A Guide to Enjoying London in April
From exploring the city's parks to catching a show, these are the very best ways to enjoy London in April.
Truth be told, there’s never a bad time to visit London, but there’s something particularly special about strolling through the city as it wakes up to spring, and the cherry blossom comes into full bloom. So, whether you’re into outdoor adventures or athletic endeavours, let Plum Guide help you to plan your April trip to London. Word of warning? Be sure to pack for all weathers, the unpredictable British weather may just put heed to any al fresco plans. Well, they don’t call them April showers for nothing. Here, an expert guide to enjoying London in April.
Lover of the great outdoors? You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to exploring London’s green spaces in springtime. Stay in London's Victoria and you'll be a shot walk from one of our favourite spots to welcome the season: St James’s Park. There's also the crocus-filled fields at Cannizaro Park in Wimbledon Common. If that’s not enough to satisfy your green fingers, then why not pay Kew Gardens a visit? Their horticulture displays are a marvel all year round, but their spring showcase is particularly lovely. Of course, if you have sunbathing in mind, your best bet is visiting London in July or August.
Catch a show
April marks the return of South Bank’s Underbelly festival, a four month long summer spectacle of theatre, cabaret, circus and spoken word performances to get stuck in to. Culture vulture? This sleek South Bank pad is just a stone’s throw from the stage, meaning you can catch every show that takes your fancy.
Lace up your trainers
Any guide to London in April would be remiss without mentioning the Virgin London Marathon. So, whether you’re lacing up your trainers or lining the course to clap as the athletes race past, it’s a real celebration of what makes London so special, with music, food stalls and general conviviality all day long. See you at the finish line.
If you find yourself visiting London on a warm April day, then a dip in one of London’s lidos is a must. Hampstead Heath ponds and Beckenham Hill lake are both beautiful spots for an authentic ‘wild’ swim (if a little on the chillier side), but there are also lovely lidos in Brockwell, Parliament Hill and London Fields. Just think how good that post-swim cup of tea will taste.
Coffee connoisseur? Budding barista? You have to check out London’s Coffee Festival, which is usually held at Brick Lane’s Truman Brewery in April. Learn from leading experts in the industry via live demos (yes, you can finally nail your latte art), sample unusual beans and blends, and stock up on swanky apparatus to nail your at-home morning brew.
Prefer the hard work done for you? Frankly, we don’t blame you. Luckily, there are plenty of excellent coffee shops to while away a morning in, from specialist roasteries like Kiss The Hippo in Richmond and Ozone Coffee in Old Street to prime people watching (and pastries) at Jacob the Angel in Neal’s Yard.
Watch the Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race
Head to the Thames to watch as the Oxford and Cambridge rowing teams battle it out for victory. It’s a centuries’ old rivalry and crowds line the bridges and bars to catch a glimpse of the boats as they pass by. There’s a handy guide on the best places to watch the race here, or why not opt for this riverside rental which enjoys unspoilt views across the water – talk about prime viewing position.
Got the boating bug? You can always head to the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park, moments away from this Marble Arch pad, and take your pick of the pedalos and rowing boats. Afterwards, indulge in upscale Italian fare at Chucs (overlooking the lake) or enjoy a more laid back lunch at the Serpentine Bar & Kitchen. It’s the perfect way to while away an April afternoon… in dry weather, that is.
Stock up on supplies at Borough Market
With over 70 stalls selling artisanal produce from across Britain and beyond, Borough Market is the perfect spot to sample local delicacies and stock up on foodie delights. It’s a tough shortlist, but our favourite Borough haunts have to be Bread Ahead (for London’s freshest, fluffiest doughnuts), Brindisa (experts in Spanish produce with a series of tapas restaurants across the city), and old-school wine merchants, Bedales, where you’ll find a whole host of bottles worth savouring. Plus, you can’t leave without paying resident pasta experts, Padella, a visit … trust us, the queue is worth just one bite of their creamy cacio e pepe.
Afterwards, head back to your Plum Guide home – a short cycle or tube ride from the market buzz – where your very own kitchen garden and rooftop barbecue awaits. We can’t wait to see what you rustle up.
There you have it: our expert guide to enjoying London in April. If you'd rather enjoy the capital during the warmer months, we've got a guide to London in June, not to mention plenty of London homes with sunny rooftops. Each home is professionally vetted by our very picky home critics, so you're guaranteed a great night's sleep when you book a stay with Plum Guide.