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Bloggers' picks: 15 things to do in London this Autumn

Bloggers' picks: 15 things to do in London this Autumn

Less sun doesn't mean less fun. Need convincing? Just ask this city's top bloggers - actually, we've done it for you. Settle in for a bracing round-up of the best things to do in London in autumn.

Play Sherlock around town

Emily Gibson: 'This autumn I'm going to resist the urge to hibernate and instead spend a crisp afternoon running around the city like a lunatic, solving cryptic clues and evading guards. City Dash is an urban-adventure game run by Fire Hazard which uses a slick app to transform the city into a real-life video game. You'll be running a lot - most people turn up in gym gear - so you can count it as a workout, even if it does end with a swift pint in the pub and boxes of Maltesers for the best performers. If dashing about in public isn't your jam, try Fire Hazard's new spy game Undercover London: for 90 minutes you'll be taking on a series of covert missions, using your wits to collect dossiers, retrieve hidden items and pass on secret messages. You'll be operating among the unsuspecting public too, so disguises are encouraged. I, for one, will be grateful for the opportunity to finally air my funny hat collection. Keep an eye out for me - I'll be the one in the deerstalker.' Emily blogs at Curious London. Follow her on Twitter @CuriouslyEmily.

Reclaim the city

Chris Osburn: 'October and November are my favourite months to be in London. The throngs of tourists have diminished, so locals can claim back their city and enjoy its attractions with more room to manoeuvre. On clearer days, the season's lowered sun casts a gorgeous golden light that provides the ideal filter for evocative outdoor photography. And a range of events scattered throughout the weeks (Frieze Art Fair, Chocolate Week) means there's a palpable buzz about town as folks settle in, bundle up, and get in the mood for all the festive-season merrymaking that's now on the horizon.' Chris blogs at TikiChris. Follow him on Twitter @TikiChris.

 

Access all kinds of areas

Sian Meades: 'For me, autumn in London doesn't officially start until Open House weekend (September 19 and 20). That's when you feel the season change. Standing in cold sunshine in a long queue to have a peek inside a weird modernist building you hadn't even heard of until that morning is a quintessentially London experience. We're a naturally curious city and Open House perfectly encapsulates our nosiness. Even 10 Downing Street gets in on the action. And it's all free!' Sian blogs at Unmissable. Follow her on Twitter @SianySianySiany.

Hunker down in Homerton

Rachel Claire and Tom Ford: 'The sun's gone AWOL and we're wearing socks and jumpers again. Autumn's hit, and while we're tempted to recommend hanging out in bed with the curtains drawn for a few months, we do have a far better solution: get down to Hatch. It's an incredible, multi-functional, warehouse-type space in Homerton. It serves awesome coffee and the best bacon sandwiches we've ever had, which involve thick, fat rashers and smashed avocado. There's a beautiful bar to sit up at and drink locally produced booze. And as if that wasn't enough, there are countless pieces of cosy vintage furniture to curl up on and lose yourself; they're all for sale too because Hatch is also a furniture retailer. It's the ideal place to come to terms with winter being just around the corner.' Rachel and Tom blog at I Love London Town. Follow them on Twitter @Ilovelondontown.

See Victorian London blaze into life

David Styles: 'There aren't many places left in the capital where you feel like you may be in Dickensian London, but Kensington Palace Gardens is one of them. At night you'll notice the soft glow emanating from the street lights: they're a handful of the 1,500 Victorian gas lamps remaining in the city. Just five lamplighters maintain them - it's a job so popular that vacancies are rarely advertised by British Gas. As dusk falls and the birds start to roost in the trees, a clockwork device inside each lamp turns on the gas jet, which is ignited by the continually burning pilot light. The flame then heats a silk casing coated in lime oxide which turns white-hot and gives off that misty glow. For a short time, modern-day London is but a memory.' David blogs at Cabbie Blog. Follow him on Twitter @cabbieblog.

 

Fill up with fondue

Dan Calladine: 'One of my favourite pop-up restaurants from last year is returning this autumn, but in a new venue. Jimmy Garcia's The Lodge specialises in fondue, in a space made to look like an alpine ski lodge. This time it will be in a bigger venue above a pub by Clapham North tube station (currently housing Jimmy's Secret Garden pop-up), and I'm sure it will be just as popular with the locals. Expect fondue, hot toddies, indulgent desserts and lots of fresh British produce.' Dan blogs at London Popups. Follow him on Twitter @LondonPopups.

Have a glamorous night at the movies

Lucy McGuire: 'At this time of year, I love to enjoy movie night with a luxurious twist. Now that a handful of London hotels run their own cinema clubs, there are some great options. One of my favourites is the Friday Night Film Club at the Charlotte Street Hotel. You arrive, pick up a glass of something sparkling then enjoy a classic film (like 'True Romance') in the hotel's small private cinema. Afterwards, you head up to Oscar, the bar and restaurant, for a three-course meal. It's a great treat to look forward to at the end of the week, and a brilliant start to the weekend.' Lucy blogs at Oh So London. Follow her on Twitter @OhSo_London.

 

Bag a vintage delight

Julia Rebaudo:  'Come autumn, I'm already starting to think: Christmas presents. I know, sickeningly organised. But it's a lovely time to start trawling some of London's smaller markets for vintage finds. An all-time favourite is Camden Passage (Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) - great for old prints, maps, silver spoons, jewellery and silk kimonos. Being a Clapton local, I also love our Sunday market on Chatsworth Road; my latest find is the fab Geo Fleur, a shop selling beautifully potted succulents and cacti in hand-cast ceramics. Autumn shopping for me is always followed up by a good hot chocolate at The Breakfast Club café or scrambled eggs on toast and a latte at my favourite Scandi local, Cooper & Wolf.' Julia blogs at Stylonylon. Follow her on Twitter @juliarebaudo.

Laze and graze away a Sunday afternoon

Jacqui Faiman: 'Most Sundays you'll find me curled up at The Water Poet. It's an east London pub, nestled between Shoreditch and Liverpool Street, which benefits from a huge beer garden. It's perfect for a hunk of beef, a Yorkshire pud and a nice glass of red.' Jacqui blogs at BiteSize Food. Follow her on Twitter @Bitesize_Food.

 

Get your flicks for free

Manolis Zografakis: 'I'm a big movie fan, so my favourite treat is to head for one of the many free film festivals that take place across the city in September and October. The season starts with the More London Free Festival (Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, September 2-24) at the beautiful Scoop amphitheatre located at the More London Riverside site.' Manolis blogs at Broke In London. Follow him on Twitter @brokeinlondon1. Find details of all upcoming free film festivals.

Cosy up with comfort food

Chloe Callow: 'As the days draw in, it's time to indulge in comfort food and take drinking out of London's rooftops, gardens and parks and back indoors. I'm planning to satisfy both cravings at Matt Whiley's Showdown residency downstairs at The Lockhart. The Southern American bar boasts a typically creative drinks menu (look out for the doughnut vodka cocktail) alongside food that won't disappoint anyone familiar with Lockhart chef Brad McDonald's excellent cooking. Another place I'll be swinging by is London institution St John, which has launched Wine Wednesdays. I fully intend to pop into the Maltby Street restaurant for a free glass of wine and a bit of education. No doubt I'll be tempted to stay for some of their modern British food and more of that wine too.' Chloe blogs at Faerietale Foodie. Follow her on Twitter @faerietalefoody.

 

Burn those calories on a scenic route

Faya Nilsson: 'The Royal Parks are at their best at this time of year. Every September, I choose a different park to run in each weekend. I start with Regent's Park (while the Rose Garden still looks beautiful), then I'll mix it up between Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Richmond Park and St James's Park. The Olympic Park is a real gem at this time of year, with vast tree-lined avenues to navigate at your leisure, punctuated by those iconic buildings. And why not grab a haul of fresh autumnal fare from Borough Market to rustle up something truly seasonal?' Faya blogs at Fitness on Toast. Follow her on Twitter @FitnessonToast.

Saddle up in south London

Andreas Kandanis: 'One of my favourite ways to experience the changing seasons in London is to cycle along the Wandle Trail. This will take you from Croydon to the Thames on a largely traffic-free route. With beautiful scenery all around, and the loud streets of London a distant memory, it's a ride where it's nice to slow things down. It's also great to do with kids, with lots of places to stop on the way. Along the river you'll see Merton Abbey Mills, a fully working mill. On the weekends there's a market, which makes it a great place to get some grub too. Towards the end of the trail, when you reach the Thames, I recommend stopping at The Cat's Back, a pub which got its name after the owner's cat went missing for a month, then suddenly reappeared.' Andreas blogs at London Cyclist. Follow him on Twitter @londoncyclist.

 

Sink your teeth into something meaty

Catherine Hanly: 'I'm looking forward to the third annual festival of meat, smoke and booze known as Meatopia. It takes over Wapping's Tobacco Dock on the weekend of September 19-20, and a look at the line-up tells you that pretty much every London chef worth their chops (pun intended) is going to be there. Look out for me, clutching a craft beer, roaming the various stalls and trying to decide which is the best and most delicious way to raise my cholesterol level.' Catherine blogs at Hot Dinners. Follow her on Twitter @hotdinners.

Get into the swing at a speakeasy

Ella Paskett: 'Autumn evenings in London have me jazzing and jiving in basement speakeasies. I'll dress up for a 1930s boozy Oriental tea party at Cecil's in London Bridge or warm up with jazz and juleps at Kansas Smitty's on Broadway Market. To silence autumnal tummy rumbles, a meal at Typing Room in Bethnal Green is a stunning treat: Lee Westcott and his team create intriguing combinations to excite all the senses.' Ella blogs at The Little Brown Book. Follow her on Twitter @EllaPaskett.

Take a look at 18 unmissable events in London this autumn.

Or read our bloggers' of free things to do in London.

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