Summer might be over, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to retreat inside just yet. Autumn in London is arguably the best time of the year, when the city’s trees turn golden yellow, orange and red, making for beautiful seasonal walks (and excellent Instagram opportunities). Even better – you’re never too far away from a cosy pub once you’ve earned your Sunday roast and post-walk pint.
From inner-city strolls to countryside ramblings, here’s our pick of the leafiest, loveliest places in and near London for a magical Autumn walk, just a stone’s throw from the centre of London.
The Walk: Richmond Park
Richmond Park is a solid walking choice at any time of year, but Autumn is particularly special. Crunch your way through the flame-coloured leaves, and take in the fresh, autumnal air as you ramble through this 2500-acre Royal Park watching the wild deer roaming free.
The most autumnal part of the park has to be the Isabella Plantation – 40 acres of red and orange-hued leaves, unusual trees, ponds, and streams. If you want to know your Japanese Maples (scarlet red leaves) from your Tulip Trees (butter yellow leaves), their website offers a handy guide to all the Autumn colours. We recommend heading down early in the morning to witness antlered stags emerging from the Autumn mists.
Wander round the Autumnal beauty of London's best parks.
Incredible views of London from a brilliantly British pub.
The Pub: The Roebuck
Serving a mean British menu – think fish and chips and a hearty selection of pies – plus a great selection of beers, this is the perfect place to refuel after a morning jaunt through Richmond Park. Located at the top of Richmond Hill, The Roebuck offers gorgeous views of London – possibly the best pub view in the city.
Settle in for a pub lunch, or take your pint across the street to sit atop the hill and gaze across Petersham Meadows and the Thames below.
The Walk: Hampstead Heath
Is there any better way to spend a weekend than walking through the ever-beautiful Hampstead Heath? We think not. Whatever you’re looking for – short walk, long walk, dense trees, vast open spaces, lakes, dogs – Hampstead Heath’s 800 acres have got it all.
Take in the changing colour of the leaves as they crunch beneath your feet, and pop in for a cosy tea in Kenwood’s Brew House to warm up mid-walk.
Hampstead Heath's beauty really shines in the Autumn months.
The Pub: The Holly Bush
The pub exterior we’ve all seen on our Instagram feeds, The Holly Bush is just as lovely on the inside as it is on the out.
Located in a pretty, residential nook of Hampstead Village, the Grade-II listed pub serves delicious food served with great wines and provides a welcome countryside-like escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The perfect Hampstead Village pub to settle into.
The Walk: Regent’s Canal
For spontaneous Autumn walks right in the middle of London, ramble along the Regent’s Canal for a healthy dose of Autumn air.
The whole route’s a lengthy one, but the best bit is from Little Venice to Camden, roaming from cute houseboats, through London Zoo and finishing up at Camden Market – the perfect afternoon’s end if you’ve worked up an appetite for some street food.
Explore London’s crunchy-leaf-strewn canals before grabbing a bite at Camden Market.
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The Pub: The Engineer
Just a short stroll from Camden Market, head over to leafy Primrose Hill and grab a beer or glass of wine at The Engineer.
This is a proper British local, serving up British bites, cask ales, and wines, with a rich history dating back to the 1800s.
The loveliest Primrose Hill pub after an atmospheric autumnal walk.
The Walk: Kew Gardens
Sure, you can marvel at the tropical plants in Kew Gardens’ greenhouses all year round, but Autumn is when the outside spaces really come into their own, with red and orange leaves covering the trees and ground.
Leaf-crunching is, of course, the best Autumn activity of all, however, the most spectacular view of all this is from the Treetop Walkway, where you can get a view of the colourful leaves from high above.
One of London's most fascinating outdoor spaces - especially in Autumn.
The Pub: The Greyhound, Kew
Just a stone’s throw away from Kew Gardens’ Elizabeth Gate is The Greyhound, an independent family-run gastropub that has a thriving following of locals, but is ideally placed for Kew Gardens-goers too.
Overlooking Kew Green, it has an enviable reputation for good food as well as a fine selection of draught beers, real ales, and cocktails.
Feast on great food after a walk in the fresh, Autumnal air.
The Walk: Kensington & Chelsea
We’ve never met a mews we didn’t want to live on. And the quiet, quaint mews of Kensington and Chelsea really come into their own at this time of year.
Snap photos of the changing leaves and seasonal colours on the foliage-covered houses as you wander the pretty lanes, side streets, and hidden mews that pepper the area.
The perfect inner-city destination for Autumn.
The Pub: The Cadogan Arms
A pub truly fit for the King’s Road, The Cadogan Arms is an upmarket gastropub with winning food to match. The interiors are jaw-dropping whilst still being cosy.
There’s an open fire, velvet armchairs, and chandeliers, making it the perfect post-walk place to settle for a lazy Sunday afternoon.
The Walk: Green Chain Walk
The best way to explore South London is on two feet. And the easiest way to do it is by following the Green Chain Walk, meandering through its many leafy spaces. Split into 11 sections, you can choose to dip in and out of this route wherever you please. (Or, if you’re feeling particularly energetic, take on the full 40-mile, ten-hour walk in one go). The length of the route is explained in the many twists and turns along the way – never once going in a straight line, but well-signposted.
The route starts at Thamesmead, and it’ll take you through many familiar spots as you meander south – the Thames Barrier, Severndroog Castle, Eltham Palace, Dulwich Woods, and Crystal Palace Park to name a few. The last section of the walk, however, is an absolute Autumn stunner. You’ll climb One Tree Hill and soak in jaw-dropping views of Central London, finishing up in Nunhead Cemetery, which is one of London’s most atmospheric Autumn spots, where you can see St Paul’s through the trees.
The Pub: The Woodhouse
When you get to Dulwich Woods and Sydenham Hill Wood, pop into the Woodhouse which is perched right on the edge – a cosy pub with snug corners, heaps of outdoor seating, heaters for the chillier days, and a number of tasty food pop-ups.
The regular menu features just the kind of hearty pub fare to beat the cold.
A cosy pub nestled on the edge of Dulwich Woods.
The Walk: Eynsford Circular
Boasting charming stops like Castle Farm’s seasonal pumpkin market along the way, the Eynsford Circular is a spectacular Autumn walk with breathtaking views of the Darent Valley and the rolling Kent countryside. The train from Blackfriars to Eynsford takes only 55 minutes, so it’s an easy countryside escape from the city – perfect for a day out and a Sunday roast with friends.
The walk takes you to Shoreham and back, with lovely sights and landscapes like Lullingstone Castle, riverside walks, and the Eynsford Viaduct along the way.
The Pub: The Castle Hotel, Eynsford
Serving up a Sunday roast to be rivalled, The Castle Hotel is the cute village spot at the end of this route.
Roasts come in a range of different sizes to match your level of hunger (the large is really, really large), and it’s the perfect snug spot to warm up over a glass of wine after a successful morning’s ramblings.