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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.

For more fun ideas, check out our Let's Do London guide. Make sure to share your adventures on social media using the #LetsDoLondon hashtag!

Let's Do London: fun things to do this autumn

  1. Hit up your feed during the London Design Festival (18-26 Sep): See pedestrian crossings transformed into mind-blowing temporary artworks in Bring London Together. From 20 Sep
  2. View the Illuminated River in a new light: Artist Leo Villareal's light show dazzles the Thames for one night only. 23 Sep
  3. Join an exciting lineup of workshops, talks and screenings celebrating storytelling: Check out the Evening Standard Stories Festival in association with Netflix. 24-26 Sep
  4. Make the most of Limited Edition London: Top fashion brands bring exclusive events, activities and fashion items to the capital. 17 Sep-30 Nov
  5. See world-renowned photographer Rankin's works broadcast across central London: Celebrate the people behind some of the West End's most-loved shows. From Oct
  6. Celebrate Black History Month across London: Discover a lineup of activities and events for all the family. 1-31 Oct
  7. Discover the best new films during the BFI London Film FestivalTake your pick from more than 10 days of cinema screenings. 6-17 Oct
  8. Check out the Dance Umbrella festival: Be wowed by the world of 21st-century choreography. 8-24 Oct
  9. Admire the very best of African and African-inspired design: See pieces from rising talent on the catwalk during Africa Fashion Week9 Oct
  10. Gaze at incredible artworks from world-class artists: Enjoy the stunning backdrop of Regent's Park at Frieze London13-17 Oct
  11. Enjoy the Southbank Centre's programme of autumn events: See talks, performances and exhibitions, and take part in fun workshops.

What are the top London autumn events?

  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. 17-21 Sep
  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 11 Oct and 25 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. Immerse yourself in the spectacular seasonal colours and culture of Japan: Stroll along the Momijigari trail, as part of the Japan Festival at Kew Gardens. 2-31 Oct 

  6. Coffee lovers unite! Get your coffee fix at the London Coffee Festival: Enjoy tastings, gourmet food and live music at the Truman Brewery. 23-26 Sep 

  7. Experience London in bloom at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show: Featuring world-class floral exhibits and unique themed gardens. 21-26 Sep 

  8. Get into the spirit as London Cocktail Week returns: Make the most of a special month-long edition this autumn. 1-31 Oct
  9. 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. 6 Nov
  10. Watch The Lord Mayor's ShowCelebrate as the much-loved historic parade returns, mixing pageantry with a party atmosphere in the heart of London. 13 Nov 
  11. Experience Belgravia in Bloom: See the elegant district transform into a floral fairground, adorned with beautiful flower displays and spectacular installations. 20-26 Sep

Find more world-class London events in autumn months.

What's on in London theatre during autumn 2021?

  1. Enjoy a special evening with The Great GatsbyGet ready for an evening filled with glitz and glamour during a scandalous party you won't forget. From 16 Sep
  2. Celebrate girl power with Six The Musical: Watch as the wives of Henry VIII take to the stage to tell their side of the story at the Vaudeville Theatre. From 29 Sep
  3. Get your fill of Mischief Theatre's hilarious shows: Don't miss the return of The Play That Goes Wrong (from 1 Sep) and Magic Goes Wrong (from 21 Oct) to the West End. 
  4. Catch a performance of Everybody's Talking about JamieThe award-winning musical is in the West End for a few more weeks before a short break. Until 26 Sep

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

What are the best museum and art exhibitions in London this autumn?

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The #SummerNotSummer Exhibition is now open! 252 years ago, a group of artists made it their mission to form an annual exhibition to support artists and architects, by showcasing art of the moment to the nation. The Summer Exhibition has run uninterrupted ever since: a backdrop to famous artistic rivalries of the past and now a fixture of the summer calendar for art seekers, year after year. At a time when artists need your support more than ever, this is the perfect moment to start your own art collection (or add something new!). Buy tickets from late October to explore works from artists both established and emerging, or browse through our online Summer Explorer — see the link in our bio! Income from the Summer Exhibition supports both the exhibiting artists and the not-for-profit work of the RA. A huge thank you to the coordinators of this year's show Jane and Louise Wilson RA and their committee, which includes @isaacjulien RA, Sonia Boyce RA, @farthingstephen RA, @david_remfry_ra, @eileen_cooper_ra and Eva Jiřičná RA. Thank you also to the Summer Exhibition team, all artists who submitted their work this year and, of course, all art lovers — we hope to welcome you here soon! Installation view of the Summer Exhibition 2020 (6 October 2020 – 3 January 2021) at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. Photo: © Royal Academy of Arts / David Parry #RASummer #art #fineart #london #salon #painting #illustration #sculpture #buyart #supportartists #mayfair #

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  1. Marvel at stunning artworks with Masterpieces from Buckingham PalaceGet a glimpse of the Queen's Royal Collection of famous paintings from the world's greatest artists.Until 13 Feb
  2. See the state-of-the-art Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Exhibition: Michelangelo’s masterpieces come to life from a new perspective. From 15 Oct

  3. Browse artworks from big names and emerging artists at the Summer Exhibition: The postponed event opens this autumn at Royal Academy of Arts. 22 Sep-2 Jan
  4. Understand the impacts of climate change and colonialism with We Are History: Don't miss this thought-provoking exhibition at Somerset House. 16 Oct-6 Feb
  5. Brush up on maritime facts at the London: Port City exhibition: Explore the fascinating history of life on the river Thames at the Museum of London Docklands. 22 Oct-8 May
  6. Discover the early experimental works of sculptor Rodin: Learn how he revolutionised modern sculpture at Tate Modern. Until 21 Nov
  7. Immerse yourself in Bruce Nauman's work: See neon art installations, poetic sculptures and pieces revolving around sound and moving image, in the first major exhibition of his work in London in more than 20 years. 7 Oct-21 Feb
  8. Make time for Hogarth and Europe at Tate Britain: See Europe captured through the eyes of artists in the mid-18th century along with Hogarth's greatest works.. 3 Nov-20 Mar
  9. Don't miss An Ode to AfrosurrealismExplore spiritual identity through a Black British lens at the Horniman Museum and Gardens. Until 7 Nov
  10. See much-talked-about David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy 2020Discover the digital art of one of Britain's most prominent artists at the Royal Academy of Arts. Until 26 Sep
  11. Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone film: See a special wand installation in Leicester Square (13-25 Oct) or go behind the scenes with never-before-seen images and fun activities at the Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition.
  12. Enjoy a city safari on the Tusk Lion Trail: Discover life-sized sculptures of lions at famous London landmarks. Until 24 Sep

Find more exhibitions in London.

What are the top places to explore in autumn?

  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 26 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.

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. Learn something new with the Cookery School at Little Portland StreetFind out how to make foodie delicacies at cooking workshops and craft masterclasses.
  3. 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.

What are the best free autumn events in London?

  1. Get free access to cool venues during Open House London: Go behind the doors of buildings usually closed to the public. 4-12 Sep
  2. Wear a poppy on Remembrance Day: Take time to recognise those who gave their lives in two world wars and more recently. 11-14 Nov
  3. Mark the festival of lights with virtual Diwali activities: Also enjoy special restaurant menus across the city. TBC

Find more free events in London.

How can I find spooky Halloween experiences in London?

  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. 24 Sep-7 Nov
  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.

Find more scary activities and Halloween events in London.

Where to go for autumn food and drink

  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. 1-31 Oct
  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 (7-13 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.

Which autumn activities can culture vultures enjoy?

  1. Celebrate Rosh Hashanah: Mark the start of the Jewish New Year with activities across the city. 6-8 Sep
  2. Delve into Chelsea's fascinating past during the Chelsea History Festival: Enjoy interesting talks, tours and events. 17-26 Sep
  3. Use the Mid-autumn Festival (1 Oct) 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.
  4. Discover London’s vibrant cultural district at the Bloomsbury Festival: Celebrate creativity with a mix of walks, events and activities. 15-24 Oct 

Search for London events by day.

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

  1. Enjoy the soulful sounds at Regent’s Park Music Festival: Grab a picnic, sit back and discover local bands, choirs and jazz bands. Until 19 Sep

  2. See top artists perform at Live from the Barbican: Take your seat and enjoy an exciting lineup of performances this autumn. 4 Oct-31 Dec
  3. Get your jazz hands ready for the EFG London Jazz Festival: Celebrate its return with a series of concerts. 12-21 Nov

Find more music events in London.

How to make memories with the kids this autumn

  1. Marvel at Naturally Brilliant Colour at Kew GardensBe dazzled by a spectrum of the world's brightest colours this autumn. Until 26 Sep
  2. Spend a whole week in London with the kids during October half-term: Enjoy activities and new adventures across London. 25-29 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. Turn to these rainy day activities if there’s a downpour: Guns N’ Roses sang about November rain for a reason…
  5. Follow an interactive trail of statues with Scenes in the SquareHead to Leicester Square and meet big-screen stars.
  6. Treat the kids to a trip on the Peppa Pig Afternoon Tea Bus Tour: Spot famous London landmarks while tucking into delicious treats.
  7. Discover top London attractions for kids and family restaurants: Plan an action-packed family day out in the city.
  8. Spend a day exploring some of London's top free museumsEnjoy the best of London's culture with the little ones. 
  9. Embark on a journey through maritime history at the National Maritime Museum: Take the kids on an adventure to remember!

Discover more family activities, including exciting experiences for teenagers.

What are the top autumn attractions?

  1. Take a tour of historic Windsor Castle: Discover the best 10 London attractions with The London Pass, the London Explorer Pass and the Merlin London Attractions Pass.
  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. 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.
  5. Go on a fascinating tour of Shakespeare's GlobeLearn all about the open-air playhouse.
  6. Hop on an open-top bus tour: Be mesmerised by golden-painted streets of autumnal London.
  7. Gaze at the marvellous interior of St Paul's Cathedral: Before delving into the fascinating history of this iconic landmark.
  8. Enjoy "lates" events in London's museums and galleries: Explore the London Transport Museum after dark.

What's on for sports fans?

  1. Experience American football fever in London: Wembley Stadium and Tottenham Stadium host the annual NFL London Games. 10-17 Oct
  2. Test your fitness in the Royal Parks Half Marathon: Run past Hyde Park, Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens. 10 Oct
  3. See the world’s best track cyclists compete during Six Day London: Choose from six thrilling evenings of action, as the event returns to Lee Valley VeloPark. 26-31 Oct

Find more sport in London.

The countdown to Christmas in London

  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. 13 Nov-16 Jan
  2. Be wowed by Christmas at Kew: See stunning light displays and immersive art. 17 Nov-9 Jan
  3. Don't miss the feel-good festive fun at Winter Wonderland: Don't miss its return to Hyde Park for 2021! 19 Nov-3 Jan
  4. Get your skating fix early: London’s winter ice rinks start popping up across the city from November. Nov-Jan
  5. Soak up the start of the festive season with Christmas in Leicester Square: Check out the market and shows under the spiegeltent. Nov-Jan TBC
  6. Enjoy Winter at the Southbank Centre: Explore its famous winter market, bars and wintry experiences. 5 Nov-27 Dec TBC
  7. Head over to Christmas by the River: London Bridge’s riverside is turned into a seasonal wonderland with market stalls, food and drink. Nov-Jan TBC
  8. Don’t miss the Greenwich Market Lantern Parade: The unique spectacle winds its way around the market. Nov TBC
  9. 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.
  10. Experience the golden age of circus at Circus 1903: Be mesmerised by acrobatics and daredevil antics. 16 Dec-2 Jan
  11. Step into the Enchanted Woodland at Syon Park: Stroll through the historic gardens illuminated with festive lights. 12-28 Nov
  12. 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. 24 Nov-9 Jan

Plan ahead with more Christmas in London ideas.

What's new in London this autumn?

  1. Be transported to Japan and treat yourself to luxe rooftop dining at 8 at The Londoner: Discover a Shima Garden and decadent izakaya lounge within the new The Londoner hotel on Leicester Square.

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.