When the temperature drops and the leaves turn brown, London really comes into its own. The capital’s imposing architecture and labyrinthine streets become all the more atmospheric with a chill in the air. And if it rains? All the better. Our great city on the Thames is best viewed under clouds anyway.

Here are some of our favourite free (or cheap) activities to keep you busy during Autumn.

Lose yourself in the V&A

Housing over 4 million objects, the Victoria and Albert Museum is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design. The building itself, with its towering ceilings and Hogwarts-esque courtyard, is beautiful and dates back to 1852. While the exhibitions here are ticketed, the permanent collections are free to explore. And we don’t use the word ‘explore’ lightly. You can spend hours here, drifting from fashion to ground-breaking architecture and onto ceramics and jewellery.

Cromwell Road, Kensington, London SW7

Cost: Free

Have a whale of a time at the Natural History Museum

Whales: Beneath the Surface is an exciting exhibition delving into the habitat and habits of the world’s largest mammal. Chart the evolution of the whale, listen to humpback whales sing and get up close and personal with the Thames whale. You may not have heard of it, but we think it is unmissable.

Cromwell Road, Kensington, London SW7

Cost: £11.50 if booked online

Stroll through St James’s Park

What could be more wholesome than a wander around St James’s Park? The carefully arranged trees, lakes and fountains, not to mention the view of St James’s Palace and the London Eye are bound to induce a pinch-me-I’m-in-London feeling.

London SW1

Cost: Free

Scare yourself silly at Fright Fest

The glut of horror films in cinemas at the moment tells us Halloween is creeping around the corner. What better way to get a slice of the action than with one of the world’s most popular scary film festivals? Taking place on 28th October, Fright Fest will pull together a mix of arthouse and blockbuster films as well as special guests. Information on the line-up will be released on 29th September, with tickets going on sale on 1st October.

Immerse yourself in theatre

How to Solve a Problem Like Murder returns to the pub Paradise by Way of Kensal Green in Kensal Rise and is due to run until 30th November. The production, which combines dancing and cabaret, invites the audience to follow cast members to uncover the mystery. You’ll be given a mask and a pen and paper to jot down all your detective findings. Let the games begin!

Cost: £19.50

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