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As the summer sun makes way for the chilly autumnal air and crisp orange leaves, London also springs to life with various autumnal events taking place across the city. From highly anticipated movies at the London Film Festival to Bavarian bands and giant steins of beer at Oktoberfest, here’s our guide to the best events in the city this October.

(WA = Wheelchair Accessible)

 Three friends having a cocktail during the London Cocktail week, which is one of the top things to do in london in October

 Image courtesy of London Cocktail Week

 Drink, drink and drink some more at London Cocktail Week

The biggest cocktail festival is back with a bang this year, taking place from 12th-22nd October in venues all across London and is, without a doubt, one of the top things to do in London in October. Get to know London’s drinking scene up close at the hundreds of events and experiences across the week, from immersive pop-ups to specially curated menus. Nab yourself a wristband for the special occasion and start planning your cocktail-fuelled route.

London Cocktail Week | 12th – 22nd October 2023

Poster for the Black Culture Market taking place in Brixton in OctoberImage courtesy of Black Culture Market

 Celebrate black-owned businesses at Black Culture Market for Black History Month

Celebrate African Caribbean culture and Black History at the Black Culture Market in iconic venues across the city and beyond. Specially selected black businesses come together to showcase exclusive events and champion producers of the African and Caribbean communities. Pick up original items, accessories, gifts, unique prints and much more whilst supporting black-owned businesses.

Black Culture Market | Brixton | 30th September 2023 – 1st October 2023

People having fun dressed up in traditional German attire during Oktoberfest in London.Image courtesy of Oktoberfest

Raise your steins at Oktoberfest

Every year, Oktoberfest remains one of the things to do in London in October and is the biggest celebration of its kind in the UK, seeing more than 50,000 guests come together annually. You can expect a live Baravian band, authentic German food and beer and Oktoberfest decorations; you’ll feel like you’re in a traditional Oktoberfest tent in the middle of Germany. Don your best lederhosen and strap in for the best beer-fuelled German celebrations in the city.

Oktoberfest | October

Stroll through London parks to see new Autumn leaves

As we say goodbye to the long nights and summer sun, a new space arises for new orange leaves and a fresh, crisp autumnal air. There are many places you can embrace the transition of summer into Autumn. Still, a few of our favourites are Richmond Park, particularly in the morning, Hyde Park, Greenwich Park, Victoria Park and Kyoto Garden in Holland Park.


Catch the best of British Films during the BFI London, which is one of the top things to do in london in October

Image courtesy of BFI London Film Festival 

Watch highly anticipated films at BFI London Film Festival

Finally, on our list of the top things to do in London in October is The BFI London Film Festival, one of the world’s leading film festivals featuring a programme of films by established and emerging filmmakers worldwide.  Sink your teeth into the best new movies and series worldwide at London’s South Bank and West End venues and cinemas all around the UK between 4-15th October. Moreover, this year’s programme includes 99 works made by female and 39% by non-binary filmmakers.

London Film Festival | 4th – 15th October 2023

An audience visiting the London edition of The Other Art Fair is one of the top things to do in October Image courtesy of The Other Art Fair

Get arty at The Other Art Fair

The Other Art Fair is an annual event that showcases emerging and independent artists in the heart of vibrant Brick Lane. The fair highlights a diverse range of artistic expressions, from paintings and sculptures to installations and photography, whilst encouraging meaningful connections between artists and art enthusiasts. With its commitment to supporting emerging talent, interactive workshops, and engaging discussions, The Other Art Fair provides a dynamic platform for creativity and exploration, making it a must-visit destination for both seasoned collectors and newcomers to the art world.

The Other Art Fair | Brick Lane | 12th – 15th October 2023 | WA

House of Spirits – Jeffrey Gibson, an installation to look forward in Kew Gardens Image courtesy of Kew Gardens

Celebrate flora at Kew Gardens

Celebrate the diversity and beauty of plants and fungi at the Queer Nature Festival at Kew Gardens this October. It takes place inside the iconic Temperate House, featuring a stunning suspended artwork and horticultural installation that challenge conventional perceptions of these organisms. Listen to leading voices, including Kew scientists, horticulturists, and writers, share their unique perspectives on queerness and nature.
Queer Nature Festival | Kew Gardens | 30th September – 29th October 2023 | WA

Audience at the Black British Book Festival, which celebrates Britain's known Black Authors Image courtesy of Southbank Centre

Shine a spotlight on Black British authors

The Black British Book Festival celebrates Black British authors of all genres whilst also providing a national platform for emerging writers. This festival spotlights the UK’s top Black authors, partnering with major publishers like Penguin and SAGE. 20 Black British authors will embark on a book tour across the UK, hosting pop-up events in unassuming places, like hair salons and shopping centres. The festival ultimately aims to emphasise emerging talent and inclusivity in the UK’s literary scene.
Black British Book Festival | Southbank Centre | 27th – 28th October 2023

Get spooky in the city for Halloween

Whilst Halloween isn’t as big of a celebration in London as it is in the US, there are still many events taking place across the city. Plus, many Londoners love an excuse to get dressed up. You can watch cult classics Halloween-style at Rivoli Ballroom or head on a haunted pub tour of London. There’s also a vintage bus ghost tour of the city and the opportunity to pick your own pumpkin at places in and around the city.

How are you celebrating this October? Make sure you tag us in all of your Autumnal activities @loveandlondon; we love to see you enjoying the change of seasons in the city.

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Top Things to do in London in October

Jessica Dellow

Jessica Dellow is an East Londoner who loves to travel the world and eat her way around the city. When she's not eating, cooking or hanging out in the local pub, you’ll probably find her walking one of her BorrowMyDoggy dogs in Victoria Park with a coffee in hand.

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