Autumn is a magnificent time to visit the Royal Parks to soak up the golden browns and the wonderful smells. But that’s not all. There’s a busy schedule of fantastic events and activities to enjoy this season.
Art lovers can indulge in contemporary and classic art at the Frieze festival in The Regent’s Park. Those with green fingers can learn to become self-sufficient at our Harvest Festivals, and families can take part in some very spooky Halloween events in our parks, if you’re brave enough.
Take in the breathtaking beauty of Bushy Park
Bushy Park, covering an area of 1,099 acres, is linked to Hampton Court Palace by the Longford River and boasts wonderful waterways, gardens and grassland.
Look out for the bronze Diana fountain at the end of the mile-long Chestnut Avenue, designed by Sir Christopher Wren. And see if you can spot birdlife including woodpeckers, kingfishers and kestrels. Then wash it all down with refreshments at the Pheasantry Café.
Visit one of the Royal Parks’ Rose Gardens
Roses bloom through autumn, and Queen Mary’s Garden in The Regent’s Park, houses London's largest collection of the blooms, with approximately 12,000 roses planted within the gardens. There are 85 single variety beds on display, including one which is home to our very own 'Royal Parks' rose. There are also stunning rose gardens to visit in Hyde Park and Greenwich Park.
Free to visit.
Learn how to grow your own in a Royal Park
We're holding free harvest festivals to celebrate this year's food growing in The Royal Parks.
Families and children can look forward to a return of the popular Shire Horses and Millers Arkpetting farm at this year's Harvest event in Kensington Gardens and enjoy some short talks about Bees together with some honey tasting and candle making, given by Camilla of Capital Bee at The Queen’s Orchard - a hidden gem in Greenwich Park.
- Sunday 24 September, Kensington Gardens Allotment, 11am-4pm.
- Sunday 1 October, The Queen’s Orchard, Greenwich Park, 11am-4pm.
Experts from The Royal Parks Guild - The Royal Parks’ alumni society - will be on hand to answer any questions about food growing.
Walking Tour of St James's Park
Join us for an enthralling guided walk through our oldest Royal Park, St James's. You'll discover the history of iconic locations such as 'The Mall' and 'Horse Guards Parade'. You'll also find out how St James's Park helped court a King's mistress!
Our expert guide will tell you interesting facts about how the park is managed before ending the walk to see the resident pelican's daily feed. You'll also have the chance to ask our very knowledgeable resident Wildlife Officer any questions you may have.
Friday 29 September. 1.45pm-2.45pm
Event costs £5.
Cheer runners at The Royal Parks Half Marathon
The Royal Parks Half Marathon takes place each October, starting and finishing in beautiful Hyde Park. Over 16,000 runners take part in this 13.1 mile run through Central London, taking in the capital's world-famous landmarks on closed roads, and four of London's eight Royal Parks - Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James's Park and Kensington Gardens.
As well as all of the amazing runners that take part, thousands of spectators also visit the Food and Fitness Festival to cheer on their friends and family and share this amazing day.
Race day: Sunday 8 October 2017 starting at 8am-4pm. Visit the web site for more information.
Visit Frieze London and Frieze Masters in The Regent's Park
Frieze London is the contemporary art event of the year. In addition to being able to see and buy art by over 1,000 of the world's leading artists, the fair features Frieze Projects, the fair's unique, critically acclaimed programme of artist commissions and Frieze Talks, a prestigious programme of debates, panel discussions and keynote lectures.
Frieze Masters is a unique art fair which presents a contemporary perspective on historical art. The fair features leading galleries showcasing art made before the year 2000, ranging from the ancient era and old masters to the late 20th century.
Thursday 5 Oct - Monday 9 Oct, The Regent's Park.
You can also visit the Frieze Sculpture Park, set in the English Gardens in The Regent's Park, free until Sunday 8 October.
Explore the Grasses and Fauna in Brompton Cemetery
What better way to soak up nature’s beautiful autumn finery than a fascinating stroll around one of London’s most magnificent cemeteries.
Join Roy Vickery of the South London Botanical Institute to explore the grasses and fauna within Brompton Cemetery, and discuss related plantlore.
Please meet near the front entrance to the Chapel, and dress appropriately for the weather.
The free tour runs until Tuesday 3 Oct 2.30pm–4.30pm.
Experience Some Hair-Raising Fun at a Halloween-Themed Day in Hyde Park
Dare to explore our ‘feely boxes’ in the witches den. Create a magical potion using herbs and plants from the garden. Make your very own bat mask. Explore our hair-raising nature trail, uncovering and discovering fascinating facts.
Everyone is invited to take part in a host of free and exciting Halloween-themed activities.
Dressing up is definitely encouraged, so why not get into the spirit and come as a ghoulish ghost or wicked witch.
Wednesday 25 October. Free event, no booking required. Drop in any time between 11am and 3pm.
Our grounds are fully accessible but we do ask for no more than 3 children per adult and can only admit assistance dogs.
Find out more about Hair-Raising Halloween Day.
Walking Tour - The Secret Pet Cemetery of Hyde Park
In the lead up to Halloween what could be spookier than a special chance to explore the rarely-opened Victorian Pet Cemetery in Hyde Park?
The graveyard dates back to the 1880s and contains the remains of over 300 animals, many in graves marked by tiny headstones. The one hour walk also takes in Tyburn, where thousands of people were executed over the centuries, and also visits Speakers' Corner, Reformer’s Tree.
Meet at Speakers Corner, Hyde Park and finish at the Italian Gardens, Kensington Gardens.
There are various dates and times to visit the Pet Cemetery through October. For more information and to book tickets, costing £15.
Run for a great cause in Hyde Park
Don your running shoes and sign up for The RBC Race for the Kids 5k Family Fun Run. It is Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Charity’s biggest mass participation event with families, friends and individuals taking part to help raise vital funds for the hospital.
The race is suitable for all ages and abilities, the inclusive event will see children, parents and grandparents run, walk, jog and wheel around the stunning 5k course. Participants can join individually or in teams, and with post-race activities and entertainment, it is a great day out for all.
Supported by Royal Bank of Canada for the eighth year running, this unique event sees thousands of supporters come together to raise vital funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Sign up today to take part in what will be a fantastic family day out.
The event sarts at 10am, on Saturday 7 October
Buy tickets to take part on the hospital’s web site.