Things to do in London in May 2019

Head outdoors in London in May to enjoy open-air theatre, cultural celebrations and flower shows, plus discover culture after dark.
A Chelsea Pensioner poses on the Marks and Spencer Spirit of Summer: A Mediterranean Journey exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower 2017.
A Chelsea Pensioner poses on the Marks and Spencer Spirit of Summer: A Mediterranean Journey exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower 2017. Copyright: RHS/Luke MacGregor. Image courtesy of RHS.
  • Schools take a week-long half-term holiday in May and many family-friendly attractions put on special activities for the week. 

  • There are two public holidays (bank holidays) in May with events taking place over the long weekends.

  • Events include the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the Museums at Night festival and the FA Cup finals.  

In May, spring is well under way with warm weather and some sunshine. But you may still need a light coat and an umbrella in case of rain.

UK schools break up for a half-term holiday at the end of May. Family-friendly attractions are usually busy during this week-long school holiday, and many of them put on special activities for children.

There are also two public holidays (bank holidays) in May in London. Look out for special activities during these two long weekends at the start and end of the month.

May events in London

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

See vivid floral displays and innovative show gardens at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show from 21 to 25 May. Although the show tends to sell out in advance, there are lots of other floral-themed events in and around Chelsea during May. Many hotels and restaurants also offer special afternoon teas and menus in honour of the show.Visitors view The Morgan Stanley Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017.

Annual May events 

  • Meet artists, engineers and designers during London Craft Week, which showcases the creativity and craftsmanship of London's celebrated and emerging makers. 8-12 May
  • Soak up some culture after hours during the Museums at Night festival, when several of London's museums and galleries put on special evening activities. 15-18 May
  • Check out world-class photography from across the globe at Somerset House's Photo London. 16-19 May
  • Celebrate the heritage of the capital with events, activities and exhibitions on London History Day. May TBC
  • Head to pop-up bars, alfresco parties and special tasting sessions during London Wine WeekMay TBC

Outdoor events in May

  • Watch a play in the sun this month during some of London's biggest open-air theatres' summer seasons, including Regent's Park Open Air Theatre and Shakespeare's Globe.
  • See the Queen travel in the processional carriage through the streets of Westminster for the State Opening of Parliament this month. May TBC
  • Raise a toast for Mr Punch's 356th birthday during the Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival. May TBC

London May sport events 

  • Catch the opening of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, which sees international teams battle it out to be crowned champions. 30 May-14 Jul
  • See some of the world's top footballers go head to head in the Women's FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium. May TBC
  • Watch the men's FA Cup final later in the month. Plus, join football fans in pubs all over London, which are packed with people watching the game. May TBC

For more things to do in London in May, take a look at our events calendar and guide to what's on in London. And catch the best of the London stage with our London theatre guide

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

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