101 autumn in London ideas to fall for

Autumn colours, fun festivals, blockbuster exhibitions… this season serves up plenty of treats.

From annual events such as Bonfire Night or Halloween, to the latest theatre shows or exhibitions, these 101 things to do in autumn have your September, October and November sorted.

What are the top autumn attractions?

The sun sets with beautiful orange and pink colours as Emirates Air Line cable cars cross over the river Thames.
Emirates Air Line cable car. Image courtesy of Jon Reid.
  1. Discover the best 10 London attractions: Buy The London Pass, the London Explorer Pass and the Merlin London Attractions Pass so see multiple attractions on one trip.
  2. Walk in the footsteps of royalty at Kensington Palace: Explore the palace that once housed Queen Victoria and is now home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
  3. Soar above the river Thames with the Emirates Air Line cable car: Take in sweeping views of the city on London's only cable car. 
  4. Take a tour of historic Windsor Castle: Immerse yourself in 900 years of history as you explore the magnificent royal palace.
  5. Visit the City to discover centuries-old relics: Head to London's Roman Amphitheatre, hidden within the Guildhall Art Gallery, and London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE.
  6. Go on a fascinating tour of Shakespeare's GlobeLearn all about the open-air playhouse.
  7. Hop on an open-top bus tour: Be mesmerised by golden-painted streets of autumnal London.
  8. Gaze at the marvellous interior of St Paul's Cathedral: Before delving into the fascinating history of this iconic landmark.
  9. Enjoy "lates" events in London's museums and galleries: Explore the London Transport Museum after dark.

What's on in London theatre during autumn 2022?

The cast of Wicked the Musical on stage pointing to the witch who is elevated under blue lights
Wicked the Musical © See Tickets. Image courtesy of See Tickets.
  1. Be mesmerised by Wicked at the Apollo Victoria: Enjoy spectacular songs and stunning effects in the magical story about the witches from The Wizard of Oz.
  2. Dress up and dance at Grease The Musical at the Dominion Theatre: Sing along with Sandy and Danny as the feel-good story of summer romance bursts into the West End. Until 29 Oct
  3. Laugh out loud at The Play That Goes Wrong at Duchess Theatre: Experience mischief and mayhem at this hilarious murder-mystery. 
  4. Be terrified by The Woman in Black at Fortune Theatre. Watch the West End's scariest production if you dare!  
  5. Enjoy a humorous adaptation of Roald Dahl's Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre. See the much-loved children's story brought to life on stage.
  6. Sing along to TINA - The Tina Turner Musical at Aldwych Theatre: Enjoy the inspiring story of legendary singer Tina Turner, featuring many of her best-loved songs. 
  7. See RuPaul's Drag Race UK Series Three tour at the London Palladium: Be dazzled by glitz and glamour as RuPaul comes to town. 7-8 Oct

See more London theatre shows or laugh your head off at a comedy show.

What are the top London autumn events?

Red and white fireworks explode near Alexandra Palace at night, with the London skyline in the background.
Fireworks Festival at Alexandra Palace. Image courtesy of Alexandra Park & Palace Charitable Trust.
  1. Head down to London’s famous river for the Totally Thames festival: Enjoy a whole month of exciting exhibitions, walks, talks and more. 1-30 Sep
  2. Discover the hottest designers during London Fashion Week: Watch as top creatives, shows and lovers of trendy threads are brought together. 
  3. Tuck into turkey and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving: Soak up Canadian and American culture at restaurants and pubs across the city. On and around 10 Oct and 24 Nov
  4. Remember, remember the fifth of November… If you’d somehow forgotten, here’s a reminder: London Bonfire Night fireworks displays mix pyrotechnics, seasonal food and family fun. On and around 5 Nov
  5. Get into the spirit as London Cocktail Week returns: Make the most of a special month-long edition this autumn. 1-31 Oct
  6. Celebrate all things motoring at the Regent Street Motor Show: Watch as iconic cars from the past, present and future take centre stage in Regent Street. 
  7. Watch The Lord Mayor's ShowCelebrate as the much-loved historic parade returns, mixing pageantry with a party atmosphere in the heart of London.
  8. Celebrate Black History Month across London: Discover a lineup of activities and events for all the family. 1-31 Oct
  9. Discover the best new films during the BFI London Film Festival: Take your pick from more than 10 days of cinema screenings. 
  10. Admire the very best of African and African-inspired design: See pieces from rising talent on the catwalk during Africa Fashion Week.

Find more world-class London events in autumn months.

What are the best free autumn events in London?

Cast of Les Miserables performing during West End LIVE
West End LIVE. Copyright: Pamela Raith. Image courtesy of SOLT.
  1. Get free access to cool venues during Open House London: Go behind the doors of buildings usually closed to the public. 8-21 Sep
  2. Wear a poppy on Remembrance Day: Take time to recognise those who gave their lives in two world wars and more recently. 11-13 Nov
  3. Mark the festival of lights with Diwali activities: Also enjoy special restaurant menus across the city. 23 Oct
  4. Watch West End LIVE in Trafalgar Square: Enjoy and extravaganza of free performances from top West End musicals and shows. 

Find more free events in London.

How to make memories with the kids this autumn

A sculpture of Harry Potter on his broom in a Quidditch attire in Leicester Square.
Spot the wizard himself at the Scenes in the Square sculpture trail on Leicester Square. Credits: Joe Pepler/PinPep.
  1. Marvel at magical views from the Treetop Walkway at Kew Gardens: Stroll along the treetop canopy and be dazzled by a spectrum of the world's brightest colours this autumn.
  2. Spend a whole week in London with the kids during October half-term: Enjoy activities and new adventures across London. 15-30 Oct
  3. Get an adrenaline rush with The Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit: Whizz down the tallest and longest tunnel slide in the world.
  4. Go on a fun treetop adventure at Go Ape at Alexandra Palace. Take on treetop challenges whilst enjoying panoramic views of London.
  5. Turn to these rainy day activities if there’s a downpour: Guns N’ Roses sang about November rain for a reason…
  6. Follow an interactive trail of statues with Scenes in the SquareHead to Leicester Square and meet big-screen stars.
  7. Treat the kids to a trip on the Peppa Pig Afternoon Tea Bus Tour: Spot famous London landmarks while tucking into delicious treats.
  8. Discover top London attractions for kids and family restaurants: Plan an action-packed family day out in the city.
  9. Spend a day exploring some of London's top free museumsEnjoy the best of London's culture with the little ones. 
  10. Embark on a journey through maritime history at the National Maritime Museum: Take the kids on an adventure to remember!
  11. Be a junior zoo keeper at ZSL London Zoo: Feed and make friends with animals as you take care of them for the day.
  12. Get active at Gravity Wandsworth: Test your skills at digital darts, electric go karting, shuffleboard and much more at this multi-attraction venue.

Discover more family activities, including exciting experiences for teenagers.

Which autumn activities can culture vultures enjoy?

Buckingham Palace and the Victoria Memorial at dusk
Buckingham Palace © Jon Reid Visit London. Image courtesy of Jon Reid Visit London
  1. Walk around the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace: Immerse yourself in history as you explore the London residence of the Queen. 2 Oct
  2. Celebrate Rosh Hashanah: Mark the start of the Jewish New Year with activities across the city. 25-27 Sep
  3. Delve into Chelsea's fascinating past during the Chelsea History Festival: Enjoy interesting talks, tours and events. 
  4. Use the Mid-autumn Festival as the perfect excuse to have your fill of Asian delicacies in ChinatownTry Golden Gate Cake Shop for mooncakes, the traditional treat at this time of year. 10-12 Sep
  5. View the Illuminated River in a new light: Artist Leo Villareal's light show dazzles the bridges of the Thames.
  6. Enjoy the Southbank Centre's programme of autumn events: See talks, performances and exhibitions, and take part in fun workshops.

Search for London events by day.

How can I find unmissable autumn experiences?

  1. Treat yourself or someone special to a relaxing spa dayOr opt for luxury gifts and experiences as autumn in London draws in.
  2. Have fun at one of these activity barsGet a hole-in-one like never before at urban golf venues or test your sporting skills with fantastic company.
  3. Travel back in time on a London Underground tour: Learn about the 150 year history and secrets of the iconic Tube.
  4. Take a cinematic journey into space at Professor Brian Cox's Horizons tour at The O2. Join the TV scientist for a state-of-the-art space odyssey. 28 Sep

What are the best exhibitions in London this autumn?

Two people look at framed images on a tiled wall, bathed in vibrant green light, with a neon green twisting light above, at the Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition.
Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition. TM & © 2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Wizarding World Publishing Rights © JKR
  1. Go behind the scenes at the Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition. Delve into never-before-seen images of the famous film series, fun activities and a bit of magic!
  2. Marvel at Cornelia Parker's iconic installations at Tate Britain: See how the British artist transforms domestic objects into striking large-scale artworksUntil 16 Oct
  3. Learn about Life in a cup: coffee culture in an Islamic world at the British Museum: Discover the fascinating history and traditions of Islamic coffee rituals. Until 18 Sep

  4. Explore the radical artworks of Walter Sickert at Tate Britain: See a retrospective of one of British art's central figures during the late 19th century. Until 18 Sep
  5. Compare famous artworks at Picasso Ingres: Face to Face at the National Gallery. See Picasso's Woman with a Book alongside the painting that inspired it. Until 9 Oct
  6. Immerse yourself in Milton Avery's paintings at the Royal Academy of Arts: Admire the artwork that defined the American artist as one of the greatest 20th-century colourists. Until 16 Oct
  7. Admire impressionist artwork at The EY Exhibition: Cézanne at Tate Modern: Discover the artistic endeavours of the French painter who broke the art rule book. 6 Oct-12 Mar
  8. See The Credit Suisse Exhibition Lucien Freud: New Perspectives at the National Gallery: Explore the first major exhibition of the artist's work in 10 years. 1 Oct-22 Jan
  9. Discover Magdalena Abakanowicz's Abakans at Tate Modern: See the famous woven sculptures in a forest-like display. 17 Nov-23 May
  10. Gaze at incredible artworks from world-class artists: Enjoy the stunning backdrop of Regent's Park at Frieze London

Find more exhibitions in London.

Where can I find tune-tastic things to do in autumn?

The Gipsy Kings' band members play their violins and guitars on stage in front of a crowd.
Gipsy Kings at the Royal Festival Hall during EFG London Jazz Festival. Image courtesy of EFG London Jazz Festival. Photo credit: Emile Holba.
  1. Enjoy the soulful sounds at Regent’s Park Music Festival: Grab a picnic, sit back and discover local bands, choirs and jazz bands. 

  2. Get your jazz hands ready for the EFG London Jazz Festival: Enjoy spectacular performances and events across London. 11-20 Nov
  3. Don't miss ABBA Voyage at the ABBA Arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Sing along to your favourite ABBA songs at this state-the-art concert. Until 2 Oct
  4. Be thrilled by The Music of Bond at the Royal Albert Hall. Enjoy an evening of iconic music from famous 007 film series with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. 20 Sep
  5. Listen to opera star Andrea Bocelli at The O2. Hear classical songs from one of the world's much-loved tenors. 30 Sep-1 Oct
  6. May the force be with you at Star Wars: Return of the Jedi in concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Watch the star-studded film with a live soundtrack from the London Symphony Orchestra. 23-25 Sep

Find more music events in London.

How can I find spooky Halloween experiences in London?

Floating orange pumpkins hanging from the ceiling of the Great Hall, lit up in green and purple light
Floating Pumpkin display in the Great Hall © Fever PR. Image courtesy of Fever PR.
  1. Follow in the footsteps of the world's most famous wizard at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London– The Making of Harry Potter: Go in autumn, when the attraction is transformed for Halloween. 
  2. Visit some of London’s scariest attractions this Halloween: From tales of torture at the Tower of London, to bone-chilling experiences at the London Dungeon, ghosts at Hampton Court Palace or eerie taxidermy at the Grant Museum of Zoology.
  3. Follow Jack the Ripper’s trail of terror on a Jack the Ripper Ghost Tour: Learn all there is to know about one of London's most notorious cold-blooded killers.
  4. Learn about the spooky history of London with The Ghost Bus ToursTake in some of the city’s key sights as you uncover the city's haunted history.
  5. Hear scary stories on a Horrible Histories Terrible Thames tour: Be terrified by the history of London's most famous river. Until 31 Dec

Find more scary activities and Halloween events in London.

What are the top places to explore in autumn?

London panorama above golden trees.
Roam London's Richmond Park, as it is covered in autumnal colours. Credits: Jon Reid. Image courtesy of Jon Reid.
  1. Shuffle your way through fallen autumn leaves in London’s best parks and gardens: They are swathed in oranges and yellows at this time of year.
  2. Or, enjoy some autumn sightseeing on a guided tourFrom bus tours, to walking tours, to Thames river cruises, to bike tours, explore the city differently!
  3. Enjoy a warming drink at one of London’s cosy pubsCurl up in front of a roaring fire as the nights draw in. 
  4. See London from the water during a river cruiseSpot some of London's most famous sights as you glide along the Thames. 
  5. London’s neighbourhoods look beautiful at this time of the year: Head out and explore autumn outside Zone 1.
  6. It’s Black Friday on 25 November, so rush out to the city’s top shopping destinations and department stores: Find plenty of bargains and autumn fashion deals.

Find more of the best autumn spots in London.

Where to go for autumn food and drink

A selection of vegan dishes and a pint of beer laid out on a wooden table, viewed from above.
A selection of The Spread Eagle's vegan pub dishes. Image courtesy of The Spread Eagle.
  1. Go potty for plant-based food at the best vegan restaurants in London: Join in as November celebrates World Vegan Month.
  2. Make the most of the city's dining scene during the London Restaurant Festival: Learn how to make international dishes, go on a restaurant-hopping tour and enjoy special menus. 
  3. Don your lederhosen for Oktoberfest celebrations: Join the festivities at various locations in London, including Camden Oktoberfest.
  4. Journey to Neverland with the magical Peter Pan Afternoon Tea at Aqua Shard: Featuring sweet treats, freshly baked scones and sky-high views. 
  5. Celebrate National Curry Week (4-9 October) at a top south Asian eatery: Choose from venues including Michelin-starred AmayaTrishna and Veeraswamy.
  6. Have a serious fill at London's restaurants in celebration of World Food Day: Try the capital's best eating out options, from quirky eateries to luxury dinners. 16 Oct
  7. Enjoy Sunday roasts, fish and chips or afternoon teaAutumn is the traditional harvest time, so tuck into hearty food (you’ll need that extra fuel for winter…).

Find more food and drink inspiration.

What's on for sports fans?

  1. Experience American football fever in London: Wembley Stadium and Tottenham Stadium host the annual NFL London Games.
  2. Test your fitness in the Royal Parks Half Marathon: Run past Hyde Park, Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens. 09 Oct
  3. Watch Roger Federer's Laver Cup at The O2: See the six best tennis players in Europe take on six from the rest of the world. 23-25 Sep
  4. See The Original Harlem Globetrotters at Wembley Arena: Watch the world-famous basketball troop shoot some hoops. 9 Oct

Find more sport in London.

The countdown to Christmas in London

Two people stand at the bottom of large, illuminated twisting sculputes in Kew Gardens at night.
Christmas at Kew © RBG Kew. Image courtesy of Kew Gardens.
  1. Celebrate a magical festive season with Hogwarts in the SnowWizarding wonders are given a festive twist this winter, with plenty of fun activities and features. 
  2. Be wowed by Christmas at Kew: See stunning light displays and immersive art.
  3. Don't miss the feel-good festive fun at Winter Wonderland: Don't miss its return to Hyde Park for 2022! 
  4. Get your skating fix early: London’s winter ice rinks start popping up across the city from November. 
  5. Soak up the start of the festive season with Christmas in Leicester Square: Check out the market and shows under the spiegeltent. 
  6. Enjoy Winter at the Southbank Centre: Explore its famous winter market, bars and wintry experiences. 
  7. Head over to Christmas by the River: London Bridge’s riverside is turned into a seasonal wonderland with market stalls, food and drink. 
  8. Start your Christmas shopping spree under sparkling Christmas lights, as they switch on in November: Bond Street, Carnaby, Covent Garden, Jermyn Street, Oxford Street, Regent Street, Seven Dials, South Molton Street all usually have stunning displays. Join a Christmas lights bus tour to see London lit up from November.
  9. Step into the Enchanted Woodland at Syon Park: Stroll through the historic gardens illuminated with festive lights. 
  10. Follow the winter light trail at Winterfest in Wembley Park: Enjoy a multi-sensory experience of sound, light and London's tallest LED Christmas tree. 
  11. See the city sparkle with a Christmas lights bus tour: Be dazzled by a glittering display of festive lights and famous landmarks.

Plan ahead with more Christmas in London ideas.

If you're visiting another time of the year, find inspiration for each month. Or, if you'll be in London sooner, check out our top picks of things to do this weekend and activities for today.

Keep an eye out for special deals and offers for your visit; and make sure to download the Visit London app for inspiration on the go.