Best things to do in London this autumn
You might have noticed as you woke up this morning that the air felt sharp and crisp. Maybe you shivered into your duvet for a few extra minutes, and realised that the sun was also only just waking up, rather than pouring in through your window. At this point the word ‘autumn’ probably whispered through your mind and you tried to forget it quickly – after all, summer couldn’t have gone by that quickly, could it?
September is here and with it has come gold leaves, chilly breezes and a whole new season of excitement in London. Embrace autumn – it is a chance to start anew, alongside everyone heading back to school. The weather is still mild, so you can leave the house without a scarf and gloves for a while longer, and enjoy everything that is happening in the capital. We’ve picked out a few of our favourite ways to spend autumn in London so that you don’t have look too far for great recommendations:
Every autumn, London plays host to a festival that celebrates all that is chic in art and design right now. If you are interested in the current state of the design world (or simply appreciate a great chair when you see it), then grab yourself a ticket to some of the various talks and showcases that are on offer. London is one of the design capitals of the world, so use this an excuse to immerse yourself in another side of the city that you may not have explored enough thus far.
Is there such a thing as a student or graduate that doesn’t love cocktails? Unfortunately, the budget of a young professional might not always stretch to cover a dirty martini. Enter London cocktail week, and a digital pass designed to get Londoners drunk on creative £6 cocktails all over the city. If you love trying new things, and getting tipsy in the process, then you should dive in headfirst and enjoy a whole week drowned in spirits.
Kew Gardens is lovely in the summer, but it is one of those places that shouldn’t be visited just once. In October Kew Gardens throws an entire festival devoted to autumn and the beauty that it brings to the wildlife there. Fans of crunchy leaves and glossy conkers will enjoy the events in place for this flora hub. The green spaces in London are one of its most charming qualities, and it’s only when you leave the concrete jungle in the square mile that you can really appreciate the change of seasons.
There is something about the theatre that requires a dusting of frost outside. During the summer months, everyone is captivated by outdoor cinemas and pop-up events to make use of warm temperatures and long evenings. But, as autumn rolls in there is a case for dressing up and catching a cab to the theatre to sit in a red velvet chair and immerse yourself in culture. There is a huge range of performances happening continuously in London, and you don’t have to confine yourself to expensive West End productions either – check out smaller, independent theatres and discover a whole world of performing arts that you didn’t know existed.
Are you a Harry Potter fan? Of course you are – you grew up with those books. This October the British Library is celebrating 20 years since the first Harry Potter book was published with an extensive exhibition devoted to the franchise. The premise of the exhibition is how folklore and alchemy inspired JK Rowling and where it crops up in the background to the series. This will be a nice reminder of your days in academia now you are a graduate!
When the temperatures start to drop, everyone has a tendency to huddle up inside and wistfully flick through photos from their recent holiday in Greece. London is one of the greenest cities in the world, and you would be a fool to miss out on the moment it all turns gold. This is the ideal time of year to go for a brisk walk through the city because you won’t end up sticky with sweat – just rosy-cheeked! If you want some inspiration for walks, then check out this guide and get going.
If you have never been to one of London’s many markets, now is the time to go. If you are feeling a bit broke after your summer holidays, then markets are the best places to go to for a meandering browse, or to discover cheap gems. You could go for food at Borough Market, trinkets and clothing at Spitalfields, flowers at Columbia Road or a bit of everything at Portobello. Regardless of where you are based, you will be able to find a few stalls with interesting bits and bobs nearby on a weekend, guaranteed.
You were probably planning on watching them anyway, but consider this your (early) reminder. Along with Halloween, the 5th of November is one of the best things about autumn. Apart from New Year, when do you get to see fireworks? You could head to your local park for a free display, or DIY it in your garden, but you could also make the most of it by shelling out for tickets to a larger event. Dotted around London are huge displays (often complete with a bonfire) that you can bring your sparklers to for a great night.
Whatever way you decide to celebrate the change of seasons – make the most of it. Winter will be here before you know it, and once that happens you probably won’t want to leave the house until Spring.