The solstice has passed us by and the sunshine of summer has already faded to a distant memory. But far from being the time to bundle up indoors, autumn is one of the best times to get outside.
Our stores are hubs for our community of sea-going adventure seekers, so who better to ask to find out the best outdoor experiences and micro-adventures in and around London? We sat down with London Store Manager David, for his local autumn adventure advice.
What does the coming of autumn mean to you and your community?
You sense the change in the air but you see it most in the parks in London. Hyde Park changes spectacularly and thoughts start turning to warm drinks, cosy pubs and crunchy leaves. The temperature drops and you start seeing people breaking out the insulated jackets.
Where is a good place to find peace and reconnect to nature?
There are actually loads of places in London to get away from the city buzz. London’s parks are really incredible. When you’re in the middle of Regents Park or maybe Hampstead Heath, it’s almost possible to forget that you’re in the country’s capital city. Another little known thing is wild swimming in London. London’s royal docks and the serpentine are just two spots where you can leave the city life behind and immerse yourself in cold water.
What is your favourite place to surf near to your store?
Unfortunately, we are a bit far from any realistic surfing spots. Kent would be the place, but we don’t get an awful lot of swell that far down the east coast. But there are other great options for water-based fun, like heading down to Brighton and Hove for a spot of kitesurfing.
Autumn Kit Favourites
Where is the best place to discover wildlife in London?
Walking along the Thames is a personal favourite, or Regent’s Canal. You’re always bound to spot a Moorhen or two and the London Wetland Centre in the South West of the city is an incredible place to visit to get back to nature. Richmond Park is brilliant too and it’s a great place to spot wildlife. It’s had deer in it since 1529, and there are currently around 630 fallow and red deer who call it home. A great place to see large wildlife up-close in the country’s biggest city.
Where is the best place for storm-watching in or around London?
One thing that isn’t in short supply in London is tall buildings. There are rooftop gardens and Skybars a-plenty in the centre of the city, so when the storm clouds roll in, that’s where we’d be. If you want a bit more of a natural setting, Hampstead Heath or Primrose Hill offer incredible views of the city during a storm.
What is an undiscovered or little known adventure activity that can be done in the city?
Wakeup Docklands is a wakeboarding and paddleboarding centre based in the Royal Victoria Dock. You can literally go wakeboarding in the heart of the city. It’s amazing. You can paddleboard there as well, and there are a few different places where you can hire a board or kayak throughout the city. Bouldering and climbing walls are great as well, and there are loads across the city. It just depends what’s closest to you, but there is so much to be discovered.