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The Best Things to Do in London This Autumn

Posted:September 23, 2020 at 9:26 am

The summer is officially out and autumn is in. Along with upgrading to roll neck jumpers and shawls, London is welcoming the change of season with a plethora of activities. Nights will start to get darker and the days a little nippier, but the autumnal months mark a great time to stay at The Harrington to enjoy London’s leafy walks and cosy pub evenings.

To help you make the most of your visit, we’ve rounded up the best things to do this autumn in London.

London Cocktail Week

London is in for a huge treat this autumn as London Cocktail Week has extended to the whole month of October. With bars needing support now more than ever, it’s the season to make every cocktail count.

Here’s how it works, £15 gets you a festival wristband that unlocks £6 signature cocktails across hundreds of London’s best bars. Nightjar, Swingers, Laki Kane and London Cocktail Club are a handful of bars taking part. Click here for the full-line up.

There will also be a month-long schedule of physically distanced, ticketed events, and some venues will also be hosting immersive pop-ups or extended special menus.

When: The whole month of October

Where: Various bars across London

Buy tickets


London Restaurant Festival

In light of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the London Restaurant Festival will be a little different this year. Foodies can look forward to both ‘At-Home’ and ‘In-Restaurant’ experiences with individual bookings (never more than six) and no communal mixing elements. You can choose from six-course lunches and dine-in tasting menus, or if you prefer to remain at home, the at-home experience will deliver restaurant quality food to your door. Either way, you can celebrate the capital’s delicious diversity.

When: The whole month of October

Where: Various restaurants in London, plus the option to take part ‘At-Home’

Buy tickets


Bags: Inside Out exhibition, V&A

Like any other collector’s niche, handbag lovers will tell you that good bags are hard to acquire but deserve proper care. The V&A’s latest exhibition Bags: Inside Out, welcomes guests to explore the style, function, design and craftsmanship of the ultimate accessory. Sponsored by Mullberry, the exhibition features Birkins, despatch boxes, Louis Vuitton luggage and more. 

When: Opening on Saturday, 21st November 

Where: V&A

Price: £12.00

Image by Victoria and Albert Museum, London


Bruce Nauman exhibition, Tate Modern

Since the late 1960s, Bruce Nauman has tested what artwork can be, reshaping old forms and creating new ones. Visitors to Tate Modern will be able to draw their conclusions about Nauman’s work this October, with an exhibition showcasing his 50-year career through more than 40 artworks.

When: 7 October 2020 – 21 February 2021

Where: Tate Modern

Price: £13 / Free with ticket for Members

Photograph Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA


Backyard Cinema

While cinema buffs have had to settle for Netflix and Amazon Prime for the last few months, cinema is finally back with a bang. 

Making up for the missed time, Backyard Cinema returns with two themes. The Winter Night Garden has been open from September 4th and will be showing classics such as Moulin Rouge, Ghostbusters and Dirty Dancing until November 8th.

The second theme is The Snow Kingdom, which was a 2019 sellout. Showings begin from October 2nd and run until November 1st.

Tickets start from £19.99 per person, and you can pre-purchase snacks and refreshments at check-out.

When: From September until November

Where: Wandsworth 

Buy tickets

Image by Backyard Cinema


Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace

Some of the Queen’s hidden masterpieces will go on public display in a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition this December. These pieces are normally displayed in the Palace during the summer opening, but due to reservicing works have been moved to The Queen’s Gallery

The exhibition brings together some of the most important paintings in the Royal Collection. Works by the likes of Vermeer, Titian and Van Dyck will be yours to celebrate.

When: 4th December 2020 – 31st Jan 2022

Where: The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace

Price: £16

Image Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2020


Ice skate at The Natural History Museum

It’s not quite here yet (date TBC), but there’s something about ice skating that screams Christmas. Fear not, we’ve still got to welcome Halloween and Thanksgiving before we can whack on the festive tunes. Until then, get ready to lace up your skates, because there’s no place quite like the Natural History Museum’s stunning ice rink for your first slide and glide.

When: October (date TBC)

Where: South Kensington

Buy tickets

Image by The Natural History Museum 


BFI London Film Festival

If you aren’t 100% comfortable venturing to cinemas just yet, this event might be more your cup of tea. Spanning over 12 days, catch some of the latest and greatest releases in the world of film at the BFI London Film Festival via the BFI Player. The celebrations include over 50 virtual premieres, free online talks, panels and events, and virtual exhibitions.

When: October 7th – 18th

Where: Virtual and film showings taking place in varying cinemas

Buy tickets


Paradise Lost exhibition, Kew Gardens

Led by world-renowned artist Jan Hendrix, this immersive exhibition at Kew Gardens will explore the fragile wonders of Kamay Botany Bay on the southern coast of Australia.

Inspired by lost landscapes, Jan uses a variety of materials including glass and silver leaf to examine the transformation of landscapes.

When: 3rd October 2020 – Sunday 14th March 2021

Where: Kew Gardens

Price: Included with entry

Image Kew Gardens/ © Roger Wooldridge


Get Cosy in a British Pub

Whether you’re in town for business or pleasure, it goes without saying that you must experience a decent pint of London ale or stout. Why not push the boat out and try some quintessentially British bangers and mash or some battered fish and chips? Whichever you decide, you can’t go wrong with the pubs in South Kensington.  Luckily for you, we’ve tried and tested all of them, click here to discover the best boozers in town!

Image by The Britannia

COVID-19 Update

The government has announced further national measures to address rising cases of Coronavirus in England. Businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls, must be closed between 10 pm and 5 am. This will include takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10 pm.

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