Whenever people ask me when the best time to visit London is, I always say spring. Starting in March, London slowly sheds the cold yoke of winter, its short days and frigid grey weather giving way to hopeful bursts of color and brighter, sunnier skies. The mood in the city lifts, and a refreshing feeling of optimism brings people outdoors. I’m one of those people, and I’ve been witnessing spring all over London lately.
Spring starts with crocuses. As early as February, their little stalks shoot out of the ground, and bright purple and yellow petals blanket the city’s parks and gardens with a welcome burst color.
Next come the daffodils. Green Park is the best place to see them, as the annual display of thousands of yellow crowns next to Buckingham Palace heralds the arrival of spring.
Even Buckingham Palace itself is surrounded by flowers. Red and yellow tulips are in full bloom at the moment, and they compliment the coats of the famous changing of the guard ceremony perfectly.
But the best place to see spring in London is on the other side of Buckingham Palace. St James’s Park has some of the most beautiful gardens in the city, and right now they are bursting with flowers of every color.
It’s not just the famous parks and landmarks that show off the best of spring in London, though. Seemingly every street has trees and flowers in bloom. Wherever I walk, pink blossoms fill the sky, and even the most mundane roads are made pretty by fallen petals.
This phenomenon extends to all of the neighborhoods in London. The white facades of South Kensington are accented by purple wisteria, and up in Angel the brown brick buildings are surrounded by the candy pink spheres of blossoming trees. Over in Earl’s Court, colorful houses are complimented by their gardens, and the bright facades in Notting Hill are no match for the flowers in front of them.
Elsewhere in London, secret little places like the Pergola Garden in Hampstead and the Chelsea Physic Garden are some of my favorite areas to experience the colors of spring. And speaking of Chelsea, the upcoming Chelsea Flower Show is one of the most famous events in the world to get into the spirit of the season.
In the meantime, new bulbs will unfold their bright petals to the sun and London will grow lovelier every day. By the time spring gives way to summer, the city will be at the pinnacle of its beauty, and those of us that experience the process will have an appreciation that makes it all the sweeter.