Three new lambs lounging at Stepney City Farm. Credit: Alan Stepney
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Things to do in Tower Hamlets this spring that will lift the heart

From petting the newborn lambs at Stepney City Farm to foraging for wild food in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, make the most of the East End’s abundance of natural beauty this spring. 

After months of short days and inclement weather, springtime is officially upon us. Finally, we can look forward to warmer temperatures and more hours of much-needed daylight.

When the clocks go forward at the end of March, the sun won’t set until past 7:30 pm, opening up our evenings for more activities in the great outdoors.

For nature, this time of year heralds a burst of colour, from our flouncy pink cherry trees to crowds of daffodils, crocuses and tulips. You might also notice some new furry and not-so-furry friends coming out of winter hibernation, as many of our parks are home to frogs and bats.

For our different faith communities in Tower Hamlets, this is also a time of spiritual importance. Easter might be the most well-known celebration around spring, but April is also a significant month for several religious groups in the East End.

Sikhs will gather together for Vaisakhi, an ancient harvest festival signalling the beginning of a new year, on April 13. Meanwhile, the Jewish holiday of Passover, commemorating the exodus of Jews from slavery in Egypt, will commence before sundown on 22 April, and finish after nightfall on April 30.

And this year, Ramadan will draw to a close on April 9 and will be followed by Eid al Fitr, ending a month of fasting for Muslims.

Even if you don’t have a particular faith, spring is a time for personal reflection and goal-setting. We might be wise to take a leaf out of nature’s book, as countless species of plants renew themselves and bloom into a new era of life, right before our eyes.

Get the most out of this life-affirming season with our roundup of the best spring activities to do in Tower Hamlets.

Cherry tree from Cranbrook Community Food Garden starting to blossom
A cherry tree blossoming in Cranbrook Community Food Garden. Credit: Lizzy Mace

Newborn lambs at Stepney City Farm

Sheep and two lambs in the hay at Stepney City Farm in Tower Hamlets
Stepney City Farm welcomed five new lambs this spring. Credit: Alan Stepney

Run, don’t walk, to Stepney City Farm, to catch the new-born lambs in all their pure and innocent glory. There’s something wildly beautiful about witnessing a creature experience the world for the first time, and these stumbling lambs are the epitome of hopeful life. This year, Stepney City Farm has welcomed five new arrivals – three rams and two ewes – to their flock of rare breed Manx Loaghtan Sheep. The first wide-eyed babies were born in mid-February, and the farm welcomed the last of its new furry residents at the beginning of March. Visit Stepneycityfarm.org for more information. 

Find the farm at Stepney Way, Stepney Green, London E1 3DG

Wandering and foraging in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park

Purple spring flowers in front of some headstones in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park
Spring has arrived in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. Credit: Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park

Tucked behind Mile End tube station, you’ll find a peaceful sanctuary of vibrant wildlife in our very own Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. Take a slow, Sunday morning stroll through the cemetery’s historic, winding paths, and immerse yourself in the spring foliage.

The atmospheric woodland of pastel wildflowers and aromatic herbs is a forager’s paradise, but the cemetery’s grounds are far from a free-for-all. Before you pluck any cow parsley, wild garlic or snatch from the juniper tree, make sure to email or call the cemetery for permission. This way, the park can make sure certain rare plants aren’t over-foraged, damaging the biodiversity of the forest. Visit Fothcp.org for more information. 

Visit the cemetery park at Southern Grove, London E3 4PX

Springtime bakes 

Four hot cross buns and butter on a chopping board from E5 Bakehouse in Hackney
Freshly baked hot cross buns from E5 Bakehouse

What says Easter more than a freshly baked, golden hot cross bun? Tower Hamlets is full of quaint cafes serving up homemade sweet treats and warming beverages, from The Coffee Room in Mile End to Loafing and The Breadery on the Roman. This Easter, we recommend pottering over to Poplar E5 Bakehouse next to Bartlett Park to sample one of their expertly-baked, sticky hot cross buns. But be sure to arrive at the bakehouse before noon, as the buns don’t hang about for long.

Pop into Poplar E5 Bakehouse at 8a Cotall St, London E14 6TL

Columbia Road Flower Market

A bustling Columbia Road Flower Market with several colourful plants and customers
Columbia Road Flower Market is open every Sunday. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

For those without a garden, purchasing some spring bulbs for your window sill is an easy way to bring spring into your home. From pink peonies and sunny forsythias to a striking bunch of fragrant hyacinths, you’ll find everything you need at Columbia Road Flower Market – one of the oldest flower markets in London. Open every Sunday, get there at 7am to feel you have the place to yourself or swing by at 3pm as stalls are packing up to get discounts on unsold bunches. Whether you’re searching for dried flowers, succulents, cacti or house plants, the market is a bountiful, botanical paradise, bursting with stunning colours and uplifting community spirit.

Visit the flower market at Columbia Rd, London E2 7RG

Chocolate making workshop 

Chocolate making workshop with strawberries, decorations and truffles at MyChocolate at Waterson Street in Shoreditch
A decadent and indulgent chocolate-making workshop at MyChocolate in Shoreditch. Credit: MyChocolate

Everyone loves indulging in some chocolate at Easter, but wouldn’t you like to make your own? The expert chocolatiers over at MyChocolate on Waterson Street in Shoreditch are offering – you guessed it – chocolate-making workshops for those with a sweet tooth who are eager to master the culinary art themselves. Sign up for a workshop and transport yourself into an indulgent, theatrical world of truffles, fresh cream ganache, tasting and inventive chocolate shapes. Visit Mychocolate.co.uk for more information.

Find MyChocolate at 22 Waterson St, London E2 8HL

Dog-friendly Easter egg hunt in Victoria Park 

Pink blossom on a tree in Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets
The pink spring blossom has bloomed in Victoria Park. Credit: Aneeta Patel

Victoria Park is beautiful in every season, but our local sanctuary of diverse wildlife is definitely at its peak in spring. You can already spot the flourishes of pink and white blossom covering countless trees, adding colour to their aged branches. If you happen to be about in the park this Sunday, the passionate dog lovers and groomers over at DogBliss on the Roman Road are hosting their first-ever Easter egg hunt, raising money for the Hungarian dog shelter, Kóborka. If you want to take part, bring your four-legged companion to the park and begin the search for an array of colourfully decorated eggs, especially scented to appeal to your canines. Each Easter egg will contain a token that can be exchanged at DogBliss for a dog-friendly prize. Visit Dogblisstheshop.co.uk for more information.

Claim your prize at DogBliss on 379 Roman Rd, Bow, London E3 5QR

If you enjoyed this, read our article about the best vegan cafes around the Roman Road

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