Enjoying London in Autumn

We’re nearing the middle of August and the slightly colder months are becoming more and more visible through the temporary haze of sunshine. Those in the capital are first to despair: festival season will be over for another year, the thermometer will start to show abominably low figures, and then will begin the retreat inside for a long hibernation. But this bleak outlook really shouldn’t be adopted too early. In my opinion, we Brits are generally affected too much by the weather. There should be at least three inches of snow on the ground before any leisure activities, day trips or personal enjoyments are sacrificed.

The bursting metropolis of London can be enjoyed at any time of year, so diverse and full of life as it is. If you’re thinking of a weekend excursion, staying in the city in September may actually be a more enjoyable experience than squeezing yourself along Oxford Street in mid-July. Yes, summer might be sunnier, but you won’t find a space in Hyde Park to sunbathe until everyone’s back at school or the office. To help you out, here are a few ideas for what to do in London during this slightly less friendly season:

Explore leaf-littered paths…

Who says that the outdoors can’t be explored when it’s a little colder? All you need is a different attitude and a warm coat. Instead of picnics outside, embark on a bracing walk and pick up a well-deserved cup of tea on the way back to your London hotels. Kenwood House in North London is particularly good for this, with a friendly tea room next to the picturesque building and Hampstead Heath spread out around it. The amber shades of autumn leaves will have strewn the paths, creating a general aesthetic just as beautiful as that of any other season.

Take in some culture…

The many museums, art galleries and historical exhibitions collated in London can sometimes be neglected when everyone’s outside basking in the summer sunshine. So now it’s autumn, why not check out the edgy installations at the Tate Modern, where everything and anything counts as art. Or, you could peruse the many faces of the National Portrait Gallery near Charing Cross. All of these unique places, with their bounty of interesting artifacts, are ready and waiting to be explored.

Journey to the West End…

You may be mourning the end of the festival season, but aren’t you forgetting that London is home to the best venues in the country, which all produce year-round gigs and shows? The West End dazzles the area around Leicester Square with the bright lights of its multiple theaters. This exclusive section of the metropolis is definitely worth a visit, whether to attend a show, or just to soak up the exhilarating atmosphere. There are also many music venues in this area and all over London – and they don’t stop because of a change of weather.

So, with such a bounty of autumnal entertainment, an off-season excursion to London could be nearly as good as staying at an array of five-star hotels in Rome. Don’t let the change of season get you down. There’s plenty to be enjoyed all year round – all you need is optimism and a healthy imagination.

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