Spring has officially sprung. The shift in the collective mood is palpable, thanks to extended sunlight hours and (slightly) toastier temps. And just like that, even the grouchiest of folk possess a new zest for life, an urge to seize the day. So we’ve partnered with South Western Railway to round up some lovely spots for enjoying some springtime activities.
1. Wembley Park Art Trail
There is something extremely satisfying about getting a dose of culture and enjoying the great outdoors whilst doing so. And that’s why we love a (free!) alfresco art trail in the big smoke. Until June 25 Wembley Park is home to ‘Equilibrium’, a series created by an all-female line up of international artists. Launched on International Women’s Day, this thought-provoking exhibition explores ‘the female experience’ through topics such as unity, harmony and equality. Recommended starting spot is Wembley Park tube station.
2. Chelsea Physic Garden
Anyone in the market for a little slice of history with their flower-filled excursion will love this spot. Initially established to cultivate medicinal plants, Chelsea Physic Garden is the oldest botanical garden in London. And this year marks its 350th anniversary! To this day the garden has a warm microclimate, making it a superb breeding ground for rare and endangered plants. Among the 4000 different species, visitors will find Britain’s largest outdoor fruiting olive tree, pomegranates and so much more. 66 Royal Hospital Rd SW3 4HS
Us Brits love a rooftop bar like the Swedes love a sauna, and at Netil360 you can enjoy both of these phenomena. This certified London Fields gem is known for its panoramic views over the city (as the name would suggest). But aside from being a glorious place to enjoy a frosty beverage on a warm day, patrons can also sweat out their toxins in the saunas. And you won’t have to peel your eyes from the stunning skyline for one moment. These breathtaking views will be afforded to you throughout the experience – from the sauna, to the shower, to savouring a private rooftop drink at the end. 1 Westgate St, E8 3RL
4. Portobello Market
Outdoor markets are another one of the most popular pastimes when spending the day in London. And yet, they too (slightly ironically) often depend on the whims of the weather Gods. So when the spring sunshine puts its hat on, you must make your way to the markets in haste! We’ve opted for Portobello here, because aside from its unrivalled offerings of delicious food and vintage fashion and furniture, what London neighbourhood could look finer on a spring day than Notting Hill in all its colourful glory? Portobello Road, W11 1EQ
5. Wes and Sandy’s pick of the week
South Western Railway’s winged friends, Sandy and Wes are always on hand to provide their top London recommendations. Sandy is a culture vulture with a love for the arts, theatre and lunching with the girls, while Wes loves clubs, pubs and going to gigs with his mates. But one thing they can both agree on is the importance of peaceful moments of solitude amidst the hustle and bustle of London life. And upon entering Hampstead Hill Garden and Pergola, you might feel as though you’ve stepped into a vignette from The Secret Garden. The stunning Edwardian architecture and landscaping boasts a raised stone walkway, trellises dripping in wisteria and nooks and crannies a-plenty. You’ll absolutely be forgiven for overstaying your welcome. The Pergola, Inverforth Cl NW3 7EX
Located in the heart of Kings Cross, Camino has all the makings of a blissfully relaxed, springtime dining affair. From the cosily high walls of the suntrap terrace to the unpretentious, reasonably priced menu, Camino oozes Spanish warmth and hospitality by the bucketload. So if you’re ready to welcome spring with open arms, what better way to do it than saying ¡Salud! with a cold glass of cava and tucking into an array of mouthwatering tapas? Varnishers Yard, 3 Regent Quarter N1 9AJ
7. Syon Park
Home to the Dukes of Northumberland, this breathtaking 16th century estate is surrounded by an equally gorgeous 200 acre garden. And amidst the sprawling grasslands, you’ll also find meadows of primroses and cowslips in the spring. Brent Lea, Brentford TW8 8JF