If you’re looking for an, ahem, egg-stravaganza this Easter, head to Eltham Palace in Greenwich, where one of London’s best egg hunts will be taking place in the grounds of this Art Deco jewel (4-5 April). Another great activity for the holidays is Treetop Towers, Kew Gardens’ new outdoor play area for youngsters. Opening this month, it’s a jungle of ladders, giant swings, zip wires and scramble nets. And after all that exercise, why not head to chocolatier William Curley’s new shop for a masterclass? Learn about the origins of the world’s favourite bean and roll your own truffles.
The dark side
Prepare to see London in a different light. Photographer Stuart Redler, who is more used to working in far-flung places like Timbuktu, has focused his lens closer to home. His mesmerising black and white images of South Kensington, Regent Street and St Brides make the city’s iconic landmarks look surreal and positively exotic. London at Night can be seen at Gotham during 1 April-8 May. stuartredler.com
See drama at its best as Toby Stephens stars in Sir Tom Stoppard’s award-winning modern classic The Real Thing at the Old Vic. Deeply moving, this razor-sharp play examines the complex nature of love, art and reality. Opens 21 April. oldvictheatre.com
A fine flutter
As the Natural History Museum gets set for its Butterfly Explorer exhibition, Geoff Martin, the lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) expert reveals his top spotting sites:
Tower Hamlets Cemetery was closed to burials in 1966 and has since become a magnificent urban wilderness. You’re likely to see the Green-veined White and, if you’re lucky, the glamorously named Painted Lady.
Hampstead Heath is rich in flora and fauna but to guarantee a sighting of the rarer species, pay a visit to the Butterfly House.
The Nunhead Cemetery is London’s most attractive Victorian graveyard and an ideal place to find the Speckled Wood. Wimbledon Common in southwest London is home to 24 species, including the elusive White-letter Hairstreak, which flits in the treetops appearing as a dark speck against the sky, and the stunning Purple Hairstreak.
Epping Forest is the largest public space in London, at 6,000 acres, and more than 20 species of butterfly thrive here including the Dingy Skipper.
The Natural History Museum wildlife garden, which opens this month, is a haven for butterflies. Look out for the pipistrelle bats that have made it their home.