Leaves have started changing colour, conkers are falling and the nights are drawing in. Summer might be well and truly over but London’s eight Royal Parks are still very much open.
This autumn, you can view contemporary and classic art at the Frieze festival in The Regent’s Park, learn how to become self-sufficient at our three Harvest Festivals, and witness the long held tradition of a gun salute in Green Park.
For a full list of events taking place in the Royal Parks visit www.royalparks.org.uk/whats-on.
Learn how to grow your own in a Royal Park
This autumn we are holding three free harvest festivals to celebrate this year’s food growing in The Royal Parks.
Sample pizzas and salads made using fresh ingredients from the allotment in The Regent’s Park, get involved in the big dig of the potato crop in Kensington Gardens and ‘bee’ inspired in Greenwich Park by making candles candle from beeswax.
- Saturday 17 September, The Regent’s Park Harvest Festival
- Sunday 25 September, Kensington Gardens Harvest Festival
- Sunday 2 October, Greenwich Park Harvest Festival
On all three days experts from The Royal Parks Guild – The Royal Parks’ alumni society – will be on hand to answer any questions about food growing.
Bee-aware in Brompton Cemetery on the 19 September
Join us for an afterhours workshop celebrating the importance of bees and exploring how we can all help to boost the declining bee population. The session will include tasting honey from bees in Brompton Cemetery and making your own beeswax candle.
Arrival: 5pm for registration
Booking: This event is free but places are limited. To book a place, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Go to a swimming festival in the heart of Hyde Park
Swim Serpentine, a new two-day open water swimming festival, will be staged in the heart of Hyde Park over the weekend of 24-25 September 2016.
On the first day of Swim Serpentine up to 6,000 swimmers will have the chance to swim one mile in open water in the mass participation event. The second day of the festival will feature the British Open Water Swimming Championships over 3.2km distance, with a programme that will include an elite invitation 5km swim.
The public ballot entry system for Swim Serpentine is now closed but people will be able to watch for free in the grandstands on both days.
For more information visit the Swim Serpentine website
Cheer on runners at The Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon on October 9
Starting and finishing in Hyde Park, 16,000 runners will take part in the Royal Parks Half Foundation Marathon across central London, taking in world-famous landmarks on closed roads including Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Houses of Parliament and four of London's eight Royal Parks.
From 10.30am – 4pm, a free Food & Fitness Festival will take place. Expect tempting street food, live music and lots of free things to do including children's arts and craft activities, wall climbing and football and tennis coaching.
The Royal Parks Foundation are currently on the lookout for volunteers to cheer on their team of 250 runners who are running the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon to support London’s beautiful Royal Parks - sign-up to join the cheer squad here
Visit the new Italian Gardens’ Cafe in Kensington Gardens
Located in the heart of Kensington Gardens, this former disused toilet block has been transformed by The Royal Parks into an eatery that offers stunning views of the Grade II listed 150 year old Italian Gardens.
The cafe even comes with its own living roof to support biodiversity and wildlife.
Visit Frieze London and Frieze Masters in The Regent's Park October 6-9
Visit Frieze London in The Regent's Park to see some of the best works from leading and emerging contemporary artists. The event will also feature performance-based installations, debates, panel discussions and keynote lectures.
Coinciding with Frieze London is Frieze Masters, bringing together 130 galleries specialising in pre-21st century art.
The Sculpture Park, a three-minute walk from Frieze London, returns to the beautiful English Gardens in The Regent's Park. Free to enter, the exhibition is hand-selected by Director of Programmes at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Claire Lilley. The exhibition will be on display between 5 October and 8 January.
For tickets to Frieze London and Masters, and information please visit their website.
Watch the changing seasons in a Royal Park
With over 170,000 trees across 5,000 acres of historic parkland in the capital, there are no shortage of places in the Royal Parks to watch nature’s greatest spectacle – the leaves changing colour.
If a guided walk is more your thing join the Field Studies Council on a stroll through Bushy Park on 25 October as they investigate plants and animals at this time of year. Discover more about trees and seeds and the animals that depend on them over the winter.
£15 per family (2 adults, with up to 3 children)
For further information on the course or to book your place, email email@example.com. Places are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment.
This event is run by Field Studies Council (FSC) London, who deliver education in the Royal Parks in partnership with The Royal Parks.
Bring the children along to a Halloween themed day in Hyde Park
Get dressed up as your favourite spooky character and join the Royal Parks Foundation for some hair-raising fun.
Delve into the ‘feely boxes’ in the witches den, uncover spine tingling facts about bats on a nature trail and create your very own magical potion using herbs and plants from the garden.
Date: 26 & 27 October
No booking required. Drop in anytime between 11am-3pm
Watch a Royal gun salute in Green Park
Royal gun salutes mark special royal occasions and in London, salutes are fired in either Hyde Park or Green Park by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery and at The Tower of London.
On 14 November, a royal gun salute will take place in Green Park and The Tower of London to mark HRH Prince of Wales’ birthday.
The number of rounds fired in a Royal Gun Salute depends on the place and occasion. The basic salute is 21 rounds. In Hyde Park and Green Park an extra 20 rounds is added because they are both Royal Parks.
Become a MoRunner in Greenwich Park
In November grow a moustache and show it off at the Greenwich Park MoRunners 10k on November 27. It's not just MoBros that can enter; MoSistas can paint or stick a moustache on and race too.
Entrance is £20. Register via the Mo Running website.