The autumnal months which follow summer are sometimes viewed with a sceptical eye, as the days grow shorter and London starts to get a little chillier. With winter still a long way away, but summer days firmly in the rear view mirror, there’s no need to despair!
London is a city for all seasons, so there’s plenty happening in autumn to keep you entertained on your visit to the capital.
Whether you’re looking for an outdoor event, great shopping or something wholly unique, the following suggestions will help you make the most of your trip this fall…
Visit a local park
One thing London has in abundance, is stunning public parks. While a walk in winter might not be that appealing, autumn is the perfect time to enjoy these beautiful outdoor spaces without baking in the summer heat or being crushed by crowds.
There are plenty to choose from, including the appealing surroundings of the Royal Parks. Some of our favourites within easy reach of the Grand Park Hotel Paddington include the sprawling Hyde Park, home to some of the city’s most prominent music and cultural events throughout the year.
You can also head for Kensington Gardens, which is connected to Kensington Palace and features a range of manicured gardens perfect for seeing the seasons change. Richmond Park meanwhile promises lots of incredible wildlife, including the park’s resident deer.
Be sure to bring plenty of layers, including fall essentials such as a scarf, a reliable coat and sturdy walking shoes!
Head for a London restaurant
One of the best things about dining at the Park Grand Restaurant is that it doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside – you can always be sure of a warm welcome, delicious dishes and great surroundings.
If you’re a guest at the hotel, you’re also only a short distance from true fine dining, without the need to brave the elements beforehand. In addition, autumn is a fantastic time to sample delicious cuisine in the capital thanks to the annual London Restaurant Festival, which celebrates some of the top dining spots in the city.
There are over 70 foodie events throughout October, so if you’ve always wanted to sample the best restaurants in the city, this is a great time to indulge!
Explore the world of Harry Potter
Whether you’re travelling with younger visitors or simply an avid Potter fan yourself, a trip to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London is the ideal way to really immerse yourself in this world of magic and wizardry.
The venue includes a huge number of props, sets, costumes and information on the world-famous book and movie series, and will help you discover more about how the films were made using the latest and greatest special effects.
Thanks to taking place entirely indoors, this is a wonderful all-weather activity to enjoy while you’re visiting London.
See a fireworks display
Bonfire night sees various locations throughout the UK mark the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 with elaborate firework displays and bonfires. This event saw Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators attempt to blow up Westminster Palace (the Houses of Parliament), in an effort to assassinate King James I.
You’ll see plenty of Guy Fawkes effigies dotted around the place, but the main draw is likely to be London’s impressive fireworks! The major venues for getting a great view include Battersea Park, Alexandra Palace and Southwark Park, all easily accessible from your base at the Grand Park Hotel Paddington.
Visit Africa on the Square
Taking place in Trafalgar Square, Africa on the Square celebrates Black History Month with a wide variety of different events and enjoyable activities for all. There’ll be a bustling market, traditional music and dance from across the continent and authentic food to try.
For kids, there’s a talent show as well as face-painting experiences and workshops in everything from mosaic-making to batik clothing dyes, perfect for indulging creative children while learning something new.
Experience the spooky side of London
Rich with history, London includes a wide variety of spooky spots which are best seen during the autumn and winter months. These spaces range from houses to theatres and even haunted pubs, each with their own stories to tell.
Some of our favourites include Highgate Cemetery, the traditional Theatre Royal situated on Drury Lane (reported to be haunted by former stars of the stage and screen), and Sutton House and Breaker’s Yard, which houses a notoriously spooky former boarding school.
There are plenty of tours to join if you’d prefer to discover London’s creepy districts and locations with an expert.
Have a night at the museum
London is home to some of the greatest museums in the world, and during October, ‘Museums at Night’ ensures you can see them in a whole new light.
Events under this umbrella are designed to help visitors experience some of the top museums in the city in different ways, including Halloween-style tours, workshops and film screenings, all taking place long after the museums have normally closed their doors for the day.
While some of the museums taking part are free, special events sometimes charge a fee to take part.
Head for the London stage
Another aspect of London life which does not depend on the summer weather, is the London stage. In particular, the West End has a well-earned reputation for greatness, attracting top talent from around the world to write, direct and star in both new and long-running dramas, comedies and musicals.
There’s a wide variety of shows and venues to choose from in this district, so you’re sure to find something you’ll love, including everything from child-friendly entertainment to more dramatic fare for grown-ups.
We recommend booking in advance where possible, but if you’re feeling more spontaneous you can always simply take a trip to the box office at your venue of choice, and enjoy an autumnal evening of world-class entertainment.