London in the Spring: 8 Things to Do When You Visit

From a 26-mile run through the city to beautiful blooms at Chelsea Flower Show, book these dates in your diary for your London trip

Spring is a fantastic season to visit London. Whether it’s cheering on the runners at the London Marathon or seeing beautiful blooms at Chelsea Flower Show, these are the unmissable events for your trip to London.

Visions of War at Imperial War Museum (from 2 April)

DAvid Bomberg painting at Imperial War Museum, London, UK
Canadian Tunnelling Company by David Bomberg (©IWM)

Sometimes the most harrowing situations can create the most intriguing works of art. The exhibition Visions of War: Above and Below at the Imperial War Museum is a rare opportunity to see the unique aspect of flight and aerial warfare, from above and below. On display are artworks from World War I through to the 21st century, which include surrealist painter Paul Nash’s Battle of Germany and drone drawings by Alison Wilding.

American Buffalo at Wyndham's Theatre (from 16 April)

Damian Lewis, John Goodman and Tom Sturridge join forces to star in David Mamet’s classic drama "American Buffalo," which is on at Wyndham’s Theatre. The play, which was previously made into a film in 1996 starring Dustin Hoffman, focuses on divided loyalties as junk shop workers plot a crime. It's a must-see!

Lang Lang at Royal Albert Hall (from 20 April)

Chinese pianist Lang Lang performs at Royal Albert Hall, London, UK
Chinese pianist Lang Lang performs at Royal Albert Hall (©Harald Hoffman)

After two sold-out concerts in 2013, pianist Lang Lang makes a triumphant return to the Royal Albert Hall for in-the-round performances. Ever since playing for four billion people around the world at the 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony, he’s now a global superstar and inspiration to many Chinese children. The performances include pieces by Bach, Tchaikovsky and Chopin.

Feast of St George at Trafalgar Square (25 April)

St George's Day festival at Trafalgar Square, London, UK
London celebrates the slaying of a dragon (©James O Jenkins)

In the tale of St. George and the Dragon, the patron saint of England slays a dragon that has terrorised the countryside, saves a princess, earns the eternal gratitude of the townspeople, and converts them to Christianity. Feast of St George is celebrated in Trafalgar Square with English dishes, free family fun, live music and performances and crafts.

London Marathon (26 April)

Amateur and professional runners at the London Marathon, UK
Sunflowers and record-breaking runners at the London Marathon (Courtesy Virgin London Marathon)

On your marks, get set, go! As the Virgin London Marathon races through the capital for the 35th time, around 35,000 athletes, both amateur and professional, make their way through a 26-mile course that takes in the Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge and the London Eye, before finishing at The Mall. Pick a spot and cheer on the athletes. You may spot a familiar face or two—previous years have seen Olympic medalist Mo Farah and Gordon Ramsay.

London Wonderground (7 May-27 September)

London Wonderground, South Bank, London, UK
Enjoy cabaret and quirky events at the London Wonderground festival (©London Wonderground)

Since its inception in 2012, Wonderground has wowed audiences with a jam-packed programme of circus, cabaret, and family entertainment. The venue is a beautiful 1920s Paradiso Spiegeltent, a circular, mirrored tent on the South Bank. Look out for Black Cat Cabaret (definitely one for the grown ups) and Monski Mouse's Baby Disco Dance Hall.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show (19-23 May)

Chelsea Flower Show, Cheslea, London, UK
See award-winning blooms at Chelsea Flower Show (Courtesy RHS Chelsea Flower Show)

The world’s longest-running independent flower show, RHS Chelsea Flower Show is showing all the blooming good health of prize-winning roses. It's a huge event – really huge. It’s been held annually since 1913 (except during the two World Wars) in the grounds of the Chelsea Hospital, now covering an area of approximately 500 London buses. Book to see award-winning show gardens, emerging trends from upcoming horticulturalists, and produce from dozens of exhibitors. It’s enough to bring out the Capability Brown in anyone.

Fleetwood Mac at The O2 (27 & 28 May)

The Anglo-American rock legends, who have sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, including Rumours and Tusk, are embarking on a US tour taking in a mammoth 70 shows. Thankfully London is getting in on act, with two long-awaited performances at The O2 Arena. An even hotter prospect is that keyboardist and singer Christine McVie has returned to the fold after a 16-year absence. We’re sure she’s worth waiting for.