Fall – as it was once called in the UK centuries ago and is still referred to in the US – is a quieter, chillier and less sunny time of year to visit London, for sure, but don’t be thinking it’s no less a fine season to pick for a trip spent in the UK capital…
Pay a visit to park
They’re enormously attractive when autumn breaks, what with all their leaves taking on a cornucopia of colours – reds, browns, russets, auburns, golds and yellow. And who knows, if the weather’s that of an ‘Indian summer’ when you pay your visit to London (you may be lucky enough when you make the most of Shaftesbury Hotels special offers), it could be you’re able to enjoy or a picnic or a few romantic glasses of bubbly in one of the many London parks – or even try your hand at horse-riding (in Hyde Park) or the likes of tennis or pedalo-paddling (Regent’s Park).
Drop into a museum or gallery
Alternatively, if the weather’s not much cop, fantastic indoor resources lie in the shape of the capital’s 278 different museums and art galleries. Many of them (for instance, the Science Museum, the V&A, the Natural History Museum, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Tate Modern and the British Museum) are completely free to enter – perfect for all budgets.
Halloween in London
If you’re likely to be in town for the spooky night itself (31st October), then you’ll find you won’t actually be able to move for all things Halloween-y going on; even though, yes, it’s an America ‘holiday’. While many of what’ll be going will be definitely family friendly, it’s worth pointing out a good number of the evening celebrations – many ticketed – at bars and clubs around the capital will be for grown-ups only.
Bonfire Night in the capital
Also – although lesser – known as Guy Fawkes Night, Bonfire Night is a commemoration of the evening of 5th November 1605 on which Catholic conspirator Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament with the Protestant King James I inside. Since then, all around the UK, British people have lit giant bonfires on the night annually (usually with a straw stand-in of Fawkes sitting atop); don’t worry, it’s been a rather meaningless tradition for many, many decades now (the dubious religious connotations lost in the mists of time) and, for the vast majority, the big pull of attending a ‘Bonfire Night’ isn’t the bonfire at all but the fireworks display and probably a family-friendly fun fair. Such events can be found all over the city come 5th November or the preceding weekend (2nd-4th November).
Autumn wining and dining
Some of the capital’s very best bars and restaurants adopt their autumn-informed menus from in October onwards; underlining why, at this time of year, there’s truly little better than curling up with a fine drink or an equally nice dinner in a cosy bar or restaurant somewhere in the city. So, how about The 10 Cases? A pleasingly darkened, even sexy little spot hidden away in Covent Garden that’s perfect for loved-up couples on a romantic getaway (staying at somewhere equally fitting, like the Park Grand London Kensington hotel); it offers only 10 tables and will only ever bottles from (yes) 10 cases of wine each night, in order to ensure they change up and offer new wines constantly.