Autumn. It’s considered ‘basic’ now to adore the season of rust coloured leaves, snuggling into warm scarves and sipping lattes – but I’ve always loved it. Something I love even more (if that’s possible) is exploring London houses and gardens in Autumn – it is beautiful, calm and cool.
So, I thought I’d put together a list of my favourite houses with gardens where the leaves turn vibrant shades of orange and red (oh, and millennials, they’re all completely instagrammable for your Fall toned outfit shots – just sayin’!)
Autumn – Fall, Oсень, Herbst, Automne or Jesień – is unconditionally my favourite season of the year. Rust-hued leaves twirling to the ground, blue skies with a crisp feel to the air and the best excuse to lay a crackling fire. Spring is a welcome relief to winter, but festooned with allergy-causing pollen; summer is normally disappointing or hot and smelly, and winter is icy. Nah. Autumn all the way.
– Kenwood House (Golders Green, Hamstead & Hampstead Heath Stations)
Astoundingly many of the London houses and gardens are the quirkiest and most beautiful attractions that won’t cost you a penny. Free (both in a fiscal and tour sense) to wander through and admire, the incredible Kenwood House
is nestled in one of the far corners of Hampstead Heath and needs to be added to your must-visit list.
– Ham House & Gardens (Twickenham, St Margaret or Richmond Stations)
After you hop on the short ferry across the Thames, take a leaf-littered stroll through the Hornbeam Arch and unearth a world of autumn colour in the gardens at Ham House. Then proceed through the cherry garden where beautiful borders of cotton lavender line the paths before discovering colourful squashes growing in the kitchen garden of Ham House
– Eltham Palace (Mottingham Station)
It took a good friend and I more than a year to visit Eltham Palace and Gardens
. Taking into consideration the ease of getting there (there are several central London train stations which serve the 30 minute journey to the Zone 4 Mottingham Station), the Art Deco beauty that Eltham is known for and the curious architectural history of a medieval royal residence, you would think we’d have gotten our act a little more together. Especially considering how beautiful the gardens are…
– Osterley Park
Passing under a driveway lined with gnarled trees, quaint cottages and a farm shop we traced our way along a small lake to Osterley House & Gardens
properly. We made our way to the Stables, now a cafe and coffee shop and enjoyed a little breakfast in the sunshine. It’s a gorgeous, hidden gem of the London houses and gardens that I’ve visited, so far!
– Fenton House
is a 17th-century merchant’s house with an eclectic and unexpected collection of objects from the 17th to 20th century. It’s worth a visit for panoramic views of London from the balcony alone, let alone the beautifully manicured gardens that are just begging to be explored.
– Strawberry Hill House
Hidden in the opulent suburb of Twickenham, a gothic castle of dreamy spires quietly rests. The beautiful Strawberry Hill House
. Medieval tombs, arched doorways, rose windows and carved screens were models for Walpole’s fireplaces, windows, doors and ceilings, but surprisingly are mostly modelled out of wood, plaster and papier mache.
– Leighton House (backing onto Holland Park)
This one I slightly cheated by adding – Leighton House Museum is the former home of the Victorian artist Frederic, Lord Leighton (1830-1896). The only purpose-built studio-house open to the public in the United Kingdom, it is one of the most remarkable buildings of the nineteenth century, containing a fascinating collection of paintings and sculpture by Leighton and his contemporaries. And once you’ve visited the studio, make sure to walk through the glorious Kyoto Gardens of the neighbouring Holland Park
. Trust me.
– Chiswick House
There should be a law passed declaring that all historic houses and gardens must be visited at the end of sunny days, and as near to twilight as possible. There is a magic in dappling sun as it beams lazily through tree boughs that can’t quite be put into words. Especially in the beautiful Chiswick House and Gardens
– Fulham Palace Gardens
Fulham Palace is a Grade I listed building with medieval origins, standing alongside Bishops Park, and was formerly the principal residence of the Bishop of London. The site was the country home of the bishops from at least 11th century until 1973.
Have you been to any (or all) of the above London Houses and Gardens?
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