April is cherry blossom time in London and one of the highlights of the gardening year. Petals are falling off the trees covering the ground with a beautiful pink carpet. Depending on the weather, the season runs from late March to early May. You can see them in almost every park, big or small: just walk around and have your camera ready!
Our curated selection of things to do in April, in and outside London.
Book in advance: The State Rooms Buckingham Palace
20 July - 29 September
Ten weeks each summer the magnificent State Rooms of Buckingham Palace are open to the public. Book your tickets in advance and visit the official London residence of the Queen. Explore some of the finest English and French furniture in the world and enjoy paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Vermeer, Poussin, Canaletto or Claude. Since 1993 visitors can walk around 19 magnificent State Rooms, used during the year for official entertaining and ceremonial functions.
Sport: The Cancer Research UK Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race
Up to 250,000 people come to the riverbanks every year to join the festive atmosphere on the banks of the Thames. You should be able to cheer on rowers on either side of the river. Some of the best spots include Putney Bridge, Craven Cottage, Hammersmith and Barnes, Duke’s Meadows and Chiswick Bridge. The eight-oared rowing boats race along the famous 6.8 km Champions Course between Putney and Mortlake. The women’s race starts at 2.15pm and the men’s race at 3.15pm. Watch one of the biggest free sporting spectacles in London, The Boat Race. The Oxford University Boat Club and Cambridge University Boat Club first raced each other in 1829. Almost 100 years later the first women's boat race battled it out on the Thames.
Theatre: A German Life
6 April - 11 May
As of the 6th of April the Bridge Theatre presents “A German Life”, directed by Christopher Hampton. The play follows Brunhilde Pomsel, a secretary in Berlin during the 1930’s. She got close to one the the biggest criminals, and one of her employers Joseph Goebbels. Pomsel finally revealed her secrets, shortly before she passed. You can either buy tickets online or £15 tickets are available on the door on the day. This play is an adaptation of the movie released in 2016. With Maggie Smith alone on stage portraying Pomsel this is a play that’s worth going to and shouldn’t be missed!
Art: Reflections on nature, Kew Gardens
13 April -27 October
A series of 32 spectacular sculptures will be placed in 13 locations within the historic garden landscape, vistas, galleries and great glasshouses and will transform Kew Gardens into a contemporary outdoor gallery. Often described as exaggerated celebrations of what is found in nature, the colourful glass sculptures respond to the living plant collections, listed architecture, and Georgian vistas of Kew. A fun and interactive trail, designed for families, will take visitors around the Chihuly artworks.
Once again the famous american glass artist Dale Chihuly, who is known for his iconic colourful luminous unique artworks from delicate glass will be exhibiting at Kew Gardens, featuring pieces never seen before in the UK.
Children: My first Ballet: Sleeping Beauty
A gorgeous treat for children this April is the colourful classical fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, performed by the English National Ballet at the Peacock theatre in Holborn.
Dazzling dancers and gorgeous costumes bring this amazing glittering classical ballet to life. A narrator helps the young audience to follow the classic story of Princess Aurora and her true love’s kiss. A shortened version of Tchaikovsky's beautiful music is the perfect introduction to the ballet.
Music: Sydney Youth Orchestra
Sydney Youth Orchestra is the leading orchestral training provider in New South Wales, founded as a single orchestra in 1973 by the visionary music educator and conductor, Peter Seymour. For almost half a century the orchestra has grown to become a community of over 550 young musicians, aged 6-24. On 18 April, the Sydney Youth Orchestra and conductor Geoffrey Paterson perform Rachmaninov's sumptuous Symphony No 2, with Wagner's Tannhäuser Overture and Strauss' virtuosic Horn Concerto No 2 with Katy Woolley. The concert takes place at the Orchestra’s music education centre LSO St Luke’s on Old Street London. Young children are welcome.
Festival: Vaisakhi Festival