When can you see cherry blossom in London?

If you want to know the best places to see cherry blossom in London, check out my London Parks Cherry Blossom Guide, which tells you all you need to know about my recommended parks – Kew Gardens, Regent’s Park, Kensington Gardens, St James’s Park, Alexandra Park and Greenwich Park. But knowing where to go is only half the story. You also need to know when. And that’s what I’m going to tell you now. 

April is cherry blossom time in London. In an average year flowering begins at the end of March, peaks in mid to late April and dies away at the start of May.  BUT you can’t predict for sure when the blossom will appear because it all depends on the weather. A warm spring will see the season begin a couple of weeks earlier while a cold one will delay the start and see blossom still flowering well into May. (If you see blossom in February or early March, chances are it’s plum, not cherry. See my plum v. cherry blossom guide).

Individual trees flower for about one to two weeks within that period. Some parks, like Kew Gardens and Regent’s Park, have a lot of trees so there’s always something in bloom during the season, while others, like Alexandra Palace and Greenwich Park, have only one kind of tree so their season is short.

I’ve divided the season up into three periods – early, middle and late – so you can work out the best time to go.

Early blossom (flowering roughly at the beginning of April in an average year)

Kew Gardens – some of the trees behind the Palm House. Weeping cherry by the Palm House pond. White blossom in the Secluded Garden.
Regent’s Park – the grove at the south end of Avenue Gardens
Kensington Gardens – a few trees near the Italian Gardens
St James’s Park – the grove near Storey’s Gate, and a few trees at the Buckingham Palace end of the lake
Alexandra Park – all blossom is early
Greenwich Park – no early blossom

Mid to peak season blossom (flowering roughly from mid to late April in an average year)

Kew Gardens – the main blossom area behind the Palm House
Regent’s Park – Chester Road, some of the trees in the English Garden and Queen Mary’s Garden, the arch by Avenue Gardens
Kensington Gardens – no mid season blossom
St James’s Park – the trees around the lake
Alexandra Park – no mid season blossom
Greenwich Park – no mid season blossom

Late blossom (flowering roughly at the end of April in an average year)

Kew Gardens – the avenue between the Palm House and the Temperate House
Regent’s Park – some trees in the English gardens and Queen Mary’s Gardens and at Jubilee Gate
Kensington Gardens – the grove near the Albert Memorial
St James’s Park – no late blossom
Alexandra Park – no late blossom
Greenwich Park – the avenue behind Regent’s House

Here’s what the blossoming season has looked like over the last few years.

In 2013 the cherry blossom at Kew was at its best at the end of April.

In 2014 the St James’s Park cherry blossom flowered in late March, Regent’s Park and Kensington Gardens in early April and the Kew season ran right through from late March to the end of April.

In 2015 the first cherry blossom buds opened in in March, began to bloom at the beginning of April and peak blossom came towards the end of April. Late blossom in Greenwich Park and Kew Gardens appeared at the end of April.

In 2016 the blossom ran about a week behind 2015. The trees in St James’s Park were in full flower in mid April, the new trees on the cherry blossom avenue in Regents Park were out in late April and the cherry blossom avenue in Greenwich Park was in full bloom a week into May.

In 2017 the blossom was exceptionally early, about three or four weeks ahead of 2016. Blossom at Kew Gardens and Regent’s Park  lasted until the end of April . The Greenwich Park cherry blossom avenue flowered in mid April, as did the little grove of trees near the Albert Memorial in Kensington gardens. The blossom at Alexandra Palace and St James’s Park flowered even earlier. The season was over by the beginning of May

2018 Early cherry blossom came into flower in time for Easter – see my 29th March report on St James’s Park. The Alexandra Palace blossom flowered in the first week of April. The brief spell of good weather brought out the blossom – Kew Gardens and Regent’s Park were at their peak over the weekend of 21/22 April. And Greenwich Park is now in flower (23 April).

PS If your wondering about the photo of St Paul’s at the top of this post, there are a couple of cherry trees on the Millennium Bridge side which you can use to frame a picture like I did, but it’s not a blossom viewing spot.

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15 thoughts on “When can you see cherry blossom in London?

  1. Hi. I will be visiting London from 18th of April to 22 and I was wondering what will the places in full bloom be, the ones in the ‘Late blossom’ list, or even some in the ‘Mid to peak season blossom’ list? Thank you, the info you provide is very helpful!

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  2. Hi,
    I am planning to visit london this saturday(21/04/2018), which place would you suggest me to go where there are line of cherry blossom trees.

    I have seen in one of the post on facebook that Greenwich park has got a line of cherry blossom trees, Is that a good place to visit?

    Thank you,
    Anusha

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  3. Hi Fran
    Thank you for your very informative blossom guide. I am a little confused about Greenwich Park, so not blooming yet? Do you think 27th would be a good time to head there?
    Thanks
    Harriet

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    • It might be if the weather stays good. It isn‘t possible to predict precisely what day the trees will flower. But I don’t think there’ll be blossom at Greenwich until next week. Once the trees bloom they’ll stay in flower for a week or so.

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