Spring is here and London is in full bloom! The city is adorned with a myriad of colourful flowers, but there is nothing quite like the enchanting beauty of cherry blossoms. From the charming parks to the bustling streets, London is home to some of the prettiest cherry blossom spots you can find. The Sakura typically runs from late March or early April until May, depending on the weather conditions. So usually, the best time to spot these beautiful spring flowers in London is in mid-April.
Whether you’re a Londoner or a visitor, this is the perfect time to explore the city and witness the stunning sight of these beautiful trees in full bloom. In this blog post, we’ll take you on a journey to discover the most beautiful cherry blossom places in London that you simply can’t miss this spring. Get ready to be enchanted by the beauty of these magnificent trees!
Our favourite places to see cherry blossom in London:
The different varieties of cherry blossom bloom at various dates, some with bright pink flowers, while others are in a light cotton candy colour, and others have white blossoms. Unfortunately, they bloom only for a few weeks, so you must be quick! Fortunately, the cherry blossom season in London coincides with the magnolias bursting into bloom which brings more hue to London’s streets following the long, grey winter. You can enjoy the Sakura in Japanese Gardens in London as well as in many of the local parks. Here is the ultimate list of places to prepare for one of the most beautiful seasons in London:
1. Greenwich Park
Greenwich Park is one of the most beautiful locations to enjoy spring flowers in London. If you walk past the cricket court within the park, you’ll see the road that leads to Rangers House. A local favourite for us, we always try to time our visit to enjoy the gorgeous trees in full spring, creating a breathtaking Japan-inspired cherry blossom tunnel.
2. Kew Gardens
If you’re keen to take full advantage of the blooming spring season, then make sure you visit Kew Gardens from April to May. In spring, the most extensive botanical garden in London is blooming wildly. We recommend the “Cherry Walk”, which begins in front of the Palm House and runs towards the Temperate House. It’s a straight pathway lined with bright pink blossoms and a perfect place to get that perfect Instagram shot!
3. Regent’s Park
The cherry blossoms are everywhere in Regent’s Park but go towards Chester Road for the most spectacular views. The beautiful trees were planted along the road in the 1930s at the same time as The Queen Mary’s Garden and the Queen Mary’s Rose Garden were constructed. Avenue Gardens is another good location, as the flowers are pinker.
4. Kensington Gardens
Sadly, Hyde Park does not offer much for cherry blossoms, but Kensington Gardens delivers beautiful white and pink flowers. The entrance is through at Lancaster Gate, and here you can enjoy an explosion of pink and pale white blooms. From here, walk to the Albert Memorial, at the southernmost point of the garden, which is where you’ll find even additional beautiful blooming cherry trees.
5. The Olympic Park
The London Blossom Garden opened in 2021 at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as a living tribute to “commemorate the shared experiences of the city from the pandemic of Coronavirus”. Other flower circle towns include Nottingham, Newcastle and Plymouth.
The garden is dotted with 33 flowering trees, each symbolizing the corresponding London city borough, including the City of London. There are eight kinds of cherry blossom trees: hawthorns and cherries, plums of cherry and crab apple blossoms, planted in three closely-circle. If you visit during the spring around mid April, you’ll be rewarded with stunningly blooming trees that are vibrant and beautiful.
6. Alexandra Palace
Alexandra Palace is a historic landmark in North London, surrounded by sprawling parkland that comes alive with the delicate pink hues of cherry blossom during springtime. The park features a range of Sakura varieties, including the popular Yoshino, which produces delicate pink and white blooms that create a stunning contrast against the lush green backdrop of the park.
The blooms appear in late March or early April and create a spectacular display that attracts visitors from all over the city. The park’s location on a hill offers panoramic views of London, making it a popular spot for photography and picnics during cherry blossom season. The cherry blossom trees around Alexandra Palace are a symbol of renewal and the fleeting nature of life, reminding us to appreciate the beauty of the present moment.
7. St Paul’s Cathedral
There are not many cherry blossoms outside St Paul’s Cathedral, but the ones there towards the church’s north can make stunning photographs. Make sure you frame the photo correctly, and you’ll see the branches in bloom and the iconic dome in the background of the trees.
8. Kyoto Garden
The Kyoto Garden in Holland Park is a picturesque oasis that transports visitors to the tranquil beauty of Japan. One of the highlights of this serene garden is the stunning trees that burst into bloom in the spring. As you stroll through the winding paths and past the tranquil pond, you’ll be surrounded by a sea of delicate pink and white blossoms, creating an enchanting atmosphere that is both peaceful and awe-inspiring. The cherry blossom trees in the Kyoto Garden are meticulously maintained, ensuring that they are in prime condition to bloom each year.
9. Springfield Park
Springfield Park in Hackney is a hidden gem of East London, and during the springtime, it is transformed into a stunning showcase of cherry blossom trees in bloom. The park boasts a variety of beautiful trees in bloom, such as the Kanzan, Amanogawa, and Okame, each offering a unique hue of pink and white petals. As the delicate flowers bloom, they create a breathtaking sight that attracts visitors from all around the city.
The park’s hilltop location offers panoramic views of the surrounding area, making it a popular spot for picnics and photography sessions. The sweet fragrance of cherry blossoms permeates the air, creating a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere that invites visitors to relax and unwind.
10. Battersea Park
Battersea Park is an idyllic avenue of gorgeous cherry blossoms in the south of London, appropriately dubbed Cherry Tree Avenue. First, photograph the pink blooms that are dusty and Battersea Power Station in the background. Battersea Power Station in the environment. After that, walk across the River toward Chelsea Embankment, where beautiful white blooms create the perfect backdrop to photograph Albert Bridge.
Battersea Park is one of the most popular green spaces in London, and during springtime, it is transformed into a sea of delicate pink as its cherry blossom trees bloom. The park features a wide variety of magnificent trees, including the popular Yoshino variety, which produces soft pink blooms that create a stunning contrast against the blue sky.
As you wander through the park’s winding paths and open spaces, you’ll be surrounded by the sweet fragrance of cherry blossoms, and the gentle rustling of the petals as they sway in the breeze. The spring flower season in Battersea Park is a popular time for visitors to picnic, take photographs, and soak up the beauty of nature in the heart of the city. With its tranquil atmosphere and stunning scenery, Battersea Park is the perfect place to experience the magic of cherry blossom season in London.
Japanese Gardens in London
You’ll also find several amazing Japanese gardens in the city. Japanese gardens are a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of London life, offering visitors a chance to experience the beauty and serenity of traditional Japanese landscaping. London is home to several stunning Japanese gardens, each with their own unique features and characteristics. One of the most popular is the Kyoto Garden in Holland Park, which features a tranquil pond, a waterfall, and a variety of beautiful cherry blossom trees. The garden is meticulously maintained and features authentic Japanese design elements, such as lanterns, stone pathways, and a traditional tea house.
In Japan, the trees are also found in many national parks and on the grounds of castles. In addition, delicate flowers have become popular in tattoos and traditional art and are popular among many people. Because they are so transient, they are often in the news, making them popular in other countries. However, cherry blossoms are also common in other parts of the world.
Sakura varieties found in London
- Yoshino: This is the most popular variety of cherry blossoms and features delicate white to light pink flowers that cover the tree in a cloud-like appearance.
- Kanzan: Also known as the “Pink Perfection” variety, Kanzan produces stunning double-pink blossoms that appear in mid to late spring.
- Amanogawa: This variety is known for its tall, slender form, which makes it perfect for smaller gardens. It produces small, delicate pink flowers that resemble tiny rosebuds.
- Okame: This variety is an early bloomer, with bright pink blossoms that appear in late winter or early spring.
- Shirotae: Also known as the “Mt. Fuji” variety, Shirotae produces large, pure white blossoms that resemble snowflakes. It blooms later than most other cherry blossom varieties, typically in late April to early May.
Sakura Cherry Blossom Facts
- The Sakura plant, also known as the cherry blossom, is a flowering tree that belongs to the genus Prunus. It is native to Asia, primarily Japan, Korea, and China.
- There are over 600 varieties of cherry blossoms, each with its own unique characteristics, such as the size and shape of the flowers and the colour of the petals.
- Cherry blossoms typically bloom for only one to two weeks each spring, depending on the climate and location. The blooming period varies from year to year and can be influenced by weather conditions.
- Cherry blossoms are a popular symbol of spring, renewal, and the transient nature of life in Japanese culture. They are often featured in art, literature, and celebrations, such as the annual Hanami festival.
- In Japan, there is a tradition of forecasting the cherry blossom blooming season, known as the “Sakura Zensen.” This is based on data such as temperature, precipitation, and wind patterns, and helps people plan their Hanami parties and events.
- Cherry blossom trees are also planted as a symbol of friendship between Japan and other countries. The first trees gifted to the United States were planted in Washington D.C. in 1912, and are still celebrated today during the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
What was the first Sakura tree planted in London?
The first recorded Sakura tree in England was planted in the garden of the Bishop of London’s Fulham Palace in 1820. The tree was a gift from the English ambassador to Japan, Sir Harry Smith Parkes, who obtained it from the famous Japanese horticulturist, Mr Sadayoshi Sakuma.
The tree was a cultivar of the famous Somei-Yoshino variety, which has since become the most popular variety of cherry blossom tree in the world. Sadly, the original tree at Fulham Palace did not survive for long, but its legacy lives on as the first recorded Sakura tree to be planted in England.
What is the oldest Sakura tree in England?
The oldest Sakura tree in England is believed to be located on the grounds of St. John’s Church in the village of Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire. The tree is a Higan cherry, which is a variety of cherry blossom that is native to Japan. It is estimated to be over 150 years old and was planted in the churchyard by a former rector who was a keen botanist.
The tree has survived through two world wars and various natural disasters, and continues to bloom each spring, attracting visitors from all over the country. Its age and resilience make it a cherished symbol of the enduring beauty and fragility of nature.
When is the best time to see Sakura trees blossom in London?
The best time to see Sakura trees in bloom in London is typically from late March to mid-April, depending on the weather conditions. The exact timing can vary from year to year, as it is influenced by factors such as temperature, rainfall, and wind. Generally, warmer temperatures and milder winters can lead to an earlier bloom, while colder temperatures can delay the blossoming.
It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the weather forecast and the bloom updates from local parks and gardens to plan your visit accordingly. During the peak of the bloom season, many parks and gardens in London hold Sakura festivals and events, offering visitors a chance to experience the beauty of these iconic trees in full bloom.