Autumn has officially arrived…
Though summer seems to have only appeared in a peppering of fiercely sunny blink-and-miss-it weekends, deceptively-promising amber mornings and erratic cloud-free afternoons, its time in the (seemingly malfunctioning) spotlight has come to an end. That can only mean one thing: Autumn is here. The season of on-and-off-again layers of clothes, satisfyingly crunchy leaves, mischievous trick-or-treaters, returning TV series and Instagram-ready pumpkin patches. Or, as Keats more poetically puts it; ‘the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’. However you see it, Autumn is on our doorstep and with it a whole new variety of fantastic brunches, festivals, immersive experiences, revamped bars and more. Here is our pick of the best things to do in London this Autumn…
1. Welcome autumn with this Japanese nature, art, and culture festival (from October 2)
Joining the line-up of autumn events in London is the wonderful Japan Festival over at Kew Gardens, which aims to celebrate the fascinating plants, art, and culture of Japan. Running from October 2 to 31, the festival will take over the Kew Gardens trail and Temperate House with colourful installations and performances. Read more here.
Fall under the spell of talented musicians at a haunting evening inside the centuries-old Castle Hotel Windsor. The Georgian venue is drenched in history, only adding to the atmospheric setting of the candlelit evening. Over the course of an hour, guests will be treated to an array of Halloween-themed classical compositions, featuring music from Stranger Things, Beetlejuice and Ghostbusters among many more. Get tickets here.
It’s good to escape the London bubble every once in a while, and that’s doubly true in autumn. The colours are brighter and the air is cleaner, so a countryside getaway is bound to be magical. With that in mind, we’ve picked out some great ways to escape the capital with these autumn day trips.
Nestled away in Holland park is a charming and tranquil Japanese garden that will sweep you away upon entry. Waterfalls, peacocks, beautiful trees and schools of fish swimming in the pond can be found at the Kyoto Garden, which is even more breathtaking during autumn. It’s an absolute must for your autumn bucket list!
5. Enjoy delicious autumnal treats
Whether you’re a fan of pumpkin spice or not, autumn and Halloween tend to inspire a whole line-up of tasty seasonal treats at London’s restaurants and shops. This beautiful Pumpkin Spice Crumble from Humble Crumble is just one of many delicious autumn-themed foods you’ll find around town, and we highly recommend you give it a try!
Come rain, shine or pandemic, dates are a must, and we’re here to help. Chilly days and candlelit nights provide all the more reason to snuggle up with someone. 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.
We love tea and we sure love a cup of coffee, but hot chocolate can’t go amiss, especially during autumn. It’s the ultimate comfort drink — so if you’re craving something extra decadent, check out these 10 delicious chocolate shops that are guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth.
If you’ve ever felt the urge to plunge into the wilderness to live free and feast on wood-fired cooking every night, but aren’t quite ready to give up the London lifestyle just yet, here’s a compromise to keep you snug and well-fed this autumn. Tucked away in a freight container yard between Holloway and Kings Cross, you’ll find Campfire, an excellent open-air venue from Two Tribes Brewing. Enjoy delicious barbecue and beers around the fire pit and revel in the cool autumn evenings. Read more here.
Yes, London is always stunning, but the magical feeling you get on a stroll through the city during autumn is simply unmatched. The cool breeze, the last of the autumn sun, the golden-red leaves gracing our parks and beautiful buildings. Here are some of the best places to visit in London during autumn.
More beautiful places to explore in London during autumn:
Pumpkin picking season is officially upon us! Whether you’re looking for the perfect jack-o’-lantern to carve, a cute addition to your dining room decor, or just a wholesome day out in a ‘grammable autumn location, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for at these amazing pumpkin patches not far from the city.
Arriving in town this autumn is a premier in the brunch scene: London’s first ever bottomless pie and mash brunch combines good ol’ comfort food with the fun of day drinking and music. The food will be provided by London’s famous pie shop, Robin’s Pie & Mash, and you can enjoy an hour of bottomless cocktails to go with it. Find your tickets here.
Yet another reason for you to head into the woods this season is this woodland trail inspired by the Forbidden Forest from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts series. It’s set to open at Arley Hall & Gardens in Cheshire this month, taking fans on a journey that will quite literally illuminate some of their favourite Forbidden Forest moments. The incredible experience makes for a perfect getaway if you’re looking to escape the city, just in time for Halloween! Get your tickets here.
Autumn is the perfect time to settle down in a cosy coffee shop with a good book or a podcast and a steaming cup of joe. We’ve rounded up some of the most comfortable coffee shops for you to recharge with a hot cup of coffee or tea. Find them here.
A fusion of two Autumnal favourites, this hair-raising Oktoberfest has added some Halloweeny horrors to the beer-fuelled event. Alongside the pumping bass of live music, screams and shouts of unsuspecting revellers will spill from the doors of Brick Lane Tap Room over the course of the last October weekend (29th-31st), no doubt the cause of some wandering ghouls and thirsty vampires who have joined the party. If you’re looking to bust some moves with some Bavarian ghosts then get the lowdown on details here.
Plaster on your best truth-seeking stare and slip on your trench coat, it’s time to step into the shoes of a detective for the day. It’s 1930 and there’s been a horrendous murder in the subterranean bowels of London: a body has been found in Clerkenwell Sorting Office and the killer is still on the loose. P.I Rutherford is calling upon you to solve the case that has sent violent ripples in its wake, casting suspicion on everyone from the wide-eyed Letter Sorter to the imposing Postal Railway Conductor. All relevant resources are at your disposal, including the Mail Rail, to help you find the culprit before time runs out. Get your tickets here.
There’s something about bookshops that leave us all warm inside, so why not hide from the cold autumn wind alongside the smell of leather-bound ledgers? We recommend a gander around these 17 charming London bookstores that are perfect for literature lovers.
Remember Natalie Portman’s goosebumps-inducing (and Oscar-winning) role as a dancer in The Black Swan? That film that put the backbreaking world of ballet in the spotlight? This special concert shows the story in a new light; candlelight to be exact. Taking place in the stunning Central Hall Westminster, the evening will be a collection of classical pieces and ballet performances, made ever more magical by the Viennese-Baroque architecture and flickering sea of candles. Tickets are now on sale for Novemver 27.
London is riddled with amazing free things to do and buildings to visit, so why not head out for a day of discovering some art and culture? As we all know we’re home to some of the world’s best museums (like the infamous Natural History Museum), and we’ve rounded up 31 of the best free ones for you here.
As far as I’m concerned, spooky season lasts the whole month of October, so there’s plenty of opportunity to celebrate Halloween beyond October 31. From scary bottomless brunches to chilling immersive experiences, here are some of the best things you can do to celebrate All Hallows’ Eve, and all the eves leading up to it.
Pack your magnifying glass. This haunting trip back to the 19th-century will have you exploring the ends where Jack the Ripper committed his heinous crimes. Over the course of 2 hours you will immerse yourself in the case of the infamous killer, following a guide as they share stories and conspiracies about his gruesome crimes. You’ll learn all about the victims and potential suspects to help you draw your own conclusions, all the while walking the same murder-plagued streets that once struck fear into the hearts of London’s citizens. Find tickets here.
Let’s be real — while autumn in London is incredible, it also has its fair share of cold, rainy, uncomfortable days that make you want to never leave the house again. For those occasions, we’ve rounded up some of the best series and movies hitting Netflix in October. Movie night = sorted.
Along Edgware Road lies London’s largest Asian food hall, packing 32,000 square feet of incredible Asian cuisine. Munch your way through Bang Bang Oriental’s 30 outlets offering fresh food from China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, India, Vietnam, Taiwan and Malaysia, in an epic culinary adventure that’ll warm you up even on the coldest autumn day. Read more here.
Prepare to fall under the spell of the Wizarding World once more; the adventures of Harry and friends are not yet over. Now that theatres have opened their doors and dusted off their neglected seats, Harry Potter and The Cursed Child is returning to London’s West End, inviting fans to step back into the pages of the beloved book with a feast of eye-popping special effects, fantastic performances and special immersive touches. Find out more here.
There’s truly no better way to escape reality (and London’s unpredictable weather) for a couple of hours than with a visit to the cinema. Grab some popcorn, kick back, and relax with a movie whilst laid out on a reclining sofa. Just try not to fall asleep! Take a look at our roundup of London’s cosiest independent cinemas.
A completely immersive deep dive into the fascinating life of Van Gogh, this exhibit looks at his masterpieces in a new light. His infamous sunflowers protrude from walls in three-dimensional glory, a VR experience invites you inside a painted world and a magical room surrounded by digital walls bring his works to animated life. It had already found a wealth of fans across Europe and has now debuted in London to similar acclaim. If you want to see what the fuss is all about you can get tickets here.
If that romantic autumn stroll in nature goes well, take your date out to dinner at one of London’s cosiest, most picturesque restaurants. Our roundup of the city’s prettiest eateries has enough places to last you all season!
37. Put yourself in the shoes of a zombie-killing mercenary at Army of the Dead – Viva Las Vengeance: A VR Experience
Strap on your best tactical gear, put on your headset and clamber on board the reinforced taco truck: it’s time to kill some zombies. This immersive VR experience plunges you into the world of Netflix flick Army of the Dead, sending you on a mission to save stranded civilians from zombie-ridden Las Vegas, a post-apocalyptic wasteland that has been quarantined in lofty walls in an effort to stop the flesh-eating residents from breaking free. You can follow in the footsteps of Dave Bautista, destroying zombies left and right, feeling the jolt of the gun and bone-rattling shake of every explosion thanks to amazing special effects. Enlist for VR combat here.
Get cosy in one of London’s secret gardens and wine and dine in the comfort of your very own dome. Offering the ultimate atmospheric space, a great place to entertain and plenty of delicious food, they’re ideal for a chilly autumn evening! Book yours here.
Now that it’s too cold for lakes and outdoor swimming pools, the next best alternative to a hot bath with a glass of wine at home is a bath in a tub of red wine. It’s so weird and wonderful it makes total sense, and it’s the ultimate relaxing activity for your autumn bucketlist in London. Read more about it here.
If you’re not convinced you’d like to take a dip in wine, you might want to stick with just drinking the good stuff. Eataly, London’s giant Italian food market, is hosting a week-long celebration dedicated to wine and prosecco, and it goes perfectly with all the delicious food there. Read more here.
While going abroad still proves difficult for many of us during the pandemic, there may just be a way to teleport over to a forbidden forest in South America this Halloween without jumping on a flight. Over at the popular Peruvian restaurants COYA, you could be part of a spooky yet tropical celebration come the end of October. Find out more here.
Somerset House will play host to an exhibition dedicated to the youthful mischief of the Beano, the world’s longest-running comic. All the usual suspects – from Dennis the Menace to Gnasher to Minnie the Minx to the Bash Street Kids – are ready to make an appearance. The exhibition will run from October 21, 2021, to March 6, 2022, and you can read all about it here.
Take the notoriously vibey Notting Hill festival, add a few colourful glugs of the Caribbean and throw in a devious dash of Halloween. Mix it all together and you’ve got Carnifest, an epic party taking place at Club 289 on – you guessed it – October 31. Live DJs will pumping out Reggae, Soca and Bashment into the late hours, while vampires decked out in hula necklaces and witches blowing whistles will be shaking their hips among crowds of dressed-up revellers. You can count yourself among them when you get tickets here.
Not it’s not heaven, but it’s pretty damn close. A climb up the colourful staircase to this rooftop bar is worth the effort, as waiting at the top is an evening of cult classics, bottomless booze and, of course, plenty of popcorn. Film fans will think they have stumbled into a dream as they settle into comfy bean bag chairs and favourites such as Hot Fuzz, Mamma Mia, The Black Panther, Pulp Fiction and Clueless start playing on the big screen. There’s even a special spooky season, with horror flicks stealing the screen over the course of October. If you’re in need of some film therapy washed down with endless bubbles then get tickets here.
If you’re looking for a bit of spice this Autumn that’s not pumpkin-related then look no further. This saucy bottomless brunch is an intoxicating evening of booze, boys and boogieing that will leave you breathless in more ways than one. The raunchy event is on every Friday from October 1, leaving you plenty of chances to round up the gang and treat yourselves to an unforgettable night out. With performances from drag queens, boylesque performers and acrobats on the agenda – not to mention 90-minutes of bottomless prosecco and dinner served by topless waiters – you’d be a fool to miss out. Get tickets here.
Ever find yourself missing the good old days? Those times you would find yourself happily scrambling through tunnels, button bashing Nintendo games and nailing perfectly synchronised moves on the dance machine. Well, this is your chance to relive the simple times of your youth, but with a crucial adult twist: alcohol. This galaxy-themed arcade bar has all the classics such as Sega Megadrive, boxing machines, table tennis, Xbox One and even a laser shooting gallery. On top of it all there’s also a nightclub-style sound system and lights, making it the perfect place to show off your celebratory dance. Grab tickets here.
Its circled three times in red pen, decorated with stars and written in big bold letters on every film fanatic’s calendar: October 6 – 17 is the BFI Film Festival. A week and a half of star-studded premieres, and thought-provoking documentaries interspersed with fascinating Q&As and in-depth interviews. The event not only gives a peek behind the scenes of the film industry but also introduces attendees to some of the often overlooked talents who make the magic happen. Tickets sell out quick but you can still snatch some up here.
If the likes of BTS, BLACKPINK, Exo and Red Velvet are taking pride of place on your Spotify playlists then this bubble pop brunch will be right up your street. Not only will K-pop tunes be pumping from the speakers, but there’ll be professional dancers busting synchronised moves to the outrageously catchy beats alongside brain-busting quizzes, karaoke and plenty of games. Plus, to truly immerse you in the K-pop world, there’ll be an hour of bottomless signature Korean cocktail Watermelon soju and finger-licking Korean fried chicken. You can grab tickets here.
When the weekend is on the horizon but your social calendar is still painfully blank, this brunch is the answer to all your prayers. Bottomless bevvies and legendary drag queens are a killer combo, promising a brilliantly boozy time with sickening performances, dancefloor-filling DJs and (crucially for a brunch) lots of delicious food to soak up that buzz so you can keep the good times going. Find tickets here.
All hail the Queen B. What better way to pay tribute to music royalty than with a bottomless brunch soundtracked by all her biggest hits? This Beyonce-themed brunch puts on a show that would do her proud, complete with performances from a dance troupe and the worlds most successful Beyonce tribute act. Tracks from both her Destiny’s Child days and solo career will have your hips swaying all through the experience, while a delicious southern fried chicken burger, skin on fries and chocolate orange torte will soak up the hour of bottomless cocktails you’ll be indulging in. Grab tickets here.
Did the boozy brunches catch your eye? You can find a full list of the best bottomless brunches in London here.
All our events are recommended by editors. Tickets purchased through Fever may earn Secret London commission.