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group of people laughing in a field

Spring into London’s most colourful outings

It’s about blooming time! The city is blossoming with fantastic outdoor adventures and secrets waiting to be discovered. Here’s your first taste of the best of off-peak London in spring

By Time Out in association with Transport for London
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Spring is just around the corner, which means it’s time to get off the sofa and make the most of lighter evenings and sunnier skies. We’ve teamed up with Transport for London to bring you a handy selection of exciting and unexpected off-peak experiences – from places to cuddle cute animals to fields of flowers and spots to escape spring showers. Plus, with TfL’s off-peak fares (starting at just £1.50 for a single adult pay as you go) and free or discounted travel across London for kids with a Zip Oyster photocard, getting out and about in the city you love won’t feel like your wallet is being spring-cleaned.

1. Skip among the darling buds of Chelsea Physic Garden

Attractions Parks and gardens Chelsea

Weave your way around London’s oldest botanic garden, where (thanks to a unique microclimate) hundreds of colourful buds bloom at this time of year. Look out for the steamy glasshouses packed with exotic plants and the world’s oldest rockery, with stones from the Tower of London. £6.50.

Getting there: Circle or District line to Sloane Square. 

Local bus routes: 170.

blue room interior at kenwood house
blue room interior at kenwood house
Charles Hosea

2. Take a pastel-hued tour of Kenwood House

Attractions Historic buildings and sites Hampstead Heath

If spring showers kick in, make a beeline for the pastel paradise that is Kenwood House. The famous neoclassical villa on Hampstead Heath has a legendary art collection, including works by Rembrandt and Gainsborough, as well as pastel-pink and baby-blue walls that are straight out of a Wes Anderson film. Free.

Getting there: Northern line to Archway then 210 bus. 

Local bus routes: 210, 603. 

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3. Let Chiswick House’s camellias make your eyes pop

Attractions Historic buildings and sites Chiswick

In spring, the glasshouses at Chiswick House teem with pillowy red, pink and purple blooms. The romantic eighteenth-century villa’s collection boasts rare and historically important buds. Gardens and conservatory free, house £7.50. 

Getting there: District line to Turnham Green 
then 272 bus.

Local bus routes: 190, E3.

Surrey Docks Farm
Surrey Docks Farm
Photograph: Andy Parsons

4. Cuddle cute critters at Surrey Docks Farm

Attractions Farms Surrey Quays

Springtime at London’s city farms means the sound of lots of cute baby animals. Surrey Docks will be welcoming new arrivals, including calves, piglets and chicks. Kids can enjoy donkey rides or the Piglets Club where they can collect eggs, stroke guinea pigs and help feed the ducks. Free.

Getting there: Overground to Surrey Quays.

Local bus routes 381, C10. 

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children walking through field of lavender
children walking through field of lavender
shutterstock

5. Frolic through the bluebells in Wanstead Park

Attractions Parks and gardens Wanstead

The elusive bluebell comes out to play in April, creating beautiful cobalt carpets in the capital’s wooded nooks and crannies. See the magical sight by heading to Wanstead Park where thousands of native bluebells bloom in the woodland and its winding waterways. But remember: no picking – those little blue buds are a protected species. Free.

Getting there: Central line to Wanstead.

Local bus routes: 308.

6. Get starry-eyed in Greenwich

Attractions Towers and viewpoints Greenwich

Make spring sparkle with a city stargazing session. At the Royal Observatory, an expert astronomer will take you on a 360-degree tour of the night sky as the heavens are projected on to the inside of the Peter Harrison Planetarium’s huge domed roof. Celestial bliss. £8.

Getting there: DLR to Cutty Sark.

Local bus routes: 53, 54, 202, 380.

Your guide to the wonderful world of off-peak

T001-00775
© Transport for London

Get there for less!

TfL’s off-peak fares mean that your spring outings won’t hurt your budget. Off-peak fares apply on all Tube, DLR, London Overground and TfL Rail services across London. You can tap into the wonderful world of off-peak every weekday between 9.30am and 3.59pm, and after 7pm. They also apply all day at weekends and on public holidays. Always touch in and out with the same card or device to pay the right fare (touch in only on bus and tram). To check your fare, visit TfL's single fare finder.

Travel in Zones 2-6 for £1.50
Fare shown is for an adult off-peak pay as you go journey not going via Zone 1 on Tube, DLR and most London Overground services.

Travel into Zone 1 from £2.40
Fare shown is for an adult off-peak pay as you go journey from Zone 2 into Zone 1.

Travel by bus and tram for £1.50
TfL’s Hopper fare lets you take unlimited bus and tram journeys within one hour of first touching in.

Under-11s travel free!
With a Zip Oyster photocard, kids aged 5-10 travel free on all Tube, DLR, London Overground and TfL Rail services. All kids aged under 11 travel free on buses and trams. Apply for a Zip Oyster photocard today at tfl.gov.uk/zip.

Remember to check TfL Journey Planner before you travel.

TfL Cultural Map placeholder
© Transport for London

Want more spring adventures?

Want more spring adventures? The Cultural TfL Map is your key to uncovering London’s most eye-opening experiences. You’ll find more than 500 museums, galleries, street art works and more on this interactive map. Explore now at timeout.com/culturaltflmap

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