Top London Parks for autumn walks
The start of autumn is no cause for sadness, thanks to the enchanting colours and magical misty mornings in London’s beautiful Royal Parks!
From the oranges and rusts of the canopies to the crunch of dried leaves underfoot, and the thrilling sight of deer to the otherworldly fungi popping up between the trees, the top London parks for autumn walks are wonderlands well worth exploring. Discover where to go and what to see and do during this colourful season.
Richmond Park in autumn
Listen closely when visiting Richmond Park in autumn, and you might hear the whispers of older, wilder landscapes. The largest of London’s Royal Parks, this popular 2,500-acre green space comes into its own when the warm days of summer have passed. Explore the expansive landscapes, colourful foliage, and enthralling wildlife that gives the park its beloved distinctive character.
Why visit Richmond Park during autumn?
There are plenty of great reasons to visit Richmond Park during autumn. Meadow grasses glow in mellow golds and leaves burn with seasonal colours. What more could you want from an autumn walk in one of London’s top parks?
Other reasons to take an autumn walk in Richmond Park include the fiery reds of the maples and sweet gums in Isabella Plantation, and the many different types of lichens and fungi that grow in the park during the season, such as Oak Polypore and Parasol mushrooms. All this and more combine to offer a sense of peace, tranquility, and harmony with nature in the middle of a bustling city. Come experience it for yourself. Please remember it is illegal to forage in any of London’s eight Royal Parks as these natural resources help balance the eco-system as well as serve as an important food source for wildlife in the parks.
Best walking routes in Richmond Park
There are many walking routes to choose from in Richmond Park. Here are a few of the best for
your autumn walk:
Follow this 11km/7-mile trail to visit all corners of Richmond Park in autumn, which takes between two and four hours to complete, depending on your pace, frequency of stops, etc. Enjoy spectacular views from King Henry’s Mound and Sawyer’s Hill while soaking up the colours and spotting wildlife.
Beverly Brook Walk in Richmond Park
Join this 2.4km/1.5-mile section of the longer Putney-Wimbledon Beverley Brook Walk as it cuts through the park for a blissful 45-minute stroll. Join the main Tamsin Trail path at the Roehampton gate car park until you cross the footbridge over Beverley Brook. Leave the Tamsin Trail and walk as far as you like along the riverbank, where you can see the rich autumn colours reflected in the brook’s chilly waters. Head away from the river to rejoin the Tamsin Trail and return to the car park.
Tips for visiting
Heading to Richmond Park for an autumn walk? Follow these tips to make the most of your visit:
- Dress appropriately. October can be cold and wet, so wear layers of appropriate clothing. Wear a weatherproof jacket, cap, sturdy walking boots or wellies, gloves if walking in the morning or evening, and a scarf.
- Bring water and snacks. Even though you can purchase food and beverages at several points in Richmond Park, bringing bottled water and snacks is a good idea - you never know where your walk will take you.
- Help nature thrive. Keep 50m away from the deer at all times. Read our guidelines on dogs in Richmond Park.
- Visit early morning for stags in the mist: Take in the eerie sight of majestic stags emerging from the mists by visiting just before sunrise.
- Help us keep the park beautiful. Dispose of rubbish in the bins provided, do not remove or deface anything in the park, do not play loud music, and behave respectfully toward other visitors.
- Take note of gate times. The pedestrian gates are open 24/7 except during the November and February deer culls, when they’re locked from 8.00pm until 7.30am. The main traffic gates open from 7.00am.
Hyde Park in autumn
Hyde Park is the central jewel of London in autumn. With more than 3,000 trees including beech, chestnut and lime, this 350-acre Royal Park bursts with vibrant reds, fiery oranges, and golden yellows. Spend a few hours or shorter successive visits exploring the vastness of Hyde Park in autumn, discovering its finest attractions such as the boating on the Serpentine and the Royal Parks Shop, and immersing yourself in a delightful blend of urban and natural.
Why Hyde Park is a must-visit in autumn
Numerous paths criss-cross the park, inviting endless exploration. If you would prefer to follow a
set route, choose from some of the best Hyde Park walks in autumn:
5,000 steps around the Serpentine
Start at the Lido Café on the Serpentine’s south bank and follow the lake east. Keep left at the lake’s east end and continue on the path past the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen, keeping the lake on your left. Continue along the lake’s northern bank, passing under the bridge into Kensington Gardens and bearing north on Peacock Walk toward the Italian gardens near Bayswater Road. Go left, keeping close to the lake, passing the famous Peter Pan statue. Continue back into Hyde Park towards the Lido café, passing the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain on your right. Continue past the café to finish at the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen.
Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Walk from Hyde Park
Enjoy stunning autumn views along the Hyde Park section of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Walk. Enter the park at the Apsley Gate, bearing right onto Broad Walk. Continue along the tree-lined avenue, passing the drinking fountain before taking a short detour to the right to see the Joy of Life fountain. Return to Broad Walk, turning right and then taking the next path to your left, crossing the lawns. Turn right and continue to the Reformer’s Tree.
Take the path on the left towards New Lodge and Hudson Memorial, turning left into the path along West Carriage Drive. Cross at the crossing and pass the storeyard, into Kensington Gardens. Keep right and continue along Peacock Walk. Look out for Buckhill Shelter through the trees while walking toward the fountains of the Italian Garden. Follow the path along the opposite bank, passing the Peter Pan statue. Go right, as you’ll need to leave the Memorial Walk for a few steps. Continue along the path toward the Physical Energy statue in Kensington Gardens. Continue along Lancaster Walk toward the Albert Memorial. Turn left and then left again to join West Carriage Drive.
Cross at the crossing and continue past the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain and the Lido. Follow the path along the lake’s southern end, crossing Dell Bridge before taking a sharp right to follow the path across Nannies Lawn and through the Rose Garden. Turn left to join Rotten Row before the Huntress fountain and return to Apsley Gate.
Events and activities in Hyde Park during autumn
Hyde Park is abuzz with events and activities during autumn. Here are a few suggestions for
getting into the spirit of the season!
Royal Parks Half Marathon
Presented by Royal Bank of Canada, the half marathon is a great day out, whether you’re running or cheering the runners on. The event village after the race offers chances to recharge and enjoy the atmosphere.
Spook-tacular Nature Roadshows, Discovery Days and walks & talks
Bring the kids and enjoy Halloween-themed activities in the autumnal surrounds of Hyde Park with Royal Parks Nature Roadshows and Discovery Days. Join one of our walks to learn about notorious criminals and their connection to the Tyburn Tree, the park’s role during World War I, and the inception of Speakers’ Corner. Follow Peter Pan on his first adventure and explore Victorian ideas around grief with an exclusive visit to the usually out-of-bounds Victorian Pet Cemetery.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Marvel at the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink, enjoy circus shows and rides, and immerse yourself in the Magical Ice Kingdom and Bar Ice experiences at the World's best destination for festive fun.
Greenwich Park in autumn
Generations of visitors, from ancient Romans and Anglo-Saxons to Tudor monarchs, Victorian sailors, and modern-day Instagrammers, have enjoyed the panoramic views and dramatic scenery of Greenwich Park. Beautiful at any time of year, this hillside Royal Park, originally usedt by King Henry VIII for hunting deer, is especially magical in autumn. The park is home to the 750-year-old Queen Elizabeth Oak, 400-year-old Spanish sweet chestnuts, a diversity of trees and plants, deer and other wildlife, gardens, ancient structures, the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the beginning of the Prime Meridian, monuments, museums, and much more. Delight in seasonal splendour and the dramatic changes in the greenery at Greenwich Park in autumn!
Autumnal trails in Greenwich Park
Enjoy the sensory wonders of an autumn walk on these trails in Greenwich Park:
The Observatory, Deer Park, and Flower Garden Autumn Walk
Enter the park at Blackheath Gate and walk along tree-lined Blackheath Avenue to the Royal Observatory and the General Wolfe statue. Explore the observatory and surrounds before heading past the statue to enjoy the park’s most spectacular view of the Thames and the City of London. Head back along Blackheath Avenue and turn left into Great Cross Avenue, passing the ornamental fountain and bandstand.
Go right and make your way toward the Vanbrugh Park Gate. Take a sharp right and stroll past the Wilderness Deer Park, then turn left and continue on before turning right and taking the path past the lake, keeping the lake on your right. Follow the path through the Flower Garden and enjoy the continuous beauty of this space in the face of the changing season. Follow the path past the lake, keeping the lake on your left, joining the path that leads to Blackheath Gate.
Wilderness Deer Park and the Flower Garden
For a shorter version of the above Greenwich Park autumn walk, start at Blackheath Gate and go right onto Bower Avenue. Turn right into Great Cross Avenue and then right again, following the path to the Vanbrugh Park Gate. Follow directions from there as above.
Practical tips for autumn walks in London's Parks
Use these practical tips to make the most of your autumn walks in London’s parks:
- Pay attention to sunset times. The days grow shorter in autumn and the sun sets around 6.30pm in October and 4.30pm at the beginning of November. Pay attention to the time and plan your visit for the best light.
- Dress properly. Autumn days can be cool to cold (and often wet) in the Royal Parks. Wear walking trousers or denims. layered top garments for easy removal if you get too warm, and don a scarf, warm cap, gloves, thick socks, and wellies or hiking boots.
- Bring water and healthy snacks. Carry bottled water and healthy snacks, and money or a card in case you decide to treat yourself at a tearoom, café, or kiosk.
- Remember your camera and mobile phone: Bring your camera to capture the ephemeral beauty of autumn, and your mobile in case of an emergency.
- Respect the park, wildlife, and other visitors. Please put your litter in the parks' bins, and leave the landscape as you found it. Keep a safe distance from wildlife and do not feed any animals, light fires or play loud music.
Explore the best autumn parks in London
The top London parks for autumn walks are colourful havens that invite you to escape from the busy, grey urban environment. Soak up the beauty of the season and be recharged by the immersive experience of wandering through Richmond Park, Hyde Park, Greenwich Park, and other Royal Parks in the capital.