As the autumn leaves fall, the clocks go back and there is a definite chill in the air, it might feel like time to begin hibernation. But instead, throw on a sweater, grab a pumpkin latte and go off in search of an adventure. Here are a few of London’s must-dos this season.
Forming a border between London and Essex, Epping Forest was a hunting haunt of Henry VIII and boasts twelve miles of mature oak and beech trees, natural and man-made lakes plus an abundance of wildlife and rare fungi. With rolling hills and steep descents, it is a fantastic place for mountain biking and at this time of year the foliage is crimson and there is a pleasing amount of mud. Bring your own bike, or hire one from the friendly and knowledgeable Go Further Cycling, then pedal along the marked routes.
Epping Forest, London, UK
Mr Fogg’s Tavern
If your approach to having adventures is a little more passive, how about a drink at newly opened Victorian style tavern, inspired by Jules Verne’s fictional explorer Phileas Fogg? Performing an impromptu skit might gain you entry to the invitation-only botanical gin parlour upstairs. There you’ll be able to sip a cocktail from a pewter tankard whilst perusing maps, vintage theatre props and souvenirs scavenged from around the world. Then explore the menu of foraged berries, wildfowl and game, salted and smoked meats – or just scoff their speciality jam tarts.
58 St Martin’s Lane, London, UK
Invisible Treasure At Ovalhouse
For a theatrical journey truly of your own making, Invisible Treasure is a play without actors and no plot. Created in association with acclaimed techie designers Hellicar & Lewis, you’ll find yourself immersed into a dark, interactive playspace – like an imagined computer game – as you react to invisible systems of modern life (such as the internet, electricity or the financial markets). The Mazi Mas Roaming Restaurant will also be in residence at Ovalhouse for the autumn, run and staffed by female chefs from migrant and refugee communities and serving up a global menu that varies depending on who is in the kitchen.
52-54 Kennington Oval, London, UK, +44 20 7582 7680
British Museum of Food
Taking up a three month residence at Borough Market, erstwhile food architects Bompass and Parr will be collaborating with traders to experiment with their wares – all showcased in a pop-up museum. You can take a film-footage journey through your mouth and into your stomach, or taste chocolate against different sonic backdrops in the ‘Pods of Chocophonica’ experience created by Space Doctors and Nathanael Williams Music. Set on the museum’s first floor the tropical butterfly garden is a breathtakingly beautiful way to learn about the pollination process.
Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, London, UK
The Sundial Trail at The Horniman Museum
If bidding farewell to Daylight Saving Time has left you feeling low then take a stroll along the Horniman Museum’s Sundial Trail, where over a dozen historic dials accentuate ‘Solar Time’ as cast by the autumn shadows.A short walk from Forest Hill station, the Horniman is one of London’s most inspiring discovery centres and its collection of 350,000 objects ranges from Ancient Egyptian coffins to taxidermy eagles. Afterwards warm up with some coffee or French toast and admire the vintage trinkets at nearby café Canvas & Cream.
Horniman Museum, 100 London Road, London, UK, +44 20 8699 1872