Autumn in London is a special time of year.
Yes, the Summer is over and the mornings are getting increasingly colder (and darker), but it represents so much to look forward to. The leaves are turning gorgeous shades of oranges and reds, the Christmas lights are starting to decorate the streets, shops are bringing out new clothing to buy and there are several seasonal events to look forward to.
With your booking to stay at Park Grand Hotel London sorted, all that is left to do is pack (and pay for your stay, if you have opted for London Hotels Pay on Arrival packages). Here is what you need to bring with you in order to make the most of the season and all London has to offer during it.
Pack waterproof walking shoes
Autumn is the best time to enjoy the crisping, colourful foliage that decorates the city in bright, beautiful bursts of colour. Every park looks straight off a postcard and even just the street plants have a glow about them. However, it is also a time prone to morning frost that melts in the sunlight, and rain showers, which turn the ground into a bit of a muddy mess. So, while it may look like sandals weather, it usually isn’t. To properly enjoy the numerous walks through parks that showcase the trees and colours of Autumn, it is important to make sure you have packed closed, waterproof walking shoes so that you never end up with cold feet and so that your exploration is never cut short by a soggy sock.
Pack a Winter coat
Don’t worry – you aren’t about to be told that London in Autumn is so cold that you require a Winter coat all day. However, the evenings can indeed get pretty Wintery.
If you plan to remain tucked up under your quilt at Park Grand Hotel Kensington and check what is on the telly, then, by all means, leave the coat behind! However, Autumn in London means some really great events… that occur at night, outdoors. You want to be able to enjoy the Bonfire Night fireworks display in Alexander Palace or Battersea Park without feeling at risk of hypothermia, and in the same vein you want to skate around the ice rink at the National History Museum in the evenings and stroll around Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland without hot chocolate being your only source of warmth. Being suitably wrapped-up at these events makes all the difference and means you are far more likely to enjoy the live music, food stalls and entertainment on offer.
Pack double layers
For every outfit you plan, it is worth packing it in a two-tier way, making sure both layers are viable as outer layers.
See, Autumn can be a bit of a “4 seasons in 1” time of year, especially when you take into consideration the underground temperatures and that you will likely be walking around when sightseeing. Initially, you will need the two layers to keep warm in the brisk morning air. Eventually, however, as the day wears on and you find yourself walking from landmark to restaurant to theatre and back again, you will start warming up. The last thing you want at this stage is for your underlayer to be unsightly or inappropriate to wear in public spaces (or non-existent). This is why it is important that both layers be potential outer layers because it is at this stage in the day that you just whip off the top layer and outfit number two will save the day (and prevent your demise-by-heat-stroke!)
Pack a backpack
Get yourself an easy-to-carry, light-weight, stylish backpack for your Autumn trip to London. If you are really planning your trip to the t, you ought to make sure it is a waterproof one. This is going to prove invaluable for the following small items, as well as for when you start peeling off layers throughout the day. (Hint: you’ll probably end up putting them back on as the sun goes down and the air gets crisp…)
The following backpack-sized items have the power to make your trip seamless:
Sunglasses are a must, especially if you are partaking in activities near the glistening River Thames or the sparkling Shard. People tend to forget sunglasses when packing for Autumn, as they are more obviously Summer items, but they are just as essential when that beautiful, clear Autumn sun is shining through the brisk air. Another essential is a raincoat. As previously mentioned, the “4-seasons-in-1” weather pattern might leave you with a midday shower after what seemed like a perfectly sunny morning. But you can’t exactly carry a full raincoat around London with you just in case it rains. Instead, invest in a light-weight, compact mac – the kind that folds into a little pouch that can be popped in your backpack and brought out at the drop of a hat! Small, fold-away umbrellas are equally useful both for carrying and for keeping you dry and happy on your adventures.
While it is inadvisable to pack absolutely nothing for your trip to London in the Autumn, it is not completely insane. See, London is a hub for shopping. With retail districts like Oxford Street and Knightsbridge mere minutes from your hotel door, and the Autumn/Winter collections having been released, there is very little you won’t be able to buy on arrival. In fact, the only thing that need interrupt your shopping spree is a pit stop at Park Grand Kensington for Afternoon Tea.
So there you have it – a simple checklist of all the most important things to pack for a trip to London and stay at Park Grand Hotel Kensington this Autumn. The trick is to be prepared for anything, and expect somewhat inconsistent weather. Don’t pack a few of one or the other – pack one of each. But don’t get too stressed about it, as it is always reassuring to remember just how easy it is to get any of these things from London itself.