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The Greatest Things to Do in London in May

Planning a springtime trip to the capital? You're in for a treat, especially once you've read this list of the best things to see and do.


Exterior and grounds of the Natural History Museum, London

With spring making its presence known and not one but two bank holidays throughout the month of May, it's no doubt that London has a great buzz about it. The cherry blossoms are out, people are starting to have barbecues and dine outside, and the whole city has an air of positivity to it. So, if you’re planning on visiting London during this joyous time of year, let us here at the Plum Guide guide you through the best things to do in London in May, so you can ensure you make the most out of your trip.

The Chelsea Flower Show

For those who want to embrace the outdoors and fancy themselves a chance at being greenfingered, The Chelsea Flower Show should be at the top of your to do list. Usually around the third week of May, it’s here you’ll find all things botanical. From world renowned garden designers to plant specialists and florists, it’s a inspirational exhibition of floral displays. So why not bring out your inner Alan Titchmarsh and take a trip down to Chelsea to stroll amongst the cutting edge gardens and see what garden trends you can see popping up? You may find yourself enjoying a botanically influenced meal at one of the local eateries in the West London area as many change their menu to reflect the flower show.  

London Wine Week

For those who enjoy a drink…or three, you’ll be pleased to know London Wine Week (yes, it’s a thing) occurs annually in May. It’s a seven day summer festival which takes place across the city where you’ll find mouth-watering events happening; from pop-up wine and cocktail bars, to open-air dining and tasting events, you'll be slurring your words in no time. For those who purchase a festival pass, you’ll be able to experience great discounts and special tasting menus from over 125 bars and restaurants around the city. And the best news? You can nurse your hangover in the luxury of your sumptuous bed in a wonderful Plum home the morning after.

Lights of Linden, Plum Guide home in London

Somerset House

If soaking up some culture sounds like one of the best things to do in London in May, you simply must plan a visit to Photo London at the iconic Somerset House. Any Annie Leibovitz wannabe will tell you it’s the place to go. As you browse the exhibition you’ll discover some of the best photography from around the world, as 107 galleries have pooled together images for this photographic festival. Aside from viewing incredible photographic works though, there are also other activities to be experienced such as talks from notable speakers and interactive installations. Stay in a Plum home like The Maiden Lane just a short walk away from Somserset House. From here, you’re also so close to the Tate Modern and Southbank, that you might as well wander over there to see what other cultural and art based events are going on.

The Maiden Lane, Plum Guide home in London

The Globe Theatre

Continue your cultural journey in London and experience the joy of open air screenings. May is the perfect month to embrace this as the weather in London generally picks ups and aids an excuse to spend more time outdoors. One of the most prestigious places to do this is The Globe theatre, where you’ll spend sunny days or evenings watching Shakespeare’s famous works. Classic plays like Hamlet, As You Like It and Othello are all viewable through the summer months, so head to the box office to see what’s currently on whilst you’re visiting. You could also try Regents Park Open Air Theatre where different plays, concerts, musicals and more can be viewed throughout it’s 18 week season. Interestingly it’s one of the biggest theatres in London and over 140,000 people tend to visit during its short yearly stint. Whichever one you decide to go to, we’ll have our fingers crossed for you that the weather holds out.

Natural History Museum

For those travelling in big groups or with family, definitely check out the major museums in London, as the chances are there will be some great events on offer during May. Visiting the city's biggest cultural institutions is also one of the best free things to do in London. Places like the Natural History Museum and British Museum open their doors to show you new exhibitions, torchlit tours and live music events in the historic surroundings at all times of the day through to the evening. There are even overnight events for kids looking to have a sleepover with Egyptian mummies and prehistoric animals. Don’t worry though, it’s not just for kids, as a recent event called ‘Dinosnores’ has just launched at the Natural History Museum which is exclusively for adults looking to enjoy organised fun like gin tasting, stand-up comedy and a monster movie marathon. Stay nearby at a home like Museum View which, you guessed it, boasts an impressive view of the Natural History Museum.

Museum View, Plum Guide home in London

So, that's all the best things to do in London in May sorted, but where should you stay? Take a look at our guides to the city, like where to stay in Victoria or the best places to stay in London for young adults next.

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