The days are getting shorter, while the evenings are colder. Yes, autumn outside the window makes it difficult to find inspiration amid gray everyday life and often causes a bad mood. However, this is not a reason to lie on the couch and be sad. What about picking up a hire car and taking a trip?
If you agree, set off to London, rent a car from Sixt Heathrow Airport and get ready for an unforgettable autumn tour of the parks in the British capital. A hire car will allow you to easily move from place to place and explore the most amazing sights around.
You can walk all day long and watch deer in Richmond Park, have an autumn picnic in Hampstead Heath, watch pelicans in St. James, or feed swans in Hyde Park. Many alternative options are also available to you. So, don’t forget to dress warmly, grab an umbrella, and head to the following London parks to enjoy the autumn vibes.
Morden Hall Park
Morden Hall Park is located on the banks of the Wandle River in south London. This place is famous for its picturesque pedestrian bridges and mills that were once used to grind tobacco leaves. With the growing popularity of snuff, the Wandle Valley became the center of its production in the 19th century. Today, you can learn more about the life of the mill workers in the training center, which is located in the park.
As you walk, grab a cup of coffee and taste freshly baked pastries at the funky Potting Shed café. And if you are going to come to the park with children, try to find Mr. Hatfield’s missing cake. To successfully complete the quest, don’t hesitate to approach the trees. Clues located inside them will help you progress in the investigation.
Bushy Park is one of ten royal parks in London. It’s located north of the stately Hampton Court Palace. Its history dates back to 1529 when Cardinal Thomas Wolsey donated lands to Henry VII. Subsequently, a new royal park was located there.
In order to provide the palace with an uninterrupted water supply, Henry VII ordered a twelve-mile canal to be laid through the territory, which is today called the Longford River. Today it’s one of the main features of Bushy Park.
As you walk, be sure to stop by the Pheasantry Cafe serving tea and cakes, and then head to Diana’s Fountain. It became a gift for the wife of King Charles I – Henrietta Maria of France. At the top of the fountain, you will see a beautiful sculpture of the bronze goddess Diana, and the figures of her four children below.
By the way, Bushy Park is full of deer. Autumn is the rutting season, so during the walk, you can see how the males fight with each other for the attention of the females. True, it’s better not to come close to animals, but to observe them from afar.
Gunnersbury Park opens its doors in the center of West London. The estate, hidden on its territory, has changed owners several times and once even belonged to the daughter of King George II – Princess Amelia. This magnificent mansion is a fine example of Regency architecture.
Over time, the Rothschild family acquired the estate and the park around it. Then, the estate was bought by local city councils in the 20s of the last century. That’s why today the building of the former estate hosts the Gunnersbury Park Museum, which provides an insight into the heritage of Ealing and Hounslow’s past and present populations. The museum’s exposition tells how these lands developed and what the people living here did.
In addition, the museum offers exhibits that tell about the life of the famous family. Among them are the Victorian cuisine and the old Rothschild carriages. In October and November, the park hosts the Wild exhibition. It allows visitors to get to know the wildlife better. At the same time, your children will be able to learn a lot about the animal world, try to catch fish, and see red squirrels.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Set in an old pharmaceutical garden, Kew Gardens is one of Londoners’ favorite leisurely strolls. Especially those who live in the western part of the city. In autumn, the gardens host a festival of Japanese culture and art, during which you can get acquainted with momijigari – an old Japanese tradition of admiring autumn colors. Festival locations are scattered throughout the park. For example, in Temperate House, you can watch an installation by Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota. It’s a complex structure of five thousand haiku suspended on red threads in the center of the greenhouse.
On weekends, a Japanese musician performs in the same building. He mixes handcrafted instruments with the hum of a steel drum using ping-pong balls, typewriters, toys, and everyday things.
Osterley Park and House
Osterley House is one of the last surviving estates in London. It was originally a manor house built for the banker Thomas Gresham in the second half of the 16th century. After a couple of hundred years, the estate fell into disrepair and became the property of another British banker, Francis Child. In 1761, the famous architect Robert Adam built a luxurious palace-type residence here.
Today you can visit it after purchasing a ticket. In addition, the estate is surrounded by beautiful gardens, which are also pleasant to stroll around. They are home to amber trees, cedars, cork oaks, and swamp cypresses. The southern part of the park is famous for the beautiful Chinese pavilion located on the lakeshore.