If you’ve visited London before, you’ll know that it’s an amazing city full of fabulous attractions. If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting London, then this post is also for you! It’s always a great time to visit – the Great British Summer is a joy, to be fair. But there’s really something special for me about London during the Autumn season. London in Fall really is something special. So if you’re looking to visit during the Autumn days I personally recommend late October!
It’s no secret that I love London, I concluded after a number of visits to the capital when I used to live in Cambridge that it’s officially impossible to get bored in London – money allowing, of course! There are so many great things to see and do in London, I think it’s the perfect place, so in this post we will share with you some things you must do whilst in London in Fall as well as some alternative things to do in London in Autumn and beat the summer crowds.
Visit the Palaces
You can’t go to London, especially if you’re coming from afar, and not visit the palaces for the first time. There’s guided tours of Buckingham Palace, but you don’t have to deal with the crowds if you don’t want to. Although, I must admit, I will gladly put up with the crowds to be able to have a snoop around the palace. Either way, you can pop down to Buckingham Palace and take on the grandiosity of this important landmark from the outside and enjoy it as well.
Buckingham Palace is wonderful to lay your eyes on, but my favourite palace in London is Kensington Palace. There is something special about being on the grounds that just makes the entire experience so unique, peaceful, and beautiful, particularly in the Autumn months.
Visit the Royal Parks
There’s nothing as beautiful to me in London in Fall as visiting the best parks and seeing the beauty of the Autumn leaves in London whilst stepping on crunchy leaves. London boasts of 8 Royal Parks that are some of the most famous parks that come to mind when thinking of green space in London;
- Kensington Gardens
- Hyde Park
- The Green Park
- Greenwich Park
- Bushy Park
- St James’s Park
- Richmond Park
- Victoria Tower Gardens
- Brompton Cemetery
- The Regent’s Park & Primrose Hill
These parks are some of the most beautiful landmarks in the city and they help create the outdoor space that is so unique to a city the size of London. There are plenty of places where you can see the golden hues of the leaves during one of the best seasons in London. Late September usually marks the beginning of fall and offers some of the best views of the city parks. Although you can easily enjoy the Autumn colours of the leaves straight through to the end of October.
Go see the Houses of Parliament
You may not be able to see them from the inside, but taking in this iconic sight is truly a once in a lifetime experience. Taking a photo outside the Houses of Parliament and of Big Ben is something that should be a part of your London experience. You will appreciate the building and a bit more of the history behind it if you brush up on your history, too.
Guy Fawkes night commemorates the gunpowder plot. The gunpowder plot is something that is synonymous with the Houses of Parliament. This plot to blow up parliament was devised in 1605 by Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators. All English Catholics who were hoping to assassinate King James I, his Queen, and eldest son, and bring England back from Protestant rule to Catholic rule. The plot failed thanks to an anonymous tip that warned of the imminent danger.
Westminster Abbey is right around the corner, so you’ll be able to take in more than one iconic sight without getting too far from the area.
Take a boat trip down the Thames
One of my favourite tourist experiences in London has been a boat trip down the Thames. Not only can you take a guided tour that teaches you more about the area, but you’ll also be able to use your trip as a sort of water taxi to head down to the Greenwich area. Of course, you can see Tower Bridge, get off at the Tower of London, another experience that I highly recommend. Just know that you will probably need to queue up for hours, yes, hours, to see The Crown Jewels.
Have some comfort food
There’s nothing like popping down to the pub to have some comfort food. If you are new to English cuisine and want to have lunch at one of the cozy pubs, then be prepared for so much delicious fare. This is a great way to try some traditional English food.
Once you’re there, what will you order?
You can’t go wrong with some pies – think savoury, not sweet, and sink your teeth into a chicken and mushroom pie, or a steak and kidney pie. They’re delicious! Shepherd’s pie is also a must try, though it’s not a traditional pie in the sense of being in a pastry crust – still delicious though. The pies are usually served with chips or mashed potatoes, veg, and gravy – yum!
Gammon steaks, prawn scampi, jacket potatoes, chicken tikka masala, bangers and mash; the list goes on and on! Of course, you can’t forget fish and chips, but in my opinion, skip those at the pub and go straight to the chippy, it will be worth it.
My favourite are roast dinners of course! Nothing like popping down on a Sunday to have a roast dinner or roast lunch, preferably at a carvery. Here you’ll get to choose from your favourite roast meat; beef, gammon, turkey, and whatever else may be available, usually unlimited veg and potatoes – it’s a real treat.
Remember that when you go to a pub in the UK you must choose a table, read the table number, go to the bar to place your order giving said table number, pay, and sit to wait for your meal. It’s a simple process, but one that is unique to many.
Alternative things to do in London in Fall
If, like me, your not too big a fan of queuing up to see things and walking mini-steps to try to get out of crowded underground stations or along busy streets, then you’ll definitely be interested in hearing about some alternative things to do in London this Autumn.
That’s (Free) Entertainment!
Pop on down to the South Bank in central London and you’ll not only get great views of the River Thames but you’ll be in More London. The development is part of an area known as London Bridge City and it offers shops and many cafes and restaurants. Take a stroll, have a meal, enjoy the sites. But if you’re looking for some free entertainment, then stick around and pop on over to the area known as The Scoop.
The Scoop is a sunken amphitheatre that provides a range of free entertainment including films, music, and theatre. The venue has now been putting on shows for ten years and hosts wonderful modern entertainment. It has a capacity of 800 spectators. It’s located on the South Bank between London Bridge and Tower Bridge and is easily accessible from Tower Hill or London Bridge tube stations.
No Pain, No Gain
If, like me, you’re into medical TV shows and the like, then you’ll love this place. There’s an old wooden operating table on show and you’ll learn about how people in London were operated on even before anesthesia was invented! The theatre is in the garret of St Thomas’s Church roof, quite close to London Bridge tube station. It was also used to store herbs and opium. It’s right up there with the best things to do in London in terms of alternative experiences and I highly recommend a visit.
Sure, you can visit anytime, but London in Fall/Autumn really is one of the best places you can be on earth in my opinion.
A Bit of Blues?
No, I’m not talking about Chelsea Football Club (although going to a football match is one of my favourite things to do in London). This place is London’s original blues bar and has live music 7 nights a week, with free admission. It’s in Soho and the closest tube station is Oxford Circus.
Even if blues music isn’t really your thing, I can assure you you’ll have a good time. The atmosphere is intense yet liberating and the drinks menu is definitely worth exploring.
It’s a great place to meet up with friends, make new ones, or just take in something alternative during the fall season.
Laugh Out Loud
As a lifelong Anglophile, I’ve been drawn to British humour since childhood. And since I moved to the UK, watching live comedy has become a must-do for me. London obviously has a big comedy circuit and if you want some great belly-laughs, you have to visit The Comedy Store just off Leicester Square (closest tube station is Piccadilly Circus). Even one of my favourite US comedians, Rich Hall, performs there. Although for me you can’t beat Romesh – just saying (sorry, Rich)!
So there you have it! You can’t go wrong with these great things to do in London this Autumn. Add yours to the list in the comments below.