Summer’s preparing its warming hug, so put on your shades, grab your friends or family and plan ahead for the spring bank holiday weekend in London.
As London gears up for the summer months, you can enjoy plenty of outdoor fun, including alfresco dining, open-air cinema and theatre, or Insta-worthy parks and gardens. Stay for the whole weekend to soak the relaxed bank holiday vibes.
Make sure to also check out what's on during the early May bank holiday in London.
Late-May bank holiday events in London
- Snap away at the last remaining window displays in west London for Chelsea in Bloom – these creative displays prettify the streets of Chelsea around Chelsea Flower Show.
- Cheer on your favourite players at the Men's FA Cup Final or Women's FA Cup Final – if you can’t get a ticket, watch the matches in one of London’s sports bars or pubs.
- Find more spring bank holiday events nearer the time, with our weekly guide to weekend events and activities.
- If you’re in London and looking for “bank holiday events near me”, download the Visit London app for on-the-go ideas.
Tick off top London attractions
- Cause FOMO back home as you visit London’s top attractions.
- Pick up a sightseeing pass, such as The London Pass, London Explorer Pass and the Merlin London attractions pass, which give plenty of options to see multiple attractions.
- Board a sightseeing bus and hop on and off as you please or do the same along the Thames with City Cruises’ sightseeing pass. Alternatively, see the sights whizz by on a speedboat tour.
Plan fun bank holiday days out in London
- Head to Windsor Castle on a day trip from London, where you’ll spot where Harry and Meghan got married, marvel at world-class art and explore regal rooms.
- Enjoy all sorts of days out in London with our handy itineraries, covering shopping hotspots, foodie treats, family ideas and more.
See an outdoor show in London
- Become a “groundling” as you watch a Shakespearean play for £5 as part of Shakespeare’s Globe Summer Season.
- Be entertained by a musical or family show in the atmospheric surrounds of Regent’s Park Outdoor Theatre, which hosts a summer series every year.
- If the big screen is more your thing, head to an outdoor cinema for cult and classic films – some start in late May, so keep an eye out for listings.
- If you’d rather stay indoors, take your pick from London’s top musicals – sing along to Mary Poppins, go all-out ABBA with Mamma Mia! or be transported into Roald Dahl’s famous story with Matilda The Musical.
Watch more theatre in London.
Explore the great outdoors
- Mingle with birds and bees in London’s gorgeous gardens. Kew Gardens offers endless possibilities, while hidden gardens such as St Dunstan in the East and Brown Hart Gardens offer the chance to relax in the city centre.
- Explore the city’s varied parks – time your visit for pelican feeding time in St James’s Park or smell the pretty roses in Hyde Park’s rose garden.
- Go for a walk in one of the many beautiful London areas outside the city centre. Check out historic attractions in Greenwich, laze by the duck pond in Barnes, marvel at Wimbledon’s windmill or wander along the canals in Little Venice .
- Take a dip in a swimming pool – whether natural pools in Hampstead Heath, or Instagrammable art deco lidos.
- Hire a Santander Cycle (just £2 per day) and explore London on two wheels. Cut through parks and along backstreets, or cycle along the Thames path for river views.
- Come nightfall, view the Illuminated River light display at some of London’s most iconic bridges.
Find more outdoor activities in London.
Pick up summer-ready items
- Discover late-spring deals or stock up on new-season threads at London’s top shopping hotspots.
- Explore one of the weekly markets in London, which sell everything from antiques and crafts, to music, designer clothes and vintage garments.
- Buy that someone special a bouquet from Columbia Road flower market on Sunday.
Shop till you drop with more London shopping ideas.
Enjoy favourite family activites in London
- Kick off the May half-term by visiting London’s top family attractions, including Shrek's Adventure! London, London Transport Museum and the Tower of London.
- Older kids can enjoy adrenaline-fuelled fun, Insta-worthy locations and more with our 101 ideas for teenagers.
- Book well ahead to see wizarding wonders at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.
Seek out alfresco dining in London
- Get those scotch eggs at the ready and dust off your rug for the first picnic of the year at one of the capital’s top picnic spots.
- Alfresco dining is a must, so grab an outside table and soak up the sun. Top hangouts include Heddon Street, Kingly Court, St Christopher’s Place and St Martin’s Courtyard.
- Many of London’s rooftop bars have had their summer makeover by the bank holiday weekend. Sit back, sip on a cocktail or two, delve into street food and enjoy games and live entertainment.
- Prep a hamper of delicious goodies for an evening at a drive-through or outdoor cinema.
Practical info for bank holiday Monday in London
Most attractions, shops and restaurants are open as usual during the bank holiday weekend, or open with amended times. Check with the individual venue before you go.
More bank holiday inspiration
For more bank holiday weekend ideas, find our top tips on things to do on a Saturday and Sunday in London. If you’re staying for longer, make sure to see what else is on during spring and summer, including key events in May and June.