These autumn days out make perfect dates – but they’re great with mates, too.
Come rain, shine or pandemic, dates are a must, and we’re here to help. Frosty days and candlelit nights provide all the more reason to snuggle up with someone. While summer evenings offers 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 dates in London.
1. Take gorgeous pics 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 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 these golden spots and you’re guaranteed to be #couplegoals.
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 colder, shareable fromage is the order of the day; try Alpes at Pop Brixton, 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. Catch a flick at a drive in cinema
Alexandra Palace is hosting a drive in film club this autumn, so you and your date can cosy up and catch a show from the comfort of your vehicle! Expect timeless classics, recent blockbusters and everything in between. All you have to do is sit back, relax, turn up the heating and enjoy the show. Some films to look forward to are Black Panther, Home Alone, Jurassic Park and Casablanca, but you can see the full list here!
4. Frolic among the leaves
Trees are turning distinctly golden all over the capital and here is a massive list of London parks 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.
5. Enjoy an immersive experience
Get in on action with some of London’s finest immersive experiences. Whether you’re racing back to the roaring 20s with Gatsby, solving the city’s mysteries with Sherlock or heading underwater to join The Little Mermaid for cocktails, there are plenty of worlds to explore. Here are 19 amazing immersive experiences that will bring you and your date a lot closer.
6. Admire some art (and each other)
There are tons of great art exhibitions on at the moment, and plenty of opportunities for completely natural, candid moments to remember (or photograph). Enjoy the Tate Modern’s incredibly exuberant Andy Warhol exhibition, uncover the magic of forests at this South Bank art exhibition or head to Greenwich’s NOW gallery for the most Instagrammable art installation London has ever seen.
7. Go on a romantic cinema date
London is home to some truly luxurious 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 (£36 to share between two)—but please do try and keep things PG-13 down there, people. Alternatively, check out this wicked ODEON deal from our pals over at Fever.
8. Dine on a gorgeous autumnal terrace
Dalloway Terrace are suckers for a seasonal makeover and an autumnal effort has their terrace looking ravishing in russet. Fortunately you can stop here for afternoon tea, brunch, dinner or drinks – many of which are autumn-themed!
9. Take in a stunning candlelight concert
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 jazz night to wow your date, but you really you can’t go wrong with any of these London candlelight concerts.
10. Take a moonlit swim together
The summer heatwave may be receding in our memories, 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 in a tropical waterfall but we’re doing what we can here, kids.)
11. Dive into this 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 and recreate your favourite childhood memories. 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.
12. 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. And the great news is that London is home to pretty much every type of bar you could ever dream of. Gin 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 for the book lovers among us.
13. Do battle on the tabletops
A couple that plays together, stays together… or breaks up halfway through the game, because somebody always has to get too competitive. From cosy board game cafés and luxury indoor golf courses, to mind-boggling escape rooms, there are plenty of places to have fun together (or mercilessly prove your dominance). See our list of the best places to play games in London.
14. Have a candlelit dinner together
Let’s not beat around the bush, candles make every room infinitely 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 see our guide to romantic restaurants in London for more inspiration.
15. Go on a pub crawl for two
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. 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 history with your pint, or explore these 21 pubs in Hackney that are hacktually brilliant.
16. Flee the city for an 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. 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, we have plenty of those too.
17. Netflix and chill…
Oh, go on you two. Here’s what’s new on Netflix this month.
Featured image: I Wei Huang, Shutterstock
Also published on Medium.