Everyone knows that the cherry blossoms bloom in Japan during the springtime but did you know that there are cherry blossoms in London too? In London, sakura (as its known in Japan) usually last from late March / early April until late April / early May, depending on the weather. The main window for spotting cherry blossoms is April.
Different varieties of cherry blossom trees bloom at different times some bursting with deep pink blooms, others a pale cotton candy colour, and still others with white blossom. They only bloom for a couple of weeks, however, so be quick!
Fortunately, however, cherry blossom season tends to coincide with the magnolia trees bursting into bloom too bringing extra colour to London’s streets after a long, grey winter.
So, as we get ready for what is probably the prettiest time of the year in London (with the exception of Christmas of course!), mark down the following locations and visit the best places to see cherry blossoms in London.
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Cherry blossom trees at Kew Gardens
One of the best places to see cherry blossoms in London is Kew Gardens. Come spring time, London’s biggest botanical garden is in full bloom. ‘Cherry Walk’, which starts behind the Palm House and runs towards the Temperate House, is a straight path flanked by bright pink blossoms. It’s the perfect spot for a photo (as you’ll see from the number of Instagrammers snapping pics!)
Closest tube: Kew Gardens
Cherry blossom trees in Kensington Gardens
Hyde Park sadly does not deliver when it comes to cherry blossoms but fortunately Kensington Gardens does deliver beautiful pink and white blooms. Enter via the Lancaster Gate entrance and enjoy a cacophony of blush pink and pale white petals. From here walk towards the Albert Memorial, at the southern end of the gardens, where you’ll find more beautiful cherry blossom trees.
Closest tube: Lancaster Gate
Cherry blossoms at Olympic Park
The London Blossom Garden opened in 2021 in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as a living memorial to “commemorate the city’s shared experience of the Coronavirus pandemic”. Other blossom circles were created in the cities of Nottingham, Newcastle and Plymouth.
The garden has been planted with 33 blossom trees, each representing a London borough, including the City of London. There are eight different varieties of cherry blossom tree, including hawthorn, cherry, cherry plum, and crab apple blossom, which have been planted in three close circles. Visit during cherry blossom season and you’ll be rewarded with beautiful canopies of colourful blossom.
Closest train: Hackney Wick (overground). The easiest entrance is via Eastcross Bridge.
Cherry blossom trees at Alexandra Palace
Not far way is Kenwood House and Hampstead Heath. While you won’t find any cherry blossoms on the heath, the gardens are filled with magnolias, rhododendrons and camellias.
Also nearby is the welcoming neighbourhood of Crouch End. Look for Cecile Park, a road lined with double pink flowering cherry trees and one of the prettiest in the city.
Closest transport: Overland to Alexandra Palace followed by a bus. Check the Citymapper app for journey details.
Cherry blossom trees in St James’s Park
There aren’t as many cherry blossom trees in St James’s Park as you would think. A handful sit around the lake but for your best blossom views – and photos – you want to go towards the eastern end of the lake, in the direction of Buckingham Palace where a series of cherry trees lean gracefully over the lake. These are often among the first cherries to flower.
Another spot worth visiting is the grove of cherry trees near Storey’s Gate where half a dozen or so pink cherry trees stand in front of the Treasury building.
Closest tube: Charing Cross or Green Park. From both these stations its a 10-12 minute walk to the park.
Cherry blossom trees in Greenwich Park
Greenwich Park has to be one of the prettiest places to enjoy cherry blossoms in London. Walk up Greenwich Park hill, beyond the Royal Observatory and Planetarium, and you’ll come upon a road leading towards Rangers House, which every Bridgerton fan will recognise! This road is lined with beautiful trees, creating a stunning Japanese-style cherry blossom tunnel.
Closest transport: Cutty Sark (DLR) followed by a 20 minute walk or the train to New Cross Gate followed by Bus no. 53. Check the Citymapper app for travel details.
Cherry blossom trees in Regent’s Park
Cherry blossom trees pepper Regent’s Park but for the best views head to the Chester Road entrance. Trees were planted along this road, one of the main entrances to Regent’s Park in the 1930s, the same time that the Queen Mary’s Rose Garden were created.
The cherry trees were replaced with 100 white Sunset Boulevard-variety cherry blossoms in 2015 and today burst into bloom with single white blossoms with pale pink edges. Avenue Gardens is another good spot, where the blossoms are decidedly more pink.
Closest tube: Regent’s Park
Cherry blossom trees at St Paul’s Cathedral
You won’t see a lot of cherry blossom trees outside St Paul’s Cathedral but the ones that are standing there – to the south of the cathedral – make for very pretty photos. Get your framing right and you’ll get the pink branches in blooms with the iconic dome behind them.
Closest tube: St. Paul’s
Cherry blossom trees at Kyoto Garden, Holland Park
One of London’s best hidden gems, Kyoto Gardens first opened in 1991 and were a gift from the city of Kyoto in Japan. Today it’s a lovely Japanese garden at any time of year but it really comes to life during spring when the cherry blossoms bloom.
Closest tube: Holland Park
Cherry Blossom trees in Hackney
New for 2022 were the cherry blossoms in Springfield Park and Daubeney Fields. The 101 Japanese cherry trees were were a gift from Japan who sent 6,500 cherry trees to the UK. The trees have been planted across the country in parks, gardens and schools.
In Springfield park, the cherry blossoms have been planted closed to the River Lea at the bottom of the park. In Daubeney Fields, the cherry trees can be found at the northern end of the park.
Closest transport: South Tottenham train followed by the 349 or 476 bus.
One of the best places to see cherry blossoms in London south of the river is Battersea Park, home to a picture-perfect avenue of beautiful cherry blossoms appropriately called Cherry Tree Avenue. Take a snap of the dusty pink blossoms with the Battersea Power Station in the background. Afterwards, head across the river to Chelsea Embankment where beautiful white blossoms provide the perfect frame for Albert Bridge.
Closest transport: Battersea Park overland station
Notting Hill is home to some of London’s prettiest (and most famous) streets year-round but during cherry blossom season the west London neighbourhood takes ‘beautiful’ to a whole new level.
Stanley Crescent is the star attraction during the spring months when the entire crescent is decorated in pale pink cherry blossom flowers. Don’t miss the purple house on Portobello Road either; the tree here is one of the first in the season to bloom.
Notting Hill is also famous for its wisteria, which follows shortly after the cherry blossoms. Head to Bedford Gardens for the best in bloom.
Closest tube: Notting Hill Gate