Unmissable events in London this autumn

Hibernating at home is not an option this autumn when London's events, exhibitions and festivals are this good
Green Park Avenue in Autumn
Garry Knight
By Things To Do Editors |

Have your plans for the night got 'Netflix' written all over them? We get it. The days are getting shorter, the temperatures colder and rainy days in London are on the damp horizon. But if you can tear yourself away from your central-heated surroundings, there are some seriously good things going on to warm you up this autumn. Embrace that back-to-school feeling and plan an awesome autumn in London, with brand new bars, tasty restaurant openings, exciting art shows, fab festivals and ace attractions. Here's our pick of the best things to do in SeptemberOctober and November 2018. 

Check out our video below for five of the best London autumn activities...


The best things to do in London this autumn

Theatre, Drama

Pinter at the Pinter

icon-location-pin Harold Pinter Theatre, Soho

For the first time ever, legendary playwright Harold Pinter’s short plays will be performed in one season by a star-studded cast. First up, two comedic masterpieces featuring David Suchet and Russell Tovey, then six of HP’s most political short works. As well as telling stories of abuse of power and oppression, the latter will be brought to life by surprise guest stars. 


Rob Greig Time Out

‘Game of Thrones’ theatre takeover

Ramsay Bolton, Arya Stark and Jon Snow have escaped Westeros and are heading for London’s theatres. Iwan Rheon will swap sword-swashing for pest control in dystopian thriller ‘Foxfinder’, while Maisie Williams plays bedridden teenager Caroline in ‘I and You’ and Kit Harington stars in Sam Shepard’s modern classic ‘True West’, exploring sibling rivalry and the American Dream. Winter might be coming but not until after this lot have hit the stage. 

Sarcophagus at Sir John Soanes Museum
Gareth Gardner

Museums at Night

The autumn edition of this after-hours takeover is part of a UK-wide festival giving inquisitive souls the chance to go behind the scenes of super cool cultural venues. Some of London’s best galleries, museums and attractions are taking part including the Transport Museum where an ’80s themed evening will be popping, and the Sir John Soane’s Museum where intimate tours will be led. 

Things to do, Exhibitions

‘Time Out 50: 50 Years, 50 Covers’

icon-location-pin Museum of Brands, Ladbroke Grove

Believe it or not, your trusty Time Out is 50 this year. (No, we’ve not had any work done, we just drink lots of water.) We’re celebrating with an exhibition looking back at our first half-century through 50 of our best covers from over the years. Step into the magazine’s – and London’s – history at the Museum of Brands, where you’ll find cover stars like David Bowie and Elton John, designs by Tracey Emin and Banksy, as well as loads more archive gold. 

Art, Galleries

South London Gallery Fire Station

icon-location-pin Camberwell

Known for showcasing the work of the emerging Young British Artists in the ’90s, the South London Gallery is still one of the city’s coolest contemporary art venues – and now it’s expanding. It’s taking over the old fire station across the road, doubling its space. Get down to its opening weekend for loads of free events and to check out ‘Knock Knock’, an exhibition of established and emerging artists across the whole gallery.

Time Out says

London Film Festival

Be prepared to go square-eyed as the city’s annual cinematic celebration returns. If you only catch one flick at this year’s London Film Festival, make it ‘Beautiful Boy’. It stars Timothée Chalamet, who’s already being tipped for an Oscar nom for his portrayal of Nic Sheff, a young man struggling with meth addiction. The trailer alone will have you blubbing. 

Things to do, Festivals

London Design Festival

Don’t miss Es Devlin’s ‘Please Feed the Lions’ at this showcase of London’s most creative designers. Devlin, who’s worked with the likes of Kanye and Beyoncé, has created a fifth lion in Trafalgar Square – and this one is luminous red and roars poetry. Poems will be lit up in the lion’s mouth by day and projected across its body and Nelson’s Column by night. You can even choose what the maned beast says (only basic big cats say ‘roar’).

Restaurants, Bakeries

St John Bakery

icon-location-pin Trafalgar Square

St John is opening its first permanent bakery in Neal’s Yard, making it even easier to grab one of its delicious doughnuts. As well as those custardy treats, it’ll have pastries, sourdough and loads of other baked goods delivered fresh from its Bermondsey site. There’s even talk of wine if the licence gets approved – doughnuts and booze, what more could you want this autumn?

London at its autumnal best...

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