‘Cuffing’ season is officially back – you heard it here first. Frosty days and candle-lit nights provide all the more reason to snuggle up next to someone and keep warm. While balmy Summer evenings offer al fresco thrills, Autumn is the season that sharpens the senses, warms the heart, and offers all sorts of adventures — so in the spirit of the season, here are our favourite Autumn date ideas in London. Best get swiping then!
1. Take some gorgeous pics as you wander around the city
Christmas may be the season to be jolly, but Autumn is most definitely the season to unleash your inner Instagram influencer. These outstanding London locations turn a particularly delicious shade of gorgeous come autumn, and look just as stunning on camera. So if you want to be the envy of all, take some pictures with your date in front of some of these golden spots and you’re guaranteed to be #couplegoals on this romantic Autumn date.
2. Eat all the cheese and carbs in preparation for winter
Much like your love for each other, a winter cheese feast is hot and gooey. And as it gets the temperature drops, some shareable fromage is, in our minds, pretty much order of the day. It’s also meant to protect you from all causes of death too – winner, winner! Try The Cheese Bar in Camden, or the Champagne & Fromage raclette at Mercato Metropolitano.
If you prefer your cheese in solid form, head to Pick and Cheese in Seven Dials Market for their epic cheese conveyor belt. Meanwhile, we’ve rounded up London’s best pasta restaurants for you and your beau to carbo-load at.
3. Frolic among the leaves in one of many different parks
Trees are turning distinctly golden all over the capital and here is a gigantic list of London parks and gardens for you to explore with that special someone. For beautiful autumnal scenes, Richmond Park is hard to beat. Hampstead Heath is another great choice and you’ll find Hampstead Pergola nearby which turns a fetching shade of red and orange throughout autumn.
You could also head to the steamy greenhouses of Kew Gardens for a more intimate horticultural experience—and there’s a very cute pub nearby too.
4. Enjoy a thrilling immersive experience
If you’re looking for something with a bit of excitement to add to your Autumn date ideas in London hit-list, then why not get on in with the action with some of London’s finest immersive experiences. Whether you’re looking to escape into the Upside Down with Stranger Things: The Experience, get up, close and personal with some dinosaurs at Jurassic Park: The Exhibition or be transfixed by the artwork of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, then these eclectic immersive experiences will keep you more than occupied this Autumn.
5. Admire some art (and each other while you’re at it)
One for the culture vultures here. There’s a whole shedload of great art exhibitions on in London at the moment and throughout the rest of 2022, and therefore plenty of opportunities for completely natural, candid moments to remember (or photograph). Dive into the world of Beatrix Potter at the prestigious V&A, explore the world of ASMR at the Design Museum and hang out with your favourite Disney characters at the Wallace Collection.
6. Go on a romantic cinema date
London is home to some truly luxurious independent cinemas, usually offering comfy sofas for two and table service to bring cocktails straight to your seat. The most famous of the bunch might be Notting Hill’s Electric Cinema, which also boasts six double beds on the front row (£40 to share between two)—but please do try and keep things PG-13 down there, people. Alternatively, check out this wicked ODEON deal and this Vue deal from our pals over at Fever.
7. Dine on a gorgeous Autumnal terrace
Dalloway Terrace are suckers for a seasonal makeover, and their Autumnal effort always has their terrace looking ravishing in russet. Fortunately you can stop here for a spot of afternoon tea, brunch, dinner or drinks – many of which are autumn-themed! We can get on board with that.
8. Take in a stunning candlelight concert
Another strong idea for Autumn dates in London here. Candlelit dates are a classic romantic trope, but throw in an atmospheric venue and some talented musicians, and you’ve got the recipe for a perfect evening. We’d recommend this gorgeous candlelit night dedicated to the movie maestro Hans Zimmer to wow your date, but you really you can’t go wrong with any of these London candlelight concerts.
9. Take a romantic moonlit swim together
The baking Summer heatwave may now be almost forgotten, but don’t sleep on London’s outdoor swimming pools, some of which – like the London Fields Lido – are heated all year round. For an invigorating dip with a difference, check out Hampton Pool’s incredible moonlight swimming sessions – it will definitely bring some heat to your evening. (It’s not exactly skinny dipping and looking sexy in a tropical waterfall but we’re doing what we can here, kids.)
10. Have some fun and dive into an adults-only indoor play area
This adults-only play area is the perfect place to hide from the cold (and all your responsibilities). You and your date can explore this epic fun house together, recreate your favourite childhood memories and have a jolly good time while you’re at it. A soft play area, ball pits, giant Jenga, slides and retro arcade games are just a few of the activities on offer here. This trip down memory lane will be one to remember and you can book your tickets here.
11. Sip on some cocktails somewhere dimly lit
Who doesn’t love a cheeky bar date? Cocktails and mood lighting is definitely one way to set the mood – particularly if you’re looking for a spot of romance. And the great news is that London is home to pretty much every type of bar you could ever dream of. Gin bars, whisky bars, rooftop bars, you name it! Why not treat your date to one of these quirky London bars? Or alternatively, these cosy library bars are perfect if you’re looking for a nook or cranny to snuggle up in. When in Rome…
12. Go head to head in a battle of the wits
A couple that plays together, stays together… or breaks up halfway through the game, because somebody always has to get too competitive. From board game cafés and some cracking crazy golf courses, to mind-boggling escape rooms and exhilarating go karting tracks, there are plenty of places to have fun together (or mercilessly prove your dominance).
13. Have a candlelit dinner together
Let’s not beat around the bush – candles make every room way sexier. So if you want to dine amidst the candlelight with your date – we’d suggest a visit to the gorgeous Maggie Jones in Kensington. Kentish Town’s Tabac Bar is another great choice – it’s fabulously French and they serve the finest bites and beverages. Or check out our guide to romantic restaurants in London for more inspiration.
14. Go on a pub crawl for two and get the pints in
Nothing screams romance quite like a pub. Okay, that’s debatable. But they do have an infinite supply of alcohol (if you need some Dutch courage), cosy seating, perhaps an open fire and the most welcoming atmosphere to put you and your date at ease. Plus, they’re pretty much a go-to on a date, so why head home after one pub when you could make a day of it? Track down some of London’s oldest pubs for some added history with your pint, while away the hours in a toasty pub garden, or see how far you can make it through this list of 50 of London’s best pubs. Cheers!
15. Have a belly laugh at one of the capital’s comedy clubs
London is full to the brim of some of the best comedy clubs in the world – taking place everywhere from large arena-style venues to tiny pub basements – and for most of them, you can grab a ticket for under a tenner. They’re also all covered – so need to worry about that British weather putting a *literal* dampener on things!
Our top picks would be the Top Secret Comedy Club in Holborn – where comedy legends such as Joe Lycett, Jack Whitehall, Mawaan Rizwan and Joanne McNally have all tested out their material – and the Seven Dials Club, slap-bang right in the middle of Covent Garden. Alternatively, if you’d rather enjoy a River Thames view while you’re chortling away, then why not pay the Tattershall Castle a visit?
16. Flee the city for a scenic Autumnal getaway
…we’ll forgive you for this one. Breaking out of London for a long weekend is a lovely way to smash the hegemony of darkening nights and chilly weather – and if the date is going well, then why the hell not hey?! Here are a whopping 100 day trips from London that are just perfect for the season. Alternatively, if you’re after some of the most beautiful staycation spots in the UK or brisk beaches, then we’ve got plenty of those too.
17. Get into the groove at one of our city’s plethora of gigs
A real gem for this penultimate entry of our Autumn date ideas in London roundup here. London may just well be the live music capital of the world, with everything from scream-your-head-off heavy metal gigs to loud and proud pop extravaganzas gracing all manner of venues. So what better place to let loose and get close to one another than at one of our capital’s endless supply of gigs? Pop, Rock, Hip-Hop, R’n’B, Blues, Reggae – you name it, it’s here!
18. Netflix and chill…
Oh, go on you two. What better way to end this Autumn date ideas in London roundup, hey!? Here’s what’s new on Netflix this month.
So there you have it – the Secret London roundup of Autumn date ideas in London. No excuses now – get swiping and see if any of these ideas work their magic for you! Good luck out there.
Also published on Medium.