What’s better than a long bank holiday weekend? That’s right – two bank holiday weekends! May has two bank holidays, the early May and the Spring bank holiday, falling on 1st and 30th May respectively in 2016. These holidays celebrate the arrival of Spring and the warm months to come with fun and festivities, and so should you! As the days get longer and the weather gets sweeter, do more than just Netflix & Chill and find out how to make the most of these long weekends with our tips on what to do in London on a May Bank Holiday…
Take a walk through London’s Gardens
Our fair city is often referred to as the Big Smoke, but did you know that almost fifty percent of London is actually green space? As the days get warmer, get some fresh air and enjoy the greenery, rivers and canals of London’s many beautiful parks, as you sunbathe in Greenwich or picnic in Richmond. During the early May bank holiday weekend we suggest heading to London’s delightfully picturesque Little Venice, where you can see the annual canal cavalcade – a waterway festival that has been running for over 30 years. If that’s got you inspired and wanting for more, head to Hyde Park afterwards and spend the afternoon boating at Serpentine Lake. Swimming is also allowed on weekends at the Serpentine Lido, so dive right in!
Take to the streets
They say that to be tired of London is to be tired of life. However, between long work hours, daily commuting and busy weekends, it’s easy to forget that with world-class museums, stunning architecture, and fabulous attractions London is one of the greatest cities in the world. The May bank holidays make for a great opportunity to take to the streets and see things from a fresh perspective. If you’d like to have a go and be a tourist in your own city, we suggest heading to Buckingham Palace on Monday morning (not too early, we promise!) to see the impressive change of the guard, and spending the afternoon exploring the city. If you enjoy seeing London on foot and are looking to discover something new, we offer a Quirky London Walking Tour that takes you across the city to discover London’s many quirks and eccentricities.
Keep the children at bay
Bank holidays are great for grown ups, but it can be hard to keep the kids entertained when school is off. If you’ve already visited all the staple museums more times than you can count, you can try something different and spend the day amongst roosters piglets and lambs. We’re talking about London’s city farms, pockets of rural life scattered across the city to give you a taste of the countryside without having to leave town. Entry tends to be free, and many have special events planned for the bank holidays. If you’re feeling a tad more adventurous you can also visit a fire station for an open day. Croydon fire station is open to the public on 1st May and Stanmore fire station on 30th May, and with both offering family friendly activities and the chance to see how a fire brigade works, it’s sure to leave the kids impressed.
See London’s arty side
When the weather is good London is an absolute delight, and there’s nothing lovelier than taking leisurely walks across the city. Unfortunately we’re usually stuck in the office during those sunny days, and come Saturday the wind has changed and the chance is gone. The long May bank holiday weekends give you the chance to put your Oyster away and soak up the sunny atmosphere whilst you’re out and about exploring the city. For an arts-inspired day out in London, take a stroll down the vibrant South Bank and hop on the Tate-to-Tate boat to visit both galleries on either side of the Thames. If the day is too nice to spend hours indoors you can discover London’s best artists right on the street, with our London Street Art Tour that shows you the best local graffiti art from the likes of Banksy and Shepard Fairy.