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Things to do on early May bank holiday weekend in London

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Shakespeare's Globe Tours © Pete Le May. Image courtesy of Shakespeare's Globe.
Explore new areas, tick off those must-sees and join fun events in London over the early May bank holiday weekend.


Spring’s in full swing and London’s full of life, so make the most of this vibrant time of year by spending a part of the early May bank holiday weekend in London. There are plenty of fun activities, events and outdoor experiences to add to your bucket list.

Also, check out more ideas for the spring bank holiday later in the month.

May bank holiday activities

Treat the kids to memorable experiences

Refresh your wardrobe for summer

  • Out with your heavy wintry coat, in with snazzy summer dress… Revamp your look in time for summer at one of London’s best shops.
  • Hunt down items of all kinds at the capital’s department stores, including Selfridges, John Lewis, Liberty, Harrods and Harvey Nichols.
  • Spend a day exploring top shopping areas – many also have plenty of places for pit stops between flashing the plastic.
  • Peruse unique, second-hand and vintage items on May bank holiday markets in London.

Enjoy leisurely meals

Find more London food and drink ideas.

Venture outdoors in London

  • Spot spring blooms in Kew Gardens' many different landscapes, from its Japanese gardens to Rhododendron Dell, which is in its prime this time of the year. Don’t forget to hashtag #londoninbloom!
  • See some of London’s most famous bridges lit up at night as part of the Illuminated River art installation – wander the riverbanks for the perfect shot or find a unique viewpoint from an evening river cruise.
  • Be surrounded by cute critters and wild landscapes at the city’s nature reserves and woodlands, including the London Wetland Centre, Walthamstow Wetlands and Epping Forest.
  • Check out the latest spring arrivals at city farms – and no, you can’t take any home with you!

Enjoy bank holiday days out

May bank holiday events

Check back nearer the time for events during the May bank holiday in London.

What is open on bank holiday in London?

Most attractions, shops and restaurants are usually open during the bank holiday weekend, or open with amended times. Check with the individual venue before you go.

Some transport services may be affected, so check the latest information for Transport for London services and rail networks before you travel. You are advised to explore your local area and walk or cycle where possible.

More spring inspiration

For more weekend inspiration, find our top tips on things to do on a Saturday and Sunday in the capital. If you’re staying for longer, make sure to see what else is on during spring, including key events in May.

If you’re already in London, follow the guide to activities for today and this weekend, or download the Visit London app for on-the-go inspiration.

Stay for the whole weekend to make the most of the bank holiday vibes – discover where to stay in London.

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