There's always plenty to do at Easter in London so I've put together this list of the best for 2013. The Bank Holiday weekend for Easter 2014 is Friday 18 April to Monday 21 April but activities often take place over two weeks.
Easter is a Christian festival which gives the UK two bank holidays: Good Friday and Easter Monday. UK schoolchildren get two weeks off school so expect the major London attractions to be busier. Most people celebrate Easter by eating far too many chocolate Easter eggs but here are some other ways to enjoy this springtime holiday.
Easter is technically a religious event, although it may be hard to see that these days. You could attend an Easter Service at one of the landmark places of worship such as Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral, or St Martin-in-the-Fields Church in Trafalgar Square which usually has live choral and orchestral music during holy week.
What do we want? Chocolate! When do we want it? Now! OK, you can't get away from the chocolate Easter eggs every year. Hotel Chocolat produces Extra Thick Chocolate Easter Eggs which are simply yummy. Check out the Easter Egg Sandwiches (Buy Direct) - what a fantastic idea! I've also got lots of tips on Where To Buy & Try Chocolate in London.
If you miss traditional sweeties go to Hope and Greenwood in Covent Garden for all your old favorites.
Master Chocolatier, Paul A Young has created an exclusive chocolate inspired Afternoon Tea for Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel. It launches on 14 April 2014 and is available for two months only.
it's worth visiting just to try the warm scones with Devonshire clotted cream and Paul A Young’s award winning Sea Salted Caramel spread. It is truly amazing!
The Paul A Young Chocolate Inspired Afternoon Tea costs £39.50 per person (or £49.50 including a glass of Champagne) and is available from 1pm to 6pm in The Park Room at Grosvenor House. For reservations call +44 (0) 20 7399 8452 or visit www.parkroom.co.uk.
Zippos spend Easter on Blackheath each year, and there's often a fun fair on site too. For 2014, Zippos Circus presents Unchained with new acts from around the world including aerial acts, contortion, juggling, clowning and feats of unimaginable strength and skill.
Also, back by popular demand is one of the stars of Zippos’ 2013 show, the astonishing strongman Hercules. And, as ever, the show is presented by the one and only Norman Barrett MBE accompanied by his world famous budgies – seriously, I love that part of the show!
Follow the trail to find the chicks and egg hidden in the Bank of England Museum. You can then create and decorate your own basket to take home. There's a chocolate egg for every child and prizes to be won.
Dates: 7-11 & 14-17 April
Arrival of George I
The Easter festivities at Hampton Court Palace start with the arrival of the German king George I in 1714. He'll arrive with full ceremony by royal barge to the Palace, to be met by a throng of English courtiers with a special gift of twelve white Hanoverian horses.
The new 'Glorious Georges' exhibition opens on 17 April and is included in the standard admission.
Bunnies on the Run at the London Eye
Family favourite Edwin the Easter bunny is back in his burrow at the London Eye this Easter with ‘Bunnies on the Run’. From Saturday 5th to Monday 21st April children can help Edwin find his bunny pals who have gone on strike and taken all of the Easter eggs with them!
Adults can indulge in a Hotel Chocolat Tasting Experience or an Afternoon Tea Experience with an Easter twist.
Tickets for the London Eye and London Eye River Cruise will be available as usual, with savings to be made on combination tickets. Visit www.londoneye.com
Hot Cross Bun Ceremony
The Widow's Son pub in Bromley-by-Bow in east London has a bizarre Easter Bun ceremony on Good Friday. Every year a sailor adds a hot cross bun to the collection in honor of a widow who baked a bun for her only son who died at sea. You might like to try this Bow walking tour while in the area.The Widow's Son, 75 Devons Road, Bow Common, London E3 3PJ Tel: 020 7515 9072
Win The Favour of Queen Caroline: Easter Egg Hunt
Take part in an Easter egg hunt at Kensington Palace with a trail through the gardens and inside the palace. Become a code breaker and you'll win a chocolate prize.
Remember, kids go free to Kensington Palace.