Spring has sprung and we’re set for an unseasonably warm run up until June, so while it’s lovely and sunny, get out there and enjoy our Royal Parks. From jazz in Greenwich Park and theatre in Regent’s Park to bat hunting in Hyde Park, there’s plenty of fun to be had…
1 Row your boat Hire a rowing boat or a pedalo and glide through the picturesque surroundings of Greenwich Park, Hyde Park or Regent’s Park. In Hyde Park jump on the sun-powered ‘Solarshuttle’ which will take you from the boathouse to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. (Dates vary, check locally with the parks.)
2 Enjoy an evening of live jazz in Greenwich Park Following a refurbishment, the popular Pavilion Cafe reopened on 13 April. Located a stone’s throw from the Royal Observatory, the cafe hosts an evening of jazz with musicians from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, every Friday from 9 May until the end of August. Kids welcome.
3 Enjoy a bike ride through Richmond Park Soak up the sunshine and increase your fitness by hiring a bike from Parkcycle in Richmond Park. Located at the Roehampton Car Park, both adult and children’s bikes are available for hire by the hour. To plan your cycle route, click here
4 Become a bat detective On 16 May, a bat expert will lead you through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park as you discover several different bat species – including common pipistrelles, soprano pipistrelles, and noctules – and learn how they hunt. Bat detectors are used so that bat echo-location calls are audible to the human ear (8.30pm-10pm, £5, suitable for ages 8+, book in advance).
5 Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens Inspired by J.M. Barrie’s stories of Peter Pan, the commemorative Diana Memorial Playground will fire up the imagination of any child as they navigate their way through a wooden pirate ship moored on a beach, share stories in real tepees, and explore the sensory trail. Time left? Seek out the bronze statue of Peter Pan on the stump of a tree blowing his pipe.
6 Spend the day at Richmond Park Golfcourse Following a multi-million pound refurbishment by Glendale Golf, play in the glorious surroundings of Richmond Park from 1 June. A new eco-friendly clubhouse will offer refreshment opportunities in the form of a coffee shop, bar and restaurant. Membership not required.
7 Guided walk of Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park Enjoy a free guided walk of Isabella Plantation as it bursts with colour from the exotic rhododendrons and azaleas in bloom. Every Wednesday from 23 April a free return minibus service runs to the Plantation stopping at all gates in Richmond Park (operates every Wednesday, 10.30am-3.30pm, in 40 minute intervals from 23 April-26 August. Dates of the walks are listed on royalparks.org.uk/whats-on
8 Watch theatre in Regent’s Park Grab a glass of Pimms from the bar and take your seat in the award-winning Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Opening on 15 May, Arthur Miller classic ‘All My Sons’ will be the first production of the season.
9 Trooping the Colour Once a year, to mark the Sovereign’s official birthday, a military parade and march-past takes place in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen on Horse Guards Parade Ground in St James’s Park from 10am. On the same day at 12.52pm, spectators can watch the magnificent 41-Gun Royal Salute in The Green Park followed by a flypast over Buckingham Palace at 1pm.
10 Play cricket in Greenwich Park From the 1 May until 30 September play cricket in Greenwich Park, with its unparalleled views across the Thames to St Pauls Cathedral and beyond. Included in the price is use of the changing facilities in the Pavilion. To enquire or book the pitch contact Christine Sheffield on 0300 061 2380
For further information see royalparks.org.uk