Things to do in London in May 2021

Head outdoors to explore London in May, join cultural celebrations and marvel at vibrant flower shows across the city.
  • Schools take a week-long half-term holiday in May. Choose from lots of family-friendly activities put on by top attractions this week.

  • Make plans for the two public holidays (bank holidays) in May with special events taking place over the long weekends.

  • Unmissable annual events usually include the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, however, this year it's happening in September. 

In May, spring is well under way with warm weather and some delightful sunshine, but you may still need a light coat and a brolly, in case of a light drizzle.

Schools across the UK usually break up for a half-term holiday at the end of May, bringing a packed programme of family-friendly activities and events at some of London’s top attractions.

There are also two public holidays (bank holidays) this month: the Early May Bank Holiday and the Spring Bank Holiday. So, keep an eye out for what’s on in London in May to make the most of the extended weekends.

Many of the city's shops, indoor attractions and entertainment venues are due to reopen on 17 May at the earliest, following the proposed easing of coronavirus restrictions. Check back nearer the time for confirmation and be aware that some venues may still be closed after this date.

What's reopening this month?

Provided the coronavirus restrictions ease as planned, the following attractions have indicated they will reopen their doors to visitors this month:

More May events to look forward to

Virtual activities to join this May

  • Look back on the heroes, random acts of kindness and glimpses of the “new normal” in a book collating 100 pandemic portraits from the National Portrait Gallery’s Hold Still exhibition, available to purchase online.
  • Explore the topic of The Objectification of Royal Women's Bodies as Symbols of the State with Royal Museums Greenwich in an online talk as part of monthly museum lates.

Find a flavour of what's usually on in May below. Make sure to check the individual event for confirmation of this year's edition or plan ahead for next year.

What's usually on in London in May?

  • Celebrate the heritage of the capital with events, activities and exhibitions on London History Day.
  • Marvel at stunning horticultural displays, pick up the latest gardening trends and rehome a plant or two at the RHS Chelsea Flower ShowThis year's event is taking place in September.
  • Check out world-class photography from across the globe at Somerset House's Photo London each May. This year's event is taking place in September.
  • Join the Eid Festival celebrations in Trafalgar Square every May, featuring family activities and street food from around the world.
  • Admire the floral displays of the surrounding streets for Chelsea in Bloom or stop by Covent Garden to be wowed by Covent Garden in Bloom.
  • You’re in for a treat, The May Fair at Grosvenor Square usually brings seaside vibes to the city on the early May bank holiday weekend.

For more things to do in London in May, take a look at this events calendar and guide to what's on in London. And catch the best of the London stage with this London theatre guide. For on-the-go adventure ideas, download the Visit London App.

WEATHER: For average seasonal temperatures and rainfall, see our London Weather page.

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