London is amazing regardless of the time of year (okay, we’re biased…) but there’s something extra special about the capital during the autumn months. The summer rush dies away – at least a little – as the kids go back to school.
Suddenly, the streets and attractions start to become a little more serene.
Partner that with the beautiful sights and sounds of some of the city’s most amazing green spaces (yes, there are a lot!) and you’ve got yourself a very dreamy holiday location.
London’s Royal Parks, in particular, are incredibly special and not to be missed on your next visit.
To help inspired and excite you for your next trip, we’ve compiled a list of 10 of the best things to see and do in autumn in the capital in these beautiful parks.
1. Walking Tour: Bat Walk
To some, this one may still be during summer, *technically*, but it seemed so autumnal and a little spooky, we had to include it. This tour takes roughly an hour and a half on Thursday 5th September at dusk, as the city’s bats are coming out to play! Follow your guide through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park as you search for a range of different weird and wonderful species of the ultimate creature of the night. And remember, bats are not the only creatures out at this time – listen out for the odd owl call, and keep your eyes peeled for a curious fox or two!
2. London Duathlon
Fancy getting super active during your stay? The Descente London Duathlon is the world’s biggest run-bike-run event, and it takes place on Sunday 8th September in the beautiful surroundings of Richmond Park. Participants can choose between tackling a half duathlon, standard duathlon, ultra duathlon or duathlon relay – how tough are you feeling?!
Taking part? Make sure you’ve got a relaxing, luxurious break booked at a fabulous hotel such as The Devonshire London.
3. Regent’s Park Allotment Open Day
One of the most wholesome days out in the autumnal London calendar, Regent’s Park Allotment Open Day on September 7th is your chance to experience apple pressing (and tasting, of course), grab some garden goodies to take home, and if you’re travelling with little ones in tow, they’ll even have the opportunity to embark on a garden hunt and ‘guess the weight’ of the allotment’s biggest vegetable in order to win a very special prize.
4. BBC Prom’s in the Park
Classical music lovers rejoice – the biggest night in the calendar takes place in Hyde Park on Saturday 14th September.
Marvel over the headliner – the legendary Barry Manilow, as he hosts a spectacular line-up including Chrissie Hynde, Jack Savoretti, Lighthouse Family, Gabrielle, Aida Garifullina, Rock Choir and more! Here you’ll be a stone’s throw away from some of the best accommodation near Paddington, too.
5. Swim Serpentine Hyde Park
Another one that’s perhaps not for the faint-hearted, but is extremely rewarding.
This year’s Swim Serpentine race will take place in Hyde Park on Saturday 21st September. First started and organised by the London Marathon Events team, this year’s event will centre in and around the beautiful Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park, which was the memorable venue for the open water swimming competition at the London Olympic Games back in 2012.
Fortunately, you won’t be far from The Devonshire London meaning you’ll be dry and warm in no time.
6. Walking Tour: Autumn Trees in Colour
If you do just one autumnal activity in London during this season, we’d highly recommend this one. During October, the autumnal beauty of Hyde Park is truly a sight to behold, thanks to the vibrant and rich, blazing colours from the mix of its native and exotic trees alike. Come and discover the trees changing into stunning shades of yellow, gold, brown, red and orange. Learn what makes trees transform in such a way by the walk’s guide and tree expert, Greg Packman.
7. GOSH Race for the Kids
Not to leave the little ones out of the fast-paced action, this is a great chance to switch off those pesky devices, get the whole family active and all for a great cause. Run, jog, wheel or walk the 5k family fun run and give seriously ill children at the city’s famous Great Ormond Street Hospital the chance of a better future. Don’t forget to register your little ones too, so they don’t miss out on their t-shirt at the finish line.
8. Nature Explorers: Wild Filmmakers
Give your 8-11-year-old a creative, outdoor experience they’ll remember for a lifetime. Drop them off at the LookOut in the heart of Hyde Park (just around the corner from The Devonshire London) on Tuesday 22nd October, for a full day of guided outdoor games and activities arranged by the experienced teaching team.
They’ll get the opportunity to make their very own mini wildlife documentary, following in the footsteps of the likes of David Attenborough, Steve Backshall and Chris Packham!
9. Community Bulb Planting
Give something back to the city you’ll soon love so much with this next event. You’ll have the opportunity to plant spring bulbs along the Central Avenue of Brompton Cemetery – a truly stunning (and perhaps a little spooky) environment that draws in countless tourists each year, thanks to the famous inhabitants who were buried there.
The list includes the likes of John Snow, Samuel Baker, Edward Wadsworth, and Geraldine Jewsbury. All ages are welcome at this event, and you can get your hands as dirty (or keep them as clean) as you like.
All equipment will be provided on the day.
10.Visit the Prime Meridian Line
This really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you must discover in London.
Stand on the historic Prime Meridian of the World at Royal Observatory Greenwich, the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Since the late 19th century, the Prime Meridian at Greenwich has split the eastern and western hemispheres of the earth – just as the equator divides both the northern and southern hemispheres.
Snap an iconic selfie on the historic Prime Meridian Line of the world and share on social media using the hashtag #PrimeMeridian, as you discover the remarkable story behind the reference line for GMT.
Ready to embrace autumn in London’s Royal Parks? Book your accommodation near Paddington now and we’ll see you once the leaves start to turn.