Location: Stamford Brook
It’s no secret that I have a bit of a love affair going on with London. There is just so much happening that it’s impossible to have nothing to do or see at any given weekend. There is however, on thing that puts living in London down on the best places to live parameter, and that is the weather. Those dark and gloomy months between October and March are pretty rough. And so, when at last we got to move the clocks forward last week, when the evenings lasted just that little bit longer and when everyone felt that slight turn in the weather from freezing cold to mild, you could tell that the dark winter times were over. Nothing confirmed this more than when all of a sudden, the city seemed to be filled with the prettiest of pink and white cherry blossoms, making London look a little like something out of a Japanese fairytale.
I’ve been exploring the city and researching over the last few weeks to bring to you some of the prettiest places in London to enjoy cherry blossom season to the full, and snap that perfect instagram shot! And so, if you’ve been waiting to travel to Japan to view these pretty pink petals, then you’re in luck. They are actually much closer than you think!
Disclaimer: All photos in this post were snapped in West London, at Ravenscourt Park and Stamford Brook. Why? Because there are far less tourists around and in all honesty, they are really close to my house… we tried for two weeks in a row to view the trees in Greenwich (about an hour and a half each way and they had not yet bloomed!)
And so where are some of the best places to check out the blossoms?
I alluded to this earlier, but we have been trying to see this pretty pink lined path for the last two weekends in a row to no avail. Not because they do not exist, but because these blessed trees have not yet bloomed. Or at least they didn’t last weekend. That being said, they are known to be late bloomers so I am somewhat to blame for being over zealous. Make your way over to Greenwich Park, and if you are travelling by car, park your vehicle on Blackheath Avenue. With your back facing the view of Canary Wharf, look right and you should be able to see a small path where the trees almost cave in on themselves. It is these trees that are due to sprout those pink blossoms any day now. To make the spot even more perfect, there are a bunch of benches where you can sit and stare at the flowers overhead. Be aware though, this is a tourist hotspot – not just because of the blossoms, but because it is actually a beautiful park with spectacular views of Canary Wharf. Lots of dog walkers, families and joggers can be seen all over the place, so make sure to go early if you want more peaceful surroundings.
Kyoto Garden, Holland Park
I feel as though cherry blossoms are automatically associated with Japan, given that we all know their cherry blossom season is probably the best time to visit. From Okinawa to Tokyo, these little pink blossoms of happiness are quite the attraction. But now, you are in luck! No need to hop on that crazy flight all the way east, just hop on over to Kyoto Garden in Holland Park. Opened in the early 90s, Kyoto was a gift from the Japanese to commemorate the long standing friendship between the United Kingdom and Japan. Open daily from 7:30am, this beautiful Japanese garden makes for a serene day out, with its pretty waterfalls, stone lanterns and of course … cherry blossoms. Blossoms should bloom around end of March, so hurry and get down there if you haven’t yet been!
Of course, I wasn’t going to get away with writing this post without mentioning the avid Instagrammer’s dream. With its pastel houses and cherry blossoms out the front, it makes the perfect spot to take that pretty spring picture. Please be respectful of the residents though – sitting on the steps or wall outside of someone’s house just to get your picture is not cool. I’ve seen a number of articles where residents have complained about this (rightfully so!!). Always be respectful of your surroundings and the people that live there.
St Paul’s Cathedral
The City is one of the most fascinating parts of London. I’ve spent the last few weekends there and I’ll soon be writing a post just to show it off. St Paul’s Cathedral is naturally one of the spots that you must check out if you are sightseeing in the area. At present it is looking particularly pretty, as the cherry blossom trees are located right outside the cathedral itself!
Last but not least, I couldn’t not mention Kew Gardens. This location is a little bit further out, located in Zone 4, but definitely a stop that you should check out if you plan on spending an extended period of time in London. Why? Because it’s a stunning botanical garden that was opened in 1840 and hosts some of the loveliest exhibitions. You may have seen some of my recent shots at the orchid exhibition last month. As London’s largest botanical garden, of course it does not disappoint when it comes to cherry blossom trees. Head on over to the Rose Garden behind the Palm House for an array of about 15 cherry blossom trees!
Where is your favourite spot to view cherry blossoms in London? I’d love for you to share your faves in the comments below and to see some of your insta pics showcasing London’s finest cherry blossom trees. Just tag me using @sarahbarthet and I’ll make sure to show some love!
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