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© Giles Barnard, courtesy Royal Parks

The 13 best London parks for autumn walks

Grab a scarf, button up your coat and wander around in the autumnal beauty of London’s parks

Written by
Chris Waywell
&
Things To Do Editors
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London is great all year round, but it’s definitely during the autumn months that this city is at its most beautiful. Sure, the days get shorter, but that just means more gorgeous early evening sunsets and the chance to hole up in a cosy pub. If you’ve got a dog, all the better.

Get out and about in London’s parks as the greenery of the summer starts to turn and the trees take on warm red, orange and yellow hues, and the crunchy leaves invitingly pile up. These are the most lovely London parks for a magical and atmospheric autumn walk.

RECOMMENDED: London’s major parks.

The best places for glorious London autumn walks

  • Attractions
  • Zoos and aquariums
  • Battersea

It’s not just the usual assortment of gorgeous British trees like oaks and willows that makes Battersea Park such a special autumn destination – its variety of gardens (from subtropical to winter) make it one of the city’s more fascinating green spaces. The hybrid strawberry tree with its red bark is a standout, and by autumn’s end it’s covered in fruit and white flowers.

  • Attractions
  • Religious buildings and sites
  • Fulham

Crunch your way through flame-coloured leaves around the palace, check out the cute crop of pumpkins in the walled gardens, and buy fruit and veg harvested from the grounds to take home and feast on once you’ve has enough fresh, autumnal air.

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Greenwich

Some of the trees in this gorgeous hillside royal park – which was laid out by Henry VIII as a deer park for hunting (his fave leisure activity) – date back to 1600, and taking pride of place are the avenues of 400-year-old Spanish sweet chestnuts. In autumn they produce edible nuts you can collect. And if that’s not the taste of autumn, we don’t know what is.

  • Things to do
  • Walks and tours
  • Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath is a romantic setting all year round, but add autumn hues and it reaches new levels. Spend the day wandering across its grassy sprawl, exploring its meadows and magical woodland areas.

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  • Attractions
  • Sightseeing
  • Hyde Park

This 350-acre Royal Park is an oasis of arboreal beauty nestled between the tourist crush of Oxford Street and the Henries and Tabithas of Kensington. With more than 4,000 trees, it is especially amazing in autumn: look out for the buttery yellows and firey oranges of the beeches, limes and chestnuts that line the avenues along the Serpentine

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Richmond Park

This beautiful 40-acre woodland garden set within a Victorian woodland plantation in Richmond Park will send you into a snap-happy frenzy thanks to the rich bounty of red and orange hues. Evergreen azaleas line the ponds and streams, there are heaps of unusual trees and shrubs peppered across the garden, and beyond its gates you’ll find red and fallow deer roaming free in Richmond Park. 

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Holland Park

Head to Holland Park and you’ll find the Japanese-style Kyoto Gardens. A gift to London in 1991 from the chamber of commerce of Kyoto, the garden’s got a waterfall, bridge and a handful of koi carp. This time of year sees its edges fringed with orange leaves and plenty of people using it as a backdrop for their selfies.

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Kew

Kew Gardens looks flippin’ lush in autumn, and with wild meadows, gardens bursting with pretty flora and treetop walkways to explore, you could stay there until the seasons change again. You can’t visit without making a stop at the Victorian Palm House or the newly restored Temperate House to marvel at their tropical plants.

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Morden Hall Park
  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Morden

This former deer park is the perfect location for an autumnal day out. Limes and horse chestnuts are planted along the park’s historic avenues, delivering a healthy injection of colour, while magical mists hang over the river and wetland area on chilly mornings.

More activities for the chillier months

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