thanks to a late March hour change, the days feel longer. Other reasons to head to the UK capital during mid-Spring include lower hotel prices, everything actually being open, and a plethora of seasonal events. Here’s your guide to the best things to do in London in April.
London weather in April
If I were to sum up April weather in the UK capital in just two words, it would be ‘April Showers’. From hail to sunshine to overcast cloudy skies and back to full sun complete with blue skies: all of these meteorological phenomena can happen in the space of just a couple of hours! The average temperature for the month is in the low teens Celsisus, so while it’s not balmy, it’s not really that cold either!
How to pack and what to wear in London during April
As the weather can be temperamental, your best bet is to wear layers and pack a capsule wardrobe that you can easily style on a day by day basis, entirely weather dependent. Included should be a scarf, cardigans, tights, and other layers to compensate for the fact that the weather can be anything from single digits to the mid-twenties during your London trip!
A warm(ish) jacket: Don’t be fooled by the longer days and increased sunshine! London weather in April is erratic at best and even snow is not unheard of. As such, be sure to predominantly pack layers and be sure to bring a warm jacket for when the temperature drops in the evenings.
Boots: If you want to look trendy but are also looking to stay dry and warm, then I couldn’t recommend packing a pair of chunky heeled boots enough. Easy to pair with jeans, you can also dress them up in the evening with a lovely dress. If your boots aren’t that comfortable or waterproof, be sure to bring an easy to walk in pair of shoes. After all, the city is best explored on foot
A raincoat/ umbrella: If you pack just one thing in your suitcase, it should be some form of waterproof! Both raincoats and umbrellas have their merits; whereas raincoats will allow you to duck in and out of shops easily, umbrellas are obviously better if you’re looking to wear a wool coat!
What’s on? Events and activities in London in April
Cherry blossom season: Though the season for spring blossom often starts towards the end of March, April is easily the best time to visit London if you want to enjoy the best of the fluffiest pink flowers. Magnolias tend to be almost over by the time April rolls around, but blossom peaks around mid-April, while wisteria tends to begin blooming around the end of April.
Watch the annual Oxford vs Cambridge Boat Races: An annual event which has taken place each year, the first men’s boat race took place in 1829 while the first women’s race took place in 1927. Today, the race is watched by 250,000 people along the riverbanks and the best places to watch the race can be found here.
Easter in London: Though Easter weekend sometimes falls in March, in 2019 it will be on the 19 to 22 April. What this means when it comes to the UK capital is a bank holiday on the Monday following Easter Sunday, and that many stores and shops will be closed for the weekend. Throughout the city, a plethora of events are taking place, including egg hunts and Easter-themed afternoon teas.
London Marathon: Easily one of the most famous marathon events in the world, you won’t be able to get a place running at the last minute. Instead, runners are required to sign up a few weeks after the event for the following year’s run. Getting a place is dependant on a competitive ballot draw and so the best way to enjoy the marathon is to watch from the sidelines! This year’s London marathon takes place on the 28th of April.
Explore Greenwich’s Painted Hall: Greenwich can be found to the East of London, in an area of the city that’s filled with green space, many a museum, and even the Cutty Sark ship, one of the last tea clippers to be built during the latter half of the 20th-century. And now, after a several year restoration project, the Painted Hall of the Naval College is once more open to the public to enjoy.
Uncover the hidden gems of London this April
Meander the Mews Streets: For more hidden gems in the UK capital, check out this guide to the best of unusual and offbeat London. Some of the best mews streets to meander along (and in which to enjoy spring blooms) include the Love Actually filming location, St Luke’s Mews, and the ‘Instagram-famous’ Kynance Mews.
Victoria Tower Gardens: Hidden beside the houses of parliament, the Victoria Tower Gardens is a green space that many pass by on a daily basis and yet few venture into. Located close to the Houses of Parliament, this free to visit public green space was created thanks to a grant from WH Smith supplemented by Parliament during the 19th-century.
Visit the Jewel Tower: Hidden beside the Houses of Parliament and featured frequently as the backdrop for late night politics shows, the Jewel Tower dates back to the 14th-century and was once used to house the personal treasure of Edward III. Today, the Jewel House is owned and managed by English Heritage. Free to visit for members, if you’re not a member you can still pay a small fee to venture inside.
St Dustan in the East: Now that Spring is finally upon us and summer is just around the corner, there is perhaps no better time to head to one of the city’s prettiest green spaces. While everyone has heard of Hyde Park and Regent’s Park, smaller green spaces like St Dunstan in the East remain as hidden gems.
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