Autumn is one of the best times of the year to enjoy the nation’s capital in all its glorious colours. We’ve come up with some of the best places in London for you to find and enjoy the changing colours, and a few extras along the way. So get your hat and scarf, and don’t forget your travel hand cream and lip balm to keep the weather out!
Richmond Park has changed little over the centuries, as is soon clear from the abundance of impressive ancient trees, particularly oaks, which have great historic and ecological importance. It is Britain’s second largest urban walled park, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and an important wildlife habitat.
Herds of magnificent red and fallow deer roam freely within the park. Autumn is the rutting (breeding) season, when the red stags and fallow bucks compete for females by roaring, barking and clashing antlers in a spectacular fashion – best seen early in the morning.
With stunning views of the city, it is surrounded by human habitation, but maintains a rich, wild landscape of hills, woodland gardens and grasslands that works in fabulous juxtaposition.
A large proportion of Wimbledon Common is thick woodland, and the rest is made up of heath and grassland, making it a rarity in London, and thus the common is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
This time of the year there are around 200 species of mushroom that can be found. The Wood Blewit and the Boletus species are the most famous. Most of which, however, are poisonous and should not be picked. There are organised Fungi Forays available for those keen to learn more, and run throughout the Autumn.
Grey squirrels and foxes are abundant, and some less obvious creatures can be found such as the bank vole, the short-tailed vole, the pygmy shrew, grass snakes and the occasional stoat. The woodlands also support five species of bat.
The Thames spans the iconic landscape of London. It stretches long and far, journeying through every type of scenery the city has to offer. And, it’s also a great place to catch the colours of autumn. You will find willowy paths full of wild flowers and birds, and unique habitat.
Part of London’s rural Thames can be found from Hampton Court Palace to Chelsea Harbour. Here you can find beautiful rural settings of vast parklands, gardens and green spaces which contains an abundance of trees, fauna and flora.
Explore picturesque Isleworth and Strand-on-the-Green or head for Petersham Meadow to admire the classic view that’s been uniquely protected by Act of Parliament since 1902. The same exquisite view of the Royal Star and Garter Home can be found walking along the river from Twickenham to Richmond.
Halloween Walk: Oxleas Wood and the Gothic Castle
Ohhhh spooky! Why not try something a little different for Halloween. Oxleas Wood is less well known around London than its competition green spaces, but it’s also one of the oldest woodlands in southern England, dating back 8,000 years. It contains oak, hornbeam and hazel tress, all of which put on quite a display for autumn.
But the highlight of the wood is the rather scary Severndroog Castle, built in 1784 as a memorial to Sir William James. This Gothic castle is in ruined condition which only seems to add to its eery charm.
Over the road is Shooter’s Hill that takes its name from the practice of archery, and is mentioned by Charles Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities. The district is also mentioned in Bram Stoker’s Dracula – so what better place to explore at the end of October?
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