Summer is officially over and the inhabitants of London really don’t seem to mind. The heat wave has ended and thankfully, the tube has become slightly more bearable as a result. Even the rain doesn’t seem to be getting people down or stopping people going out. And with plenty to keep you busy over the months leading up to Christmas, it’s a great time of year to be in the city. Here are nine of London’s most enjoyable Autumnal events which you won’t want to miss out on.
Celebrate Guy Fawkes Night at one of London’s many spectacular fireworks displays. This tradition dates back to 1605 when a man named Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament and assassinate King James I. Usually celebrated on November 5th, there are bonfires, firework displays, fairs and food and drink events all over the city. Find your local one and take part in this uniquely British event.
Christmas at Kew
It’s never too early to start getting excited about Christmas! One of the most beautiful times of year to visit Kew Gardens, the trees and greenhouses are lit creating a magically festive and romantic atmosphere. There are laser projections, fire gardens and lots of other attractions organized specifically for Christmas at Kew. And this isn’t just a Winter event, as it opens mid-November to the public.
Winter Wonderland or Winterville
Whether you love it or hate it, Winter Wonderland has become a norm on the November calendar. It is expensive and busy but people can’t help themselves getting into the Christmas spirit a little bit early. If you want a slightly less commercialized experience of a German-esque Christmas market, check out Winterville in Clapham Common. Generally attracting a younger crowd, it’s less family/children focused and a great place to start a night out.
If you can’t wait until November for some German inspired fun, London Oktoberfest has you covered. It runs for three different weekends in three different locations so undoubtedly, you will have your fill of lederhosen, dirndl and beer-fuelled fun.
Lord Mayor’s Show
A splendid display of London tradition and pomp, the Lord Mayor’s show consists of a 6,000-strong parade through the center of the city. There are also plays and pantomimes to enjoy which combined with the parade, brings the center of London to a standstill. The tradition started in 1215 when King John decided that every year, the newly elected major of London must leave the city and travel to Westminster to swear loyalty to the crown.
London Cocktail Week
This is an annual celebration of cocktail drinking which if you sign up for, entitles you to £6 cocktails in many bars across the city. To celebrate its 10th anniversary the event is running for 10 days from October 4th. The sign-up fee is £10 which gets you reduced price cocktails as well as entry to ‘cocktail village’ in the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane.
Diwali on Trafalgar Square
Celebrate the Hindu festival of light on October 27 in Trafalgar Square alongside approximately 35,000 other people who attend the festival each year. You can expect a lot of color, music and dance as well as opportunities to have henna tattoos and lots of delicious food. It’s Europe’s largest Diwali festival.
Natural History Museum Ice Rink
Autumn sees the start of many ice rinks popping up all over London. However, the Natural History Museum is usually earliest and one of the most atmospheric. It’s situated in front of the museum itself, one of London’s most iconic landmarks.
Halloween at Koko
You can’t talk about autumn without mentioning Halloween which in London, is a pretty big night out. There are events all over the city, from family friendly themed days out at the Tower of London to masquerade balls and costume parties at many of the city’s most popular night clubs. One of the best events is the Halloween Ball at Koko. A converted theater in Camden Town, its spooky atmosphere is perfect for Halloween.