We might be mourning t-shirt weather and sunsets at 10pm, but crisp, sunny autumnal days are spectacular in London's eight Royal Parks.
As well as experiencing the changing of the seasons, visitors can also enjoy virtual Halloween activities, guided walks, bug hunting, and horse-drawn carriage rides. We also encourage you to complete our visitor survey so that we can continue to offer a fabulous variety of facilities, events and online content for years to come.
For a full list of what’s going on in the parks, visit www.royalparks.org.uk/whats-on
1. Sign up for our Free Virtual Discovery Week: Hair-raising Halloween 26th - 30th October
Sign up to explore the spookier side of the Royal Parks with a week of free virtual interactive activities.
There will be something for everyone in the family, from underground bug hunts and creepy-crawly storytelling to live Halloween-themed craft-alongs.
For those who do not scare easily, we are hosting live expert discussions on creepy histories; from rituals and symbolism in Victorian mourning in Brompton Cemetery to our Pet Cemetery In Hyde Park - the first public Pet Cemetery in Britain, where more than 1,000 pets have been buried.
We’re bringing an exciting programme of Halloween activities directly to you at home. All activities will be in the form of videos, live recordings and downloadable PDFs. We will provide more information beforehand on what materials you will need for that particular activity.
2. Jump back in time with a 360-virtual tour of the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park
The south side of Hyde Park was the site of the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations in 1851. Organised by Prince Albert, the event lasted only five and a half months but during this time it showcased the industrial and cultural advances that characterised Victoria's reign, and welcomed over six million visitors. The exhibition and its exhibits were housed in an enormous temporary glass structure called the “Crystal Palace”.
And now you can take a virtual 360-tour of the Crystal Palace to get a feel for the scale of it, admire its beautiful and innovative design, and discover amazing facts about the exhibition it housed.
3. Music for Trees
Yup that’s right. Enter a soundscape of geo-located music composed for the trees of The Regent's Park. This new app will play music by students from the Royal Academy of Music, their creations an interpretation of the trees’ different characteristics. As you listen and walk a musical story inspired by trees will unfold.
Download now and visit the park to discover a beautiful, immersive combination of nature and sound.
4. Take a fun run through history in Hyde Park
Why not combine your thirst for history with a quest for fitness by downloading this fantastic fitness audio. The running track provides a romp through history with fascinating historical facts from across the parks starting with medieval times that you can listen to in between workouts.
5. Discover the magic of the parks in the palm of your hand!
We've launched a free scavenger hunt game for your mobile phone that takes you on an adventure through some of London’s most popular parks. Move at your own pace between the parks’ most interesting sights uncovering photo challenges, amazing facts and games for all ages to enjoy.
6. Instagram yourself a fabulous autumnal view on The Mall
One of life’s great pleasures has to be swishing and swooshing though the autumn leaves.
The capital’s trees are turning red, gold and orange, making way for beautiful walks on crisp, bracing mornings though autumnal mists.
The Royal Parks offer spectacular seasonal views but for the ultimate Instagram moment take a stroll down The Mall in St James’s Park for a fabulous view of Buckingham Palace, framed by majestic trees.
7. Getting twiggy in The Royal Parks
The benefits to mental health of spending more time in nature are well documented and it has never been more important to stay well and protect your health. Combine a venture to your park with exploring your natural environment. The Royal Parks Learning Team has put together a guide to discover more about trees. So what are you waiting for – get out there!
8. Go on a bug hunt!
If you need some pointers on how to go bug hunting, our resident experts at Mission: Invertebrate team are here to help! Check out our top tips on where and how to look for minibeasts in your house, garden or local green space.
9. Take a horse drawn carriage ride around Richmond Park
For a very special festive treat, book now to take your bubble of six around the park in a private Park Brake drawn by our majestic Shire Horses. Enjoy the sounds of hoofs and bells, revel in the crisp air and watch the wildlife up close while you snuggle under a blanket. Proceeds from the rides will help fund sustainable conservation initiatives with the working Shire horses in The Royal Parks. Please note this year due to social distancing guidelines we are only able to sell to groups of six and unable to sell pairs of tickets.
10. Help us keep the parks incredible
Public parks have never been more valuable. They stayed open for all during the lockdown as places to discover nature and boost mental and physical wellbeing, providing much-needed respite for so many during a time of crisis.
From discovering the parks’ rich history and ecology to finding your way around more easily, a lot can impact on your enjoyment and understanding of these green spaces. So we’re conducting a survey to learn more about what grabs your interest, what activities you enjoy and what puts you off as a park visitor.
We’d love to hear as many perspectives as possible. A few minutes of your time can help us to make a huge difference for years to come, so please share your thoughts with us today!