st. james park in london during autumn

Enjoy the golden trees and sunshine of the autumn season in London, United Kingdom. (Photo: Getty Images)


Colors, Cocktails and Celebrations: Spend the Perfect Autumn in London

Cozy pubs with roaring fires, parks resplendent with color and a whole host of seasonal events — autumn is a brilliant time of year to visit London. As the nights draw in, the city comes alive with culture and a huge range of fun things to do.

From fantastic fireworks displays to inspiring exhibitions, you’ll be spoilt for choice if you’re visiting the United Kingdom’s capital this autumn. As always, check for travel guidelines and closures before planning your trip.

Immerse Yourself in Some of the World’s Best Contemporary Art 

two people admiring art at tale modern
Explore the innovative and thought-provoking exhibits at Tate Modern, a beacon of contemporary art in the heart of London. (Photo: Getty Images) 

From the Tate Modern on the South Bank to the Whitechapel Gallery in east London, the city has a wealth of world-class art galleries. But autumn is a particularly great time to visit, as many galleries kick off the season with new blockbuster exhibitions. 

Frieze London is the showpiece event — and especially good if you’re interested in buying some art. For five days, this renowned art fair takes over Regent’s Park, giving you the chance to admire contemporary artwork from celebrated artists. There’s also a program of interesting talks, as well as an outdoor sculpture exhibition. 

Continue your art-themed visit by going to W London for a unique art-inspired afternoon tea. With its central location in London’s buzzy Soho and its stylish cocktail bar, it’s a fabulous place to stay, too. 

Bask in the Glow of the City’s Autumnal Colors 

a london park in autumn
Take a stroll through London’s parks in autumn, where every leaf tells a story of seasonal change and natural beauty. (Photo: Getty Images) 

At this time of year, the city is a feast of color, from golden leaves on the trees to glowing fireworks that light up the skies. The best way to see London in all its autumnal glory is to go for a walk in one of the city’s lush parks.

If you want to stay central, you can explore green spaces like Regent’s Park or Hyde Park. Alternatively, head further afield to Hampstead Heath, a leafy oasis in north London, or Greenwich Park in south London, where you’ll have stunning views of the city. 

When it comes to fireworks, London really knows how to put on a show. One of the biggest and best displays in the U.K.’s capital is the fireworks festival at Alexandra Palace in north London — a two-day bonanza that provides a terrific fireworks display against the backdrop of the city’s skyline.

For something south of the river, try the Battersea Park fireworks, a sparkling display on the banks of the Thames. 

Indulge in Retail Therapy at London’s Historic Covered Markets 

borough market, london
A journey of flavors and traditions at Borough Market, where every stall offers a unique taste of London’s rich culinary heritage. (Photo: Getty Images) 

There are plenty of opportunities for shopping in London, but there’s something special about the city’s bustling markets, some of which are steeped in centuries-long history. Take Borough Market, for example, which has occupied the same spot in some form since 1756. It’s now a foodie paradise with more than 100 stalls, restaurants and bars.

Staying south of the river, Brixton Village is a vibrant market and cultural hub that’s packed with places to eat and drink, and shops selling homeware, clothes, books and more. 

If you’re in central London, a trip to Covent Garden Market is a must. Previously a fruit and vegetable market, it’s now a shopping haven. In the grand Piazza building, you’ll find designer shops and beauty outlets. Venture inside the covered market for antique shopping on Mondays and charming British crafts stalls from Tuesdays to Sundays.

For a hidden gem in central London, check out Canopy Market in King’s Cross. Tucked away behind Granary Square, it’s open Friday to Sunday and protected from the elements by a glass roof. Traders sell everything from fresh produce and street food to handmade crafts. 

Treat Yourself to an Elegant Afternoon Tea and Seasonal Cocktails 

afternoon tea offerings at w london
Transcend the ordinary afternoon tea experience with W London’s Afternoon Tea. (Photo: Marriott International)

Cute finger sandwiches, mouthwatering cakes and a glass of fizz — afternoon tea in London is always a real treat.

For something a bit different, The Park Tower Knightsbridge, a Luxury Collection Hotel, London has created a Hyde Park-themed afternoon tea, inspired by the iconic green space. Set over 16 floors, the hotel’s rooms offer impressive views of the city thanks to its Knightsbridge location.

Alternatively, elevate your traditional afternoon tea with W London’s Afternoon Tea with Lois O’Hara — a captivating experience that immerses you in a world of vivid creativity, seamlessly blending art with culinary delights 

On the subject of eating and drinking, you won’t want to miss London Cocktail Week, which has events popping up all over town. Celebrating London’s thriving cocktail scene, it promises everything from mixology masterclasses to specially made signature cocktails at some of the city’s best bars. 

The fantastically located London Marriott Hotel Park Lane will be marking the occasion with some special cocktails, while buzzy London Marriott Hotel County Hall, close to iconic landmarks such as Big Ben and the London Eye, will also be mixing up some curated tipples.

Don’t forget Sheraton Grand London Park Lane, whose chic bar, Smith & Whistle, has a range of London Cocktail Week concoctions in store — enjoy the hotel’s art deco interiors and views of Green Park as you sip. 

Continue your exploration of London’s vibrant cocktail scene at three iconic locations. The London EDITION offers a blend of traditional and modern ambiance at the renowned Berners Tavern and Punch Room. Experience historical elegance with bespoke beverages at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London Booking Office 1869. Enjoy curated cocktails in the intimate, speakeasy-style Luggage Room, located at London Marriott Grosvenor Square.  

Have a Fun-Filled Trip That Your Family Won’t Forget 

a london canal in autumn
Embrace the joys of autumn with family adventures, where every moment becomes a cherished memory. (Photo: Getty Images)

From the recently refurbished Young V&A museum to the iconic London Zoo, there are endless London attractions that are perfect for family days out. 

The fun doesn’t end there, either. There are plenty of fun London spots to explore with kids, including the Mayfair neighborhood, Buckingham Palace and more. The city is sure to delight the whole family. 

Celebrate the City’s Seasonal Festivities 

Guy Fawkes Night isn’t the only seasonal event that London puts on a show for at this time of year. At Halloween, the city celebrates all things spooky with everything from ghost walks to pumpkin picking. Be on the lookout for special seasonal events and bar concoctions at spots across the city. 

In November, there’s also the annual Lord Mayor’s Show — a London tradition that dates back to the 13th century. Expect to see an impressive procession of floats and groups winding their way around the three-mile route through the City of London. 

Later in the month, you can celebrate Thanksgiving with a delightful meal at places like the superb JW Steakhouse, which is located at JW Marriott Grosvenor House London in the heart of Mayfair. If you’re having dinner, a nightcap in the hotel’s Bourbon Bar will round things off nicely.