It’s autumn in London! This means shorter days, crisp mornings and crunchy leaves. Autumn is a great time to be in the British capital. Indeed there are numerous things to do in London in autumn! From Halloween to Bonfire night, various events and festivals, the Christmas markets, etc. You can also have a walk in the city and enjoy the beautiful colors of fall foliage. Thinking about going to London in the fall? Here’s what to do there!
Get spooky on Halloween
Halloween in the UK isn’t as big as it is in the US, but it’s been growing in popularity lately and in London there are many spooky things to do. Go on a Jack the Ripper ghost tour, explore haunted London with the Ghost bus tours, go to a killer Halloween party, or visit some of London’s scariest attractions like the Tower of London and its tales of torture, the London dungeon or the grant museum of Zoology.
Watch the autumn leaves fall
Autumn is the best time to admire the leaves in London. It’s actually best to get there between the 2nd/3rd week of October and the second week of November to fully enjoy the potential of fall foliage beauty. What are the best spots to enjoy autumn colors in London? Head to Kensington, Hampstead Heath of Kew Gardens to see the very best and brightest fall foliage in London.
Attend one of the numerous events
There are sooo many events and festivals in autumn in London, you can’t be bored!
Totally Thames Festival
Every year since 1997, the whole month of September is dedicated to the Totally Thames Festival. It includes musical performances, exciting exhibitions, walks, talks, films, workshops and even a river boat marathon!
The London restaurant festival
The London restaurant festival is a month-long celebration of the city’s excellent eateries, taking place in October. Learn how to make international dishes, go on a restaurant-hopping tour and enjoy special menus Over 250 bars and restaurants take part in the event.
On November 5th 1605, Guy Fawkes attempted (but failed) to blow up the Houses of Parliament in the Gunpowder Plot. Every year on November 5th, there’s a commemoration called Bonfire Night with fireworks throughout the city. Don’t miss it! The London sky becomes a colourful display of fireworks.
The Lord Mayor’s Show
The Lord Mayor’s Show is a public parade in which the newly-elected Lord Mayor of London goes to Westminster to swear loyalty to the Crown. This tradition dates back over 800 years!
The London Design Festival
The London Design Festival takes places in September and exhibits artworks of international creatives. The festival offers talks, workshops, events, daily tours and keynotes.
The BFI London Festival
The BFI London festival screens more than 300 films from more than 50 countries! It attracts attracts of the world’s best directors and most loved actors but it’s still a public festival with exclusive access to films that haven’t been released yet, quiz nights, screenings, talks by actors, directors and filmmakers, etc.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland opens in mid-November. It includes numerous festive activities and entertainment. You can skate to live music at the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink, enjoy Christmas shows for kids, an ice bar, roller coasers and a giant Ferris wheel!
The London Jazz Festival
If you’re into jazz, don’t miss the London Jazz Festival. It brings emerging talents with established artists from the jazz world. It’s a mix of performances, events and concerts.
Africa on the Square
Finally, Africa on the square is a celebration of Africa taking place in Trafalgar Square. Expect live music, fashion, food stalls, crafts and traditional dance. Children can have their faces painted and take part in free workshops in making mosaics.
Explore London’s museums
London is home to some of the best museums in the world, you should definitely visit some of them during your visit to London! You have no excuses when it’s raining! You’ll learn about the history of London and admire amazing artwork! Where to go? The Tate Modern, the Natural History Museum, the British Museum, the National Gallery… Don’t miss October’s Museums at night weekend, when museums stay open late.
Enjoy a Sunday roast
Autumn arriving also means the Sunday roast season is back! It’s a British institution made up of roasted meat served with roasted vegetables alongside stuffing, savory Yorkshire puddings, and lashings of gravy. It’s great to enjoy a Sunday roast when it’s cold outside. There are great places like Hawksmoor, Jugged Hare or Harwood Arms which will leave you beyond satisfied.
Cozy up in a pub
Head to one of the numerous pubs in the city to sip an autumn pint. Indeed, London is full of warm and welcoming pubs, ideal when it’s raining or during a chilly day. Head to the Spaniards Inn to discover a 16th century pub where John Keats and Charles Dickens used to drink.
Check out the Christmas markets
You cannot miss the Christmas markets in London! First off the decorations during Christmas in London are incredible! There are festive lights all over town! Regarding the Christmas markets, don’t miss the Hyde Park Christmas market, Leicester Square Christmas Market, and Christmas by the River at London Bridge City. Great markets to buy souvenirs or drink a hot chocolate with friends! Here’s how to spend Christmas in London!
Stroll around a park
Just have a walk through one of London’s stunning parks. As mentioned earlier, you can admire the autumn leaves fall. There are eight royal parks in London! Grab a coat, a scarf and head to Hyde Park for spectacular fall colors, Hampstead Heath to spot ancient oaks and maples or Richmond Park to spot deers. A relaxing activity.
Pay a visit to Harry Potter
Wanna get an inside look at how Harry Potter films were made? Go on a Warner Bros Studio tour. A great immersion behind the scenes, seeing various film sets, costumes, and special effects. A great activity if you have kids, or if you are a big kid.
That’s it! You have plenty of ideas now if you plan to spend a few days in London in autumn. It’s a great season to get there! You won’t regret it! Moreover, London is one of the best places to visit in the UK! Here’s what it’s like visiting London in December. Not going to London in autumn? Check out my guide about how to spend 2 days in London!
How to get to London
If you arrive from Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam or Rotterdam, it’s very easy. You have direct trains (Eurostar) from those cities straight to the city center of London. From these cities, I recommend not going to London by plane. You need to get to your departure airport, knowing you have to get there two hours before taking off. Moreover, once you get to the London airport, you have to get to the city center. It’s a waste of time. If you arrive from elsewhere, then yeah you can get to London by plane. Click here to check the latest flight prices.
How to get around in London
Do not get around by taxi, it’s too expensive. Avoid renting a car, parking a car is extremely expensive and let’s not forget they drive on the left! It’s easier and more convenient to take the subway (they say underground!), and it’s the cheapest way to get around in London. To take the subway, buy a Oyster card, there are vending machines in every subway station. Top it up with the desired amount and that’s it! A one-way ride is 2.40 pounds (2.50€), but the price goes up if you move away from the center.
You can also test out the famous London red buses! A one-way ride is 1.40 pound (1.50€) with an Oyster card. Download the Citymapper for the bus rides. Tell the app where you are, where you want to go, and it will display the easiest and shortest way to get there!
Where to stay in London
First off, read this guide listing where to stay in London. If you’re traveling on a budget, the Publove @ The White Ferry Victoria is a nice hostel and well located. Click here to check photos, reviews, and availability.
If you want to stay in a mid-range hotel, the Blackbird is comfortable, the rooms are clean and the staff is really nice. Click here to check photos, reviews and availability. If you prefer luxury hotels, the Shangri-La Hotel in the Shard will please you! Click here to check photos, reviews and availability. Otherwise click here to check the hotels available in London.
- Traveling soon? Check out my travel resources page! This list of travel accessories can also be useful!
- Don’t travel without travel insurance! Here’s why get travel insurance!
- If you arrive from abroad, you’ll need to provide proof of onward ticket at the immigration!
- The outlets are different there! Don’t forget to buy a travel plug adapter!
- Want a tailor-made trip to the United Kingdom? Get a free quote here!
- Always use a VPN when traveling. I use ExpressVPN and I love it! Here’s why use a VPN when traveling!