Spring breathes new life into our parks, so plan a visit to boost your step count and witness nature at its very best.This season, we have an array of activities to suit all tastes from guided tree walks and a historical exhibition, to free activities for the kids during the Easter Break.
For a full list of activities across London’s eight Royal Parks visit www.royalparks.org.uk/whats-on
1. Discover tree folklore in a walk-through Kensington Gardens
Learn about the folklore and myths that surround trees with our resident arboriculturalist Greg Packman.
In this walk-through Kensington Gardens, discover why oaks were symbols of the gods; how rowan trees provided protection from malevolent forces, and which variety, above all, symbolised renewal and purification.
When: 23 March, 10.30am-Noon
Where: Kensington Gardens
Buy your tickets here
2. Find out how the parks helped win the First World War
To mark this year’s centenary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in June 1919, an exhibition called ‘From the WW1 battlefields and into the peace’ will look at how both The Royal Parks and the Royal Hospital Chelsea supported the wartime effort - and marked peacetime.
The exhibition will feature rarely-seen photos and artefacts, and will invite visitors to dive into the fascinating stories of the past. This includes the construction of a giant post office in The Regent’s Park to deliver letters to troops on the Western Front and the growing of crops across the parks to support the national food shortage.
When: 29-31 March, 10am-4pm
3. Relax on one of our boating lakes
In Hyde Park, jump on the sun powered 'Solarshuttle' which will take you from the boathouse to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.
When: Dates vary, check locally with parks.
Cost: Varies, check locally with parks
4. After work gardening in Kensington Gardens
Want to volunteer but struggle to fit it in around the nine to five? Then our twilight gardening sessions are for you.
Discover how to grow everything from pumpkins and potatoes, to peas and beans, in our volunteer-run allotment in Kensington Gardens. Duties will include planting, watering and harvesting an array of vegetables and fruits.
When: First Monday of the month, 6-7.30pm.
Reserve your place by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Entertain the kids for free during the Easter holidays
This Easter, our learning team will be hosting free Discovery Days in the LookOut Discovery Centre in Hyde Park.
First up is the Marvellous Mammals session on 10 and 11 April. Learn about the secret lives of The Regent’s Park hedgehogs and search for mammal tracks in our gardens. ‘Spring to life’ the following week (17 and 18 April) with activities that will include a nature trail, pond dipping and arts and crafts.
Further afield in Bushy Park (9 April) and Richmond Park (16 April) , the Mission: Invertebrate team will be on hand to help children uncover the fascinating world of invertebrates, from bees and beetles to snails and spiders. Join a bug hunt and explore insect habitats, learn fascinating critter facts during interactive story-telling and make bug-inspired crafts to take home.
6. Watch a gun salute to celebrate The Queen’s birthday in Hyde Park
Royal gun salutes mark special royal occasions and, in London, salutes are fired in either Hyde Park or Green Park by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, and at The Tower of London by the Honourable Artillery Company.
The Queen celebrates her 93rd birthday on 21 April and this year the firing of the canons will take place the following day, Monday 22 April, in Hyde Park and the Tower of London.
Please be aware that due to noise levels, dogs should be kept well away.
When: 22 April, Noon
Where: Parade Ground, Hyde Park
7. Free arts and crafts at Greenwich Park
Come over to our tent near the Greenwich Park bandstand to take part in animal mask making and arts and crafts – with an Easter theme.
Transform your youngsters into chicks and bunnies at this free drop-in activity, and when you're finished, pop next door to find out more about ‘Greenwich Park Revealed’, a multi-million-pound project to restore the park’s natural heritage and fund a new learning centre.
When: 11 and 14 April, 10am-4pm.
Where: Near Greenwich Park bandstand
For more information on the project visit www.royalparks.org.uk/gpr
8. Visit the beautiful Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park
In spring, expect a kaleidoscope of colour in Isabella Plantation, as bluebells carpet the floor and evergreen azaleas and rhododendrons put on a bewitching display of vivid pinks, purples and reds.
To enable more people to enjoy this enchanting 40-acre woodland garden, a free minibus service will operate every Wednesday from 17 April - 30 October 2019. The fully accessible minibus drives a complete circuit of the park. View the minibus timetable
The best time to see the azaleas and rhododendrons in full bloom is the end of April and start of May.
9. Listen to the sounds of spring
When visiting London's eight Royal Parks you may notice it's spring by the sight of leaves returning to the trees or the colours of the flowers in bloom, but close your eyes and you may hear spring in the form of woodpeckers drumming, nuthatches calling or chiff chaffs singing.
The best time to hear birds singing is at sunrise when they sing more frequently, vigorously and loudly. Referred to as a dawn chorus, male birds sing to attract a mate or warn other males from their territory.
At sunrise, join our Learning Team for a guided walk through Hyde Park’s more wooded area to hear the dawn chorus to full effect.
When: 27 April, 5am-7am
Where: Hyde Park
Buy your tickets here
10. Celebrate the blossom at Chestnut Sunday in Bushy Park
Festivities include a parade through Chestnut Avenue at 12.30pm complete with military vehicles, vintage cars and City of London horses.
Also, expect live music, pony rides historical re-enactments, and traditional fairground rides.
When: 12 May 2019, 12.30-4.30pm
Where: Starts at Chestnut Avenue in Bushy Park.