30 fun couples’ activities to do in London in autumn

 

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SEPTEMBER 2019

Picture this: it’s autumn in London, and you’re strolling hand-in-hand along the River Thames with your other half. A veil of leaves adds a colorful layer to the drab grey pavements around your feet. It’s cloudy out, but this only makes it ideal ‘snuggle weather’.

London is a city packed to the rafters with fun couples activities. From unique dining experiences to must-see sights, this post outlines what you can do, and where to find them.

I’ll separate the post into the following sections: main sights, outdoorsy activities and food and drink.

The main sights — 30 fun London couples activities

1. Start at Westminster

If it’s your first time together in the capital, there’s no doubt you’ll want to see the best London attractions. Westminster is a good starting point for first timers. It’s where you’ll find Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, plus some other top gems.

The nearest tube station’s also called Westminster. As soon as you exit the station, you’ll see both historic buildings right before your eyes.

At the time of writing, Big Ben is currently under construction and won’t be finished until 2021. It’s far from its grandiose fine self of a structure, so ready your expectations if you visit before then.

However, you can still visit the Houses of Parliament — outside and in, depending on the time of your visit. There are guided tours available (when parliament isn’t in session), and you can also add on afternoon tea.

 

The famous clock, Big Ben, is under construction till 2021

 

2. Sashay down the aisle like royalty

Add a touch of fairy-tale romance to your London trip, by walking in the footsteps of William and Kate. Westminster Abbey is where the royal lovebirds got married in 2011, and you can see where it all happened.

The historic building has also been the coronation church of the Royal Family since 1066. Aside from hosting royal weddings, Westminster Abbey is also the resting place of over 3,000 influential Britons. Some names you may recognize include scientist Isaac Newton and English author Charles Dickens. It’s also across the road from the Houses of Parliament, and is a must-see when in the area.

Westminster Abbey is open to the public most days but may be closed for special events. The fail-proof way to ensure entry is to buy your tickets before visiting.

Westminster Abbey, 20 Deans Yard

Step inside the church of royalty at Westminster Abbey – fun couples’ London activities

 

 “From unique dining experiences to must-see sights, this post outlines what you can do, and where to find them.”

30 fun couples’ things to do in autumn in London

3. Wave like the Queen 

If you’ve an unhealthy obsession with the British royal family, drag your other half to see Buckingham Palace. This palatial building is home to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

You may be surprised to read that there are over 775 rooms within the palace walls. Nineteen of these are State rooms along with 52 official royal bedrooms and guest rooms. The staff occupy 188 bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms!

There are also tours to see some of the state rooms at Buckingham Palace. The palace usually opens to the public between April and September, but check the website for the most accurate information.

The other palatial London estate to see is Kensington Palace. It’s the official residence of William, Kate and their children. Princess Diana, and the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret, were also former residents. Kensington Palace is open daily except from 24 to 26 December, and you can get your tickets online.

 

Buckingham Palace exterior - fun things to do in London couples

Fun things to do in London for couples — visit Buckingham Palace

 

4. See London in autumn from above — fun things for couples to do in London

Kiss the world goodbye — for at least 30 minutes — in your own private pod on the London Eye. This big ferris wheel is one of the most popular things to do in London, more so for couples.

For a price, you can hire a private pod for 2, and go the whole romantic hog with champagne. Take note, because lines build up quickly, and getting your tickets in advance is essential.

 

Riding the London Eye, especially at sunset, is a favorite couples’ activity in the capital

 

5. Catch the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London

The Tower of London is one of my favorite sights in the city for a number of reasons. It contains over 953 years of history between its walls and it’s also home to the dazzling Crown Jewels.

There are 23,578 gemstones in the collection — though under armed guard — which the Queen still uses on special occasions.  

While here, don’t miss seeing the larger-than-life ravens that protect the tower and its grounds. It’s a unique feature of the Tower of London and legendary too. Outsmart the crowds by getting your tickets ahead of your visit and having the grounds momentarily to yourselves.

The nearest tube station to The Tower of London is Tower Hill. It’s about a 5-minute walk to the main entrance.

Tower of London, St Katharine’s & Wapping

 

Crown Jewels at Tower of London

Gaze over the bling at Tower of London

 

6. Walk the Bridge Walk at Tower Bridge

In the same area as The Tower of London is the magnificent Tower Bridge. This steel structure has been around since 1886, and is one of the capital’s most iconic sights. 

The glass walk attraction is a unique couples activity that gives you a view of London from 42m above the River Thames.

Measuring 11m x 1.8m, it’s one spot where you’ll find some of the best panoramic views of the city. 

On the day of visiting, be sure to allow additional time for validating your online booking and security checks.

Fun couples’ activities in London — walking the glass attraction at Tower Bridge

 

7. Enter a world of secrecy at Churchill War Rooms

Step back in time to the era of Winston Churchill at The Churchill War Rooms. This underground bunker is where the charismatic British Prime Minister and his cabinet directed the Second World War. It’s also the place where they took shelter from the German bombing raids.

The labyrinth of rooms and corridors that run below Westminster is open to the public and provides fascinating insight. While here, you can also explore the Churchill museum to learn more about his life and work.

Lines for the Churchill War Rooms are longer on the weekends and during the school holidays. Grab your ticket in advance and get in before the crowds do. A normal tour takes around 90 minutes to fully explore the Churchill War Rooms.

Churchill War Rooms, Clive Steps, King Charles Street

 

Churchill War Rooms - fun things to do in London couples

Discover the underground bunker at Churchill War Rooms — London fun couples activities

 

8. Walk the line at Royal Observatory Greenwich

The Royal Observatory Greenwich in south London is home to the Prime Meridian line. This represents the Prime Meridian of the world, where the longitude is zero (0° 0′ 0″).

Every place on Earth is measured in terms of its angle east or west from this line.

The Prime Meridian runs across the courtyard of the Royal Observatory and is the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

You need to purchase tickets to access the Meridian Line, which is a part of the Royal Observatory. The price also includes admission to the Time galleries and Great Equatorial Telescope. It’s open daily from 10am to 5.30pm.

Royal Observatory Greenwich, Blackheath Ave, Greenwich

Visit the most important line in the world at Royal Observatory Greenwich

9. See the world’s only surviving tea clipper

Enjoy a unique couples activity in London by visiting the legendary Cutty Sark. The world’s oldest surviving tea clipper is just a short walk from the Royal Observatory, right by the River Thames.

On board, you can also learn about the captivating history of the clipper and book in for afternoon tea. It’s also where you’ll find the world’s largest collection of colorful figureheads on the lower deck.

Like most popular London attractions, lines can build up quickly depending on the time of your visit. Get your ticket in advance and leave the lines behind. Cutty Sark is open daily from 10am to 5pm (except 24 to 26 December).  

Cutty Sark, King William Walk, London

 

Fun couples London activities - Cutty Sark

Fun couples London activities – visit the wonderful Cutty Sark

 

10. Climb the dome in the City of London

Sitting on the highest point in the City of London is the awesome St Paul’s Cathedral. Designed by renowned English architect, Sir Christopher Wren, the church is a fine example of English Baroque style.

Its most outstanding feature for me, however, is the dome that paints the London skyline. Measuring 111.3m high, the dome at St Paul’s Cathedral is one of the largest in the world. The murals are reproductions of the work of James Thornhill, who first began working on the dome in 1715.  

What’s more impressive is that inside the dome are 3 galleries. The Whispering Gallery runs around the dome interior and consists of 259 steps. Next is the Stone Gallery at 378 steps, and last of the 3 right at the top is the Golden Gallery. It’s the smallest of the 3, but the highest point at 85.4m (280ft), or 528 steps.

While the climb might leave you feeling a little out of breath, the panoramic views should make up for it. You’ll need a ticket to view the dome and the galleries, but the price also includes a guided church tour. On top of this, your ticket grants you free entry for a further year.

St Paul’s Cathedral, St Paul’s Churchyard, London

The mesmerizing ceiling in the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral in London

11. Fun London couples’ things to do: go behind the scenes — and the stage

At the heart of the high-end neighborhood of Kensington is one of London’s most iconic buildings. The Royal Albert Hall is more than just a concert hall; it’s one of the country’s most treasured sites. Queen Victoria opened the venue in 1871, and today it’s as popular as ever.

Royal Albert Hall runs several different types of guided tours that give you more insight into its history. The Behind the Scenes tour takes you behind the curtain and to parts of the Hall usually off limits.

You’ll visit areas including under the stage, one of the dressing rooms, as well as the loading bay. This tour features busy working areas and is only suitable for children over the age of 12.

 

Inside the Royal Albert Hall

Watch a show, or take a guided tour, of the fantastic Royal Albert Hall

 

The Royal Albert Hall Tour, Kensington Gore, South Kensington

Take a closer look at the royal areas of the hall and the auditorium with an expert guide. The tour also lets you visit the stage where some of the world’s biggest stars have performed.

Your ticket price also goes towards helping to maintain the building.

Tours run most days from 10am to 4pm (November to March), and from 9.30am to 4.30pm (April to October).

Get outdoors – fun couples’ things to do in London in fall

 

12. Bag a bargain in an eclectic part of London

See an alternative side of London, and pick up a bargain at the same time, at Camden Market. This energetic destination’s synonymous with eccentrics, and is a spot where you’ll find hipsters, intellectuals, punks and Rastafarians.

Chow down on a carton of noodles from one of the enigmatic food sellers or check out the vintage shops. This labyrinth of food, art, music and clothing is a fun couples activity, and one you shouldn’t miss.

While here, you may be keen to take a walking tour of the area. Camden is colorful, vibrant, and plastered with street art.

Fun things to do in London for couples — get lost in Camden Market

13. Follow your favorite film characters

London is a city for film lovers. From James Bond to Bridget Jones, you can navigate the sets of your favorite films or TV shows.

Harry Potter (HP) fans are spoiled for choice with film-based activities across the city. Visit the real 9 ¾ platform at King’s Cross train station or book a fun walking tour of the film’s locations.

Though not in the capital, it’s also possible to ride the Hogwarts Express. The actual train from the films, The Jacobite, takes you across places in western Scotland. You’ll visit Mallaig, near Ben Nevis, which is the highest mountain in Britain.

The train also passes 2 lochs — Loch Morar, and the deepest seawater loch, Loch Nevis.

 

Platform 9 3/4 at St Pancras Station

Perfect for couples and for Harry Potter fans; Platform 9 3/4 at St Pancras Station

 

14. Literary walking tour — fun things for couples to do in London

Discover the places where British literary greats lived, worked and even drank. Literary walking tours are an ideal way to learn more about your heroes, and to also familiarize yourself with your surroundings.

From Dickens to Wilde, Woolf to Plath, you’ll learn more about their London haunts. In addition, a walking tour is a unique couples’ autumn activity you can both enjoy together in the city.

Find out more about your favorite English authors on a London literary tour

15. Watch a grand fireworks display — best London couples fall activities

When 5 November arrives, there’s one event that dominates Londoners’ calendars: Bonfire Night. This historic day, also known as Guy Fawkes Night, is to celebrate foiling the plot to blow up parliament.

In the present day, you’ll find many events around the country marking the occasion with fireworks and a bonfire. Some London parks, like Blackheath in south-east London, usually hosts a pretty decent, and free, fireworks display.

Without a question of doubt, bonfire night is a hit for couples. Snuggles in front of a big cozy fire, while watching the fireworks and sipping on some warm mulled wine. It doesn’t get better than that.

 

Fireworks display at Blackheath, London

Watch the fireworks on Bonfire Night — fun things for couples to do in London in autumn

 

16. Climb a grand concert venue

When most people come to visit the O2 arena in south-east London, it’s usually to see someone perform.

However, aside from the entertainment and the food and drinks places, is another activity that’s perfect for couples.

The O2 climb is a guided climb to the peak of the arena’s roof. They provide all the gear, so you just need to turn up. It’s 52m above ground level, 380m in length and takes around 90 minutes.

There’s a climb to suit everyone. Choose daytime, twilight, or my favorite, the sunset climb, and see London from a different perspective.

The O2, Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula

Couples activities in London — climbing the roof of the O2 arena

17. A couples retreat in Notting Hill – fun things for couples to do in London

In the colorful and highly Instagrammable area of Notting Hill is the wellness and lifestyle center, Cloud Twelve.

They offer an ultra-relaxing couples retreat, which you and your other half are sure to enjoy. Unwind on Dolomites quartz beds and immerse yourself in the tranquil surroundings.

The couples spa package includes 2 treatments, and use of the thermal suite and spa facilities. You also get a 2-course lunch with a glass of champagne.

The closest tube station to Cloud Twelve is Ladbroke Grove.

Cloud Twelve, 2-5 Colville Mews

 

A colorful house in Notting Hill

Book a couples spa retreat at Cloud Twelve in the colorful area of Notting Hill

 

18. Row, row, row your boat

I’m a fan of parks all year round, but autumn for me is particularly enchanting. Battersea Park in south-west London is a just as pretty alternative to the centrally-based Hyde Park.

Battersea is one of my favorite parks in London, and one that will give you a feel of the local life. Come fall, Battersea Park is surrounded by color — adding a perfect backdrop for a boat trip on the lake. Go for a row or pedal boat, it’s a relaxing way to enjoy the park, and each other.

Take in the autumnal colors of Battersea Park by boat

19. Best couples activities in London — spot some deer in the wild

Did you know there were deer in London? Away from the bright lights of Piccadilly Circus and Knightsbridge is the magnificent Richmond Park.

Richmond is a little out of town, but is an ideal place to lose the crowds, and spot some deer. The park’s a national nature reserve, and is home to 630 free roaming Red and Fallow deer. Autumn’s a particularly interesting time to visit, as it’s breeding (rut) season.

However, they advise to keep at least 50m away from the deer, and to also be aware of your surroundings. The last thing you want to do is come between rutting stags!

 

Deer at Richmond Park - fun things to do in London couples

best things to do in London for couples — deer watching in Richmond Park

 

20. Hot tub down a London canal — unique couples’ activities

Whoever said that hot tubs were meant solely for the garden was wrong. Because in 2 locations in London is a floating hot tub experience that seems like it was made for couples.

The Skuna Hot Tub Boat is a 90-minute experience with 75 minutes in the freshwater. The water’s heated to a comforting 38 degrees, meaning you can try this fun excursion even in the fall. You can hire your own boat, or join a guided tour.

Fun couples’ things to do in London — floating in a hot tub in West India Quay (one of the locations)

21. Ride the slide at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park — fun things to do in London for couples

It’s time to get your heart racing and your palms sweaty for a ride down The Slide at ArcleorMittal Orbit. Standing at 178m, it’s the tallest and longest tunnel slide in the world.

Travel through light and dark spaces in this one-of-a-kind piece of art, enjoying the 12 twists and turns. Booking tickets ahead of your visit is essential, as this attraction is quickly becoming a firm favorite.

While here, don’t miss checking out the views from the top, and using interactive screens to identify top landmarks.

And, in case the slide and the views aren’t enough of an adrenaline rush, an abseil may do the trick. The descent from the top of the ArcleorMittal Orbit is the highest freefall abseil in the country. Wimps need not apply.

ArcleorMittal Orbit, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

 

ArcleorMittal slide - fun things to do in London couples

Fun things for couples to do in London in fall – get the adrenaline pumping at ArcleorMittal Orbit

 

22. Catch autumn colors at Kew

There are approximately 14,000 trees spread across the grounds at Kew Gardens. And when fall descends upon the gardens, the scene transforms into a real-life painting.

What’s more, there are plenty of themed areas to visit around the gardens. This includes the stunning rock garden and the, never-a-dull-moment, scenery of the Mediterranean Garden.

The quickest route to reach Kew Gardens from central London is by train — Kew Bridge station being the closest. Elizabeth Gate, one of 4 of the garden’s entrances, is the nearest if you take this route.

You can also take the tube to Kew Gardens station, which is slightly longer given the number of stops. This route will take you to the Victoria Gate entrance.

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Richmond

Immerse yourself in the surroundings of autumn at Kew Gardens

Dining and drinks fun things for couples to do in London in autumn

23. Eat like a local

As autumn descends upon the city, so do too cooler temperatures and shorter days. That said, there’s nothing like a good plate of fish and chips to fill your tummy and keep you warm.

You could easily spend half a day scanning reviews and watching videos of the best fish and chips in London. I’m not sure how my 2 suggestions will match up, but I like to come here when the craving calls.   

Golden Union. Fish and Chips. This no-frills restaurant on Poland Street (just off Oxford Street) serves good size portions of the classic dish. Service is quick, friendly and they also have vegetarian options.

Rock and Sole Plaice. The fish and chips here is just as good as the establishment’s name. Rock and Sole Plaice is a short walk from Covent Garden, and they serve up a mean portion. It’s one of the oldest fish and chip joints and they’re still serving satisfied customers, like me, to this day.

Golden Union, 38 Poland Street, Soho / Rock and Sole Plaice, 45-49 Endell Street

 

Fish and chips - fun things to do in London couples

Sink your teeth into a traditional and tasty plate of fish and chips

 

24. Huddle inside London’s oldest wine bar — best London couples activities

Among the newer shops and sights between London Embankment and Charing Cross tube stations is one special London bar. Gordon’s Wine Bar has been a long-time favorite for Londoners and it’s not just for the drinks.

Established in 1890, it holds the title of London’s oldest wine bar. Inside is dimly-lit, busy, small, and the chances of getting squashed is high. Still, the wine choice is excellent, reasonably priced and a cozy choice for couples, especially in the fall. Tables are on a first-come, first-serve basis, and weekdays tend to be quieter — for obvious reasons!

Gordon’s Wine Bar, 47 Villiers Street, Charing Cross

London best couples things to do — enjoy a glass of wine at Gordon’s Wine Bar

25. Tea for 2 with a twist — fun things for couples to do in London

Teatime and London go together like good cheese and wine. And when it comes to choosing an afternoon tea in the capital, creativity knows no bounds. Take the Science Afternoon Tea at The Ampersand Hotel.



Booking.com

The inspiration for this science lovers’ tea comes from its neighbor, the Science Museum. The result? A tea consisting of goodies such as dinosaur biscuits, chocolate spacemen and jams served in petri dishes.

The Science Tea is that good, it even won the accolade of Best Themed Afternoon Tea in 2018. Choose tea, coffee or even a glass of Champagne, this is one activity that’s best shared.

 

Coat and boot shaped cookies at Pret-a-Portea at The Berkeley

Too good to eat: just 2 of the sweet designer treats at Pret-a-Portea at The Berkeley

 

A fashionista alternative is the Pret-a-Portea at The Berkeley. Bite-size cakes and cookies in the shape of your favorite high-end brands are served with limitless amounts of tea. I went with some friends and can personally recommend it. Don’t eat anything beforehand, there’s a lot of food!



Booking.com

The Ampersand Hotel, 10 Harrington Road, South Kensington / The Berkeley, Wilton Place, Knightsbridge

26. Fancy cocktails with a view

When fall arrives in London, we’re occasionally blessed with mesmerizing sunsets that could rival those you find in the Caribbean. And when the skies are filled with deep reds and oranges, it’s good to head somewhere elevated.

The choice of rooftop bars in the city is plentiful. Boundary, in the trendy east end of London, has a cozy rooftop bar, perfect for those cooler fall evenings.

Head to the vegetable-shaped The Gherkin building for delicious cocktails on the 40th floor. IRIS bar is at the top of The Gherkin, giving glorious views of the city.

Boundary London, 2-4 Boundary Street / The Gherkin, 30 St Mary Axe, London

Head to the top of The Gherkin for cocktails and sunset views over London

27. Fun couples’ activities in London — do the pie and mash

When autumn arrives in the capital, so too does the need for something warm and comforting. Though you won’t find them everywhere, traditional pie and mash shops have been around since the 1800s.

Pie and mash originated in the east end of London, and was typically the food of the working classes. Typically, the plate is filled with a meat pastry pie, mashed potatoes and a green liquor made from parsley.

Many of the places that serve pie and mash are still in the east end. Two notable ones to try are F. Cooke in Hoxton Street and M. Manze in on Tower Bridge Road.

F. Cooke Hoxton, 150 Hoxton Street / M. Manze, 87 Tower Bridge Road

 

Traditional pie and mash

Try an English east-end classic of pie, mash and parsley liquor

 

28. Try a classic English roast

You can’t leave the capital without trying a traditional English roast dinner with all the trimmings. And at Simpson’s in the Strand, you can eat well and in historic surroundings too.

Opened in 1828, the restaurant is one of the oldest in London. Roast meats are wheeled around on trolleys and served on big silver trays. Dining here with your other half means enjoying some good quality English comfort food and the opulent setting too.

The nearest tube station is Covent Garden, and is about a 5-minute walk to the restaurant. To add some context, the restaurant is near to the fabulous Art Deco / English Edwardian hotel, The Savoy.



Booking.com

Simpson’s in the Strand, 100 Strand, London

Couples’ activities to do in London in autumn — tuck into a hearty Sunday roast dinner

29. Drinks and detectives in an underground speakeasy

In south-west London, in an area called Earl’s Court, is an undercover bar with a mysterious twist. The brilliant Evans & Peel Detective is a speakeasy-style bar where getting inside takes a little bit of imagination.

The main door looks like the entrance to someone’s home rather than a clandestine speakeasy. As you head downstairs to the main bar, be sure to have a ‘case’ ready for them to investigate. Don’t stress too much about this part; everyone gets in!

Cocktails are the main attraction here, and you’ll find a good range to choose from. They also serve American-style eats like Mac and Cheese and Texan Chili Sausages. In short, Evans & Peel Detective Agency isn’t just a fun London couples activity, it’s also perfect for date night.

The closest tube station is Earl’s Court.

Evans & Peel, 310c Earl’s Court Road

 

Coppa Club shacks - fun things to do in London couples

Book your shack at Coppa Club ©Twitter.com/CoppaClub

 

30. Brunch in a surfer’s shack / igloo

There’s one place that’s been getting a lot of coverage on Instagram, and not just for its drinks. Coppa Club has 2 locations in London, but the London Bridge branch has something that extra bit special.

Previously, the venue was known for its wonderfully chic, yet cozy, igloos overlooking the River Thames. However, for summer, they’ve given the igloos a makeover and transformed them into surfer shacks. Green, leafy surroundings decked in earthy tones and a laid-back feel replace the dazzling whites of the igloos.

As well as brunch, they also serve breakfast and a mouthwatering list of desserts. It’s a unique couples’ activity in London, and one that dishes up tasty food and uninterrupted river views.

Tower Hill is the nearest tube station.

Coppa Club, 3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street

Would you like to try out any of these London autumn activities with your other half? Which one/s do you like the most? Drop me a comment below.

Till next time, happy boutique travels x

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I’ve recommended. Thank you for your support.

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Lisa Rivera

Lisa Rivera

Founder

 

Welcome to my site! I'm Lisa, founder of Following the Rivera. I write primarily for a ‘flashpacker’ audience; a demographic (late 20s onwards) that enjoys glamping over camping, staying at boutique/luxury boutique hotels, sampling the local food and wine, cultural activities, and indulging in a spot of wellness on their travels. Read more here…

       

 

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