Wander loneLy as a cloud (or with some pals) and revel in the joy that spring is finally here by spotting clumps of golden daffodils. The egg-yolk-hued blooms flower between March and April across the UK. London is one of the best places to catch them in all their sunny glory, and they’re probably going to come early this year. From showy, cultivated bulbs to the delicate wild variety, here are the best spots in the city to see those goldie-looking buds.
Henry VIII stole this glorious palace off his loyal Lord Chancellor and it’s easy to see why. Come spring, its Wilderness garden is packed with winter jasmine, forget-me-nots and pretty crowds of daffodils of every hue. Go when the pastel-pink blossom trees above the daffs are in bloom and you’ll see some colour that’ll set your head spinning more than the palace’s puzzle maze. Hampton Court rail. £19.20.
Swathes of daffodils raise their trumpets to the sky as soon as the days get longer in this corner of Golders Green. See the grassy plains looking like some kind of Teletubbyland as clumps of daffs scatter out across the park. Don’t miss a peek at the butterfly house, deer park and one of only two free zoos in London for the ultimate spring day out. Golders Green station. Free.
This royal park lives up to its name most of the year because it has no formal flower beds. Rumour has it the lack of blooms is down to King Charles II’s wife, who demanded they were removed after she caught him picking flowers for another woman. Spring is the only time you’ll see flora here, when the daffs burst up. Green Park station. Free.
You’ll find a deluge of daffodils in this former deer park once the days start getting longer. Grab a space between the thousands of golden blooms for a sunny sandwich break before spotting the park’s resident pelicans, which have lived here for 350 years after being gifted to King Charles II from Russia. Good job he didn’t send any of them to his mistress. St James’s Park station. Free.
Tucked away behind Old Street station, this nineteenth-century cemetery is the final resting place of historical figures like William Blake and Daniel Defoe. It’s also a nature conservation site, and in spring you’ll find clusters of snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils and hyacinths around the mossy gravestones. Who said graves had to be gloomy? Old St station. Free.
Images: © Royal Historic Palaces and © City of London Corporation
Daffodils are just the beginning. Here’s our guide on where to see even more spring flowers in London.