From crisp walks to warming whiskey, here’s how to spend autumn in London

Words Helen Brown

Winkworth Arboretum

Follow the winding footpaths through Winkworth Arboretum this autumn and immerse yourself in the colour and nature of over a 1,000 different shrubs and trees. Wander through woodland and stumble upon wetland and meadow in a dazzling display of arboreal colour. Enjoy a seasonal fungi foray or visit on a Wednesday to take part in a guided walking tour.

Hascombe Road, GU8; nationaltrust.org.uk

Borough Market

A foodie’s favourite all year round, Borough Market comes alive in the autumn time. Enjoy a hot spiced brew from The Cider House whilst you amble around barrels of rosy apples and sprawling stands of pumpkin and squash. From freshly baked bread, cured meats and seasonal soups, to exquisite cheeses and artisan pastries; London’s oldest food market truly is a display of gourmet food finery. Head over hungry to take advantage of the multitude of free samples.

8 Southwark St, SE1; boroughmarket.org.uk

Greenwich Park

Unleash your inner child as you stuff your pockets full with conkers and crunch your way through autumn leaves at Greenwich Park. Discover the ancient Anglo-Saxon Barrow Cemetery that lies beneath Croom’s Hill and catch a glimpse of the amazingly autumnal red deer. When the crisp autumn air finely takes it toll, stroll over to the White House Cafe for their daily changing menu of freshly baked croissants, hot wraps, cakes and treats.

SE10; royalparks.org.uk

Hot Chocolate at Said

Winter is coming and what better way to stave of the winds than a wonderfully decadent and indulgent mug of steaming hot chocolate. Wrap up warm and pick your way around the cobbled streets of Soho to find Said, the long-established Rome chocolate shop that displays its chocolate in opulent heaps and Willy Wonker-ish jars. Said’s incredibly rich and delicious hot chocolate bubbles away in cauldrons behind the counter; we defy anyone to resist.

41 Broadwick St, W1F; said.it

Royal Park Walk

London has an abundance of parkland to enjoy a bit of autumnal colour. The finest of which can be found at Regents and St. James Parks where squirrels run riot. The best way to enjoy the city’s green spaces is on a Royal Parks Walk. There are five in total across the city and it only takes three hours to walk across them all using the website’s interactive maps.

Various locations; Royalparks.org.uk

Regent’s Canal

Starting at Little Venice and ending at Docklands, the quiet and atmospheric waterway of the Regent’s Canal is the perfect setting for an autumnal outing. Wrap up warm and hop onboard one of the picture-book narrowboats that will take you from Little Venice to Camden with the London Waterbus Company. If you’d rather stay inside, watch the boats meander past the towpath from the comfort of the canalside Bridge House pub, where a fire roars and seasonal pub classics await.

13 Westbourne Terrace Road, W2 6NG; thebridgehouselittlevenice.co.uk

Kew Gardens

Just 30 minutes outside of central London, Kew Gardens is the world’s most famous botanical garden. Wander the old Victorian Palm House, explore exotic flowers and run wild in overgrown meadows. Climb the 118 steps to the Treetop walkway this autumn and enjoy nature’s greatest leafy artshow.

Kew, TW9; kew.org

Whiskey Tasting at the East London Liquor Company

The brilliant people at the East London Liquor Company know exactly how to warm the soul during these crisp autumn months. Take an excursion to Bow Wharf and explore the old glue factory-turned-distillery and bottling room.  For full seasonal impact, try the Autumn Woods cocktail. This concoction of whiskey, birch water, maple syrup and oak liquor is comfort in a glass. The Liquor Company is now the first London whisky distillery north of the Thames in over 100 years, so grab a fellow spirit lover and start sipping.

Bow Wharf, E3; eastlondonliquorcompany.com

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