London in March welcomes the spring – announcing itself with a flurry of flowerheads and chirruping of bird song. Brighter, sunnier skies begin to hint at the months ahead and the return of British Summer Time means evenings are lighter for longer. All the better for enjoying London’s many attractions and events, including the St Patrick’s Day celebrations and the University Boat Race.
What is the weather like in London in March?
Don’t be fooled by the sudden addition of color to the streets of London in March, the start of the month can still be chilly. March 1 will usually see daytime temperatures of around 8°C, before they begin to steadily increase as the month goes on. By its end, they’ve jumped by roughly a third to about 13°C. Putting this into context, it’s just 3°C below temperatures frequently recorded at the height of summer. On occasion they can jump still further – the March all-time record stands at no less than 23°C.
Given this fact, snow is – perhaps unbelievably – still an outside possibility. However, your main concern will be rain showers, which can sweep in at any time to break up the growing periods of sun. On the plus side, dusk creeps back day after day, providing visitors to London with longer daylight hours to spend amidst the treasures of the British capital.
Enjoy London’s parks
The grass turns a fresh shade of green, the flower beds erupt in blooms and the sun – hopefully – shines. This makes March in London a good month for getting outside and exploring the city’s many parks, gardens and green spaces.
A visit to the gates of Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the Guard ceremony can easily be combined with time in the capital’s Royal Parks. St James’s, Green and Hyde Parks form a near-continuous expanse of greenery from the River Thames to Notting Hill. More than just parklands, they contain various monuments, lakes and even an art gallery – The Serpentine.
Not all that far away in Lambeth is the Garden Museum. The only museum of its kind in the country, it uses its base of a converted church dated to the Norman Conquest to record the history of the garden in the UK psyche.
Get ready to party
The color green is also an integral part of one of March’s main events. He may not be the capital’s patron saint (that’s Saint Paul) but this doesn’t stop Londoners from celebrating St Patrick’s Day on March 17. The main festivities generally take place on the weekend nearest the date, and kick off on Piccadilly Circus.
It’s from here a parade of floats, performers and marching bands take over the streets on route to Trafalgar Square. But the festivities don’t stop there. The statue of Nelson atop its column looks down on a specially-constructed stage that sees performances from a wealth of acts with a connection to the Emerald Isle. Pall Mall hosts a range of family zone activities suitable for younger visitors.
It’s the banks of the Thames that are the location for The University Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge. First fought in 1829, somewhere in the region of a quarter of a million people line the winding 4.2 mile west London course each year to cheer on the rowing eights. The finish line at Chiswick Bridge is a favored vantage point for obvious reasons.
Refresh your wardrobe
Browsing the new season trends is on many people’s lists of things to do in London in March, and for good reason. The British capital’s range of retail opportunities is well-known, offering everything from off the peg items to department stores holding royal warrants to supply the Queen and Prince of Wales.
Whilst it’s Oxford Street where you’ll find many household names, neighboring Regent’s Street blends high-end couture with an independent streak sometimes missing from the streets of the capital. Children’s eyes will bulge wide at the very sight of Hamleys’, whose seven stories make it the biggest toyshop in the world. Meanwhile, adults are sure to find something that delights at Liberty’s, whose mock-Tudor edifice stretches from Kingly Street to the boutique stores of Carnaby Street, and has championed designers from William Morris to Manolo Blahnik.
The seven streets that together form, surprise-surprise, Seven Dials, between Soho and Covent Garden is perhaps easier on the wallet but certainly doesn’t hold back on the cool. Playing host to almost 150 stores and places to eat, it’s a good place to head whether you’re looking for a new pair of jeans or a block of locally-produced cheese. If there’s a bookworm in the family, a trip to the secondhand bookshops of Charing Cross Road will be in order.
Explore the wider world
Amid the splendor of the National Maritime Museum and Queen’s House, Greenwich, stand the masts of the last remaining tea clipper, the Cutty Sark. A simply stunning addition to the east London skyline under the clear skies of March, she was built in 1869 and moored at the Thames as a museum ship in 1954.
Visitors are able to discover the cramped conditions crew sailing between China and England had to endure below deck. Since a major restoration project, it’s now also possible to walk beneath the hull to view its original planking and ironwork, before admiring the world’s largest collection of ship’s figureheads.
Containing one of the largest collections of living creatures in the UK, ZSL London Zoo has been educating the public and conserving the world’s wildlife for nearly two centuries. Amongst its 20,000 individual animals are 650 species including lions, lemurs and Komodo dragons. Each live in enclosures attempting to mimic their natural habitats as closely as possible, to the extent that many include other species from the same region.
Save on March London attraction admission
The start of spring ensures there are a huge array of things to do in London in March. But seeing so many attractions can soon get expensive. Go City helps ease the burden by including reduced admission to many of London’s top attractions, whilst doing away with paper ticketing but not the flexibility you’ll want on a visit to the British capital.