It’s been a long three months, but if everything goes as planned, lockdown restrictions will finally be eased on 12th April. This means that we will be able to see our friends again and enjoy fun activities outside for a change. However, since virtually everyone in the UK is currently looking forward to the end of lockdown and only a limited amount of people can visit a venue at a time, long waiting times might be attached to them. Therefore, it’s good to plan ahead and start deciding which activities you want to pursue first, as pre-booked tickets will probably be essential for most of these.
To help you make that decision, I’ve created a list of recommendations on things you can do in London this April.
Visit non-essential shops
This is perhaps the most obvious, and if you’re like me and content with ordering everything online, the least exciting one, but soon we will be able to shop in person again. Although the relaxation of restrictions mostly concentrates on outdoor facilities, all non-essential shops are nevertheless set to open alongside these. If, however, you’re looking for something more special than Oxford Street, I would suggest checking out markets such as Portobello, Greenwich or Spitalfields Market, with the latter being located relatively close to campus. Typically, these offer a culinary variety of foods as well as awesome vintage shops.
Jump into the water
It’s not just gyms that are reopening in April, but outdoor pools, too, and they’re actually starting to accept visitors from 29th March! While you might be thinking that it’s still too chilly to go swimming, there are heated pools like London Fields Lido or Oasis Sport Centre Covent Garden for those who nonetheless want to try, with entry fees of £5.10 and £6.15 respectively. And for the bravest amongst us, non-heated Parliament Hill Lido is the cheapest, charging only £4.05 for an adult ticket.
Hop on a roller-coaster
If you find that swimming is too boring or the weather just isn’t suitable yet, you can opt for something more adventurous that lets you keep your clothes on: Riding a roller-coaster, as Theme Parks will also open their doors again on 12th April. Personally, I would recommend visiting Thorpe Park, as it only charges £20 for a student ticket and is fairly easy to reach from London.
Enjoy non-homemade food and drinks
As you probably already know by now, restaurants and pubs will also welcome guests again in April. However, we have to be prepared to be seated solely outside, with sixty streets being closed for traffic in order to accommodate customers for outdoor dining. These include streets in Soho, Chinatown and Covent Garden, as well as Elystan Street, Byte Street and Pavilion Road in Kensington and Chelsea.
If you’re looking for something more extravagant and memorable, I would suggest booking a table at one of the many rooftop bars that are opening up alongside restaurants. Examples for these are Sushisamba City, Pergola Paddington and The Rooftop at The Trafalgar St. James. Although they tend to be rather expensive, the experience of dining while overlooking the London skyline is definitely a unique one.
Unfortunately, it seems that Eat Out to Help Out won’t make a return this year, but at least pubs are no longer required to serve a substantial meal with alcohol.
Go see a movie
Even though traditional cinemas and theatres are not set to open until at least mid-May, that doesn’t have to stop us from seeing a movie together with friends. Rooftop cinemas like Bar Elba are already selling tickets prior to their reopening on 12th April, with prices starting at £25 per ticket. Not only does that mean that we can abandon our own TVs for once, but they will also guarantee an enchanting movie experience.
Visit a museum… sort of
It goes without saying that art and history lovers have to remain patient, as museums are not permitted to open until at least 17th May. However, there are places exhibiting art that are not considered a museum and are therefore allowed to welcome guests. These are commercial galleries that come under non-essential retail, such as White Cube gallery.
It’s cherry blossom season!
And finally, just as a little side note: Traditionally, April is the time of the year when the cherry blossom season is celebrated across Japan. But there are also great spots in London to witness this spectacle and take amazing photos, for example Mount Street Gardens in Mayfair, St James’s Park and the gardens around St. Paul’s Cathedral.
What does your itinerary look like for when restrictions are eased? Comment below!