Autumn Guide 2017 – London
London is a city of world-class art, theatre and sport and this autumn is no exception. Visitors to the British capital can watch brand new plays on the West End, take in retrospectives of exceptional artists, and experience (and buy) the works of hundreds of the world’s top contemporary artists. It’s a heady time to visit the city; discover the best it has to offer in this guide to London in autumn.
BBC Proms 2017
Kicking off with the American minimalism of John Adams and ending on the flag-waving antics of the “Last Night”, the BBC Proms is a glorious celebration of music in all its forms. Each year, a roundabout of seminal works such as Liszt’s concertos, Wagner’s cycles, and Elgar’s symphonies whizzes round, enrapturing the crowds in the iconic Royal Albert Hall. 2017 promises to be no different, with classics from Beethoven to Purcell on the agenda.
July 14 – September 9, 2017
Royal Albert Hall
Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP
Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace
The London residence of Her Majesty the Queen, Buckingham Palace is one of the capital’s most famous attractions. However, it’s only during the summer months that visitors can walk its hallways and browse the 19 lavishly furnished State Rooms, countless treasures of the Royal Collection (including Rubens and Poussin), or observe the Changing of the Guard – from behind a window, like royalty.
July 22 – October 1, 2017
Westminster, London, SW1A 1AA
Set in a farmhouse in 1980s Ireland, Jez Butterworth’s new play The Ferryman takes on family, the IRA and harvest time with wild, wonderful aplomb. The production, directed by Sam Mendes, opened at the Royal Court in early 2017 to critical acclaim, soon becoming the fastest-selling show in the theatre’s history. This West End transfer is proving similarly popular, with an extension to the show’s run announced only 10 days after opening.
June 20, 2017 – January 6, 2018
Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 6AR
A celebration of the sculpture of Turner Prize winning British artist, Rachel Whiteread, opens this autumn at the Tate Britain. Showcasing works from over 25 years of her artistic life, the exhibition includes famous pieces, such as Untitled (100 Spaces) 1995 and Untitled (Staircase) 2001, as well as newer works that have never before been shown to the public.
September 12, 2017 – January 21, 2018
Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG
Scythians: Warriors of Ancient Siberia
The Scythians – nomadic tribes that roamed the northeastern corners of the world between 900 and 200 BCE – are the focus of the British Museum’s latest ambitious BP exhibition. Gold jewellery, painted clay death masks and fur-lined garments are among the 200 objects on display, some of which are over 2,500 years old, with pieces loaned from a number of international collections, including the State Hermitage Museum and the Royal Collection.
September 14, 2017 – January 14, 2018
Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG
London Fashion Week
London is a fashion capital year-round, but flocks of style-makers come from around the globe for a week-long look at the next season’s fashions during the city’s bi-annual Fashion Week. LFW is the second of the “Big Four” to debut the Spring/Summer 2018 collections, following on from the shows in New York.
September 15-19, 2017
Various locations around London
Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’
This promises to be as much a milestone as an exhibition. Not only is Johns considered to be one of the most significant artists of both this century and the last, but over 60 years of his works will be thematically-arranged and on display at the RA this autumn, making Something Resembling Truth the most thorough look at the American artist’s career seen in London in decades.
September 23 – December 10, 2017
Royal Academy of Arts
Burlington House, London, W1J 0BD
Verdi’s Aida at ENO
When duty and love collide, it’s never going to end well. Thus, the stage for Verdi’s Aida is set. Directed by Olivier Award-winning director Phelim McDermott, Aida is a grand, bold story told with sympathy. Sopranos Latonia Moore and Morenike Fadayomi will sing the title role, but it’s ENO’s powerful Orchestra and Chorus that are really given space to shine in this dramatic tale of love in wartime.
September 28 – December 2, 2017
St Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N 4ES
BFI London Film Festival
The 2017 BFI London Film Festival marks its 61st incarnation, proving that some things really do get better with age. Last year, 397 films – ranging from red carpet-worthy world premieres to first-timer shorts – were screened to almost 200,000 visitors. Locations around the British capital will once again play host to some of the best talents of the film industry this October, making tickets some of the hottest in town.
October 4-15, 2017
Various locations around London
The works of over 1,000 of the world’s leading contemporary artists will converge on Regent’s Park for Frieze London. An art-lover’s playground, the fair has more than 160 galleries showcasing and selling pieces during its run. The experience kicks off with Donna Kukama’s impressive botanical display outside the entrance, just one of the site-specific installations at this year’s Frieze.
October 5-8, 2017
Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4NR
Monochrome: Painting in Black and White
Think of art, and you might think of colour. Not so at the National Gallery’s exhibition, Monochrome: Painting in Black and White. The show takes in the full sweep of art history, from the Middle Ages to the current century, exploring how and to what effect monochrome has been employed. This is one occasion where history really is black and white.
October 30, 2017 – February 18, 2018
Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN
NITTO ATP Finals
The biggest indoor tennis tournament in the world, the season-ending NITTO ATP Finals will once again be hosted at the O2. Last year’s competition saw the world’s top men’s tennis players battling it out in front of 250,000 people in the arena and another 100 million tuning in at home. Last year, reigning champ Andy Murray took the tournament, but who knows who might rise to the top next; there’s everything to play for in 2017.
November 12-19, 2017
Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0DX
Hyde Park Stables
Horses and riders have long been a common sight on the bridleways of Hyde Park. The perfect day excursion for equestrians, a trip on horseback affords a novel and exhilarating way to experience the natural beauty and iconic sights of the area, including the Diana Memorial Fountain and the Serpentine.
A 19th century luxury shopping arcade in the heart of Mayfair, Burlington Arcade is a space for distinguished shoppers. Myriad boutiques dedicated to fashion and accessories line the covered walkway, where a special focus is on fine jewellery. Highlights among the jewellers’ offerings include Tessier and Plukka.
Since its founding by the English jazz tenor in 1959, Ronnie Scott’s has remained one of the best places to watch live music in London. The legendary Soho venue once hosted the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis, and today welcomes top jazz, soul, blues and folk artists from around the world.
A traditional Georgian pub on a discreet side street in Mayfair, the Punchbowl is one of the area’s oldest pubs. With a selection of real ales on tap and hearty pub classics on the menu, the establishment manages to balance a quintessentially British pub atmosphere with something a little more upmarket.
Sir John Soane's Museum
The Sir John Soane Museum may have a reputation for being one of London’s more unusual museums, but it can also be one of its most romantic. Once home to architect Sir John Soane, the venue is filled with artworks, antiquities, and unusual decorative touches. However, it’s at its most atmospheric during the candlelit tours, held on the first Tuesday of each month.
Columbia Road Flower Market
Columbia Road is a charming stretch in London’s East End, lined with boutiques, restaurants and independent galleries. Every Sunday morning the road blossoms into life with the arrival of its resident flower market. From freshly cut flowers to orchids, ferns and fruit trees, the selection is vast, and the scene lively until late afternoon.
A shopping park with a distinctive East London twist, Shoreditch’s Boxpark has turned retail therapy into an art form, with over 60 innovative stores built out of industrial shipping containers. The brands and restaurants on offer here are far from your typical high street chains and have turned the once derelict area into a buzzing retail destination.
Advertised as a live escape game, ClueQuest sees small teams of three to five solve various logic-based riddles in a bid to release themselves from a locked room. An unusual premise it may be, but the experience is exhilarating and allows a rare bonding opportunity between family members of all ages.
Chin Chin Labs
Chin Chin Labs is located in the centre of Camden Town and offers an alternative to traditional ice cream with imaginative flavours like Pondicherry vanilla and melon salted almond. The ice cream is prepared using liquid nitrogen in a shop that is designed to look like a science lab, which adds to its idiosyncratic charm.