Sure, summer is rapidly disappearing but that doesn’t mean you have to go into hibernation along with the sun. There are lots of great events happening in London throughout October giving you plenty of reasons to get out of the house. From the London Film Festival, outdoor concerts to amazing art exhibitions – there’s bound to be something to keep you entertained.
Keep your eyes peeled for Hollywood’s latest stars as the BFI London Film Festival takes over cinemas across the city. With over 248 films being shown across 17 cinemas, you are sure to find that horror, drama or romantic comedy to suit your taste. The festival is running from 8-19 October. Check out the BFI festival website for more details and to book tickets.
If words are more your thing, get involved in the London Literature Festival. With readings and talks from some of the most influential authors and poets of today, including Stephen Fry, Kate Tempest and Alice Oswald, your inner wordsmith will be inspired. Running from 30 September until 18 October, there are a range of courses, talks, readings and performances located at the Southbank Centre. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Southbank Centre website.
The Art of the Brick
Nothing says ‘serious fun’ like Lego and artist, Nathan Sawaya, was clearly having the time of his life building artwork from thousands of Lego blocks. The exhibition of his work has toured the world and is now on Brick Lane (of course) at The Old Truman Brewery. From a giant T-Rex to recreations of classic artworks including the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, Sawaya has spent over 4,188 hours building these amazing structures. Visit The Art of the Brick website for more information and to book tickets. The exhibition runs until 4 January 2015.
As someone who comes from a country where autumnal leaves are magical things invented in movies, the brilliant colour display that suddenly occurs in parks and gardens across the country at this time of the year is spectacular. London’s many beautiful parks burst into a plethora of reds, yellows, oranges and pinks as the leaves start the change colour and float through the air like giant yellow snow every time the wind blows.
The wildlife are busy too, gathering food in preparation for the approaching winter. Nothing beats a walk on a crisp and sunny autumn day – and the best thing is that it is completely free!
So rug up, pack a picnic and head to one of London’s great parks and gardens and experience the natural spectacle that is autumn.
Got a pooch but not sure where to take it? Here are some of our favourite dog-friendly parks in London.
Food. Add a beer, cider or cocktail (or one of each?) and you have yourself one fantastic night out. Located at the Euro Car Parks in Shoreditch, this foodie heaven appears every Saturday night bringing food stalls, pop-up bars and live music to very happy revellers. Choose from homemade burgers, woodfired pizzas, sushi, burritos or fried chicken – that’s just the start. Finish your evening meal with one of their amazing desserts. Entry to the Urban Food Fest is free but be quick – this popular event is only on until 20 December.
Address: 163-175 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6HU
Whether you’re an avid collector or you have heard about this ‘art’ thing but don’t know what to do with it, the Frieze art fair at Regent’s Park is a great way to step into the world of contemporary art. Over 1000 galleries will display works for your viewing pleasure and if something really takes your fancy, you can even buy it and hang it on your wall at home. Pieces range in size and value so there will be a painting, sculpture, etching or print to fit your budget.
There are also talks and performance art throughout the event. Frieze is open from 12noon until 7pm from 15-18 October.
Address: Regent’s Park, NW1 4NR
Inject a bit of culture into your life with a lunchtime concert at the Bishopsgate Institute. One of London’s biggest cultural hubs, the Bishopsgate Institute delivers concerts, courses and talks to encourage debate and open thinking. In October you can enjoy free lunchtime concerts every Friday at 1pm. On the 24 October, you can watch the RCM String Band perform for the first time at Bishopsgate.
Visit the Bishopsgate Institute’s website for more details.
Photomonth is a two-month (yes… two) photography festival based throughout east London. With exhibitions, courses, talks, portfolio reviews and more, this is a must for all photography buffs. Most of the exhibitions are free and this is a great opportunity to visit some of the more unusual spaces within east London.
For more information about what is happening during the festival, visit the Photomonth website.
Head to the Tate Britain now to see one of the most esteemed art prize exhibitions – the Turner Prize. This year is the 30th anniversary of the Turner Prize and the acclaimed winner will be announced on Monday 1 December.
While you’re feeling the Turner vibe, there is a concurrent exhibition featuring works by J.W.M. Turner from between the years of 1983 and his death in 1851. This is the first exhibition to focus on the pieces he produced during the final years of his life.
Both exhibitions have an entry fee and you can book tickets in advance on the Tate Britain website.
It’s that time of the year again when the shops start to fill with giant pumpkins and an excessive amount of orange stuff. Embrace the ghoulish hour and celebrate Halloween with one of the many events being held across the city. Our personal favourite is the Halloween dog walk starting at the Spaniards Inn in Hampstead. Dress your dog up as a headless ghost, a witch or perhaps a giant pumpkin and take part on the charity walk raising money for All Dogs Matter.
Of course, you could also go to something a little less ‘dog’ and watch the ultimate in scary films, Hitchcock’s Pyscho at the Union Chapel. The film will be accompanied by a live performance of the original score. I dare you not to be scared.
Join in the colourful, vibrant and delicious celebrations for the Diwali festival. Also know as the Festival of Lights, Diwali is a celebration for Hindu, Sihn and Jain communities and will be held in Trafalgar Square during the afternoon and evening of 12 October. There will be music, dance, food stalls and lots of entertainment for the whole family.
If you ever wanted an excuse to gorge yourself on naan, korma and masala, you have just found it. From 13-19 October is National Curry Week, so get your friends together and see who can handle the hottest vindaloo. And if you’re not satisfied after seven days of non-stop curry, don’t worry. National Eating Out Week is coming up in November so you can do it all again.