What’s on in March in London and the South West

What’s on in March in London and the South West

In this article, you'll learn the following:

It’s time to shake off the winter blues, as March marks the first month of spring. 

Spring is the season of new beginnings, and this one’s kicking off with big celebratory events including International Women’s Day, Mother’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day and Easter.

The days are getting longer and warmer, flowers are blooming, trees’ leaves are growing and animals are coming out of hibernation. Take a spring flower stroll, enjoy outdoor sporting events and much more across our network. 

Here’s your detailed guide to what’s on in March 2024 in London and the South West, including our top-pick spots, and how to get there and save on your fare. Don’t forget to check SWR Rewards before you book your tickets - you can save extra cash on food, hotel stays, theatre tickets and more.

Enjoy World Book Day with the kids

A child reading a book

7 March

World Book Day takes place each year on the first Thursday in March, this year falling on the 7th of the month. 

Make sure your kids grab a £1 book token from their school or nursery to spend on a book of their choice. Set your children’s imagination alight with this brilliant lineup of £1 books, or, get money off a different one. Check out our recommendations of classic books set in the South West (which includes children’s books) for more inspiration. 

Redeem your book tokens from the likes of supermarkets and independent bookshops in the South West like One Tree Books in Petersfield and Gulliver’s Bookshop in Wimbourne Minster. Find your nearest bookseller.

Your tokens will be valid from Thursday 15 February – Sunday 31 March 2024. 

Go to the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea

A collection of paintings

6-10 March 

Affordable Art Fair’s spring edition kicks off in Battersea Park on 6 March. Here, you’ll find art from over 100 leading galleries worldwide, special exhibitions celebrating International Women’s Day and interior trends. 

There’ll be  plenty of bars, cafe’s, food trucks and family activities to choose from. Weekend and weekday general admission tickets cost £14. Get your tickets

To get there, catch a South Western Railway train to Queenstown Road - the park’s a short walk away from there. 

Celebrate International Women’s Day in London

4 women with their arms around each other

8 March

Celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March in London. This year’s theme is Inspire Inclusion, aiming to create a more inclusive world for women regardless of age, race, faith, ability, identity or body image.

International Women’s Day is celebrated globally, but some of the biggest events are held in London including talks, concerts, walks and more. 

See our guide to how to celebrate International Women’s Day in London for all the details about what’s on and how to get to the events. 

Treat the mums in your life to a day out or break

A mother and her daughter

10 March

Sunday 10 March marks Mother’s Day - a time to honour mums and mother figures. We’ve got plenty of ideas for things to do across our network to make this Mother’s Day a special one.

Looking for a wonderful lunch or dinner spot? We’ve rounded up our top eating out guides, whether you’re looking for a fancy dinner or a casual bite to eat. 

You can save money on your food bill when you travel with South Western Railway. See our top food and drink deals with SWR Rewards - for example, 22% off afternoon tea in Bournemouth, and 20% off at Gordon Ramsey’s restaurants across the region. 

Heading to the theatre could also be a great shout. We’ve recently updated our guide to London’s must-see theatre performances which includes the likes of Wicked, Back to the Future and Mamma Mia!. You can grab a bargain when buying London theatre tickets thanks to the exclusive deals and prices brought to you through SWR Rewards.

How about treating mum to a memorable Mother’s Day getaway? From the picturesque countryside locations of Dorchester and the New Forest, to the bustling capital city of London and the coastal town of Bournemouth, see our top picks for where to go, places to stay, and what you can get up to while you’re away in this dedicated guide.

For more inspiration, check out our guide to making mum happy with these lovely London-based activities

Go on some spring flower walks

A flower in spring

Spring is one of the best seasons to capture stunning flower gardens, brimming with colour and life. 

Take a spring flower stroll at some of the best gardens in the South West, including Kew Gardens (get 22% off your tickets) and RHS Wisley.

Head to some of the best and cheapest wildflower gardens in the UK to enjoy their beauty and get some spectacular Instagram-worthy shots. These snowdrop gardens and cherry blossom spots in the South West are also worth a look in. 

Take part in (or watch) Dorking’s Wife Carrying Race event

A husband carrying his wife through a field

17 March

One for the quirky bucket list, head to the annual UK Wife Carrying Championships by Trionium in Dorking. Wife carrying is said to have originated over 12 centuries ago and was reintroduced into the UK by the UK Wife Carrying Race in 2008.

Considered one of the toughest short races in the UK, watch runners fight their way across around 400 metres of Dorking countryside while being drenched with water by spectators. 

If you want to take part, you don’t need to show a marriage certificate to qualify, but you do need to be over 18 and ‘wives’ need to wear a helmet. Find out more and enter the race

Make the most of your day in Dorking - explore Denbies Wine Estate or head to the Surrey Hills and explore Box Hill.

From London Waterloo, you can get to Dorking Main or Dorking Deepdene Station in under an hour. 

For more quirky activity inspiration, check this guide

Celebrate St Patrick’s Day

Friends celebrating St Patrick's Day at a pub

17 March

Celebrated globally, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most fun-filled days in the annual calendar, when celebrators enjoy Irish traditions including eating Irish stew, dancing to live music and more. The religious holiday - celebrated annually on 17 March - is a tribute to the death of St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. 

London’s a key hub for celebrations with plenty going on for you to choose from. To help you decide what to do, we’ve compiled a list of the best things to do on St Patrick’s Day, featuring food, festivals, Irish pubs and more.

There are also great events up and down the region on St Patrick’s weekend. In Bournemouth, you can enjoy live music at Key West on Bournemouth Pier on 16 March. In Southampton, on Sunday (17 March) the Woolston & District Trades & Labour Club will be hosting a St Patrick’s Day event with traditional Irish food, drinks and entertainment including a live band.

Head to London Waterloo by train to start your Paddy’s Day adventure. 

Go to the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race

A boat race

30 March

One of the world’s oldest and most famous amateur sporting events, the annual Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race has been going strong for nearly 200 years. 

If you’re looking for fun, free things to do in London, this one should definitely be on your itinerary. Watch men’s and women’s teams from Oxford and Cambridge University compete for the winner’s title at the river’s edge. The Boat Race runs between Putney and Mortlake making it easy to get to by train.

Do some Easter weekend activities 

A child doing an Easter egg hunt

31 March

There’s lots to do in London and the South West over the Easter weekend. Try some budget-friendly activities in London like joining an Easter weekend service at one of London’s churches or cathedrals. You can also take a look at our 48 hours in London guide to learn about the city's best galleries, museums and landmarks.

If you’re looking into options for a spring staycation, check out our Family Easter Breaks guide. Don’t forget to check SWR Rewards to get money off hotels around the region.  

Easter activities for the kids

Looking for fun things to do with the little ones? We’ve got you covered. 

Take the kids to an Easter egg hunt. Here are our top picks:

For a fun-filled day out head to the South West’s best kid-friendly attractions. 

Visit Hampshire where you’ll find a whole host of things to do including a must-see family attraction - Paultons Park near Southampton. There’s loads more to do - you could also visit Kew Gardens, SEA LIFE centre in London (get 10% off with SWR Rewards), and LEGOLAND® (get 10% off with SWR Rewards). 

Plan your travel with South Western Railway

Now you’ve filled your March calendar, it’s time to plan your travel. Find cheap train tickets by travelling off-peak and enjoy further discounts with a Railcard. If you’re travelling in a group, you could benefit from GroupSave.

We’ll catch you next month with ideas for what to do across our network in April.


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