Summer has drawn to a close, but there is still plenty going on in London and the new season brings with it a whole host of new activities and experiences. The city is less busy than in the summer, so visitors can take advantage of shorter queues and smaller crowds, and enjoy a more authentic, local experience.
Here are Central School of English’s top recommendations of what to do for autumn visitors:
See the leaves changing colour
Appreciate the beauty of London’s parks as the leaves change to orange and the autumnal atmosphere takes over. Highlights include Kew Gardens where you can enjoy the view from the tree top walkway, and Richmond Park which is home to more than 600 deer.
Enjoy a night by the fire
Autumn is an ideal time to experience the traditional British pub. Escape from the weather by a log fire, and spend a warm cosy night relaxing with friends. Many pubs also offer table games, making it a great place to get to know new people and practise new language.
The 5th of November is known as Bonfire Night in the UK, and marks the anniversary of a failed attempt by Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Known as the Gunpowder Plot, the plan was hatched just a few minutes away from Central School of English, on the Strand, and is commemorated with murals in close-by Charing Cross Underground Station.
On the 5th of November bonfires are lit, often with an effigy of Guy Fawkes burning, and then fireworks are set off. London hosts several of these events, but some of the best and biggest are held at Alexandra Palace and Battersea Park – a uniquely British experience.
Halloween falls on October 31st, but in a city with as much history as London there are always options available for a frightening time. Whilst you can visit purportedly haunted sites, the real history of London can provide enough of a scare, with options such as the London Dungeons, the London Bridge Experience and numerous walking tours delving into the more macabre side of the city’s past, although be warned that some of these experiences are not for the faint-hearted.
Visit a market
Stock up on seasonal local produce at one of London’s many markets. Highlights include Borough Market, just a short Underground ride from Central School of English. There are also several street food options available at Borough Market, offering the perfect opportunity to warm up after being outside in the cold.
Museums and galleries
As the temperature drops and the large tourist crowds leave, autumn is an ideal time to visit London’s world-class museums and galleries. From some of the world’s best known such as the British Museum and the V&A, to the more experimental such as the Saatchi Gallery, to the completely obscure, such as the London Fan Museum, there is something for everyone. Most of London’s museums and galleries also offer free entry, so it’s a great opportunity to try new things and visit places outside of your usual tastes.