Best places to see autumn colours in south London 2021

The unseasonal warmth had to end at some point. But let’s look on the bright (ish) side.

The cosier clothes, the comfort of a warm drink and best of all the beautiful eruption of colours on the trees are all in abundant supply in London this autumn.

So what better time to countdown our (wholly subjective) list of the best places to view autumn’s changing palettes this year?

Richmond Park

With full candour we simply cannot put anything else ahead of London’s biggest and most spectacular park this autumn. Richmond Park boats sprawling woodlands and vast open greenspaces that are now becoming crystallised with frost at dawn and dusk with jaw-dropping results. And it’s all enhanced by the park’s most famous residents, the deer. Just don’t get too close at this time of year (park authorities recommend 50 metres distance). It’s the rut or mating season, and the stags won’t play nice with you. Besides, wouldn’t you want some privacy too?

Greenwich Park

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In Ali Smith’s ‘Autumn’ the legendary author compares all human life to a falling leaf. Nowhere else in London is the fragility, the beauty and everything else the legendary author was probably trying to say shows the magic of autumn leaves better than Greenwich Park. Add to that the Turner-inspiring seasonal mists that rise off the Thames, and the best views of the city bar none, and you have yourself an unbeatable autumn walk that’s also got great transport links.

Battersea Park

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Right in London’s swirling heart, Battersea Park is probably most beautiful in autumn. Something about the combination of Victorian street lamps, casting their hazy glow over the Thames, and the reds and oranges bursting from the trees during the day, make this park irrepressible in October and November.

Wimbledon Common

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The most haunting and spooky of the parks on our list is also probably the wildest. The spindly fingers of the naked branches reaching across the paths, and the rugged footpaths elevate your seasonal strolling to the next level. Just bring appropriate footwear. Please.

Putney Rye Common

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Surprisingly vast open spaces ringed with gorgeous trees abound. Watch the steam curl in great clouds from the many footballers and blissful dogs alike. Just maybe avoid hugging. This is the most underrated green space in south east London and it’s not close.

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