8 Things to do in London in May

8 Things to do in London in May

Tuesday, 07 May 2024

        Come experience the spirit of London in May, from cultural hotspots to hidden gems, this historic city has so much to offer. Whether you're a local or a visitor, there are plenty of exciting activities and events happening in London during the month of May. So, pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

  An individual kayaking in a red kayak on a river, surrounded by calm waters

1. CHECK OUT OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN LONDON

In May, London hosts a variety of outdoor festivals and events that showcase the city's rich history and culture. For thrill-seekers, Battersea Park's Go Ape offers exhilarating high-ropes courses and zip lines through the treetops. You can also experience the unique Lift 109 at Battersea Power Station, where you can ascend the iconic chimney for spectacular London views and explore its history, including its role as a film set for Batman, through interactive displays and expert guides. 

Alternatively, glide along the Thames River in a kayak, enjoying a unique vantage point of the city's iconic landmarks. For those in search of relaxation or a bit of friendly competition, London's scenic parks provide the perfect backdrop for a game of tennis or a peaceful boat ride.

This May, don't miss the unique cinematic experience at The Embassy Gardens Drive-In Cinema. Immerse yourself in the nostalgia of watching classic films like "The Lion King" and “James Bond” from the comfort of a vintage car. Options to rent classic or luxury cars are available, or you can bring your own vehicle or chairs for a memorable day out surrounded by retro cars and fantastic films.

Extend your adventures and stay with us at one of our hotels in the heart of Bloomsbury, perfectly located to ensure you are at the heart of all the action. Book your room now for a comfortable and convenient base to explore the best of London this May! 


 View of a Regent park's pathway in London lined with lush plants, leading to a fountain with people walking in the distance


2. TAKE A STROLL IN PARKS AROUND LONDON

Enjoy the beautiful spring weather in London by exploring the city's vibrant outdoor play areas. From playgrounds in parks to adventure courses, kids can run, climb, and play to their heart's content. Consider visiting playgrounds such as The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens or Coram's Fields in Bloomsbury.

Breathe in the fresh air, soak up the sunshine, and admire the burst of colours from blooming flowers. Gather friends for a game of tennis at Regent's Park Tennis Centre or enjoy boating on the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park.

For a relaxing retreat, consider staying at our Tavistock Hotel in Bloomsbury, conveniently located opposite Tavistock Square Gardens. Enjoy a comfortable stay with stunning park views. Spend a leisurely day outdoors immersed in nature at the London Zoo, a favourite among children. Discover a diverse range of animal species, participate in interactive feeding sessions, and engage closely with wildlife through unique experiences like ZSL Animal Encounters. It's a perfect day out for animal lovers.

Exterior view of the Chelsea Football Club building, featuring the Chelsea flag fluttering in the breeze.

3. ATTEND SPORTS EVENTS 

May is an action-packed month for sports enthusiasts in London. The city offers a range of thrilling sporting events, perfect for cheering on your favourite teams. 

Football Matches 
Football fans are in for a treat as London hosts several exciting matches throughout May, featuring top teams from various leagues. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and join passionate crowds cheering for their teams.

Tennis Tournaments 
For tennis aficionados, May is a prime time to catch prestigious tournaments. Witness world-class athletes as they compete on London’s iconic grass courts, displaying spectacular skills and agility in thrilling matches.

Beyond football and tennis, London boasts a variety of sporting events in May, including cricket, rugby, and athletics, ensuring there’s something for every sports lover. However, if you prefer watching premier sporting events in a cosy and tranquil setting away from the bustling crowds, join us at the London Pub and experience the excitement on our indoor and outdoor screens! Plan your trip now to dive into the thrilling world of London sports. Enhance your experience by staying at the Royal National Hotel, we boast excellent transport connections, being conveniently located on the Piccadilly Underground Line with Russell Square tube station just across the street, providing easy access to all major sporting venues through tube and bus connections. Don’t miss out on the excitement this May!

Nighttime view of a theatre entrance in London from across the street, illuminated by bright lights with a doorman standing by the door.

4. THEATRE SHOWS IN MAY 
Immerse yourself in the world of live performances and be captivated by the magic unfolding on stage. From spectacular musicals to thought-provoking dramas, there's a theatrical experience tailored to every taste.

Whether you're a seasoned theatre enthusiast or new to the scene, May offers a diverse range of shows, exploring the rich tapestry of stories brought to life by talented actors, writers, and designers. If you are a fan of great writers why not discover the Blue Plaques and why these names had a significant impact on London history and culture including theatre! Our enriching neighbourhood of Bloomsbury has for hundreds of years attracted creatives, academics, and revolutionary thinkers to its idyllic streets and leafy garden squares. 

Experience iconic musicals like "The Lion King" or "Les Misérables," where soaring melodies and dynamic choreography promise to keep you on the edge of your seat. If you’re in the mood for comedy, revel in the uproarious laughter delivered by "The Book of Mormon" or "Matilda the Musical." These light-hearted shows promise joy and lasting memories.

For a truly immersive experience, consider the innovative physical theatre of "The Play That Goes Wrong." Enjoy a delightful mix of slapstick comedy and theatrical brilliance as the cast navigates through a cascade of comical mishaps. 

Whether you're travelling for business or showbusiness, President Hotel offers a touch of showbiz glamour to enhance your visit. Home of the theatrical "Faulty Towers Dining Experience," we specialise in making every visit memorable. Join us in the heart of the UK capital and indulge in a theatrical experience like no other. Book your tickets now and be part of the comedy that keeps going wonderfully wrong!

Remember to book your tickets early to secure the best seats for these in-demand shows. May is a peak month for theatre in London, and you wouldn’t want to miss the chance to dive into its vibrant and enchanting theatre scene.

Sunset view of the National Gallery Museum, highlighting the building's architectural elegance against the vibrant evening sky.

5. ATTEND FESTIVALS AND ART EXHIBITONS 

The Podcast Show, the leading global event for the podcasting industry, returns to London this May for its third year. This event will draw thousands of participants, offering panel discussions, live recordings, and expert advice sessions that facilitate networking and the sharing of knowledge among both seasoned professionals and newcomers. To join this vibrant community, secure your tickets on their official website.

For art enthusiasts, London offers a rich cultural experience with visits to top galleries like the Tate Modern, National Gallery, and Saatchi Gallery. These prestigious institutions feature outstanding exhibitions that captivate art lovers from around the globe.

Our Morton hotel, adorned with bespoke furnishings and wallpapers, pays homage to the renowned free-thinkers and artists of the Bloomsbury Group, including Virginia Woolf and Roger Fry. If you're a creative soul drawn to artistic environments, book your stay with us and immerse yourself in surroundings that celebrate artistic legacy and inspiration.

Scenic view of Little Venice in London, featuring boats moored along the canal and one boat sailing down the waterway, surrounded by lush greenery. 

6. GO TO CANAL FESTIVAL AT LITTLE VENICE 

Experience the vibrant Canal Festival at Little Venice, where London's historic waterways come to life. Admire colourful narrowboats adorned with bunting and flowers, and enjoy live music and entertainment along the canal banks.

Embark on a scenic boat ride, or browse artisan stalls offering unique crafts and delectable street food. Families will find plenty of fun with activities such as face painting and boat races. With its enchanting atmosphere and diverse attractions, the festival is an unmissable event for both locals and visitors. Continue the magic by booking your seamless London stay at City Sleeper, where the vibrant city atmosphere follows you right to your doorstep! 


 7. ATTEND CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW

This year, the Chelsea Flower Show 2024 is set to take place from May 21st to May 25th. Immerse yourself in an enchanting world of natural beauty and creativity. Experience a breathtaking assortment of gardens, each meticulously designed to inspire and captivate. From serene Japanese landscapes to exotic floral displays from around the world, there is something to delight every nature enthusiast.

To enhance your experience, engage with fellow gardening enthusiasts and exhibitors, exchanging tips, stories, and inspiration. Participate in workshops and talks led by experts to deepen your understanding of sustainable gardening practices and explore the latest trends in horticulture.

After a day spent exploring scenic vistas, retreat from London's hustle and bustle in our serene private garden at the Botanica Restaurant, where soothing water features help melt away your stresses. Wake up to a fairytale scene from one of our Garden View rooms and elevate your city stay into a magical experience. Reserve your room at Bedford Hotel today and ensure a truly enchanting visit!

Evening view of the bustling Camden Lock Market, with crowds of people walking through the street.

8. VISIT MARKETS IN LONDON

May is the perfect time to delve into London's vibrant markets, each brimming with hidden treasures and unique finds. Wander through the eclectic stalls of Portobello Market in Notting Hill, where vintage furniture, retro clothing, and quirky knick-knacks abound. It's an ideal place to hunt for distinctive souvenirs or add a touch of nostalgia to your home décor.

Venture next to Camden Lock Market to experience the heart of London's alternative scene. Here, you can explore a range of funky fashion, admire original artwork, and savour street food from across the globe. This hub of creativity and cultural diversity is alive with stories, each stall offering a glimpse into different artistic expressions.

For those with a penchant for luxury, Covent Garden awaits. Nestled in London's West End, this historic market features designer boutiques, artisanal crafts, and vibrant street performances. Stroll along its charming cobblestone streets and immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere.

Music enthusiasts won't want to miss the Independent Label Market on May 11th at Coal Drops Yard in King's Cross, from 11 AM to 6:30 PM. This vibrant celebration of the music industry features vinyl records, CDs, and unique merchandise from independent labels, alongside live performances and DJ sets. It's a prime opportunity for artists, labels, and fans to connect in a festive marketplace.

After soaking up the musical vibes, unwind at Atrium Bar & Restaurant. Transition from the bustling market to a relaxing evening with a glass of wine or a delicious meal in our cosy setting. By day, we're a comfortable coffee spot; by night, we transform into a lively wine jazz bar, creating the perfect backdrop for either an afternoon catch-up or a night out with friends.
Zoomed in bed image with coffee on the side at President Hotel 

As you wrap up your exploration of London's vibrant May offerings, why not turn your adventure into a memorable stay with us at Imperial London Hotels? Whether you're seeking a comfortable base after a day of outdoor activities, a convenient retreat near the city's sporting venues, or a touch of showbiz glamour to complement your theatre experience, our hotels offer the perfect blend of comfort and convenience. 

Unlock the full London experience by joining the 1837 Club today! As a member, you'll gain instant access to exclusive perks and discounts redeemable at any of our family-run hotels, restaurants, and bars in central London.

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