By Sam Butterworth (Author of '102 Things you have to do in West London')
Lots of people flock to London at Christmas when there’s a seemingly endless list of fun things to do to get you in the festive spirit, but Easter is becoming an increasingly popular time for tourists to visit the big City.
Here’s a guide of the top 20 things to do this Easter in London
1) Shop on Carnaby Street
This is the perfect place to spend an afternoon shopping this Easter. Combining contemporary and vintage fashion with a mix of boutiques and big brands, there’s also a selection of tasty treats available at Kingly Court’s al fresco cafes and bars – a great place for kicking back and people-watching in the spring sunshine. Liberty is just around the corner too, so perhaps you’d better make that a morning and an afternoon spoken for.
2) Watch the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race
It now incorporates a men’s and a women’s race for even more entertainment, and usually takes place in March (it’s on Sunday 27th in 2016). Why not set yourself up at one of the many pubs or bars along the 4.25 mile route along the Thames and cheer them on?
3) See some works of art
Spring is in full bloom (almost), so it seems only appropriate for art lovers to celebrate the season with a visit to Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse at the Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, a collection of over 120 works which brings the outdoors in. Perfect if it’s a rainy one this Easter.
4) Treat yourself at Selfridges
Shop ‘til you drop then head for a glass of something cold while the kids join the Easter fun at Selfridges, where you’ll find activities including meet Peter Rabbit, Play Doh demonstrations, Marvin’s Magic and fun with Peppa Pig.
5) Take on the Small Films Marathon
Need to put your feet up for a while? The Small Films Marathon takes place this Easter at the V&A’s Museum of Childhood. With back-to-back screenings of childhood classics such as Bagpuss, the Clangers, Ivor the Engine and other nostalgic favourites.
6) Eat well this Easter
Enjoy some of the country’s best eating and drinking opportunities this Easter with some seasonal menus from the likes of The Grill at The Dorchester (£65 for three courses), Chelsea’s Riverside Brasserie boasting an Easter petit four selection (£45 for three course) and Sunday lunch at the Winter Garden at Marylebone (£40 for three courses and a glass of prosecco).
7) Enjoy some lighter bites
Looking for some lighter bites? Indulge in a festive afternoon tea at The Library Lounge at the London Marriot hotel, Waterloo, and sample the finest in edible Easter fayre. Enjoy views of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament while wrapping your chops around hot cross buns, simnel cake and of course a glass of fizz.
8) Watch a crucifixion?!
Interested in the true meaning of Easter? Swing by Trafalgar Square on 25th March 2016 to see the crucifixion of Christ re-enacted by a cast of 100! Possibly not for the faint- hearted.
9) Check out an Easter service
On a similar note, if you want to celebrate the religious side of the festival in style, why not go to an Easter service at St Paul’s Cathedral or Westminster Abbey, where you’ll find live choral and orchestral music throughout the season.
10) Blast out some ballads
More into the kind of ‘singing’ that incorporates air grabbing and destroying a ballad or two?! Head off for a night of cocktails and karaoke at Lucky Voice at Soho or Islington, where Easter deals include a three for two (hours) offer on a karaoke booth – complete with dressing up box! I wonder if there’s a bunny outfit in there…?
11) Pound the pavement on a walking tour
Need to burn off some excess chocolate? Want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the tube? Take a hike with Walk The City this Easter – a guided walking tour of London’s historical past, and its myths and mysteries, while taking in some of the City’s top tourist attractions along the way.
12) Take a walk around the Tate Modern
Easter at Tate Modern promises to be filled with interactive experiences, performance pieces and egg-citing (sorry) exhibitions, including curators’ talks, participatory sculptures (that’s climbing on art to the rest of us!) and the popular 8-14s studio for children.
13) See some magic at Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace’s Magic Garden is great for families with kids. An interactive, educational play garden, rife with mythical beats and teeming with historical tales, it’s a great way to get some fresh air this Easter.
14) Go clubbing…Game of Thrones style!
Who says ‘Winter is coming’? This is spring! From Friday 25th through to Sunday 28th March 2016, there’s a chance to don your best Dothraki warrior outfit with Rave of Thrones – themed clubbing under London Bridge at Bankside Vaults on Easter Sunday, featuring DJs Kristian Nairn and Finn Jones.
15) Spoil yourself with a champagne brunch
After all of that dancing you’ll probably need a hearty breakfast, perhaps even hair of the dog, and no one does it better than Landmark London. Their champagne brunch comes highly recommended, and while it doesn’t come cheep it’s worth every penny. Indulge yourself and choose from a vast selection of exquisite treats in luxurious surroundings.
16) Have a spa day
Put a spring in your step leave your Easter break looking bright eyed and bushy tailed, when you treat yourself to some pampering at one of London’s top spas.
17) Board the Cutty Sark
Avast me hearties! Get on board with the Greenwich Cutty Sark and embark on a swashbuckling array of Easter activities for children and adults alike, including science and engineering demonstrations for those keen to learn about sea travel.
18) See some chocolate-inspired theatre
Get festive at the theatre and watch the spectacular adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and The Chocolate Factory by Sam Mendes. Showing at Theatre Royal in Covent Garden, it is a show famed for being an explosion of fantastical colour, delightful stage tricks and a dash of humour.
19) Visit a chocolatier
For a sophisticated take on the traditional foil wrapped egg, why not treat your taste buds to a tour of some of London’s best chocolatiers? From Artisan du Chocolat on Sloane Street to Charbonnel and Walker at the Royal Arcade, you’ll be spoilt for choice this Easter.
20) Go on an Easter egg hunt!
Easter egg hunts are a little bit of fun for all the family and one of our favourites is Kew Gardens’ Lindt Easter extravaganza, including a Flavour Trail and chocolate making workshops, as well as Hampton Court Palace’s Magic Garden.
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