Our guide to the best events, festivals, workshops, exhibitions and things to do throughout March 2024 in London

Say hello to March. Finally, the days are getting lighter and spring is here brightening up London with colourful flowers and plenty of opportunities for sunny park walks. The month also packs in a whole host of big events from St Paddy’s to Mother’s Day.

This means it’s time to finally come out of winter hibernation and set about exploring the city’s fantastic parks and gardens, world-class museums and galleries, and unbeatable restaurant offerings. Watch Oxford and Cambridge take each other on in the historic Boat Race; settle down and watch great LGBTQ+ cinema at BFI Flare and the UK’s biggest queer film event.

1. BFI Flare Film Festival 2024

BFI Flare Film Festival 2024
⭐ Things to do 🎡 Film events 📌 South Bank ⏰13 Mar – 24 Mar 2024

The UK’s largest queer film event, BFI Flare returns to the BFI Southbank (and to the BFI Player online) over ten days this March to showcase the best new LGBTQ+ cinema from around the world. Watch this space for full details of this year’s programme. 

2. St Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival

St Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival
⭐ Things to do 🎡 Festivals 📌 London ⏰ 17 Mar 2024

The Irish are experts when it comes to partying. They’re so good, in fact, they even have a special untranslatable term – the craic – to describe their unique brand of conviviality. With Trafalgar Square as the setting for London’s official bash in celebration of their patron saint, a blast is pretty much guaranteed. This year, the London extravaganza takes place on Sunday March 17 and is set to see more than 50,000 turning out for Irish food, dancing and a huge parade featuring pageantry, floats and music that will wend its way from Hyde Park Corner along Piccadilly, St James’s Street, Pall Mall, Cockspur Street and Whitehall.

3. Enzo Mari at the Design Museum

Enzo Mari at the Design Museum
🎡 Museums 📌 Kensington ⏰ 29 Mar – 8 Sept 2024

Italian artist and furniture designer Enzo Mari’s simple but ingenious creations have inspired generations of creative types. This retrospective at the Design Museum is a comprehensive showcase of his resonant and timeless projects. Debuting at the Triennale Milano in 2020, just days after the designer’s death, the exhibition spans his 60-year career, bringing together furniture, product design, children’s books and conceptual installations curated by influential art critic and Serpentine Galleries art director Hans-Ulrich Obrist, with Francesca Giacomelli.

4. Zheng Bo: ‘Bamboo as Method’

Zheng Bo: ‘Bamboo as Method’
⭐ Things to do 📌 Aldwych ⏰ Until 28 Apr 2024

Fancy eating your sad office sarnies in a cacoon of bamboo? Somerset House is turning its bombastic neoclassical courtyard into a garden full of the panda food which you can frolic about in for free to enjoy a quick picnic, a moment of calm in your busy work day, or an inevitable photo-op. The immersive installation is a new large-scale commission from Hong-Kong based artist Zheng Bo that ‘invites visitors to temporarily disconnect from their fast-paced, hyper-connected everyday lives by immersing themselves in the biosphere’.

5. The Boat Race

The Boat Race
⭐ Things to do 🛶 Sport events 📌 Putney ⏰30 Mar 2024

The famous and historic London rowing contest between the UK’s oldest two universities returns for its 169th edition on Saturday March 30, when crews from Oxford and Cambridge go head-to-head in eight-oared rowing boats across the Thames.

Beginning in 1829 for chaps and 1927 for ladies, the annual fixture now attracts around 250,000 spectators to south-west London every year. The four-and-a-quarter mile course runs along the Thames from Putney Bridge to Mortlake and takes around 16 to 18 minutes (Cambridge’s men hold the course record of 16 minutes 19 seconds, set in 1998).

Spectators can watch the BBC’s coverage of the race large screens at two riverside Fan Zones in Hammersmith and Fulham, where they’ll also find covered seating, street food vendors, bars and toilet facilities.

6. British Science Week at the Royal Observatory

British Science Week at the Royal Observatory
⭐ Things to do 🎡 Classes and workshops 📌 Greenwich ⏰ 8 Mar17 Mar 202

With 2024’s theme of ‘time’, this year’s British Science Week is promising a fascinating roster of workshops, events and behind-the-scenes adventures suitable for a range of ages. What better place to get stuck in than the home of Greenwich Mean Time, anyway? There’ll be an evening on ‘Astrophotography’ on International Women’s Day, showcasing the dazzling work of women in the industry. Astronomy & Islam, a planetarium show on how Arab navigators used stars to found thier way around the earth, will take place March 9. For more information on the brilliant events happening throughout March, have a look at the Observatory’s website.

7. Horniman Spring Fair

Horniman Spring Fair
⭐ Things to do 🎡 Quirky events 📌 Forest Hill ⏰30 Mar 2024

The Horniman Museum and Gardens’ Spring Fair is maybe the most efficient way to cram as much Easter fun into a single day as possible. The gardens will be taken over by a ridiculously busy programme, with everything from a Spring Time Disco (11.30 am – 1.30 pm) to an Easter Bonnet Parade (1 pm). But there’s plenty more: think circus skills, singalongs, fete games and seed planting, all fuelled by some cracking cuisine from the roster of food stalls. Maame T’s African inspired food, Lapecoraso Churros and Picks Organic Farm are just some of the kitchens that’ll be rustling up food – you better grab your ticket!

8. Kricket’s Fried Chicken Challenge

Kricket’s Fried Chicken Challenge
⭐ Things to do 📌 Brixton ⏰ 19 Mar 2024

Got a thing for finger lickin’ chicken? Some of London’s best spots in the fried thigh biz are going head to head to battle it out for the title of the best fried chicken in the city. Hosted by top notch Indian restaurant Kircket Brixton, chefs from the likes of Coqfighter, Smoking Goat, Thunderbird Fried Chicken, Chicken Shop, Kanada-Ya, Studio Kitchen, Soho Hotel, Daffodil Mulligan, Tonkotsu and Black Bear will be trying their luck with judges including Top Jaw’s Jesse Burgess, Professor Green and Zena Kamgaing deciding who cooks up the best dish. Will Rogers, of sister bar Soma, will be on hosting duties, while guests will be able to chomp on an abundance of Keralan Fried Chicken and drink two complimentary beers courtesy of Harbour Brewing Company for the price of the £20 ticket.