Show the mother figure in your life just how much you care and treat her to a day out in the capital for Mother’s Day 2022. There’s still time to plan and book some of our top picks in time for Sunday 27 March…
For the first-time visitor
If this is your first time in London, spend the day visiting some of the city’s icons. Begin the day with a leisurely wander around one of the many museums and galleries. To broaden your knowledge about London, the UK and beyond, The British Museum, the Museum of London and any of the Imperial War Museum collection are great places to start. Fashionistas will love Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear (to 6 Nov) at the V&A Museum, while those looking for a more interactive experience (or perhaps those with children in tow) should head to the Science Museum. Alternatively, marvel at some of the world’s greatest masterpieces at the National Gallery or Tate Britain, or find something a little more contemporary at Saatchi Gallery, Tate Modern or the Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition.
Once you’ve got your culture hit, see the sights from the very best vantage points. The View from The Shard is atop western Europe’s tallest building. Take is skyline views across the capital and try one of the many restaurants or bars here too. You can also combine your visit to The Shard with a sightseeing river cruise – take a look at The View from The River. Another nearby icon is the lastminute.com London Eye which has stood on the South Bank since 2000. Drawing in millions of visitors each year, it’s a true classic and must-see for any first-time visitor to London. Some of the sights you’ll see include the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral, which are all worth a visit too.
For an epic sightseeing experience that the whole family will remember, check out some of the many tour operators working across the capital. Golden Tours will host a special Mother’s Day afternoon tea tour (27 Mar), complete with a live singer. Sit on the upper deck and sample the full afternoon tea menu against a backdrop of London’s most glorious sights. They offer a whole range of other tours across London, Windsor and beyond too – find more here. You can also enjoy a meal with a view aboard Bustronome. Tuck into a four-course tasting menu of British classics with a French twist, plus wine pairing if you choose. (Departs 12.15pm & 7.15pm).
For the star of the show
There’s not much that can beat an evening in the West End. Nearing the end of its run at the Dominion Theatre, You’ll have the time of your life at Dirty Dancing (to 16 Apr). Let loose to 35 hit songs as you watch Baby and Johnny come together for a summer of romance. Meanwhile, & Juliet is the poptastic musical that’ll have you dancing in the aisles, or there’s Tina – The Tina Turner Musical(starring Beverley Knight) and The Lion King for vibrant, dazzling performances.
Fans of Mamma Mia! have plenty of options. Treat mum to a night seeing the smash-hit Mamma Mia! The Musical, complete with its ABBA soundtrack, at the Novello Theatre. Or for an even more outrageously fun experience, Mamma Mia! The Party is an immersive dining experience that’s not to be missed. Enter Nikos Taverna on the beautiful Greek island of Skopelos (set inside The O2) and watch as a love story unfolds around you. Enjoy a four-course meal as costumed actors perform around you. Once the sun has set, desserts have been served and the drinks are flowing, the town square becomes a fabulous disco. Expect a glittering finale, packed with all the classics and a chance to party your way into the night.
For the fan of period dramas
As season 2 of Bridgerton hits our screens, why not treat mum to a day worthy of a Duchess? A classic afternoon tea will feature crustless sandwiches filled with smoked salmon and cucumber, scones, bite-size patisseries and loose-leaf tea, but it has evolved much further nowadays. The Lane reopened last year as a new food and entertainment hub in Theatreland. Sit beneath the dazzling chandeliers and ornate ceilings. Tuck into the feast, created by Lily Vanilli and served on fine bone china featuring mythical creatures. Savoury bites include madeleines topped with lapsang-souchong glazed salmon and pickled fennel. Warm scones are served with salted whipped butter, cream and homemade jam. Alternatively, the Royal Albert Hall serves a slice of musically-inspired tea, while the Crystal Moon Lounge at Corinthia offers a range of menus including caviar afternoon tea. London’s hotels are often the place to find a truly gorgeous afternoon tea: Claridges, Brown’s Hotel and The Langham, for example, all serve stellar menus.
Once you’re sufficiently re-energised, embark on a sightseeing tour with a difference. Follow in the footsteps of the Featheringtons and have your picture taken at film and TV locations around the city. With Anderson Tours, you’ll visit the southwest city of Bath. Its exemplary Georgian architecture draws in crowds and was used as the setting throughout Bridgerton. Then, it’s back on board back to London.
Stay in London and tour the Old Royal Naval College grounds with Golden Tours’s Film and TV Location Tour. From a starring role as Buckingham Palace in The Crown to 19th Century revolutionary Paris in Les Misérables, the Old Royal Naval College has provided the setting for some of the most memorable scenes in major international film and TV productions. Walk through more than 60 years of filming on this guided tour.
For the adventurer
We know that not all mums want to go shopping or spend the day relaxing. If the mother figure in your life is more of a thrill-seeker, travel to East London and tackle the world’s longest and tallest tunnel slide at ArcelorMittal Orbit. Head to the top of the UK’s tallest sculpture and take in the views before daring to ride the slide back down.
Spanning 26 miles and 10,000 acres, Lee Valley Park is not only a beautiful green space to explore as a family, but also home to world-class sports venues. Explore via the numerous cycle routes, or have a go at the Lee Valley VeloPark in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Or you can take to the fairways at the golf course where a FootGolf course is also available. Elsewhere in the Olympic Park, you can saddle up for a horse-riding lesson at the Riding Centre, play tennis or choose from water sports including white water rafting and sailing.
Alternatively, spend a day exploring the leafy surroundings at Alexandra Palace. Test your head for heights on a tree-top adventure at Go Ape or learn to skate at the ice rink – it’s open all year. You could soak up some high-energy excitement at an ice hockey match too. Elsewhere in the surrounding 196-acre parkland, there’s a pitch and putt course, and a boating lake with pedalos and rowing boats for hire. The amazing view of the capital from the top of the park is worth the trip alone.
Test your courage and fitness across at Clip ’n Climb Chelsea. Brave a vertical drop slide and scale the skyscraper wall, Spider-Man-style. Alternatively, you can grab a coffee in the café and watch the action from the new double-decker Party Bus.
For the one that needs R+R
However, we know that some really do want to sit back, relax and enjoy some well-deserved ‘me time’. Treat mum to a spa day this year; there are plenty in and around London. For the ultimate experience, go to AIRE Ancient Baths London, set just behind Charing Cross Station. AIRE experiences are world-renowned and take place in lovingly restored historical buildings, making for a truly unique relaxation experience. The new London spa is no different. Just moments away from some of London’s greatest landmarks, it’s perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle. Choose from a selection of exceptional experiences, including massages, a Himalayan salt body scrub and thermal baths.
Bankside, Agua Spa is based at Sea Containers and is the perfect riverside retreat. Spirituality, wellbeing and the mind-body connection are integrated into all treatments and programs. It is the definitive urban spa. In west London, near Hyde Park, Bulgari Hotel London is a tranquil haven, moments away from Harrods and Harvey Nichols. Regarded by many as the crown jewel of the hotel, the award-winning Bulgari Spa is one of the largest and most exclusive in London and is equipped with everything you could possibly want or need. Plunge into the 25-metre swimming pool, lined with shimmering green and gold mosaic. Or, in case you were in any doubt of the luxury, there’s also a vitality pool covered with gold leaf tiles. At the treatment rooms and select from the most advanced beauty, grooming and health-enhancing treatments. Perhaps a celestial black diamond facial with radio frequency, or cryotherapy massage?
Out of town, in the picturesque Buckinghamshire countryside at the historic Horwood House Hotel, the new H Spa is the perfect place for some well-deserved rest and recuperation. Facilities include a 15-metre heated swimming pool with poolside heated beds, steam room, thermal suite, and six deluxe treatment rooms. H Spa offers a variety of day and overnight packages, so you’ll find the perfect gift for mum.
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