Easter means different things to different people. It could be all about the chocolate eggs, hot cross buns and Easter bunny. It could be the Easter bank holiday weekend and four days to relax and enjoy. It could be about Spring time, tulips and daffodils. Or it could be about the church service remembering Christ’s death and resurrection. After all, Easter is essentially a Christian ceremony albeit riding piggyback on a pagan sun-worshipping religion.
However you want to spend the Easter holiday, we have some cracking ideas for Easter activities in London.
Let’s start with the religious aspect of Easter. After the period of denial that is Lent, Holy Week leads up to Easter Sunday celebrations.
St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey host re-enactments, communion services and their glorious church choir throughout Easter and are open to all. Our City Churches walks explore these two fascinating institutions and more.
Other than those grand places of worship, there are myriad smaller churches that are wonderful to visit. St John’s in Hampstead is one of these. Its churchyard is “the oldest unspoilt churchyard in the London area.” Even if you don’t set foot inside the church building, sitting in this historic churchyard and listening to the choir rehearsing is a simply sublime pleasure. It’s a great start to our Hampstead Walk too.
A few more hidden gems that are well worth a visit (some of which are explored on our Inside London walk). Corpus Christi Catholic Church on Maiden Lane and St Paul’s in Covent Garden have magnificent interiors to admire. The Westminster Cathedral (the Catholic cathedral in Victoria not the better known Westminster Abbey) is a beautiful venue and the Campanile tower has a viewing gallery from which you can enjoy breathtaking views across London.
Finally, a production of The Passion of Jesus, a portrayal of Jesus’ final days, will take place in Trafalgar Square on Good Friday. With 100 Wintershall players involved in the production, it’s bound to be pretty special. Oh, and it’s free too!
Springtime is also the time of hope and new life, hence the significance of Easter chicks and bunnies. The emergence of tulips and daffodils, igniting the ground with natural colour after the long, grey winter never fails to impress and lift spirits.
London parks and gardens spring to life at this time of year. In particular, there’s Kew Gardens to the west, Horniman Gardens in the south, Regent’s Park in the north and Victoria Park to the east, not forgetting the floral brilliance of St James’ Park in central London (explored in our Hello London walk).
One other location worthy of a mention is the Brompton Oratory, near the V&A Museum. The combination of those two venues is a wonderful way to spend a day in London.
There’s so much Easter fun to be had for the whole family in London over the long weekend and the school Easter holidays. Whether you plan to overindulge in sweet treats or enjoy the (hopefully) spring fair weather or both, there’s family fun to be had over the Easter break.
V&A Museum – possibly the most hot, cross bunny of them all, Peter Rabbit and his clever creator Beatrix Potter are celebrated in an exhibition of her drawings and life as a conservationist.
London Zoo in Regent’s Park – check out the newborn animals, discover the new reptile and amphibian area or even try your hand at being a zookeeper.
Hampton Court Palace – the Lindt gold bunny hunt has been a memorable London Easter experience at Kensington Palace in the past couple of years. In 2023, it moves to Henry VIII’s home of Hampton Court. The lure of chocolate goodies entices kids to explore the beautiful gardens and discover historical facts.
Kew Gardens – follow The Hungry Caterpillar inspired interactive Easter trail around these glorious gardens and help kids to learn more about nature. Wind your way through juicy pears, sweet strawberries and more.
Other favourite family walks taking place over Easter weekend:
Much like Christmas, Easter becomes an excuse for overindulgence. With no work for four days (for many), that Sunday lunch or bottomless brunch can go on and on and on.
Enjoy exquisite and decadent (read expensive) sweet treat options at Claridge’s, Laduree or Fortnum and Mason. Other worthwhile destinations include Hummingbird on Portobello Road or Violet Cakes in Hackney (made famous since making the wedding cake for Harry and Meghan). The top floor of Waterstones Piccadilly is also a great spot for a cup of tea and cake after a browse of books of course.
Spending time with friends and family over delicious food is really one of the best things in life. Having someone else cook it for you is the cherry on the cake. Mr London Walks, David recommends Rules restaurant in Covent Garden. It’s London’s oldest restaurant, dating back to 1798 and serves classic British dishes. Another favourite of his is The Holly Bush in Hampstead, renowned for its excellent Sunday roast lunches.
Balance out the calorie consumption with a 2 hour London walk this Easter!