Spring is perhaps the most beautiful time in London. As the city’s green spaces gently emerge from their winter hibernation, pockets of blooms begin popping up on street corners, throughout botanic gardens and across the city’s parks. With signs of spring emerging as early as January with the arrival of snow-white snowdrops in the capital, things begin to unfold in waves of vibrant color. From bright yellow daffodils and carpets of bluebells to waterfalls of wisteria and budding roses, the seasonal shift is ever-present.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect picnic place, the hottest spots to snap an Insta pic, or somewhere to make the most of the warmer weather, here are 15 places for the best spring blooms in London.
If azaleas and rhododendrons are your jam, head to Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park for the city’s best display. All throughout May and June you’ll be treated to more than 100 species of pink and red flowering blooms. And don’t just leave it there: bike or walk around the park and see if you can spot some of the local deer while you’re visiting.
London’s west is home to a run of seasonal spring blooms that prove on-trend year after year. Here, pink cherry blossoms color street corners, magnolias contrast brightly painted doors, and bucket list-worthy purple wisteria cascades over stately facades. It only seems fitting that the area has a flower show named after it. Mid-April through June are the best months for spotting the various blooms in Kensington and Chelsea.
This huge open space with lakes and a small zoo is set beside the Thames in the south-west of London. In March, crocus pepper color throughout the grassy spaces, while by April, a tunnel of pale pink cherry blossoms and deep pink plum blossoms run through the middle of the park. The perfect place for a sunny weekend picnic.
If you’re looking for locations in London’s north, Highgate Wood is a wonderful choice. Brimming with springtime blooms from some of the season’s earliest moments, visitors can marvel at crocus from as early as late February in warmer years, with bluebells being a huge drawcard come April and May.
One of the early bloom hotspots of the season can be found at St James’ and Green Parks, where fields of golden daffodils in their thousands transform the royal park. From late February to early April, the landscape is transformed as the first signs of spring emerge right in the heart of London.
Camellias can be a little harder to find throughout spring in London, so if this is one of your favorite blooms, spend time at Chiswick House and Gardens where you can find one of the world’s rarest collections. Their annual flower show is the best opportunity to catch a glimpse of this collection, which dates back to the 1930s.
St Paul’s Cathedral experiences a rotation of brilliant spring blooms as the season unfolds. Starting with the cherry blossoms in March, magnolias arrive for the show in April, and roses popping up in June. Look up to snap the perfect moment with the dome framed by delicate blossoms.
From late March and throughout April, London experiences an explosion of pink blossoms. Perhaps no place is more popular than the brilliant pink Japanese-style Cherry Blossom tunnel found in Greenwich Park. Located just down from the Rangers House and rose garden, head here early to beat the crowds then make a day of it with a visit to the Observatory and Planetarium.
You could easily forget you’re in the middle of London when enjoying the peace of spring at Holland Park. April is a particularly wonderful period, from the cherry blossoms of Kyoto Garden to the tulips of the Dutch Garden, you’re sure to find the perfect day out.
London’s best known botanical park is a likely contender for one of the best hot spots for bloom watching come springtime. With more than 30,000 acres of gardens to explore, you’ll be treated to cherry blossoms and crocus early in the season moving to magnolia and roses later on. Don’t forget to stop by the sensational palm house during your visit to Kew.
Head out to zone 4 in London’s west and you’ll be treated to the carpets of bluebells at Osterley Park. Throughout April and into May meadows and woodlands are transformed into bright shades of blue-ish purple thanks to these UK native blooms. Just remember, they’re protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, so admire but don’t pick!
While technically just outside of London, in Surrey, Mayfield Lavender Farm is London’s best alternative to the fields of Provence. June and July welcome vibrant purple hues, complete with a London red phone box set within the field. Pick up a few lavender products from the on-site store or take home a bunch to make your home smell heavenly.
Cherry blossoms in April and roses in June with a sprinkling of plenty of other varieties in between are just a few of the reasons a visit to Regent’s Park in spring is a must-do. Family-friendly, picnic perfect and with plenty of wide open space, you can make it a whole day out with #bloomwatch in Regent’s Park.
It only seems fitting that the most famous landmarks in the world is dressed appropriately with some of London’s best spring flowers. Known as the Memorial Gardens, they were created in 1901 in honour of Queen Victoria and are now filled with more than 20,000 flowers each year. Lovers of geraniums and tulips will particularly enjoy this one.
Wisteria’s visits in the spring are fleeting but always sensational. If you’re planning to capture the cascading purple flowers, then head to the pergola at Sexby Garden in Peckham Rye Park for one of the best springtime displays in London. May is the best time to experience Wisteria in full bloom.