Things to do in London in May 2018

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, London Craft Week, 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 22 to 26 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.

Royal events in London

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. 9-13 May
  • Head to pop-up bars, alfresco parties and special tasting sessions during London Wine Week14-20 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. 16-19 May
  • Check out world-class photography from across the globe at Somerset House's Photo London. 17-20 May

Pyrotechnics and robotics  on the stage as part of Arcadia's Metamorphosis show. Image courtesy of Arcadia

Outdoor events in May

London May sport events 

  • See some of the world's top footballers go head to head in the Women's FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium. 5 May
  • 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. 19 May

For more things to do in London in May, take a look at our events calendar and guide to what's on in London, or download a free copy of the May London Planner. And catch the best of the London stage with our roundup of top London May shows.

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

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