What to Do in March in London
This post lists the many things to do in March in London, updated for 2018, including family-friendly, free, and night activities and attractions. March means slightly warming weather, but still with smaller crowds than busier months. Be sure to check out our extensive list of Things to Do in London, which includes links to other monthly posts.
TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN MARCH
If you are considering visiting many top attractions, then you should consider a tourist discount card or a bus tour combo ticket. These tickets and bundles could save you some serious money, but it depends on several factors. Read our post to help you understand if a tourist discount pass is for you.
(1) Watch A Boat Race and THE Boat Race!
A British institution for things to do in London in March, The Boat Race is a yearly race between the rowing teams of Oxford and Cambridge. The race, as the one mentioned above, follows the 4.25 mile (7 km) course in a time of around 16 to 18 minutes. The event will draw out an expected 200,000 visitors this year so make sure to get to the river early to take a look! The course starts at Putney Bridge at 3:10 pm (15:10) and finishes at Chiswick Bridge so make your way to any of the fabulous pubs that line the route.
While not quite as famous as the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race, the Head of the River Race follows the same route and is free to watch. Crews from all over the world will be completing a 4.25 mile (7 km) journey from Mortlake to Putney. A number of pubs line the river along the route, so grab a drink, and enjoy! It is one of the more traditional things to do in London in March.
(2) Take Part in St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations
Celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day includes a parade, followed by a party in Trafalgar Square. The parade route runs through central London, beginning along Piccadilly at 12:00 noon on Sunday, 18th of March and will finish in Whitehall. Meanwhile, in Trafalgar Square the festivities will be in full flow: a celebration of Irish food, music, clothing, and dancing will be taking place. Many pubs throughout town will be commemorating St. Patricks’ Day, as well, so it’ll be easy to join in the festive fun, no matter which part of town you’re in!
(3) Embrace Spring in One of London’s Most Beautiful Parks
Visitors to London are spoiled for choice when it comes to green spaces. London is littered with beautiful green squares, sprawling acres of woodland, and perfectly polished royal gardens. Watch the flowers bloom and the ducklings hatch during the magical season of spring. Take a stroll through a famous London park, follow the Regent’s Canal through Regent’s Park and Little Venice, explore the classic Hyde Park and stunning Kensington Gardens with our Self-Guided Tour, or come along on our family-friendly Royal Kensington Tour.
(4) Drink Beer!
London’s Beer Week is back, running from the 12th to the 18th of March. This will be the fourth year of this popular festival with events taking place all over tow. Not only will guests get a chance to drink as much beer as they could possibly imagine, there will also be talks on brewing, games to play and food pairings on offer.
(5) Celebrate Mother’s Day
In the United Kingdom, Mother’s Day is celebrated in March. In 2018, it falls on 11th March, which means restaurants and hotels will be awfully busy. Perhaps think about taking your mum for a traditional afternoon tea – but be sure to book as soon as possible!
(6) Buy Affordable Art in Battersea
An art fair for regular people that offers a “relaxed, inspiring environment and a diverse range of quality contemporary art at affordable prices.” Go to enjoy the art, or treat yourself to a one-of-a-kind souvenir! Hours are Thursday 8 March 11:00-21.00, Friday 9 March 11.00-19.00, Saturday 10 March 11.00-18.00, and Sunday 11 March 11.00-18.00.
(7) Enjoy Kew Gardens During the Orchid Festival
The 23rd annual Kew Gardens Orchid Festival is coming to London! Explore some of the world’s most beautiful and diverse flora during a celebration of Thailand’s plant life and culture. Guess will get the chance to learn about the orchid’s significance in Thai culture, find out how to save endangered orchids species and admire a beautiful Orchid Palace. This year the festival starts on the 10th of February and runs until the 11th of March.
If you’re visiting after March 11th, don’t fret! Kew Gardens is a spectacular place visit throughout the entire year!
(8) Escape Into the World of Winnie the Pooh
The Victoria and Albert Museum is hosting an exhibition based entirely on Winnie the Pooh. Guests can see items from a huge collection of drawings, letters, manuscripts, and photographs all detailing the world of Winnie the Pooh and the people that helped bring it to life.
Book your tickets now as the exhibition is on until the 8th of April but will likely sell out fast!
(9) Walk in the Footsteps of Britain’s Kings and Queens on our Royal Westminster Tour
No trip to London is complete without a visit to the city’s most historical, royal locations. This tour takes you in the footsteps of some of our best-known royal figures such as King Henry VIII, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth II. Our tour will give you the behind-the-scenes info on the private lives of some famous (and some less-known) royal figures who helped shape the way we live in London today.
We take you to some of the most important (and famous) London landmarks that are associated with the Royal Family such as Buckingham Palace, St. James’s Palace, St. James’s Park, Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, The Houses of Parliament and, of course, Big Ben! When it’s taking place, you’ll also be given a front-row view of the Changing of the Guard! Book here.
This is a unique experience for sure. On the 17th of March, take a guided walk through one of London’s beautiful parks, led by a foraging expert from Mac and Wild who will show you exactly what tastes and teats you can find in the most unassuming of places. After a couple hours of exploring and foraging you’ll then be taken to a restaurant for a fabulous brunch!
THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT
London doesn’t stop when the sun goes down! Check out these activities that take place at nighttime. Also, take note that the following section featuring free things to do also includes some evening activities! For more ideas on night activities any time of the year, be sure to read our definitive guide on things to do at night in London.
On March 24th, 2018, the WWF initiative is inviting people to turn off all their lights between 8:30pm-9:30 pm in hopes of raising awareness of climate change. But what makes this event truly worth watching is that all of London is going to join in! Last year, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the London Eye all went dark for an hour. Many restaurants are also participating this year in hopes of holding the largest simultaneous candlelit dinner party so make a reservation at any of the dozens of London restaurants that are taking part in this historic meal!
This is a one-of-a-kind event offering you the chance to explore one of London’s world-leading museums after the crowds have left for the day followed by the screening of a film. Expect well-loved classic movies, dystopian adventures and alien encounters on the screen as you watch the film sitting right in the heart of the Natural History Museum! Screenings schedule: Friday, March 2 ‘Star Trek’ (2009) and ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’ (2013); Saturday, March 3 ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ (2016) and ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ (2015).
Get a Taste of Morocco in the Middle of London
The fabulous Queen of Hoxton Pub has brought a bit of Morrocco into the middle of town with their Winter Rooftop Moroccan Medina. Guests can sit in the cozy warm tent erected on the rooftop filled with Moroccan sights and sounds, tastes and treats, all until the end of March. Drink underneath lanterns and near open fireplaces in this magical of locations.
Take a Jack the Ripper Tour
An activity that is a uniquely London nighttime experience. Help solve this century-old mystery as you walk the creepy back streets and alleys where Jack the Ripper committed his grisly murders and try to unmask this killer. Several companies offer Jack the Ripper Tours including us, Free Tours by Foot. There are even bus tours. You can even walk on your own with our free self-guided tour.
We compare and review all of the best Jack the Ripper Tours available to you. There are many other evening and night tours of London that offer great experiences, including ghost tours and River Thames walks.
Go to a Show in the West End
There’s no shortage of fantastic theatre shows in London, especially in the West End! Every night of the week you can find a range of performances for every age and interest. With discount tickets easily available and a selection of shows as varied as it is impressive, there’s always a way to enjoy the West End on your trip to London.
March 2018 is set to be a busy theatre month with premieres of the Tony-Award winning The King And I, a stage adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s cult-classic Strictly Ballroom, a sensual Opera-based take on Shakespeare’s classic A Midsummer Nights Dream and the legendary Tina Turner Musical, Tina. (See our Discount Theatre Tickets guide on how to secure a good price!)
Night at the Museum
London’s museums don’t always operate from 9:00 am-5:00 pm! Many museums here have late night openings to help you squeeze in, even more, culture in your visit to town! The British Museum, the Tate Modern, the National Gallery, and even the Transport Museum operate after the sun goes down on selected days. Most of the museums open at night are free of charge.
Enjoy the Lights at Piccadilly Circus
Famous the world over, Piccadilly Circus is a large traffic junction in the middle of London, linking Haymarket, Shaftesbury Avenue, Piccadilly and Regent’s Street. And it was here just over 100 years ago that the first electric lights in the capital were put on display. The bright lights here still draw visitors from all over the world who have come to enjoy some of the most famous lights on earth.
Learn about what’s to see in this most central of areas. Piccadilly Circus is surrounded by other areas that you will likely enjoy a free stroll through, including Soho, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and Chinatown.
FREE THINGS TO DO
Below we list some of the free things to do in London in March. Of course, many things mentioned in other sections, such as attending the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, enjoying a stroll in a park or taking one of our self-guided walking tours, are also free. For more ideas on cost-free activities, do check out our top 10 free things to do any time of year, as well as our guide to London on a Budget.
Visit a Free Museum and Get a Free Tour
The Tate Modern is one of the world’s largest modern art galleries so visiting on your own can be a bit overwhelming. However, the Tate offers FREE tours throughout the day that visitors can join. These tours focus on varying aspects such as Materials and Objects, specific pieces like Artist and Society, and even a Highlights Tour to make sure you get the most for your time.
Before you go, check out our guide to the Tate Modern. Also, consider taking your trip to the next level by incorporating a boat ride either to/from the Tate. The Tate also has a Tate Boat that takes guests in between the Tate Modern and Tate Britain – a perfect way for art lovers to enjoy both museums with a fun river ride in between
Walk Across Abbey Road
Recreate the famous album cover by the Fab Four who recorded their material at the Abbey Road studios, located right beside the most famous traffic crossing in the world! They didn’t go far to reach the crosswalk and neither will you. It’s located just a short walk from the St. John’s Wood Underground station. We detail how to get to Abbey Road in a blog post. You might also be interested in our self-guided tour of Beatles sights in London, which includes this stop.
For London music lovers, you may be interested in taking our (pay-what-you-wish) London Rock N Roll Tour, which includes many Beatles’ sites Thursdays and Saturdays at 15:00 (3:00 pm). We also offer free, self-guided tours of London sights connected to David Bowie as well as Jimi Hendrix.
Visit the Houses of Parliament
Whenever the House of Lords or the House of Commons (two of our three-part Parliament, based in the Palace of Westminster) is in session, it is totally free for visitors to sit in the public gallery, and watch the parliamentary debates. It may seem strange to consider this a night activity, however, both Houses of Parliament often work late into the night…sometimes even until 11 pm! So if you’re looking for something to do after dinner and you’re on a budget – consider a visit to Parliament. Check their schedule ahead of time to check if they’re in session, though, to avoid disappointment.
Learn more about How to Visit the Houses of Parliament.
See a Free Comedy Show
Angel Comedy runs comedy shows 7 nights a week – and every single one is absolutely free. Featuring well-known acts and those new to the scene, and Edinburgh Fringe Award winners, it’s almost always a guaranteed great night! It’s located just off Upper Street in Islington (a stone’s throw from Kings’ Cross). Shows start at 8:00 pm but people start queuing early so make sure you give yourself time to grab a spot!
Celebrate Pancake Day
Also known as Shrove Tuesday, this day marks the last day before Lent. In 2019, it is held on March 5. It’s a traditional period of abstinence associated with clearing your home of things like fat, eggs, and sugar. Many restaurants will have special menus and discounts on this day, and there are even Pancake Day-themed races that involve flipping pancakes in a pan while trying to complete a course as fast as possible! One, in particular, occurs outside of the Houses of Parliament and pits politicians against journalist!
Visit the Science Museum
One of our favorite museums in the city, the Science Museum offers many different interactive exhibits and imaginative activities. One of our favorites is the Wonderlab, which promises to bring to life the beauty of science and math. The museum is completely FREE to visit, though donations are welcome. Open from 10:00 am-6:00 pm daily.
Visit the Natural History Museum
Our other favorite museum to visit with kids is the Natural History Museum! What better way to escape the winter cold than by learning about dinosaurs and playing with insects. This museum is also free, though some of the special exhibits or events may require a ticket.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea doesn’t have to be just for the grown-ups! The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea at the One Aldwych was the 2017 winner of the Best Afternoon Tea in London. You will be served chocolate eggs, cotton candy, and many other tasty treats all created to reflect Roald Dahl’s classic tale.
Visit Hampstead Heath
Located along one of the highest points in London (440ft), Hampstead Heath (or just “The Heath” to use a London phrase!) is 320 hectares (790 acres) of parkland in the north of the capital. The Heath consists of rambling woodlands, paths and ponds, a lido and a Georgian villa, as well as providing one of the best views in the capital (a view so stunning it’s protected by Parliament!) atop Parliament Hill. The Heath has been on record since 986 and it has been a public park since the early 19th century.
Wildlife abounds as the Heath is a refuge for various types of wildlife including rabbits, bats, snakes, frogs, and fish – just to name a few! A popular place for families, this is a gorgeous woodland where you can really let the children run free. The Heath feels like it’s miles outside of London but is easily accessible by the London Underground and has its’ own station: Hampstead. Get all the information you need to travel to Hampstead by checking out our post on navigating the Underground.
Visit A World-Class Aquarium
The London Sea Life Aquarium is home to over 500 species from all across the world, including 40 different sharks. Guests are led through the building to visit over 65 different displays and 14 themed zones spaced out over 3 floors. Throughout the day there are interactive public feedings, diving displays, and touch pools to help guests get as close as possible to the creatures held within.
The new Penguin Experience takes ticket holders into a recreation of the Antarctic to give visitors up-close and personal experiences with the newest residents of the aquarium, including an opportunity to see the world through ‘snow goggles!’ What sort of marine life can you expect to see at the aquarium? Countless species of fish, stingrays, seahorses, octopus, sharks, lobsters, jellyfish, piranhas, penguins, crocodiles, turtles…and more!
Go to the Theatre
London’s theatre world isn’t just for adults – there’s plenty of family-friendly options, too! Consider the Disney classics The Lion King or Aladdin, a musical adaptation of a favorite children’s book – Matilda or the award-winning stage version of the Jack Black hit School of Rock. All options aren’t just for the little ones – they are enjoyable at any age!
Use our guide to getting West End tickets to snap up a great deal.
How’s the Weather And What Should I Pack?
Check out our post for a guide to London’s March weather!