“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” ― William Cullen Bryant
Autumn in London holds a special place in my heart. I experienced it for the first time in 2010 while I was studying abroad. Seasons are basically nonexistent in Los Angeles so seeing the leaves changing was pretty mind blowing for me. This is actually the first time in 3 years that I’m not in London during this magical season! Tragic, I know. My heart is breaking a little bit as I look through these pictures but I thought it was only fair to share my favorite spots in London to experience the fall foliage. I might not be able to be there right now but hopefully some of you can go out there and experience this glorious season before it ends!
1. Kew Gardens
With almost 300 acres (121 hectares for you Brits) to explore, you can easily spend a day getting lost in Kew Gardens. You’ll enjoy a visit to Kew during any season but the gardens boast the most beautiful fall foliage that is not to be missed. At around 14 pounds to get in, it’s a bit pricey but completely worth it. Give yourself at least half a day and you’ll definitely be satisfied. My favorite spots in the garden are Kew Palace, Palm House, Temperate House, Pagoda, Japanese Gateway, the Lake, and the Xstrata Treetop Walkway… just to name a few 😉
2. Highgate Cemetery
Some people find it a bit strange to visit a cemetery as a tourist. Okay, maybe it is a bit strange but I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Highgate Cemetery. I visited around Halloween on a rather gloomy day so it was a bit eerie but still beautiful. Karl Marx is one of the few famous people buried here and you’ll always find tourists around his grave. During my visit, I just visited the East Cemetery and admission was only 4 pounds. However, the West Cemetery is the more popular (and beautiful) section that is only open to the public through guided tours that cost 12 pounds. Both options are definitely worth it.
3. Regent’s Park
Regent’s Park is one of several Royal Parks scattered throughout London. I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but my main reason for visiting this park was because they filmed a scene from The King’s Speech here. Judge away.
4. Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens
Hyde Park is definitely my favorite park in all of London. I lived about a 10 minute walk from the Kensington Gardens entrance back in 2010 which was probably the start of my Royal obsession. Not only is Hyde Park one of the largest parks in London but it’s also (more importantly) home to William and Kate who reside in Kensington Palace. Yes, that’s right, they live in a park. Strange, I know, but once you visit Hyde Park, you’ll want to live there too.
5. Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace was home to King Henry VIII and is now a wonderful tourist attraction open to the public. Lucky us. During my visit, it had been raining all day and I didn’t actually manage to take a decent picture of the palace. Of course the rain gods chose to stop pouring down on us as soon as we were leaving. I managed to snap this photo while we were exiting through the gardens. The palace itself is worth the 17 pound entrance fee but the grounds are what make it worth it in my opinion. Allow yourself enough time to thoroughly explore the beautiful gardens, especially during the fall season!
There you have it! October is already sneaking away from us so you only have a few weeks left to frolic in the fall foliage. Have any of you experienced autumn in London? What is your favorite place during the fall season?